Study ranks Hyundai as greenest in U.S.

Hyundai Motor Co., which has championed smaller engines, dethroned Honda Motor Co. as the greenest automaker in the United States, a report from the Union of Concerned Scientists said.

The nonprofit scientific research group ranked Hyundai first and Honda second in its sixth evaluation of the environmental performance of the eight top-selling automakers in the United States. Honda had ranked first since the report's debut in 2000.

Toyota Motor Corp. placed third, followed by Nissan Motor Corp. and Volkswagen AG. Ford Motor Co., General Motors and Chrysler Group placed at the bottom of the survey. The Detroit 3, which are more heavily dependent on light trucks with larger engines, also each scored below the industry average.

With the introduction of the 2011 Hyundai Sonata hybrid and the 2011 Kia Optima hybrid, the Hyundai-Kia group significantly improved its fuel efficiency since the last report.

You can reach Kathleen Burke at kgburke@umich.edu

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