Greenest Cars for 2006
for the absolute greenest vehicle out there? According
to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
(ACEEE), it's the Honda Insight.
In recent awards, the ACEEE deemed hybrid-electric Insight
"greenest vehicle." Coming in second place
is the natural gas-powered Honda Civic GX, while Toyota
Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid and Toyota Corolla comprise
the remaining top five.
should be aware that having 'hybrid' in a vehicle
name doesn't necessarily mean the vehicle will
the Ford Escape Hybrid - last year's notable newcomer
- was pushed off this year's top twelve list by a number
of new, low-emitting conventional cars, hybrids as a
whole continue to perform well, taking three of the
top four spots overall and placing at or near the top
of many vehicle classes.
"In the world of green vehicles, hybrids are still
the team to beat, as they generally have better fuel
economy and cleaner emissions than other models in their
respective classes," stated author and principal
vehicle analyst James Kliesch, a Research Associate
"Nonetheless, consumers should
be aware that having 'hybrid' in the name doesn't necessarily
mean the vehicle will be green." As automakers
look to take advantage of the hybrid buzz, experts are
concerned that the focus of hybrid design may shift
from saving fuel to simply further increasing vehicle
GreenerCars.com provides the facts necessary to examine
the eco-performance of any 2006 model. Vehicles are
analyzed on the basis of a "Green Score," a singular measure that incorporates unhealthy tailpipe
emissions, fuel consumption, and the emissions of gases
that cause global warming.
The site also identifies top widely available models
in each vehicle class. This "Greener Choices"
list includes larger vehicles, such as the Ford Escape
Hybrid SUV, Honda Odyssey minivan, and Toyota Tundra
pickup. Passenger cars such as the Hyundai Sonata and
Ford Focus Wagon also top their respective classes.
As the list demonstrates, consumers can make "greener
choices," whether they need a sedan, minivan, pickup
truck, or SUV.
While keeping pace with increasingly stringent federal
tailpipe emissions requirements, U.S. manufacturers
captured the top scoring position in only four of the
fourteen vehicle classes.
"Unfortunately, the domestic manufacturers are
not closing the gap with the leading foreign manufacturers
on fuel economy," noted Therese Langer, ACEEE's
Transportation Program Director. "Detroit has had
a difficult year, but given high gasoline prices and
shifting consumer preferences, offering more fuel-efficient
vehicles is not a luxury - it's a business necessity."
The "Meanest Vehicle for the Environment,"
for the second consecutive year, goes to the 8.3-liter,
500-horsepower Dodge Ram SRT10 pickup truck. Rounding
out the "bottom 5" are the Lamborghini Murcielago,
Bentley Arnage, Dodge Durango, and Dodge Ram 1500 pickup.
Other prominent models on the "meanest" list
include the Hummer H2, Ford F-250 pickup, GMC Yukon
XL K2500, Volkswagen Touareg, and Chevrolet Suburban
"The signs of global warming are clearer than ever.
Simply by choosing the most efficient vehicle in each
class, we could cut our average gasoline bill by $510
a year, while cutting carbon emissions more than 30
percent. So whether it's for your pocketbook or for
the planet, there has never been a better time to buy
a green vehicle," noted Bill Prindle, ACEEE's Policy