By Stephen Markley on July 17, 2008
Volkswagen has topped a list that it probably didn't want to be on: The most polluting vehicles. The VW Touareg V10 TDI and its not-so-clean diesel engine got the worst ranking from the EPA for its heavy output of exhaust.
The EPA ranks vehicles on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 going to the most polluting vehicles and 10 going to the least. Currently, the best overall ranking goes to the Toyota Prius, which manages a 9.5.
The average vehicle rates a 6 on the scale, which measures emissions of nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, particulates and formaldehyde. Nitrogen oxide causes smog, carbon monoxide and particulates to build up black soot on buildings and your lungs, and formaldehyde is carcinogenic. To break a large number of ties, Forbes also measured the tonnage of carbon emissions and other greenhouse gasses each vehicle releases in a year.
Overall, four of the "top" five cars on the list are diesels.
"But wait," you say, "aren't diesels OK now?"
You would be thinking of the new clean-diesel technology that will arrive in showrooms later this year from Mercedes and Volkswagen (Mercedes' Bluetec line, for example). Yes, these diesels will be much cleaner than their predecessors and are expected to get an EPA rating of 6. Read the full list after the jump.
Top Ten Worst Polluters
1. Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI
2. Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD
3. Mercedes GL320 CDI
4. (tie) Mercedes-Benz ML320 CDI, R320 CDI
5. (tie) Chevrolet Suburban 2500, GMC Yukon XL 250,0 Hummer H2
6. (tie) Lincoln Mark LT, Ford F-150
7. (tie) Chrysler Aspen Flex Fuel, Dodge Dakota Flex Fuel, Durango Flex Fuel, Ram 1500 Flex-Fuel, Jeep Grand Cherokee Flex Fuel, Commander Flex Fuel
8. (tie) GMC Yukon 1500 RWD, Yukon XL 1500 RWD, Chevrolet Avalanche 1500 RWD
9. (tie) Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG, G55 AMG
10. (tie) Mercedes-Benz S600/S63, CL600/CL65 AMG, AMG/S65 AMG, BMW M5, M6, Saab 9-7X Aero