Which? emissions testing reveals huge car industry variation

Time 10:28 am, March 22, 2017

NEW Which? diesel emissions testing reveals that Renault and Jeep were among the biggest air polluters for NOx of the carmakers it tested, with huge variations across the industry.

Which? analysed 278 diesel cars from leading global car manufacturers between 2012 and 2016, testing average NOx emissions alongside official Euro 5 and more recent Euro 6 limits – which are set at 0.18g/km and 0.08g/km respectively.

The tests also found:

All 16 diesel Renault cars tested had NOx emissions that were up to four times higher for Euro 5 and nine times above Euro 6 limits – 0.73g/km and 0.72g/km respectively;

The six Nissan cars Which? tested with Euro 5 diesel engines – a brand that Renault partners with – had average NOx emissions of 0.8g/km;

Jeep also produced some of the highest emissions – the two Euro 5 cars tested managed to emit, on average, 1.735g/km of NOx, which is nine-and-a-half times the Euro 5 limit they met in official tests;

The 33 BMW and BMW-owned Mini cars Which? tested had some of the lowest NOx emissions for diesel cars. Averages for BMW were 0.41g/km from Euro 5 cars and 0.14g/km from Euro 6 cars;

Despite high emissions rates among some car manufacturers, modern diesel cars are, on balance, cleaner than ever. However, despite universal limits, diesel cars from some carmakers continue to pollute significantly more than other brands in Which? tests.

New official tests to access car performance are due to be introduced from September 2017.

Richard Headland, Which? magazine editor, said: ‘While our tests show that some car manufacturers are making progress on reducing the amount of toxic emissions from their models, many have a long way to go in cleaning up their act.

‘We hope that the improved official tests being brought in later this year will more clearly name and shame those manufacturers that are failing to meet their obligation to lower emissions.’

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Dave Brown's avatar

Dave, production editor on Car Dealer Magazine, is a journalist with more than 30 years' experience in the worlds of newspapers, magazines and public relations.

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