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If you burn a litre of diesel this will produce 2.6391 kgs of carbon dioxide. Petrol has a lower carbon content and so produces 2.3035 kgs of CO2. The precise figures depend on the quality of the fuel. Since fuel weighs less than a kilogram per litre, it is interesting to see how the weight of emissions is multiplied by the addition of oxygen. The tables below show how the official test figures for CO2 emissions and combined MPG can be equated to see how individual vehicles perform in terms of CO2 per litre. Some cars appear to do better than the standard chemistry would suggest, whereas others do worse. So these figures show how inaccurate the testing mechanism can be, and how different engines skew the results. The official tests measure exhaust gases only and then calculate the fuel consumption.


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Top 10 CO2/litre petrol cars

 
Make Model Derivative CO2 (kg)/litre CO2 (gpkm) Litre per 100km MPG (combined) List price
SEAT Leon 5 Door 1.4 TSI FR 150PS ACT 2.10 109 5.20 54.3 £20,000
Audi A1 New 1.0 TFSI SE 95PS 2.10 99 4.71 60.0 £14,315
Audi A1 Sportback New 1.0 TFSI SE 95PS 2.10 99 4.71 60.0 £14,935
SEAT Leon ST 1.4 TSI FR Technology Pack 150PS 2.11 112 5.30 53.3 £22,070
Morgan 4/4 1.6 2.23 143 6.41 44.1 £33,080
Kia cee'd Sportswagon 1.4 VR-7 98hp 2.24 148 6.60 42.8 £16,200
Renault Megane Coupé 1.2 TCe 115 Dynamique TomTom Energy Stop and Start 2.25 119 5.30 53.3 £19,345
Renault Megane Hatch 1.2 TCe 115 Dynamique TomTom Energy Stop and Start 2.25 119 5.30 53.3 £18,570
Renault Megane Sport Tourer 1.2 TCe 115 Dynamique TomTom Stop and Start 2.25 119 5.30 53.3 £19,570
MINI Paceman 1.6i Cooper 122hp ALL4 Auto 2.25 164 7.30 38.7 £21,265
 

Bottom 10 CO2/litre petrol cars

 
Make Model Derivative CO2 (kg)/litre CO2 (gpkm) Litre per 100km MPG (combined) List price
Volkswagen Beetle 2.0 TSI Sport 220PS BMT DSG 2.90 157 5.41 52.2 £25,175
Audi Q3 New 2.0 TFSI S Line Plus 180PS 2.59 119 4.60 61.4 £31,780
BMW 3 Series Touring 320i xDrive Sport Auto 2.50 154 6.17 45.8 £31,955
Citroen C3 Picasso 1.6 VTi Exclusive 120hp 2.48 149 6.00 47.1 £17,095
Maserati GranTurismo 4.7 V8 Sport MC Shift 2.48 385 15.52 18.2 £94,140
Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Roadster SLK 250 AMG Sport 2.45 169 6.91 40.9 £38,705
Mercedes-Benz B-Class B 180 Sport 2.44 144 5.90 47.9 £23,335
Abarth 595C 1.4 Tjet Turismo 160hp Auto 2.42 155 6.41 44.1 £21,255
DFSK Loadhopper 1.3 Minibus 77bhp 2.41 184 7.63 37.0 £11,212
Rolls-Royce Ghost 6.6 V12 II Auto 2.41 327 13.58 20.8 £181,865