OK, so what car should I buy?

Well, that’s not something we can tell you! This question gives us a chance to formally say that AutoEcoRating doesn’t recommend or endorse any particular vehicle. We’re just providing information — a new car buyer’s research tool — that you can use to inform your own decision making.

What we can say is this: to make an eco-friendly choice, simply choose the greenest vehicle that meets your needs and fits your budget. The eRatings will help you figure that out. 

AutoEcoRating’s strength is that it can distinguish competing vehicles of any type. In other words, you don’t just¬†need to look for the highest scores overall. Sure, hybrids and electrics score high, but once you’re into the topmost eRatings, we’re practically splitting hairs.

Take the difference between the Toyota Prius and Nissan Leaf. Their respective eRatings of 205 versus 195 amount to a 5 percent difference between two cars that are already very clean. Trimming 5 percent from what is already a very low emissions level corresponds to a difference of only 0.2 tons of pollution per year. Look at how close these vehicles are on the “What do the numbers mean?” graph.

But suppose you’re shopping for a pickup, a segment where the market average eRating is 72. A Ford F-150 with the EcoBoost option eRates at 79, which is 9 percent cleaner than the class average. Because an average pickup emits a lot more to begin with, that eRating gain cuts pollution by 1.5 tons per year. In short, you can make a big difference for the planet by looking for the best eRating no matter what size or style of vehicle you’re seeking.


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