Cars with an engine size of less than 1.6 liters accounted for 60 percent of Chinese car sales last year, latest industry statistics show.
"The rise in sales of low-emission cars was due to high oil prices and government policies favoring small cars," said a report from the China Association of Auto Manufacture.
China raised the price of processed oil several times last year and some cities have removed restrictions on driving routes open to small-engine vehicles in recent years.
About 328,000 cars with an engine size of below 1.0 liters were sold last year, accounting for 8.6 percent of the total domestic sedan sales, said the report.
Cars with an engine size of between 1.0 and 1.6 liters took up about half of the total sedan sales.
Of the ten best-selling brands, six were economy cars, including Jetta, Buick Excelle, Elantra, Xiali, Cherry QQ and Cherry Cowin.
China's car sales went up 37 percent to reach 3.83 million last year.