Nissan Versa Tops Toxic New Car Smell List


The Ecology Center and have released a list of the most- and least-toxic new cars. Yep, that new-car smell really isn’t good for you, and in some cars it can be quite a concern. Potentially harmful substances present in some of the vehicles included chlorine, bromine, arsenic and mercury. The toxins are released when the car gets warmer. They burn off eventually, thus losing that new car smell.

To veteran automotive journalists, the inclusion of so many Korean makes isn’t a surprise; we’ve left many of those cars a bit lightheaded after a test drive. Oh, and the Chevy Aveo is also built in Korea. 

It’s ironic that the Nissan Versa is the most toxic, but is considered the safest small car by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Of course, IIHS just deals with collisions, not new car smell. Keep reading for the top 10 most- and least-toxic vehicles.

Ten Most Toxic

  • Nissan Versa
  • Chevy Aveo
  • Scion xB
  • Kia Rio
  • Suzuki Forenza
  • Kia Spectra 5
  • Subaru Forester
  • Chevy Express
  • Hyundai Accent
  • Chevy Silverado

Ten Least Toxic

  • Chevy Cobalt
  • Chrysler PT Cruiser
  • Honda Odyssey
  • Volvo V50
  • Suzuki Aerio
  • Acura RDX
  • BMW X3
  • Nissan Frontier
  • Toyota Matrix
  • Volvo S40

[The Consumer Guide to Toxic Chemicals in Cars, via Jalopnik]


Former managing editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon.  Email David

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