What It Takes to Be Designated a CR Green Choice Car

Buying a Green Choice car with low or zero emissions helps reduce pollution and its damaging health and environmental effects

CR Green Choice ratings on mobile screen showing the Toyota 2022 Prius Prime Photo Illustration: Consumer Reports, iStock

Our Green Choice designation, denoted by a green leaf in our car ratings, identifies the cars that produce the fewest greenhouse gases (those that contribute to climate change), as well as other pollutants that have been shown to harm human health. 

more on Green Choice vehicles

We created Green Choice, in part, because of what we’ve heard from you. In a January 2021 nationally representative CR survey of 2,223 U.S. adults, 61 percent said that tailpipe emissions are a “very or somewhat” important factor when they’re choosing a car to purchase or lease. And according to CR’s analysis, vehicles with fewer greenhouse gas emissions also tend to help consumers save money on fuel. In fact, owners of electric vehicles are spending 60 percent less to power their vehicles than owners of conventional gas-powered models.

We recognize the enormous trust you put in us to help you make the major decision of buying your next vehicle, and we take that responsibility very seriously. With this additional focus on sustainability, we believe we are ensuring that your choice of a car is the right one for you and for planet Earth.

What the Green Choice Designation Means

Our Green Choice designation highlights the top 20 percent of vehicles on the market with the cleanest emissions. Green Choice cars, SUVs, and minivans are indicated in our ratings by a green leaf icon and are gas-powered, hybrid, and electric. The new rating was developed in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay program, which rates vehicles for levels of greenhouse gas and smog-forming emissions. Green Choice allows consumers to make a more informed decision when shopping for a new vehicle. We also indicate which cars meet the Green Choice standard in our ratings and model pages.