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Make/Model with the best cabin air filtration

I know that Tesla’s Model 3, S/X have advanced filtration to reduce air pollution entering the cabin. Are there any other makes/models that do well in this regard?

Your best friend is Google.

Air filtration in a car, with the doors and windows opening and closing, letting in all kinds of stuff, is a pretty low priority to me. Even though my cabin filters look dirty when I change them, I doubt it has much practical effect on the air in the car.

My daily commute involves a lot of sitting in traffic, for up to 1.5 hrs a day, and I am tired of smelling exhaust. I have tried installing/changing cabin air filters in my 2002 Escape but so far it hasn’t made any difference. I don’t think those filters work on gases anyway, only larger particles like dust and pollen. I don’t have a recirculating option either. I’m sure a newer care would be an improvement but I was just curious if any others focused on air filtration like Tesla did.

I don’t know of anyone else that makes the (amazing) claims that Tesla does on air cleaning. You might find benefit to a car with a ‘recirculate’ button.

Actually it looks like the Tesla filters aren’t much different than other cabin filters except they are HEPA for small particles and have carbon. You could probably get the same type of filter for other cars, the filters really aren’t anything special.

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Are you sure you don’t have recirculating option?
I’m sure my ‘98 Explorer did, and older cars too. I know my 06&13 vehicles do.

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Just a wild idea here: are you sure the exhaust you’re smelling isn’t coming from your vehicle? Meaning, an exhaust leak somewhere?

I rarely ever smell exhaust in either of my cars, even when stuck in traffic. And one of my cars doesn’t even have a cabin air filter.

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If your Escape has air conditioning the “MAX A/C” mode is recirculate.

From the owners manual;

MAX A/C- Uses recirculated air to cool the vehicle. MAX A/C is louder
than A/C but more economical and will cool the inside of the vehicle
faster. Airflow will be from the instrument panel registers. This mode
can also be used to prevent undesirable odors from entering the


If you really want truly effective air filtration you’d need to go to a company that makes armored cars. They generally have positive pressurization options and a bunch of other fancy gadgetry to prevent anything from getting in. Otherwise, the air you’re breathing in your car isn’t any more contaminated with outside dust than the outside is, and you have to traverse the outside to get to your car, so don’t worry about it.

If this is a big issue for you, I wonder if there’s a small air purifier that could be run off an inverter while you’re in the car.

I was thinking of looking into that option as well.

Test this by sitting in the driveway and run the engine for a few minutes. If you smell exhaust, it’s your Escape.

But would an ‘air purifier’ remove exhaust odors? Most are particulate filters, not able to remove gas components. But it’s be cheaper than a new car, I guess.

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Ya, that’s what I’m wondering too. I kind of doubt they would.

My car could certainly be contributing to part of it, so it’s worth trying this.

Filters with activated charcoal or zeolites can absorb molecular contaminants. They will be expensive and you will have to replace them often.


Activated charcoal filters will remove many odors. I can find cabin filters for my car that have charcoal on them. No filter available to the general public will remove CO. A material called Hopcalite will remove CO, but unless you are a submariner or coal miner not likely to easily get one.

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