Drive a muscle car, and you know you're blighting the environment even as you're joyously burning up the asphalt -- but drive a depressing vehicle solely for its greenness, and you know you're blighting your soul even as you're listlessly puttering to the organic fair trade farmers market. Find where your ride falls on this spectrum, with the Carfun Footprint Calculator.
Designed by MINI USA, the Carfun Footprint Calculator crunches industry-sourced environmental and customer satisfaction data to determine the "Carfun Footprint" of 197 whips, from the Mercedes SL550 to the Mercury Mariner; the result basically indicates how fun your car is vs. its environmental impact (for more process details, click the Layman's explanation, or the Rocket Science tab if you're excruciatingly smart). Fun numbers are pulled from Strategic Vision's New Vehicle Experience Study, which factors owner survey responses, plus "the total impact the car has on the customer experience", a.k.a. the "Delight Index" -- a great name for Deee-Lite's 2nd single, if they'd had one. The Green Score factors together emissions, fuel economy, and curb weight, figures taken from the EPA and the Autodata Corporation, known for their spotless record for veracity, and inspiring company motto ("Autodata: It's What We Do").
Obviously, MINI USA is fairly confident in their models' scores -- they're ranked as one of America's ten greenest, but that doesn't come at the expense of race car heritage and customization options that put dizzying, possibly corruptive power in the consumer's hands. To pinpoint your ride's Carfun Footprint (or your dad's/brother's/dentist's), hit CarfunFootprint.com -- you'll know exactly where you stand, which hopefully won't be "in front of a crate of fair trade rutabagas, wishing I had a new car".