- 2009 MINI Cooper
- Okay, so this is the S version with the John Cooper Works package, probably not what they had in mind, but the MINI is indeed the least green of the group. Combined MPG is 32, and the car's expected to pump out 5.75 tons of greenhouse gas per year and 4.13 pounds of pollutants. Doesn't sound like a lot, but it's by far the bottom of the list, and it's the only ULEV here.
2009 Ford Focus S
- 2009 Ford Focus S
- We're still clamoring for the C1-based Focus, but let's not overlook the goodness that's wrapped up in our current iteration. Firstly, it's cheap. Secondly, it returns 28 mpg while generating 6.57 tons of greenhouse emissions and .99 pounds of pollutants, good enough to earn a PZEV rating, though it's only able to earn a 4th place in this race.
2009 Hyundai Elantra GLS
- 2009 Hyundai Elantra GLS
- The Elantra pretty much ties with the Focus on every metric but price. It's a PZEV, its numbers are exactly the same, and it costs $400 less. It even looks better.
2009 Chevrolet Cobalt LS
- 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt LS
- Surprising that it's the LS and not the XFE version of the Cobalt here, but what's even more surprising is what this car lost out to. The numbers are good; 29 MPG, 6.34 tons of greenhouse gasses, and .99 pounds per year of NOx, CO, and other nasties. Pricewise, the Cobalt rings up a $15,660 bill, and is probably the best looking of the group here, ignoring for the moment the MINI's cheeky visage.
2009 Pontiac G5
- 2009 Pontiac G5
- Seriously? This car is why we didn't take more potshots at the styling on the Focus, because the G5 makes that car appear graceful. What's weird is that the G5 is essentially just a Cobalt with a twin-kidney grille. Still, the G5 ekes out 30 mpg, and produces only 6.13 tons per year of greenhouse gas, both better than the Cobalt. The improvement will set you back about another grand, however.