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2009 Toyota Tacoma - Emissions

Since I don’t use it as a truck much anymore I’m thinking of trading my Tacoma in for something smaller that gets better gas mileage, and that got me to wondering if better mileage would be the only benefit of a new car.

My Tacoma gets 21 mpg on a good tank. Will a car that gets, to make the math easy, 42 mpg simply produce half the emissions at the tailpipe or will the emissions also be cleaner?

Just be glad you are using less fuel and let it go at that . Of course the emissions will be less but too many factors are involved to give an accurate amount . Such as speed , weather , type of driving ( city or highway or both ) .
But before you do anything check several online vehicle value sites like Kelly Blue Book because small trucks in my area are pulling ridiculous prices.


The CO2 produced does usually follow as a ratio of MPG. However, emissions of pollutants like oxides of nitrogen are entirely different. A new car compared to an older one is always cleaner. The emissions control standards continue to become more and more stringent. If you go to, you can get a sense of this. You can even select your state. My state of Mass is a “ZEV state” which means its emissions are much more stringent than states like Texas or Florida (just as examples). Automakers don’t build just one set of vehicles in the U.S. The state requirements vary. You may have heard that there is some debate about this in DC recently. There is a tab at the EPA’s site that shows your the pollutants on a scale of 1-10. . Here is an example:

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Thanks for the replies

Good advice to check KBB – and since Toyota was kind enough to have just given me a brand-new frame I think I’m in a pretty good position as far as trade-in goes

The DOE site has just the sort of info I was curious about – I’ll definitely use that as one factor in screening candidates. I know that these are estimates, but it’s pretty clear that any one of the vehicles I’m considering would be an environmental win

In round numbers, half as much fuel going in would equal half as much exhaust coming out. Plus, cars today run cleaner than they did 10 years ago. And a car that uses less fuel will cost less to operate. But you’ll need to look at something fairly small to get 42 mpg. A 2019 4 cylinder Camry, for example, is EPA rated at 32-34 mpg combined.

I just used 42 as an example, I’ve actually set 32 as a reasonable (for me) target – I’m not quite ready to go hybrid or all electric, but I’m glad to know that even at 32 mpg I’ll be spewing significantly less junk into the air. And I’m actually OK with small – thinking about the Subaru CrossTrek, which gets 27/33, since most of my miles are highway.

I suggest you sell your Tacoma privately

They hold their valuable surprisingly well, and you should be able to quickly sell it for a nice price

But do your homework first, don’t let it go for the first lowball offer

Do you need all-wheel drive or 4x4 . . . ?!

I was simply making sure you knew what to expect. 42 mpg is very good and most vehicles can’t achieve it. 32 is fairly realistic IMHO. Best of luck in your vehicle search.