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ADAC's 2008 Ecotest ranks the ecofriendliness of current car offerings in Europe

Based on the calculations of the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle), the ADAC (the German car club) has released its 2008 ranking of green cars sold in Europe. The 5th EcoTest, as it's called, produced a list based not only in the amount of CO2 produced per km, but also other considerations such as particulates and hydrocarbons. ADAC selected more than 700 cars for its test, with and without air conditioning, and applied the forementioned NEDC numbers to draw its own conclusions.
The results are quite similar to last year's report. The worst model was the Opel Zafira, which got 33 points just like in the previous test. Renault took a downturn, losing 6 of its previous 69 points. Why? The new Clio is much heavier than the old one and lost fuel efficiency.

The big winner is, again, the Toyota Prius, with 89 points and 4 stars, followed by another hybrid, the Honda Civic IMA with 87 points. non-hybrids did well, too: with 82 points the VW Passat Blue Motion fitted with a DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) was third. Fourth and fifth were the Passat's siblings, the Skoda Octavia TDI (with DPF) and the Superb TDI. Sixth place goes to the gasoline-powered Skoda Octavia 1.6 TFSI.

ADAC made clear with the release of this ranking that it is more important to produce low-polluting cars not as niche models, but as mainstream models. Find ADAC's top EcoTest performers and a little more about the points system after the jump.

1. Toyota Prius 1.5 Hybrid Sol. Points: 89
2. Passat BlueMotion (DPF). Points: 82
3. Variant BlueMotion (DPF). Points: 82
4. Skoda Octavia Combi RS TDI (DPF). Points: 81
5. Skoda Superb 2.0 TDI LK (DPF). Points: 80
6. Skoda Octavia 1.6 FSI Ambiente. Points: 80
7. Mazda 6 1.8 Exclusive. Points: 80
8. BMW 530i. Points: 80
9. Saab 9-5 SportCombi 2.0t Biopower Vector (Flex-Fuel). Points: 79
10. Saab 9-5 SportCombi 1.9 TiD Vector (DPF). Points: 79
11. BMW 318d touring (DPF). Points: 79
12. Volvo S40 2.0D Summum (DPF). Points: 78
13. BMW 730d Steptronic (DPF). Points: m 78
14. Citroen Berlingo Kombi 1.4 Bivalent Multispace Plus (LPG). Points: 78
15. Audi A6 2.0 TDI (DPF). Points: 78
16. BMW 520d (DPF). Points: 77
17. VW Golf BlueMotion Trendline (DPF). Points: 77
18. Citroen C6 HDi 170 Biturbo FAP Pallas. Points: 77
19. Chevrolet (EU) Nubira Wagon 1.8 LPG CDX (CNG) (LPG). Points: 77

If you're wondering why you don't see many small diesels on the list: they aren't usually fitted to DPFs. The ADAC test evaluated carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC), nitrogen oxides (NOX) and particulate matter (PM) levels using uniform criteria and limits. But because shoppers are likely to decide among vehicles in the same class when purchasing a new car. ADAC classified cars into categories based on CO2 emissions: Micro, small, compact, lower middle, upper middle class and high class.

Based on this, cars could get up to 50 points from the pollutants division or 50 from the CO2 levels. None of the vehicles got the top points and stars were given according to the final mark. 90 points or more meant five stars, 70 to 89 points resulted in four stars, 50 to 69 points got three stars, while cars that earned just 30 to 49 points were awarded two ADAC EcoTest stars.

[Source: ADAC (link is in German)]

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