Not convinced?



Ford Focus 2.0 TDCI, £21,645
The 2.0 TDCI Zetec S is Ford’s quickest diesel Focus. A combined fuel economy of 57.7mpg, CO2 emissions of 124g/km and a 0-62mph acceleration time of 8.6 seconds all compare unfavourably to the Leon FR above, despite this Focus having a more powerful 2.0-litre diesel engine (161bhp). The car comes in Zetec spec with a firmer sports suspension and a sporty bodykit but this is no diesel Focus ST.

Mazda 3, £tbc
The brand new Mazda 3 is launching soon. It’s always sold well in the UK and the latest generation promises to be the best yet. Mazda’s frugal SkyActiv technology – which incorporates a lighter-weight engine, transmission, body and chassis plus stop start and brake energy regeneration – should make the car fuel efficient. For the first time for a car of this size, it has connectivity built-in, so it can take its occupants online.

Volkswagen Golf GTD, £25,940
Essentially the diesel version of VW’s iconic Golf GTI, this GTD model has developed a cult following over the years. Targeted at keen driver dads, it uses the same 184bhp 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine offered in the Seat Leon. It has the same fuel economy (67.3mpg) and emissions (109g/km of CO2) and the same sprint time (0-62mph, 7.5secs). It even has the same size boot (380 litres), but it costs £2,500 more.