This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

February 27, 2008

Natural Gas and Hybrid Vehicles Lead Annual Green Rankings

The natural gas-powered Honda Civic GX is once again the greenest new car sold in the United States, according to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The ACEEE's Green Book Online, released on February 19, places the Honda Civic GX on top for the second year in a row, followed by the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid. Other hybrids in the top-twelve list include the Nissan Altima Hybrid in sixth place and the Toyota Camry Hybrid in tenth. The ACEEE's annual evaluation of the current model year vehicles ranks them primarily in terms of air emissions and fuel economy.

Photo of the Smart Fortwo, a very small two-seat car with short front and rear ends mounted over small tires. The convertible model shown in the photo is being driven on the streets of New York City.

Now available in the United States, the Smart Fortwo places fourth in the annual list of the year's greenest new cars. Enlarge this image.
Credit: Daimler

Subcompact cars are continuing to show up in the top ranks, with the newly imported Smart Fortwo landing in fourth place, the Toyota Yaris in fifth, the Mini Cooper in eighth, and the Honda Fit (which is technically considered a "small wagon") in twelfth place. Compact cars also scored well, with the Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus, and Honda Civic all landing in the top twelve. Meanwhile, five diesel models are among the seven least-green vehicles for 2008, but that trend should reverse itself next year, as automakers begin rolling out clean diesel vehicles in the United States. Although access to the full resources of ACEEE's Green Book requires a paid subscription, the lists of the best and worst performers are available online for free. See the ACEEE press release and the Green Book ratings highlights.