THE emissions of most cars are coming down in leaps and bounds.
I've just had a great time with the Volvo V50 DRIVe medium estate, powered by the well-proved 1.6 diesel borrowed from Peugeot and with added stop/start to help save cash.
It's a good size - not as big as the best but still not bad - and how do these figures grab you: 74 miles per gallon, 99 grammes per kilometer carbon dioxide emissions - which is almost the same as the ugly two seat smart - and it will still do 0 to 62miles an hour in 10.9 seconds.
Talk about have your cake and eat it.
The engine is decently refined, quiet and very willing. It will even pull gently in sixth gear for lane changing at motorway speeds.
It's stable and comfortable at speed and is also agile and trustworthy through the corners, with strong grip and tenacious road-holding.
The steering is responsive but the firm ride feels rougher roads at slow speeds.
It's a good looking medium estate with plenty of space and the cabin is stylish and has a quality fit and finish.
: Audi A4 Avant