There is something about being environmentally friendly that seems to mean that you have to deprive yourself of luxury. This doesn’t just exhibit itself in the automotive world, but also in the world of fashion, home entertainment and décor. The more environmentally friendly you really are seems to mean that you deprive yourself, kind of a minimalist view on life. A recent report from our partners over at deals with this exact subject as it pertains to hybrid vehicles. More specifically, the report talks about a new scorecard that “slams carmakers for loading on luxury.”

2010 Lexus LS 600h L

2010 Lexus LS 600h L

Maybe it is just because I am young and still trying to figure out the meaning of life or I am still in the need to show my success threw the ownership of material things, but I like luxury. However, the Union of Concerned Scientists released a new hybrid scorecard that penalizes carmakers from adding “forced” luxury options to hybrid offerings. Let’s start with the information we all want to know—who is the worst offender?

That honor goes to the 2010 Lexus LS 600h, which makes a fair amount of sense considering it is a “luxury sedan.” It should also come as no surprise that the highest rated vehicle on the list is the 2010 Toyota Prius. I personally like my car with luxury options, but the question as to whether they are “forced” options on the average American consumer is a good one. The subject seems to be more complicated than just how many options might be on the car that someone didn’t specifically ask for. It also comes down to whether the packaging of these options actually make the overall price cheaper due to higher margins on some options as opposed to others.

The debate could go on and on, but the bottom line is that with recent consumer ratings showing the 2010 Ford Fusion ahead of the 2010 Toyota Prius, maybe the forced options aren’t a problem for the American consumer. I don’t see anyone complaining that all economy cars now come with Air Conditioning, Power Door Locks, Power Windows and a C/D player.


For the full scoop on the Union of Concerned Scientists report, check out John Voelcker’s coverage over at