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Green Vehicle Guide

Smog Rating

  • This rating reflects vehicle tailpipe emissions that contribute to local and regional air pollution, creating problems such as smog, haze, and health issues. 
  • Vehicles that score a 10 are the cleanest.
  • Light duty cars and trucks must meet either federal [EPA] or California emission requirements. Individual states choose whether vehicles sold there meet either the federal or California emission requirement. Within both the federal and California system, automakers may choose from a range of eligible emission standards for each vehicle.
  • Before a new vehicle model can be sold, sample vehicles are tested under tightly controlled conditions. Their tailpipe emissions are captured and measured using sophisticated monitoring techniques. The results determine the emission standard that the vehicle meets.
  • Emission standards are for the major pollutants in vehicle exhaust:
    • NMOG, NMHC, or THC—types of carbon-containing compounds, including hydrocarbons 
    • NOx—Oxides of Nitrogen, which combine with hydrocarbons to create smog 
    • PM—Particulate Matter, tiny particles of solid matter that lodge in the lungs and deposit on buildings 
    • CO—Carbon Monoxide, a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas 
    • HCHO—Formaldehyde, a lung irritant and carcinogen

Smog Rating

Rating Scales by Model Year (MY)

MY 2014 & 2015

Rating US EPA Tier 2 Emission Standard California Air Resource Board
LEV II Emission Standard LEV III Emission Standard
10 Bin 1 ZEV ZEV
9 Bin 2* PZEV SULEV20, PZEV
8 Bin 2 SULEV ll SULEV30
7 Bin 3 -- ULEV70, ULEV50
6 Bin 4 ULEV ll ULEV125
5 Bin 5 LEV ll LEV160
4 Bin 6 LEV ll option 1
3 Bin 7 --
2 Bin 8 SULEV ll lg trucks
1 -- ULEV & LEV ll lg trucks

MY 2013

Rating US EPA Tier 2 Emission Standard California Air Resources Board LEV II Emission Standard
10 Bin 1 ZEV
9 -- PZEV
8 Bin 2 SULEV ll
7 Bin 3 --
6 Bin 4 ULEV ll
5 Bin 5 LEV ll
4 Bin 6 LEV ll option 1
3 Bin 7 --
2 Bin 8 SULEV ll lg trucks
1 -- ULEV & LEV ll lg trucks

MY 2012 & 2011

Score US EPA Tier 2 Emission Standard California Air Resources Board LEV II Emission Standard
10 Bin 1 ZEV
9 -- PZEV
8 Bin 2 SULEV ll
7 Bin 3 --
6 Bin 4 ULEV ll
5 Bin 5 LEV ll
4 Bin 6 LEV ll option 1
3 Bin 7 --
2 Bin 8 SULEV ll lg trucks
1 -- ULEV & LEV ll lg trucks

MY 2010 & 2009

Score US EPA Tier 2 Emission Standard California Air Resources Board LEV II Emission Standard
10 Bin 1 ZEV
9 Bin 2 SULEV ll
8 Bin 3 --
7 Bin 4 ULEV ll
6 Bin 5 LEV ll
5 Bin 6 LEV ll option 1
4 Bin 7 --
3 Bin 8 SULEV ll lg trucks
2 -- ULEV ll lg trucks
1 -- LEV ll lg trucks
0 -- --

MY 2008 & Earlier

Score US EPA Tier 2 Emission Standard California Air Resources Board LEV II Emission Standard
10 Bin 1 ZEV
9 Bin 2 SULEV ll
8 Bin 3 --
7 Bin 4 ULEV ll
6 Bin 5 LEV ll
5 Bin 6 LEV ll option 1
4 Bin 7 --
3 Bin 8 SULEV ll lg trucks
2 Bin 9 ULEV ll lg trucks
1 Bin 10 LEV ll lg trucks
0 Bin 11 --

* Vehicle must also be certified to CA PZEV or SULEV20 standard.

 

Pollutant Emission Levels for Each Standard

 

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