Toxic Transportation: Cars That Cause the Most Pollution

Toxic Transportation: Cars That Cause the Most Pollution

By Jake Schroeder
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Photo Courtesy: Jakub "flyz1" Maciejewski/Wikimedia Commons

When it comes to polluting the environment, vehicles are definitely the worst offenders. As you go through this list, you might be surprised to learn that size doesn't really matter. All it takes is a powerful engine to do more than your fair share of environmental dirty work.

Sports cars and luxury cars are certainly tempting, but some of the worst polluters on this list include a couple of Ferrari beasts and several Aston Martin models, which proves that "expensive" doesn’t always equate to "good." Of course, a few pickup trucks, vans and other traditional favorites also made the list. Take a look to ensure you avoid the worst culprits.

Lamborghini Aventador SV

Owning and cruising in a Lambo is a long-time dream for plenty of car fanatics, and it's easy to see why. Not only does the car look stunning, but the impressive features of this luxury model are practically unbeatable. Unfortunately, Lamborghini is actually one of the least eco-friendly brands on the market.

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Photo Courtesy: Vauxford/Wikimedia Commons

In particular, the Aventador SV releases an astounding 1.46 pounds of carbon dioxide every mile. Every 18 miles of highway, it burns a gallon of gasoline, and you can drop that down to every 11 miles when you drive in the city. This car is definitely not good for the environment.

Aston Martin Vanquish

Aston Martin Vanquish is a sleek sports car beauty that is full of unique mystique. It was chosen as James Bond’s car for a reason. Unfortunately, every luxury sports car comes with an environmental consequence, and the Vanquish hasn’t been branded as eco-friendly.

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Photo Courtesy: Jakub "flyz1" Maciejewski/Wikimedia Commons

This is primarily due to the fact that it releases 1.28 pounds of carbon dioxide per mile. It also burns a gallon of gas every 21 miles on the highway, with a few less miles per gallon when driving through the city. Although it is absolutely stunning, the Aston Martin Vanquish does have quite a negative effect on the environment.

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Chevy is an absolute classic among car fanatics. Timeless design, impressive speed and a sleek look — what more could you possibly want? Unfortunately, the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is also one of the worst offenders when it comes to polluting the environment.

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Photo Courtesy: Matthew Lamb/Wikimedia Commons

For every mile, this Camaro releases 1.37 pounds of carbon dioxide. It burns a gallon of gasoline every 18 miles on the highway and every 12 miles in the city. Although it’s by far one of the most powerful vehicles on the road, it raises a few precautionary flags for its negative contribution to the environment.


Dodge Viper ACR

The Dodge Viper ACR is an absolute beauty among sports vehicles. One of the most powerful beasts in the world, it features an impressive six-speed manual transmission. Of course, with great car power comes great environmental responsibility, and that is definitely something the Dodge Viper ACR lacks.

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Photo Courtesy: Accord14/Wikimedia Commons

Per gallon of gasoline, this sports beauty can travel 21 miles, releasing 1.30 pounds of carbon dioxide for every one of those miles. That number is considerably higher than many of its competitors. Considering this race car can be legally driven on the city streets, the lack of eco-friendliness is important to consider.

Subaru WRX STI

When it comes to terrain races, the Subaru WRX STI can handle just about any type of driving surface. Its performance is absolutely sublime, thanks to an impressive 300-horsepower engine. Of course, winning first place at a race with this beast might cause a ton of other long-term environmental issues.

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Photo Courtesy: Mr Bungle/Wikimedia Commons

Need proof? A gallon of gasoline only takes this car 17 miles, and it releases 1.01 pounds of carbon dioxide. Although it’s definitely not the worst environmental offender, these specs still put the Subaru WRX STI high on the non-eco-friendly list.

Chevrolet Corvette Z06

Yet another Chevy icon on the list of the worst cars for the environment, the good old Corvette is an absolute classic of American pop culture. Unfortunately, it’s time to consider how this nostalgic car model affects the environment.

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Photo Courtesy: SsmIntrigue/Wikimedia Commons

The Chevrolet Corvette Z06 burns a gallon of gasoline every 23 miles on the highway and every 13 miles in the city. It produces around 1.11 pounds of carbon dioxide every mile. Basically, the car is proof that not everything that looks beautiful is actually good for you or the environment.


Lexus GX 460

Without a doubt, the Lexus GX 460 is one of the most luxurious vehicles ever made, which seems ideal for those who love to travel in style. The 300-horsepower V8 engine and the six-speed automatic transmission guarantee premium functionality on almost any terrain. But is the vehicle eco-friendly?

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Photo Courtesy: Kevauto/Wikimedia Commons

Earning a spot among the worst offenders, the Lexus GX 460 uses a gallon of gasoline every 20 miles on the highway. It also produces 1.15 pounds of carbon dioxide per mile, which is definitely not as much as some of the other cars on this list, but it’s enough to put the environment at risk.

Range Rover Sport

The Range Rover is another classic brand frequently mentioned in U.S. pop culture. This beloved SUV is definitely one of the most coveted vehicles. Frequently used for racing as well as car eye candy for those who like to show off their lavish lifestyles, it’s definitely a beast, not only when it comes to horsepower, but also when it comes to the environment.

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Photo Courtesy: Clément Bucco-Lechat/Wikimedia Commons

The Range Rover Sport uses a gallon of gasoline every 19 miles and releases 1.22 pounds of carbon dioxide per mile. Those aren’t the worst numbers, but they certainly aren’t the best either.

Toyota Tundra

The Toyota Tundra moves into "normal" vehicle territory as a popular choice for its crowd-pleasing specs and impressive look. It’s definitely one of the best pickup trucks on the market, but it does negatively affect the environment with its powerhouse of an engine.

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Photo Courtesy: IFCAR/Wikimedia Commons

The real monster is its EPA fuel economy rating. The Toyota Tundra only travels 17 miles per one gallon of gasoline on the highway, and for every one of those miles, it produces 1.33 pounds of carbon dioxide. Obviously, some sports cars are worse offenders, but the Tundra is financially accessible to many more drivers, making it equally dangerous.


Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is one of the many muscle cars on this list. Its impressive specs and 700-horsepower supercharged V8 engine are two of the many reasons people tend to forget just how this beast affects the environment.

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Photo Courtesy: Sicnag/Wikimedia Commons

The Hellcat uses a gallon of gasoline every 22 miles, and it produces a whopping 1.22 pounds of carbon dioxide every single mile. It may be stylish, incredibly powerful and sleek, but that doesn’t really let it off the hook for its terrible, non-eco-friendly features, does it?

Lamborghini Huracan

The magnificent Lamborghini Huracan is quite a beast and an incredibly alluring choice for those who can afford luxury cars, whether it’s for racing or just for racy living. Its most impressive feature is a more stable response to high speed, making it an ideal race car.

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Photo Courtesy: Jakub Hałun/Wikimedia Commons

Unfortunately, it isn’t as impressive in the eyes of environmentalists. The car has a fuel efficiency of 17 miles per gallon, and it releases 1.17 pounds of carbon dioxide per mile. Its annual fuel cost is an impressive $2,450, which is considerably more than some of its more eco-friendly competitors.

Aston Martin Rapide S

The Aston Martin brand may be highly desired among car enthusiasts, but its eco-friendliness is practically non-existent. (Seriously, this isn’t the last Aston Martin car on our list.) The Aston Martin Rapide S is a refreshed version of its predecessor, with sleek design and an even better engine.

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Photo Courtesy: Alexandre Prévot/Wikimedia Commons

But the power of that engine and the impressive speed come at a cost — and it's not just financial. The Aston Martin Rapide S releases 1.17 pounds of carbon dioxide per mile and has a fuel efficiency of 17 miles per gallon on the highway — not the worst, but not the best either.


Lamborghini Huracan Spyder

The Lamborghini Huracan Spyder is praised for the impressively high speeds reached in just a few seconds. This luxury player successfully rivals some of its toughest competitors due to its incredible specs, including a naturally aspirated V10 engine.

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Photo Courtesy: Norbert Aepli/Wikimedia Commons

So, how much carbon dioxide does that V10 engine release? According to reports, 1.20 pounds per mile, slightly more than other previously mentioned cars on our list. Fuel efficiency comes in at a dismal 16 miles per gallon on the highway. It definitely holds its own against competitors in performance, but it also competes well in environmental unfriendliness. Also, the annual fuel cost is pretty steep, coming in at $2,600.

Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang

The newer editions of the Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang are all about sharp response time. It’s an absolute dream of a race car and definitely turns heads when spotted anywhere in the city. But — surprise, surprise! — this champion is responsible for releasing far more carbon dioxide than most cars on the list so far.

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Photo Courtesy: Meteb Ali/Wikimedia Commons

Per mile, the Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang releases 1.21 pounds of CO2 and has a fuel efficiency of 16 miles per gallon on the highway. It’s definitely not the worst offender, but when combined with an annual fuel cost of $2,600, it’s enough to put off any eco-warriors.

Dodge Viper

All right, this is where it gets serious. The Dodge Viper comes with an impressive engine and no stability control. The design is immaculate and incredibly eye-catching on the inside and out, but how does it fare when it comes to the eco stuff?

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Photo Courtesy: Norbert Aepli/Wikimedia Commons

The truth is simple: not very well at all. The Dodge Viper is definitely one of the worst carbon dioxide offenders, as it releases 1.37 pounds of the toxic gas per mile. It needs a gallon of gasoline every 14 miles and has a staggering annual fuel cost of about $3,000.


Rolls-Royce Ghost

Now, just look at this sleek beauty. It’s not quite the same type of head-turner as some of the other cars on this list, but it’s one of the most elegant cars around — inside and out. It’s not always about racing. Sometimes, it’s just about timeless class.

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Photo Courtesy: Mr.choppers/Wikimedia Commons

Despite its prestigious reputation among car enthusiasts, this beast releases 1.38 pounds of carbon dioxide every single mile. Its fuel efficiency comes in at an incredibly poor 14 miles per gallon, and its annual fuel cost is $3,000. Needless to say, this beauty poses some serious environmental questions.

Toyota Sequoia 4WD FFV

The Toyota Sequoia 4WD FFV is the preferred choice when it comes to driving on off-road terrain due to its incredible power and ability to handle just about anything. It’s an absolutely perfect family hauler — as long as your family doesn’t mind having a harmful effect on the environment.

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Photo Courtesy: RL GNZLZ/Wikimedia Commons

As much as the vehicle is powerful and sleek, this Sequoia also releases 1.39 pounds of carbon dioxide per mile into the environment. On top of that, it burns a gallon of gas every 14 miles, and you can expect to pay at least $2,600 in annual fuel cost if you drive an average number of miles.

Maserati GranTurismo Convertible

Owning a Maserati GT Convertible is an absolute dream. The car is hauntingly beautiful and completely luxurious on the outside as well as the inside. Its bodywork is fabulously immaculate, making it ideal for showing off in style or racing.

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Photo Courtesy: Simon Yeo/Wikimedia Commons

Unfortunately, many pretty things are bad for you, and many pretty cars are bad for the environment. Driving it releases 1.27 grams of carbon dioxide every mile and uses a gallon of gas every 15 miles. It will cost you $2,800 to keep up with this beauty’s fuel. Worth it? Definitely not if you care at all about saving the environment.


Chevrolet Camaro

The current Chevy Camaro has been crowned as one of the most technologically advanced Camaros on the market. The car is light and offers much better performance, making it a perfect choice for a race car — or just showing off to family and friends.

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Photo Courtesy: Rich Niewiroski Jr./Wikimedia Commons

However, before you get caught up in the moment, you might want to consider just how much this Chevy will cost the environment around you. Coming in at 1.30 pounds of carbon dioxide released every mile and fuel efficiency of 15 miles per gallon, the car will certainly damage your reputation among eco-warriors.

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT 4×4

When it comes to the fastest and most powerful jeeps, the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT 4×4 is a winner, hands down. It has one of the most impressive engines around, and it continuously impresses with its high performance. (Seriously, its specs are out of this world!)

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Photo Courtesy: U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration/Wikimedia Commons

Unfortunately, the specs related to pollution and the environment take a serious downward turn. They are pretty much the same as the Chevrolet Camaro, and spending money on fuel will also cost you about $2,800 per year. Although it’s not the most offensive polluter on the list, it’s definitely up there.

Ford GT

Moving to another race car dream, driven by celebrities like Matt LeBlanc, the Ford GT is definitely extremely popular. Aerodynamics and powerful performance are what put this beast at the top of the race car list. Unfortunately, we’ve now learned that powerful engines often land cars on this negative list as well.

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Photo Courtesy: Joe deSousa/Wikimedia Commons

The Ford GT definitely shares its contribution to environmental pollution with other top offenders, as it releases 1.44 pounds of carbon dioxide every single mile. It exhausts a gallon of gas every 14 miles, and its annual fuel cost comes in at about $3,000, considerably more than some of its competitors.


Ferrari F12 Berlinetta

If you want to talk about a car that makes everyone’s heart pump, the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta is without a doubt an elegant car and a dream for many. It’s also considered to be the fastest Ferrari road car. By now, you know that also means it’s most likely causing a lot of harm to the environment.

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Photo Courtesy: Thesupermat/Wikimedia Commons

This Ferrari releases 1.48 pounds of CO2 per mile and has a fuel efficiency of 13 miles per gallon. Its annual fuel cost is the most expensive yet, coming in at $3,250. The best part about these numbers? They aren’t actually the worst on this list!

Ferrari GTC4Lusso

Now, let’s take a look at another Ferrari favorite. Powerful, lighter and with slightly more legroom, the Ferrari GTC4Lusso is definitely a step up from its predecessor. It is a beloved race car as well as a city car. How could it not be? Just look at this sleek beauty!

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Photo Courtesy: Alexander Migl/Wikimedia Commons

However, when it comes to the environment, it doesn’t really score any positive points at all. It exhausts 1.48 pounds of carbon dioxide per mile and uses a gallon of gas every 13 miles. You will need to spend around $3,250 every single year on fuel costs.

LaFerrari Aperta

We’re not quite done with the Ferrari brand just yet. Some of the biggest pollution offenders are also the most powerful. The LaFerrari Aperta has an open top and one of the most stylish designs. The vehicle is uniquely captivating and a true one-of-a-kind model when it comes to exquisite details.

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Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

In terms of eco-friendliness, the LaFerrari Aperta does some damage to the environment. It burns a shocking 1.50 pounds of CO2 per mile and has a fuel efficiency of 13 miles per gallon on the highway. On top of that, fuel will cost you more than $3000 every year.


Bentley Mulsanne EWB

Ah, the classic Bentley — when it comes to luxury, this beauty definitely has it all. The legroom and overall length are ideal for luxury transportation purposes, but the Bentley Mulsanne EWB doesn’t stop there. Its performance is incredibly impressive as well, putting it at the top of the wish list for those who are really looking for elegance.

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Photo Courtesy: M 93/Wikimedia Commons

Unfortunately, the Bentley Mulsanne EWB is just as bad as the LaFerrari Aperta when it comes to fuel efficiency, annual fuel costs and the amount of harmful carbon dioxide being released into the environment.

Ferrari F12tdf

Don’t worry, this is the very last Ferrari model on our list. This one is a true racetrack champion and a frequent Hollywood star. Its performance specs are almost scary and definitely best suited to those who are used to driving at high speed and begging for more.

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Photo Courtesy: Elekes Andor/Wikimedia Commons

We’re coming down to some of the worst environmental polluters, and the Ferrari F12tdf is pretty high up on the list. It releases 1.56 pounds of carbon dioxide per mile and has a fuel efficiency of 12 miles per gallon on the highway. You would have to spend $3,500 annually on fuel.

Chevrolet G3500 Express 2WD PASS MDPV

It’s a powerful van, without a doubt. Although it’s pretty standard looking on the outside, the Chevrolet G3500 Express 2WD PASS MDPV has impressive pulling power that stands up quite well to its competitors. Unfortunately, it fails just as impressively with its non-eco-friendly specs.

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Photo Courtesy: U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration/Wikimedia Commons

This absolute beast of a van releases 1.56 pounds of carbon dioxide every single mile and uses a gallon of gas every 12 miles on the highway. Its fuel bills will cost you more than $3,000, putting it very near the top of cars that are actively ruining the environment.


Aston Martin V12 Vantage S

We’ve learned that the size of the car doesn’t really matter when you have a powerful engine to do the dirty work. In the case of the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S, it actually adds up to a lot of dirty work. The brand new Vantage was a huge milestone for the Aston Martin brand, as the car stepped up its performance specs.

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Photo Courtesy: Mr.choppers/Wikimedia Commons

Unfortunately, the end product only has a fuel efficiency of 12 miles per gallon, which means you can expect to spend $3,500 on fuel annually. It also releases 1.59 pounds of carbon dioxide per mile into the environment.

Lamborghini Aventador Coupe LP740-4

The Lamborghini Aventador Coupe LP740-4 was an absolute hoot after its release — for good reason. It looks mean on the road and is equipped with pretty much every performance trick in the book. A slightly higher power gain is what makes this race car so attractive, and it still remains a popular choice among many fans.

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Photo Courtesy: Clément Bucco-Lechat/Wikimedia Commons

The truth is its non-eco-friendly specs come in very close to the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S. So, this may be a mean performance car, but that mean streak certainly doesn’t do anything positive for the environment.

Mercedes-Benz G 550 4×4 (Special Off-Road Model)

Here comes the big one — literally. This special off-road model was designed to tackle absolutely any terrain. How could it not when it is absolutely huge? It obviously comes with a powerful engine to move all that muscle, making its performance truly one of a kind.

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Photo Courtesy: Jakub "flyz1" Maciejewski/Wikimedia Commons

But here’s the catch: If you drive this beast, you release a whopping 1.82 pounds of carbon dioxide in the air with every mile. On top of that, you use a gallon of gasoline every 11 miles on the highway. Plus, be prepared to hand over $3,800 for fuel every single year.