Top 5 Environmentally Friendly Cars As Rated by GoodGuide
Top 5 2011 Models as Rated by GoodGuide
Other factors to consider
When buying a new car, I don't think most of us think in terms of, "what's the best car I can buy to help the planet?" In these days of high gas prices, we may actually make a good choice because we're choosing higher mileage vehicles and that translates into "better for the planet."
www.goodguide.com has been trying to scientifically evaluate companies and products for the last few years. What they're rating are the health, environmental, and social aspects of a business. The combined scores from these are the "Scientific" of overall score for a product or company.
The Top 5 Cars
All of these five vehicles had identical "Scientific" ratings of 6.7. Since 4 of the 5 are from one manufacturer, Ford, that isn't particularly surprising.
The vehicles chosen are non-California emissions models. They're standard models available anywhere outside of California. The California list is slightly different because of that state's more stringent air quality requirements.
The Smart ForTwo Coupe (or Cabriolet) by Mercedes-Benz 1L, Semi-Automatic. City mileage: 33. Highway mileage: 41.
Ford Fusion Hybrid 2.5L CVT, 2WD, Gasoline. City Mileage: 41. Highway: 36.
Ford Fiesta 1.6L Semi-Automatic, 2WD, Gasoline. City Mileage: 29. Highway: 38.
Mercury Milan Hybrid 2.5L CVT, 2WD, Gasoline. City Mileage: 41. Highway: 36.
Lincoln MKZ Hybrid 2.5L, CVT, 2WD, Gasoline. City Mileage: 41. Highway: 36.
What does it mean?
The MKZ, Milan, and Fusion are all the same basic car with different nameplates. They're all good choices if you need a mid-sized car for lots of in-town driving. They still do pretty good on the road.
If you're looking for something a bit smaller, the Smart or the Fiesta are good choices. I can't say that folks won't mock you for driving a car with the nameplate "Smart," but you can always tell them that it's a Mercedes-Benz. You might even buy a Mercedes logo and glue it to the hood to prove your point.
Fiesta's a good name if you like to party. You can invite everyone to your Fiesta. They'll think you're a funny person.
Bear in mind, the GoodGuide ratings are based on manufacturing, environmental, and societal impacts of the products. While poor quality will reflect in these ratings, you'll also want to check out your pick against a consumer testing outfit such as Consumer Reports.
In the end, you're the one who has to drive the dang thing. If it doesn't feel right, don't buy it. It could be made from the pure essence of green. It could be powered by positive thinking. And it could be like sitting on the rack being tortured by the Inquisition.