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Bankrate's 2007 New Car Guide
Going green
Environmental concerns are bringing major changes -- right down to the cars we drive.
Going green
Best and worst cars for global warming

With all the newfound concern over how the cars we drive affect the environment, you may wonder which new cars actually are the most planet-friendly -- and which are the worst.

For the answers we looked to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, or ACEEE, which has published its rankings of all 2007 cars and passenger trucks -- including the "greenest" and the "meanest" -- based on fuel economy, emissions and the impact of the emissions on health and global warming.

Here are the ACEEE's rankings of the greenest and meanest vehicles on the U.S. market:

Greenest and meanest vehicles on the U.S. market
Greenest Mileage
Specifications Green Score
1. Honda Civic GX 28/39 1.8-liter, 4-cylinder (compressed natural gas) 57
2. Toyota Prius 60/51 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder (gas-electric hybrid) 55
3. Honda Civic Hybrid 49/51 1.3-liter, 4-cylinder (gas-electric hybrid) 53
4. Nissan Altima Hybrid 42/36 2.5-liter 4-cylinder
(gas-electric hybrid)
5. Toyota Yaris 34/40 1.5-liter 4-cylinder (gasoline) 47
Meanest Mileage
Specifications Green Score
1. Volkswagen Touareg 17/22 5.0-liter, 10-cylinder (diesel) 14
2. Mercedes Benz SUV 320s 20/25 3.0-liter 6-cylinder (diesel) 16
3. Jeep Grand Cherokee 9/14 3.0-liter, 6-cylinder (diesel) 17
4. Ford F-250 HD 13/17 5.4-liter, 8-cylinder (gasoline) 19
5. Dodge Ram 2500 Mega Cab 13/18 5.7-liter, 8-cylinder (gasoline) 19

The vehicle scores are part of "ACEEE's Green Book Online," ACEEE's environmental guide to cars and trucks, available at GreenerCars.com.

Interestingly, it's not a hybrid that topped the list of the most environmental friendly. That award went to Honda's natural gas-powered Civic GX. The Toyota Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid came in second and third, while two newcomers to the U.S. market -- the Nissan Altima Hybrid and Toyota Yaris -- rounded out the top five.

No domestic cars made the "greenest" top 12. But the "meanest" list -- long dominated by large U.S.-made SUVs and pickups -- this year saw European imports shove their way to the top of the list with the arrival of new diesel models that, the ACEEE says, "meet some of the dirtiest tailpipe emissions standards allowable in the United States."

Widely respected as the premier consumer guide to environment-friendly passenger cars, trucks and sport utility vahicles, GreenerCars.com analyzes data such as tailpipe emissions, fuel consumption and harmful gas emissions to produce a comparative "Green Score" for each vehicle.

-- Posted: Aug. 2, 2007
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