Improvements in CO2 emissions should enable the car industry to meet the EU target of 130g/km Co2 by 2012.
Average new car CO2 fell by 5.5% in the first nine months of 2009.
Toyota has managed to drop below the threshold to 129.2 g/km, while Mini and Fiat are just above 130 g/km CO2.
“It is highly significant that a major manufacturer has met the EU target, as it means no mainstream car manufacturer has an excuse for failing to meet the target in future.” said Jay Nagley, www.cleangreencars.co.uk publisher.
Nagley said Toyota’s performance stems from dropping higher emission vehicles MR2, Previa and Celia and increasing its range of small cars.
Its Optimal Drive system has reduced emissions across the range and the Prius hybrid has made a “small but noticeable difference to average CO2 figures”.
Other manufacturers to make significant gains are Hyundai, now with the fourth lowest average emissions in the UK (134.4 g/km) and Audi, which has cut emissions by 9.6% to 158.2 g/km and is now one place behind BMW (154.7 g/km).