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Top Green Car Buying Guide 2007


The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy [ACEEE] announces each year the 12 "greenest cars," based on:

  • Tailpipe emissions
  • Gas mileage
  • Curb weight


1. Honda Civic GX

The Civic GX runs on compressed natural gas with fuel efficiency of 30mpg [city] and 34mpg [highway]. EPA emissions are the lowest of all vehicles on the road; being certified as an advanced technology partial zero emissions vehicle [AT-PZEV] and an inherently low emissions vehicle [ILEV]. This means the Civic GX conforms to standards for zero evaporative emissions.

2. Toyota Prius

Toyota's hybrid Prius has a sophisticated parallel hybrid power system and excellent gas mileage. It is rated as an advanced technology partial zero emissions vehicle [AT-PZEV], running on either its 500-volt battery pack or 1.5-liter gasoline engine. EPA claims fuel efficiency at 60mpg.

3. Honda Civic Hybrid

Honda's Civic Hybrid uses Integrated Motor Assist hybrid system [electric motor integrated with the engine]. Unlike the Prius, which runs in electric-only mode. The motor is powered by a battery pack and assists the gasoline engine to achieve improved fuel economy.

4. Nissan Altima Hybrid

Nissan competes with the Toyota Camry using Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive. The Altima Hybrid has a two-mode gasoline-electric drivetrain that enables it to run solely on battery power when engine demand is low.

5. Toyota Yaris

To minimize emissions and maximize fuel efficiency. The Yaris relies on high-tech hybrid engine technology - a small 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine with Toyota's VVT-I intelligent variable-valve timing and electronic throttle control.

6. Toyota Corolla

The Corolla relies on a variable-valve-timed, ultra-efficient four-cylinder engine [like the Yaris], to provide is an average 41mpg.

7. Toyota Camry Hybrid

The 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid unites green technology with luxury. Its economical hybrid propulsion system is combined with Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive series parallel hybrid system, enabling the car to operate on electricity, gasoline, or a mixture of both. [Similar to Prius technology]

8. Honda Fit

This Honda Fit is not designed for power, using only a 109-horsepower, 1.5-liter, VTEC four-cylinder engine. It is designed however, as an ideal city commuter vehicle. It fits a lot of room into a small body, making it one of the most compact, green vehicles on the road.

9. Kia Rio5

Another compact vehicle, the Kia Rio5 wagon is driven by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine using continuously variable valve timing [CVVT] to modify intake and outlet. The 5-speed manual is more economical than the 4-speed automatic transmission. The EPA estimates 32mpg in the city and 35mpg on the freeway [manual version].

10. Hyundai Accent

The 1.6-liter Hyundai Accent hatchback is certified as an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle [ULEV]. The EPA estimates a maximum fuel economy of 37 mpg on the highway.

11. Hyundai Elantra

The Elantra beats the Accent in terms of emissions; rated as a partial zero-emissions vehicle [PZEV]. However, its larger, two-liter engine is not as economical - 28mpg city and 36 highway. Still, an economical midsized sedan.

12. Honda Civic

The Honda Civic sports neither a hybrid- or gas-powered engine, but its 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with Honda's next-generation iVTEC variable-valve timing technology places it firmly on the top 12 list, even if it is on bottom slot.