Learn about various “green” technologies and shopping considerations for your next vehicle.


The 2015 AAA Green Car Guide is now available
for the iPad via the AAA Magazines app.

2015 AAA Green Car Guide

The AAA Green Car Guide is a complete guidebook to green vehicles, including electrics, hybrids, fuel-efficient gas, clean diesel, partial-zero emission, compressed natural gas and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Produced by the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center (ARC), the AAA Green Car Guide not only defines what a green car is, but also explains the differences between various types of green vehicles. The guide also provides real-world evaluations of green cars to help potential buyers determine which car is most suitable for their lifestyle.

New for 2015: The AAA Green Car Guide is now divided into six different car categories with a winner selected in each one. Vehicles included in the guide are ranked from highest to lowest based on the following objective and subjective criteria:

  • EPA emissions rating
  • Braking
  • Crashworthiness
  • Visibility
  • Handling
  • Ride Quality
  • Fuel economy
  • Interior noise
  • Acceleration
  • Ease of entry and exit
  • Interior size
  • Turning circle
  • Luggage capacity

Each vehicle receives an overall score for each characteristic ranging from 0 to 10 and is evaluated relative only to the other vehicles listed in the guide, not to all available vehicles on the market.  The vehicles are also evaluated on a cost-per-point basis, taking a car’s purchase price into account to determine the best green car value. Each vehicle’s review provides a summary of the car and lists its strengths and weaknesses.

To search for specific vehicles that the ARC has evaluated, you can visit the AAA Green Car Guide website, where you will be able to search by vehicle type (e.g. subcompact), powertrain (e.g. hybrid) and price range.

Volkswagen and Audi have admitted that the fuel economy and emissions data of the 2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI, 2015 Volkswagen Passat TDI, 2015 Volkswagen Jetta TDI, and 2015 Audi A3 TDI were falsified. This admission followed an investigation by the California Air Resources Board and the Environmental Protection Agency.  While this admission does not affect the safety or drivability of the vehicles, they would not have met the Green Car Guide eligibility requirements had legitimate and accurate emissions scores been reported.  These vehicles will not be included in the 2016 edition.

To download a printable version of the AAA Green Car Guide, please select from the following:


AAA members can also get a copy of the AAA Green Car Guide at any AAA branch or download the AAA Magazines app from the Apple app store to get the free iPad version of the AAA Green Car Guide.

Interested in purchasing one of the 88 models tested in the AAA Green Car Guide? Our Car Buying Service takes the hassle out of shopping for a new car. Receive pre-negotiated pricing in just minutes, along with powerful side-by-side vehicle research tools and access to AAA-recommended dealers.


This website and the content, information, products, and services on or through it (including the Green Car Guide), are provided “as is,” without any warranty of any kind, expressed, implied, or statutory. AAA specifically disclaims any implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for particular purposes, and non-infringement.


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