Diesel Land Rover Discovery is 20 times cleaner than a dirty Renault Clio supermini

The latest diesel Land Rover Discovery 4×4 – a car demonised for being dirty – is actually 20 times less polluting than a Renault Clio mini hatchback (also with a diesel engine), radical new independent emissions tests have revealed.

Remarkably, the British-built Land Rover finishes with a top ranking A-grade in the new car Air Index eco-rating scale carried out in the UK – suggesting it is one of the cleanest and greenest vehicles on the road despite it’s hulk-like size and Chelsea Tractor image.

By contrast the French Renault Clio hatchback ??once famed for its popular ‘Papa and Nicole’ adverts – has been awarded the worst E-grade for being one of the most polluting.?

The study adds to the evidence piling up in favour of diesel cars after tests by German motoring association ADAC last week found that the latest Euro6 models were producing little to no harmful nitrogen oxide emissions during real-world measurements.

Academics believe that if the independent test had been around 15 years ago then the dieselgate scandal would not have happened

Massimo Fedeli, co-founder and operations director of Air added: ‘Our index is a game changer. It gives easy to understand, at-a-glance information on actual vehicle emissions in towns and cities.

‘It provides car buyers with the answers they need to make the right purchasing choices, it makes the industry accountable to produce cleaner cars and gives cities and policy makers the accurate data to create fair policies.’

Politicians can for the first time bring in air-improvement plans ‘without penalising consumers unfairly because the vehicle that they bought in good faith is dirtier, on the road, than they were led to believe’, he said.?

How does your car compare in the pollution stakes? Find out in the Air Index.?