Top 12 Greenest and Meanest Cars in the USA

Compressed Natural Gas Civic GX

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) compiled two lists of the 12 "greenest" and 12 "meanest" cars in the U.S. by looking at everything from emissions and fuel economy to the pollution generated during the manufacturing process. Of course, using different criteria would have lead to different lists, and we can already hear people disagreeing with the ACEEE in the comments (fans of diesel). That's okay, please share your thoughts.

So the greenest car in the U.S. is...? Many are probably thinking "Prius" right now, but according to the ACEEE it is the Honda Civic GX which runs on compressed natural gas (CNG). Unfortunately, Honda sells very few of these (about a thousand a year), only in New York and California, and mostly to corporate or government fleets.

Read on for the top 12 greenest and meanest cars in the U.S.Top 12 Greenest:

  1. Honda Civic GX
  2. Toyota Prius
  3. Honda Civic Hybrid
  4. Smart ForTwo
  5. Toyota Yaris
  6. Nissan Altima Hybrid
  7. Toyota Corolla
  8. Mini Cooper / Clubman
  9. Ford Focus
  10. Toyota Camry Hybrid
  11. Honda Civic
  12. Honda Fit

Between the Civic GX and the Fit, there's only 13 points of difference on the ACEEE's list, and there's only two points of difference between all the vehicles from the Yaris to the Fit.

VW Touareg diesel

Top 12 Meanest:

  1. Volkswagen Touareg
  2. Bugatti Veyron
  3. Mercedes Benz GL320 CDI
  4. Jeep Grand Cherokee
  5. Mercedes Benz R320 CDI
  6. Lamborghini Murcielago
  7. Mercedes Benz ML320 CDI
  8. Mercedes Benz G55 AMG
  9. Hummer H2
  10. GMC Yukon 2500
  11. Bentley Azure
  12. Bentley Arnage

Lots of diesel vehicles here. The Touareg (5-liter V-10 diesel) tops the list despite a better fuel economy than the Bugatti Veyron. The ACEEE explains:

Although these engines offer a substantial efficiency improvement over comparable gasoline models, the poor tailpipe emissions performance of the diesel models is sufficiently damaging to the environment that it earns them a place on the year's Meanest Vehicles list.

Manufacturers of the diesel models on our "Meanest" list have already unveiled plans to bring cleaner diesel models to the country in 2008, containing more sophisticated emissions control systems that purportedly will meet the Tier 2 Bin 5 emission standard.

Still, it's sad to see that the "greenest" list doesn't include anything really new. The Civic GX is clean mostly because of the fuel choice and it's not a high-volume car, and the Prius isn't so cutting-edge anymore. We need really clean vehicles asap.

::ACEEE Website, ::And the Greenest Car in America is ...

See also: ::Souped Down 1959 Opel T-1 Gets 376.59 mpg, ::Volkswagen to Introduce 70 mpg Diesel-Electric Hybrid Golf, ::Sporty Loremo Diesel will Have Electric Version Too

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