Consumer Reports Looks to Help Consumers by Introducing Green Choice Designation

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【Summary】Not interested in looking up every review Consumer Reports has written and finding the perfect green vehicle for you? The Toyota Prius, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Camry, and Tesla Model 3 are four of the top 10 vehicle Consumer Reports recommends that are also green choices.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Apr 06, 2021 4:30 PM PT
Consumer Reports Looks to Help Consumers by Introducing Green Choice Designation

Air pollution has become a huge problem recently, as entire countries and cities have started to crack down on cars that put too many harmful contaminants into the air. While the majority of drivers and consumers know that large, gasoline-powered vehicles are bad for the environment, some find it difficult to narrow down a few eco-friendly models to choose from. Sure, buying an electric vehicle is an easy to way to get into something green, but EVs are some of the most expensive cars on sale. To lend a helping hand to consumers looking to get into a green vehicle, Consumer Reports has come out with a Green Choice Designation.

Helping Consumers Go Green

The new designation comes after the publication conducted a survey in January that revealed that one in every four Americans stated that they were concerned about the emissions cars were putting out. In the same survey, respondents claimed that 27 percent of them were worried about exhaust from their car's tailpipe contributing to climate change. So, Consumer Reports is doing everything it can to provide shoppers with information to help them make an informed decision when purchasing a green car.

The new Green Choice Designation will be indicated in the organization's ratings by a green leaf icon. All cars, including gas-powered vehicles, hybrids, and all-electric cars will be eligible for the designation. Vehicles that have low greenhouse gas emissions and low smog-forming emissions will be in line to be named a Green Choice. The new rating was developed with the help of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) SmartWay program. It rates automobiles based on greenhouse gas and smog-forming emissions, which is the information that's on the top right of a car's monroney.

A Clear Guide

Since the new designation is all about emissions, hybrids and electric vehicles are going to have a large leg up on the competition. Consumer Reports provided a few examples of the new designation in work, comparing the Honda CR-V Hybrid against the Jeep Cherokee 2.0T. The CR-V Hybrid earned a 7 for the smog rating and an 8 for the greenhouse gas rating. The Cherokee earned a rating of 5 in both the smog and greenhouse gas ratings. A higher number is better.

At the moment, Consumer Reports has awarded its Green Choice Designation to 48 vehicles, or roughly 20 percent of new vehicles it's tested. Brands that have multiple winners include Chevrolet, Lexus, Honda, Subaru, Hyundai, Nissan, Kia, Toyota, and Tesla.

"For a long time we've included fuel efficiency in our road-test score for vehicles, but until now we haven't looked at what's coming out of the tailpipe," said Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at Consumer Reports. "Green Choice will make the vehicles with the lowest greenhouse gas and smog-forming emissions readily apparent to consumers."

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