GoodGuide Car Ratings: Smart Electric Rates Tops, Dodge Dakota Tanks

litlle smart car - car ratingsThe Smart Fortwo Electric outranks more than 3,500 cars rated by GoodGuide, while the Dodge Dakota comes in last. Smart also ranks as the top overall automotive brand, while Aston Martin was rated worst.

GoodGuide helps consumers find healthy, green, ethical products based on scientific ratings. Its experts have rated more than 65,000 consumer goods -- including food, personal care and household products -- using three factors of increasing importance to consumers: concern for the environment, personal health and social responsibility.GoodGuide's ratings also include a brief explanation for each category, and allow users to drill down into each score for more detail. The health score measures a product's potential health effects on consumers.

The environment score measures a product's environmental impact and the company's overall policies and practices. The society score evaluates a company's social impact, which can include treatment of workers, workplace diversity, community involvement and corporate ethics.

Because automobiles do not affect human health, per se, health scores weren't used to evaluate cars, as GoodGuide explains in its ratings methodology.

As such, The Smart Fortwo Electric 7.5 rating is based on:
  • A Health score of N/A (not applicable)
  • An Environment score of 9.1: This vehicle delivers exceptional fuel economy (MPG in the top 0.1% of all cars ) and is one of the most fuel efficient vehicles on the road.
  • A Society score of 6.0: The company that makes this product has an above average score in ethical policies and performance.
Conversely, The Dodge Dakota's 3.2 rating is based on:
  • A Health score of N/A (not applicable)
  • An Environment score of 3.7: This vehicle delivers very poor fuel economy and is is one of the least fuel efficient vehicles on the road.
  • A Society score of 2.8: The company that makes this product has one of the lowest scores in ethical policies and performance.
GoodGuide rated 3,775 automobiles, and included shopping tips for consumers, such as what to look for and an avoid in a car. Although the GoodGuide ratings also include cargo vans such as the poorly rated Chevrolet Express 3500 6L, we've excluded them and other non-consumer oriented vehicles from our list.

Finally, in order to avoid repetition of a particular model (Mercedes Benz's Smart Car took the top ten slots), we've skipped ahead to the next best or worst model. You can view all the top-rated automobiles (in descending order) here and all the poorly rated ones (in ascending order) here.

The 5 Best Car Models
  1. 2011 Smart Fortwo Electric (7.5)
  2. 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid 2.5L (6.9)
  3. 2010 MERCURY Milan Hybrid 2.5L (6.9)
  4. 2010 Toyota Prius 1.8L (6.8)
  5. 2010 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid (6.8)
The 5 Worst Car Models
  1. 2011 Dodge Dakota 4.7L (3.2)
  2. 2011 GMC Yukon XL 1500 6.2L (3.3)
  3. 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 15 6.2L (3.3)
  4. 2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV 6.2L (3.3)
  5. 2010 Aston Martin DBS 5.9L (3.4)
In addition to the best and worst models, we've also asked our friends at GoodGuide to compile a list of the five best and worst brands. GoodGuide ratings also allow you to search for vehicles based on type as well, be it small cars, sport utility vehicles, midsize cars, pickups, station wagons, large cars, vans and minivans. You can also apply a number of filters to narrow your comparison field further, such as fuel type, model year and transmission type.

The 5 Best Car Brands
  1. Smart (7.2)
  2. Mercury (6.0)
  3. Scion (5.9)
  4. Mercedes-Benz (5.8)
  5. Mitsubishi (5.8)
5 Worst Car Brands
  1. Aston Marton (3.6)
  2. Hummer (3.7)
  3. GMC (3.8)
  4. Dodge (3.9)
  5. Chrysler (4.1)
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