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ROAD & TRAVEL Environmentally Friendly: The Greenest and Meanest of 2007

2007 Best and Worst Hybrid Cars

Claiming the prize as the greenest model year 2007 vehicle is Honda's natural gas-powered Civic GX, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy's (ACEEE) tenth annual "Green List."

"We've seen a lot about eco-friendly
vehicles being offered by domestic manufacturers. But when you look at the specs that matter, it's fair to say the
imports have Detroit's number."

The Toyota Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid, stalwarts on the annual "Greenest Vehicles" list, claim spots two and three, while the Nissan Altima Hybrid and Toyota Yaris, market newcomers for model year 2007, round out the top five. Others in the list include conventional and hybrid-electric vehicles from Honda, Hyundai, Kia, and Toyota. Domestic automakers were shut out of the top-twelve list.

"We've seen a lot [...] this past year about efficient and eco-friendly vehicles being offered by domestic manufacturers. But when you look at the specs that matter, it's fair to say the imports have Detroit's number," said author and principal vehicle analyst James Kliesch, a Research Associate at ACEEE. Kliesch blames the domestics' absence from the list on their wavering approach to fuel-efficient technologies. "Certain companies committed years ago to fuel-efficient technologies—and held firm to those commitments. Today, those automakers have a clear competitive advantage in the world of green vehicles."

This year's "Meanest Vehicles for the Environment," a list traditionally dominated by large domestic pickups and SUVs, contains only four models from Detroit. European imports make up the remainder of the list. Much of the reason for that shift is the arrival of a number of new diesel models that meet some of the dirtiest tailpipe emissions standards allowable in the United States. Five diesels populate the year's twelve-worst list, including the year's most environmentally unfriendly model, the diesel-powered Volkswagen Touareg.

Rounding out the "bottom five" are the Mercedes-Benz GL320 CDI, Lamborghini Murcielago, diesel-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Bentley Arnage RL. Prominent gasoline models on the list include the Dodge Ram 2500 Mega Cab pickup, Ford F-250 pickup, and Lincoln Navigator SUV.


(Source: ACEEE)

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