10 Worst Cars for the Environment

As the car companies scramble to evolve fuel efficient technology for the betterment of the consumer and the environment, they continue to manufacture quite a few gas guzzlers that seem to counteract the strides they've made. The US Department of Energy's FuelEconomy.gov and ConsumerReports.org list the industry's worst offenders, and it shouldn't come as a surprise that the large-engine trucks, SUVs and luxury cars appear the most frequently. Several of the following 2011 model vehicles are widely popular, tempting drivers with their versatility, spaciousness and performance, but are they worth the ultimate cost?

  1. Bugatti Veyron — 8 city, 15 highway

    According to Car and Driver, the base price of the Veyron is between $1,700,500 and $2,325,000, so the annual fuel cost that amounts to about $6,000 — only a fraction of the cost of operating the vehicle — is nothing more than pocket change to the typical owner. For example, Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires cost about $30,000, more than the much more fuel efficient Toyota Camry. For many, however, it's well-worth the return, as the top speed exceeds 250 mph thanks to an engine that generates 1,200 horsepower.

  2. Nissan Titan 4WD — 9 city, 18 highway

    Sales of the Nissan Titan have dropped dramatically since 2008, likely due to rising gas prices. The 5.6-liter, V8 engine ensures the truck is capable of overcoming difficult terrain and hauling impossibly heavy loads, but it costs roughly $4,000 per year to fuel up. The EPA recognized the Titan as one of the biggest gas guzzlers in 2010, and not much has changed with its fuel economy a year later.

  3. Land Rover Range Rover Sport HSE — 9 city, 20 highway

    Considered by many to be a status symbol car, the cost of operating the Range Rover sport to some is outweighed by its sleek design and luxurious styling. According to Edmunds.com, the estimated five-year cost to operate the SUV is $89,071, about $30,000 more than the MSRP. Expensive repairs and city driving account for a bulk of the cost.

  4. Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited — 9 city, 22 highway

    Another SUV typically utilized for city driving, the Grand Cherokee Limited features a powerful Hemi V8 engine that's perfect for accelerating from a stoplight. Its off-road control system enables adventurous city dwellers to enjoy off-road pursuits. Of course, it all comes with the cost of less than 10 city mpg, significantly worse than many of its competitors — the 2011 Toyota 4Runner, for example, has almost twice the city mpg.

  5. Ford E350 Wagon — 10 city, 13 highway

    Large vans are stereotypically bad polluters and have long been deemed enemies of the environment. Although private ownership of such vehicles has decreased with the emergence of minivans and SUVs, many businesses still use them because of their ability to carry large amounts of equipment and people. The robust E350 Wagon is much like its predecessors, guzzling gas and polluting at high rates. The cost to fill a tank is $109.89, which adds up to more than $5,000 per year.

  6. Chevrolet Suburban 2500 4WD — 10 city, 15 highway

    Along with the GMC Yukon XL 2500 4WD, the Suburban 2500 remains a go-to option for large families that can afford the $129.87 cost per refueling. Built on the frame of a truck, it boasts a truck engine and thus the strength and capabilities of a Chevy Silverado. It's a proven commodity — and polluter — occupying America's roadways since 1935.

  7. Aston Martin DB9 — 11 city, 17 highway

    The DB9 was designed to perform with Porsches and Ferraris, and it has lived up to the billing. With a 5.9-liter, V-12 engine and 450 horsepower, it can reach 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds and 100 mph in just 6.1 seconds. As with the Veyron, its owners probably don't struggle to afford the more than $4,500 per year cost of gas.

  8. Bentley Continental GTC FFV — 11 city, 18 highway

    Known for its high-end luxury, Bentley decided to spice things up with the creation of the Continental GTC in 2003. The high-performance, all-wheel drive convertible is backed by a W12 engine that generates 600 horsepower and reaches 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. Weighing 5,500 pounds, it requires lots of natural resources to keep it moving.

  9. Rolls Royce Phantom — 11 city, 18 highway

    Rolls Royce manufactures two environmentally inhospitable vehicles — the Ghost and the Phantom, both of which have V12 engines. In the case of the Phantom, even though it's the weaker (very relative term) performing of the two, it boasts 450 horsepower. The primary attribute holding it back — and making it extremely gas thirsty — is its 6,000-pound curb weight, more than a 2011 Suburban.

  10. Dodge Nitro SLT — 11 city, 23 highway

    Despite its relatively modest size for an SUV, the Nitro uses an inefficient amount of gas, and according to many of the expert reviewers, lacks the push to warrant its thirst. According to Edmonds, the cost to operate almost doubles the MSRP, a red flag to potential buyers.

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