Dudley Curtis, a spokesman for the environmental NGO Transport & Environment, which is a VCD-partner organisation, hailed Toyota as the "star" environmental performer of 2009.
"Toyota has almost met its EU target for 2015," he told EurActiv. "[It] has made significant progress on CO2 across its fleet. It also has a number of very clean and very efficient models as highlighted by the VCD list."
The VCD is an environmentally-minded automobile association of 60,000 members and 12 regional chapters, which has been publishing an environmental table since it was founded in 1989.
This year, the Lexus CT 200h came first in the 'Compact Class' league, with a score of 7.83, followed by the Toyota Auris Hybrid (7.33).
In the 'Family Class' division, the Toyota Prius was ranked the most environmentally-friendly car with a 7.53 score. The Toyota iQ 1.0 VVT-I came second with a score of 7.43.
The full hybrid Lexus CT 200h ranked joint second, and the Toyota Prius and Auris Hybrid tied fourth for lowest environmental impact in terms of CO2 emissions.
The Lexus CT 200h's CO2 emissions were clocked at 87g/km, while the Toyota vehicles were rated at 89 g/km.
The EU is committed to reducing CO2 emissions from new vehicles to 130g/km by 2015, and 95g/km by 2020, although each manufacturer is assigned its own target depending on the weight of its vehicles.
Opposition to the law in Brussels, allegedly funded by German carmakers, has provoked a 'Dark Side' viral Internet campaign by Greenpeace.
Didier Leroy, the president and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe, said that the new environmental list confirmed Toyota as an environmental leader.
"It also shows that full hybrid technology, while achieving lower fuel consumption, has a clear advantage over conventional powertrains when it comes to actual environmental impact and other pollutants," he said.
The VCD's league of 385 vehicles measures the most environmentally friendly and 'socially sustainable' cars in the automobile market today by taking into account particle emissions – and air pollution – as well as CO2, and climate change.
The VCD's evaluation criteria for the report was made up of 60% CO2 emissions, 20% noise pollution, 15% harmful emissions (e.g. particulate matters, NO2, NOx), and 5% environmental impact (e.g. NOx).