Study names greenest automakers

Drivers with bad credit may feel that they can’t afford a car that gets great gas mileage while also helping the economy. Though it’s true that hybrids often come at a premium compared to their gas-saving counterparts, they’ve been on the market for a couple of years now and many consumers might be able to find a great deal in the used car market.

In addition to helping the environment, drivers will also save a bundle at the pump. That means they’ll have an easier time making the payments on their car loan, as they’ll spend less on gas every month.

In terms of environmentally friendly cars, it can be tough to decipher which give off the least harmful emissions. That’s why the Union of Concerned Scientists releases yearly rankings of the most green automakers.

This year’s study looked at models from the 2008 year, meaning drivers can likely find these cars on the used market. It was a close race, but Honda edged out Toyota and Hyundai by just one overall point, allowing it to retain its title of greenest automaker for the fifth straight year.

The study found that Honda’s cars from ’08 impacted the environment the least of the eight major automakers. Green-minded drivers may want to steer clear, however, of Detroit’s “Big Three,” as Ford, GM and Chrysler finished in the bottom three places.