A lot of the focus in the automotive industry today is on the coming electric car revolution. The move towards battery-powered vehicles is partly aimed at reducing the use of fossil fuels that pollute the environment and contribute to climate change. The transition to hybrid and even fully electric cars is moving ahead at a brisk pace.
However, there are still plenty of vehicles on the roads today that are gas guzzling monsters. They are unapologetically polluting the environment and worsening the air we breathe. These are vehicles that have purposes other than helping Mother Earth. After all, high performance comes at a cost. Here is a list of 10 cars that are among the worst offenders when it comes to polluting the environment.
10. Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
As you’ll soon see, the majority of the vehicles on this list are either beefy SUVs or muscle cars such as the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. This popular car has a woeful Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel economy rating of just 22 miles per gallon highway driving, and it exhales 1.22 pounds of harmful carbon dioxide emissions for every mile driven. This makes the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat an environmental pariah. However, with a 700 horsepower supercharged V8 engine under the hood, and a top speed over 200 miles per hour, owners of this car seem to be willing to overlook the obvious environmental flaws of this muscle car. Plus, it’s a pretty damn stylish vehicle.
9. Toyota Tundra
The Toyota Tundra is a widely advertised vehicle, but the commercials for this workhorse pick-up truck fail to highlight its fuel economy or carbon dioxide emissions. Not surprising, really. This truck is a real gas guzzler with an EPA fuel economy rating of just 17 miles per gallon of highway driving, and a stinker as it emits 1.33 pounds of carbon dioxide for every mile traveled. This ain’t a Prius, that’s for sure.
Still, the Toyota Tundra is a super strong and durable truck. Many people swear by them, particularly people who work in the construction industry. Plus, the Toyota Tundra has enough 4×4 traction that it can scale rock walls and race over sandy surfaces without slipping. So, you know, there’s that.
8. Range Rover Sport
You probably never assumed that a Range Rover SUV was good on gas, or good for the environment at all for that matter. You assumed right. The Range Rover Sport is particularly egregious when it comes to fuel economy and harmful emissions. This sporty crossover vehicle has an EPA fuel economy rating of 19 miles per gallon highway, and emits 1.22 pounds of carbon dioxide per mile. Pretty awful.
It appears that this vehicle’s maker, Land Rover, had other things in mind when it launched this SUV. Billed as an SUV that can accomplish things on the race track and off road, this vehicle is marketed to people who spend their weekends racing around dirt tracks, not folks who are counting down the hours until Earth Day.
7. Lexus GX 460
Luxury SUVs are pretty sweet rides. The Lexus GX 460 is among the sweetest. The ultra comfortable interior, 300 horsepower V8 engine, and six speed automatic transmission make this a desirable vehicle for many. So who really cares that the Lexus GX 460 SUV has an EPA fuel economy rating of 20 miles per gallon highway driving and spews 1.15 pounds of carbon dioxide for each mile it racks up?
Those facts are easily forgotten by people who nestle into this SUV’s cozy leather seats and enjoy the fact that this attractive vehicle can handle off road terrain with aplomb and capability. That this vehicle is a bit ugly under the hood makes no difference to it owners.
6. Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Say it ain’t so, Chevy. The Corvette is an automotive icon. It is an American institution. It holds a place in the heart of American pop culture along with baseball, drive-in movies, and McDonald’s. The Corvette has endured over the decades and many of the makes and models of this venerable muscle car are classics. Nevertheless, the Corvette is a gas devouring, pollutant-spewing behemoth.
The Corvette Z06 is among the worst offenders with an EPA fuel economy of 23 miles per gallon on the highway (only 13 miles per gallon when driving in the city) and emitting 1.11 pounds of carbon dioxide per mile. Despite that bad news, the Z06 Corvette is beautiful to look at, boasts 650 horses under the hood, and has performance handling of the first order. A gorgeous muscle car. One of the all-time greats, for sure, but an environmental delinquent.
5. Subaru WRX STI
The Subaru WRX STI has made its name as a rally car, and performed exceedingly well at all-terrain races around the world. Adept at racing on both paved streets and dirt roads, the Subaru WRX is a fantastic performance car. Armed with a 2.5-liter turbocharged flat-four engine that produces 300 horsepower and 290 pound feet of torque, this is a car that is capable of taking first place in any race.
Yet it could care less about the world we live in, as is evidenced by the fact that it can go just 17 miles per gallon of gasoline and emits 1.01 pounds of carbon dioxide per mile driven. Still, it’s an iconic race car and performance vehicle though. It’s great at what it was designed to do. It’s just not on Mother Earth’s most popular vehicles list.
4. Dodge Viper ACR
The Dodge Viper ACR looks like it was taken straight from a Fast and Furious movie. It’s a race car that is also legal to drive on normal community streets. Just don’t get caught racing it down Main Street. It also looks amazing. How can it not when it’s powered by a 645 horsepower V10 engine and six-speed manual transmission? This is a car that can hold its own against pretty much any other vehicle in the world.
All of that power and performance comes at a price — a price for the environment. The Dodge Viper ACR gets only 21 miles per gallon of gasoline on the highway and lets out a savage 1.30 pounds of carbon dioxide for every mile it drives. That makes this ultimate driving machine one of the ultimate polluters on the roads today.
3. Aston Martin Vanquish
The Aston Martin Vanquish looks like a car that James Bond would drive. And does Agent 007 really care about what’s good for the environment? Not if he drives an Aston Martin Vanquish. This high-end sports car looks fantastic and has all the bells and whistles (plus whatever Q added to it in the MI6 garage). The vehicle’s massive V12 engine only adds to its mystique and allure.
Sadly, this sexy sports car burns a gallon of gas for every 21 miles it drives on the highway and spews a throat-choking 1.28 pounds of carbon dioxide per mile. That means the Vanquish is awesome in every single respect, except its impact on the environment. Still, if its good enough for Bond, who are we to argue?
2. Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Another classic American muscle car from Chevrolet makes the list for worst environmental polluters. The Camaro ZL1, another much-beloved vehicle, gets a poor grade for its fuel economy and emissions. While the debate over whether the Corvette or the Camaro is the best muscle car ever made rages on, there can be no debate when it comes to the environment. The Camaro is, hands down, the worst offender.
The ZL1 gets only 18 miles per gallon of gasoline when driving on the highway (a pitiful 12 miles per gallon city driving) and it spews out a terrible 1.37 pounds of carbon dioxide for every single mile it drives. That is pretty shameful. However, we suppose it takes a lot of fuel to power the car’s 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine that produces a ripping 640 horsepower and 640 pounds of torque. Powerful? Oh yeah. Dirty? You bet.
1. Lamborghini Aventador SV
Has anyone who’s ever bought a Lamborghini stopped to consider whether it was good on gas or good for the environment? Certainly not anyone who has purchased the Lamborghini Aventador SV. That’s because this gorgeous piece of machinery is shamefully unapologetic about its impact on the the planet. It burns a gallon of gasoline for every 18 miles it travels on a highway (just 11 miles in the city), and it wrenches out 1.46 pounds of carbon dioxide per mile.
This makes the Lamborghini Aventador SV the worst automotive polluter today. Not that anyone who loves and cherishes Lamborghinis will care. Known as a supercar (and priced accordingly), this luxury performance vehicle has all-wheel drive standard, a V12 engine, and produces 740 horsepower. With so many impressive features, who gives a hoot about the air we breathe. Right?