The following is a guest post by Ayana Meade from Greenopia
All three have high gas mileage, and burn cleanly to boot. Two pleasant surprises were the performances of Audi and Mazda. Both did relatively well in the Greenopia Automaker Guide (which rates the overall performance of auto manufacturers), but they both had a statistically large number of cars that met at least our minimum criteria for the Automobile Guide.
When buying your next car, keep in mind that just because a car is a hybrid doesn't mean it's automatically better for the environment. In fact, largely because of its battery, the hybrid carries a larger environmental production burden. Where the hybrid makes up ground is once it is driven, with its superior mileage and emissions. On balance Toyota estimates that it takes about 12,000 miles before a hybrid and a similar traditional engine car 'break even' environmentally (the hybrid is greener from that point on), as long as it gets great mileage and burns cleanly.
Since your choice of transportation is second only to your home's energy use in terms of carbon dioxide emissions, driving less or not at all is of course the ideal way to reduce your carbon footprint, but if you're like many and need a car to get around in today's fast paced world, then this guide can help you choose wisely.
The Greenopia Greener Cars Guide uses Greenopia's EPA-recognized 4-Leaf rating system, and only the top 100 automobiles readily available in the US made the cut. The good news is that they come in all kinds of price points and styles. Fuel-efficiency, manufacturing materials, EPA SmartWay vehicle emissions and proxy data representing manufacturing processes were among the criteria data that were analyzed by the Greenopia research team to come up with the ratings.
So check them out, and start driving greener (and saving money!).
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