CNET Names Greenest Cars

Dennis Faas's picture

Last year, former Vice President and one-time presidential hopeful Al Gore ushered the once subtle fear of global warming into the mainstream.

Although we all knew the earth was getting warmer as a result of our messy, polluting little lives, Gore's documentary slammed home the importance of beginning a "greener" existence NOW.

One of the most alarming contributors to global warming, unexpectedly, are car emissions. Now that the word is out, more and more consumers are interested in those vehicles that limit their impact on the environment. (Source:

Recently, CNET took a close look at those cars considered the "greenest".

Heading the list of 12 is Honda's Civic GX, a new model that runs completely on compressed natural gas. Although 30 miles per gallon (MPG) in the city and 34 on the highway are fairly impressive, the most remarkable feature to the Civic GX is its emissions. Compared to all other vehicles currently on the road, Honda's natural gas model emits the least polluting chemicals of any -- bragging rights that should lead to higher profits in the coming year. (Source:

Although not quite as impressive in emissions, the Toyota Prius is another popular ride for naturalists. The 500-volt battery pack and 1.5 liter engine allow the car to survive for as many as 60 miles for every gallon. In the world of economical cars, that's a long-distance runner.

For those looking for just a bit more room inside, there's the Kia Rio5, a compact wagon. Although slightly larger than the Civic GX and Prius, the Rio5 can achieve 32 and 35 MPG in the city and on the highway respectively.

Although economy cars are hardly new, the design and engineering focus of automakers is clearly being swapped from the muscle divisions to those vehicles that can achieve 30 or more MPG.

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