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Which Vehicles Are the Greenest and Meanest?

March 3, 2005

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) announced in February its list of the least and most environmentally friendly vehicles for all model year 2005 cars and passenger trucks.Retaining the distinction as the greenest vehicle of the year is Honda's natural gas-powered Civic GX. The hybrid-electric Honda Insight follows closely behind, with the Toyota Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid and Toyota Corolla rounding out the top five. The most notable newcomer to this year's list is the Ford Escape Hybrid – marking the first time ever a gasoline-powered SUV has achieved a spot among the greenest vehicles of the year. (The battery-electric Toyota RAV4 EV and Honda EV Plus previously held spots on the list until their discontinuation). Other manufacturers in the top twelve include Nissan, Pontiac, and Mazda, according to ACEEE.The list, available on the GreenerCars.com Web site, also identifies top widely available models in each vehicle class. This "Greener Choices" list includes larger vehicles, such as the Ford Freestyle SUV, Honda Odyssey minivan, and Toyota Tundra pickup. Passenger cars such as the Chevrolet Malibu Maxx and Ford Focus Wagon also top their respective classes.The 2005 "Meanest Vehicles" list, while once again dominated by large SUVs, is topped by the 8.3-liter, 500-horsepower Dodge Ram SRT10 pickup truck. Filling out the "bottom 5" are the Ford Excursion, Hummer H2, Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG and Lamborghini Murcielago, according to ACEEE.
The Greenest Vehicles of 2005
Make & Model Specifications a Emission Standard a MPG: City MPG: Hwy Green Score
HONDA CIVIC GX 1.7L 4, auto CVT [CNG] b PZEV 30 34 57
HONDA INSIGHT 1.0L 3, auto CVT SULEV II 57 56 56
TOYOTA PRIUS 1.5L 4, auto CVT PZEV 60 51 53
HONDA CIVIC HYBRID 1.3L 4, auto CVT PZEV 47 48 51
TOYOTA COROLLA 1.8L 4, manual ULEV II 32 41 44
TOYOTA ECHO 1.5L 4, manual Tier 2 bin 9 35 42 43
NISSAN SENTRA 1.8L 4, manual PZEV 28 35 42
HONDA CIVIC HX 1.7L 4, manual ULEV I 36 44 42
PONTIAC VIBE / TOYOTA MATRIX c 1.8L 4, manual ULEV II 30 36 41
MAZDA 3 2.0L 4, manual PZEV 28 35 41
FORD ESCAPE HYBRID 2.3L 4, auto CVT PZEV 36 31 40
FORD FOCUS / FOCUS WAGON 2.0L 4, manual PZEV 26 35 40
a Certain other configurations of these models (with different transmissions or meeting different emission standards) score nearly as well.
b Compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle fuel economy given in gasoline-equivalent miles per gallon.
cThese vehicles are "twins" -- the same base model carrying different names. Courtesy of Greenercars.com
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