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Greenest Cars of 2010

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released their thirteenth annual rankings (greenercars.org) for model year 2010 vehicles. Among the top cars, hybrids took most of them.

Not surprisingly, given the high fuel efficiency ratings, hybrids from Toyota Ford and Honda held onto five of the top 10, and 3 out of the top 5.  The top spot went to the Honda Civic GX, which runs on compressed natural gas.


Make and Model
Specifications a
Emission Standardb
MPG: City
MPG: Hwy
Green Score
HONDA
CIVIC GX c
1.8L 4, auto [CNG]
Tier 2 bin 2 /
PZEV
24
36
57
TOYOTA
PRIUS
1.8L 4, auto CVT
Tier 2 bin 3 /
PZEV
51
48
52
HONDA
CIVIC HYBRID
1.3L 4, auto CVT
Tier 2 bin 2 /
PZEV
40
45
51
SMART FORTWO
CONVERTIBLE /
COUPE
1.0L 3, manual
Tier 2 bin 5 /
ULEV II
33
41
50
HONDA
INSIGHT
1.3L 4, auto CVT
Tier 2 bin 3
40
43
50
FORD
FUSION HYBRID /
MERCURY
MILAN HYBRID
2.4L 4, auto CVT
Tier 2 bin 3 /
PZEV
41
36
47
TOYOTA
YARIS
1.5L 4, manual
Tier 2 bin 5 /
ULEV II
29
36
46
NISSAN
ALTIMA HYBRID
2.5L 4, auto CVT
PZEV
35
33
46
MINI COOPER
1.6L 4, manual [P]
Tier 2 bin 5 /
ULEV II
28
37
45
CHEVROLET
COBALT XFE /
PONTIAC
G5 XFE
2.2L 4, manual
Tier 2 bin 5 /
PZEV
25
37
45
HYUNDAI
ACCENT BLUE
1.6L 4, manual
Tier 2 bin 5 /
ULEV II
27
36
45
HONDA FIT
1.5L 4, auto
Tier 2 bin 5 /
ULEV II
28
35
45
[CNG] denotes compressed natural gas fuel.
[P] denotes premium gasoline
"auto CVT" denotes continuously variable automatic transmission.
a
Certain other configurations of these models (with different transmissions or meeting different emission standards) score nearly as well.
b A listing with two emission standards (e.g., Tier 2 bin 2/ PZEV) denotes a single vehicle carrying both a Federal and a California emission certification. Green Scores for such listings reflect the cleaner of the two certifications.
c Compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle fuel economy given in gasoline-equivalent miles per gallon.

Overall, there's been some changes to the rankings from last year with the Honda Insight and Ford Fusion/Mercury Milan Hybrids entering the list.

"With the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf both scheduled to make appearances in the latter half of 2010, manufacturer interest in advanced technologies is even more intense, with a particular emphasis on electric vehicles," said ACEEE vehicle analyst Shruti Vaidyanathan. "But the eco-stars this year are once again hybrids and smaller, conventional vehicles. Gasoline vehicles are evolving fast, but manufacturers continue to devote much new efficiency technology to boosting power."

Diesels like the Volkswagen Jetta and Jetta Sportwagen missed out on the list.

"While clean diesels once again perform well on our annual ranking, high prices both for the vehicles and for diesel fuel have kept them from really catching on thus far. They’re not having the impact in the U.S. that they have had in Europe, and as a result, manufacturers are scaling back production and promotion of diesels," said Vaidyanathan.

The meanest list (the bottom of the rankings remains largely unchanged from 2009. Large SUVs, heavy-duty trucks and luxury European vehicles weigh down the list.  The best of the worst goes to the Lamborghini Murcielago/ Murcielago Roadster.  Also on the list was the Bentley Azure, Dodge Ram, Ford F-250, Bentley Continental GTC, Ferrari 612 Scaglietti, Mercedes-Benz ML 63 AMG, Chevy Suburban K2500, GMC Yukon K2500,  and Mercedes-Benz G550.

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