The chances are you’ve already come across examples of eco-signatures when searching the new car market. Terms like ‘BlueMotion’, ‘ecoFLEx’, ‘EcoBoost’ and ‘SKYACTIV’ are all common examples nowadays. Each one is used by a particular manufacturer.

But perhaps you are wondering what eco-signatures are all about, why they matter and which eco-signatures are used by certain manufacturers. In this guide, we’ll look to answer all of these questions that car buyers may have while examining the current new car market.

What does eco-signature actually mean?

Essentially, an eco-signature is a moniker assigned to the specifications in a car’s range which have the lowest CO2 output and most efficient fuel economy figures. Also, these figures will have been achieved using special fuel-saving technology for the engines and possibly other parts of the car as well.

Eco-signatures do not normally apply to any hybrid or electric cars and are instead reserved for conventional petrol or diesel-powered cars.

Car specifications with eco-signature may be lighter than other models in the same range and they likely feature stop-start engine technology. Improved aerodynamics and low roll resistant tyres are other things cars with eco-signatures often feature.

The benefits of buying a car with an eco-signature are clear, as you know that you own a car with greater fuel economy figures and CO2 emissions than other specifications. This means saving money on fuel bills and you spend less towards Vehicle Excise Duty, which is determined by CO2 output.

Current eco-signatures in use

If you’re interested in buying a new car in an eco-signature specification but are not sure of what’s available, then we can help.

Below is a round-up of the car brands which use one or two eco-signatures for certain types of engine (or even a trim level in rare cases) and what they are called.

Alfa Romeo – TwinAir and MultiAir

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Both MultiAir and TwinAir are engine technologies which originate from Fiat, which owns the Alfa Romeo brand. Both of these signatures apply to petrol engines and they are available for several current models in Alfa Romeo’s product line-up.

Compared to a more ‘standard’ petrol engine, MultiAir technology is said to increase power output by 10 to 35 per cent. At the same time, however, it also reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by about 10 per cent.

The TwinAir signature is famous for being used for a 0.9-litre engine with a strong reputation. The 0.9-litre TwinAir enjoyed a major boost to its reputation when it won the International Engine of the Year accolade back in 2011.

Audi – Ultra

One of the more recently introduced eco-signatures to emerge in the car market, ‘Ultra’ applies to the most efficient specifications in Audi’s executive car range.

BMW – EfficientDynamics

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The term EfficientDynamics is used for current BMW models which use frugal diesel units, back up by a range fuel-saving technologies.

There are models with the EfficientDynamics eco-signature found for a large proportion of the BMW product line-up, including the 3 Series, 5 Series and 1 Series. Every EfficientDynamics models emits less than 140g/km of CO2.

Citroën and DS – PureTech and Airdream

PureTech is a much more recent addition to the Citroën product range and is applied to modern, frugal petrol engines. A 1.2-litre petrol unit with the PureTech signature can be specified to several current Citroën models, as well cars from Citroën’s premium DS brand.

The Airdream signature is tied to certain Citroën models with the most efficient e-HDi diesel engines. They can various in size such as 1.4-litre or 1.6-litre.

Fiat – TwinAir and MultiJet

TwinAir, as mentioned earlier above, is a name applied to Fiat’s latest 0.9-litre petrol engine and it offers incredibly frugal running, especially in the 500 city car.

The name MultiJet is used for Fiat’s popularly-used modern diesel unit. Across the product range Fiat cars with MultiJet engines keep CO2 emissions below 130g/km.

Ford – EcoBoost and ECOnetic

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Ford’s latest and most frugal petrol engines are titled EcoBoost and the line-up includes a multi-award-winning 1.0-litre turbocharged unit. This engine can be found in the latest Focus, Fiesta, B-Max and more. The 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine won the prestigious International Engine of the Year award for 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Ford also has the ECOnetic signature, which is currently applied to certain Fiesta and Focus models and is reserved for the most frugal diesel cars.

Hyundai – Blue Drive

Blue Drive is an eco-signature which is used for the most frugal specifications in the majority of Hyundai’s current cars.

In the majority of cases, Blue Drive is applied to 1.6-litre diesel units but has also been used for a more modern 1.0-litre petrol engine.

Kia – ECO dynamics

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The various fuel-saving technologies which make up Kia ECO dynamics, which includes engine tech and aerodynamic alterations, were first introduced on a diesel-powered Ceed family car.

This technology and the ECO dynamics eco-signature has since spread to other current models, such as the Rio supermini and benefits both petrol and diesel engines.

Mazda – SKYACTIV

First launched by Mazda in early 2012, SKYACTIV signature refers to a collection of various technologies related to both performance and efficiency, with strong emphasis placed on both.

Available on virtually every new Mazda now, SKYACTIV helped to make features like stop-start engine technology and more fuel-efficient aerodynamics commonplace on the Japanese brand’s cars.

Mercedes-Benz – BlueEfficiency and BlueTEC

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Mercedes-Benz has two eco-signatures it currently uses for its models which are equipped with the largest array of fuel-saving technology.

While the BlueEfficiency eco-signature can be found on certain petrol-powered Mercedes cars, the BlueTEC signature is seen on certain diesel-run (and diesel hybrid) Mercedes models.

SEAT – Ecomotive

The Ecomotive signature can be found for customers to pick for at least one specification in almost every current SEAT car’s range.

In smaller cars from SEAT, the Ecomotive eco-signature is particularly eye-catching as it tends to mean CO2 emissions below 100g/km, leading to free Vehicle Excise Duty.

Skoda – GreenLine

The GreenLine signature is reserved for the most efficient and cleanest specifications on offer from the Skoda brand.

Vauxhall – ecoFLEX

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Vauxhall’s ecoFLEX eco-signature is very common place in the British car brand’s product line-up nowadays, particularly when looking at the range for the Corsa supermini or Astra family car.

Look at either of these popular Vauxhalls and you’ll find several specifications which use ecoFLEX diesel engines benefitting from stop-start and other technology dedicated to saving fuel and customers money in the long term.

Volkswagen – BlueMotion

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The BlueMotion signature is applied to the most frugal of all the diesel-run cars in the current Volkswagen line-up.

If you’re interested in buying a new Volkswagen and fuel efficiency and running costs are high priority, it’s worth looking at the VW models with the BlueMotion badge included.