Cars

These Are the 25 Most Vegan-Friendly Car Brands in the World

Number 1 might come as a surprise.
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Photo by Dick Lovett.

Let’s face it: impact on animals and the environment isn’t exactly a priority when buying a new car, even though they should be. But recent trends seem to indicate that all that is changing. More and more, people are at least becoming aware of the issues. We look forward to a time when those in the market for a new set of wheels will base their decision on which makes and models are the most sustainable as much as on things like performance and looks.   

To that end, carmakers are catching up to the trend. More brands are putting sustainability front and center to their operations, and while no car is, as yet, 100 percent vegan, there are brands who are making more of an effort to lessen their impact on the environment. 

Car and motorcycle retailer Dick Lovett recently published a report looking at the most vegan-friendly car brands in the world. The list is based on research published by animal welfare group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) that looked at which carmakers offered the most number of vegan and eco-friendly models as of December 2021.

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Taking the top spot is Ford, with a total of 28 car models with vegan-friendly details and more eco-friendly swaps upon request. The report highlighted the Ford Fiesta, whose latest models come with non-leather seats as standard, including the Style, Zetec, B&O Play Zetec and Ford EcoBoost. 

“All Fiestas, with the exception of the Style (Base Model) are fitted with leather steering wheels, however these can be replaced with a non-leather alternative upon request, while the Ford Mustang Mach-E comes standard with all-vegan interiors, including a vegan steering wheel,” the report said.  

The rest of the brands in the top 10 include Honda (20 vegan-friendly car models), Nissan (19), SMART (17), Chevrolet (15), Kia (15), Hyundai (14), Mercedes-Benz (13), Citroën (8), and Toyota (8).

About Mercedes-Benz, the report said the brand’s B-Class, A, CLA Coupé, CLA Shooting Brake and V-Class all come with a vegan interior as standard. “The AMG GLB 35 is available to be requested with a choice of either Mercedes' Artico man-made leather or Dinamica, a type of man-made suede. When it comes to the A-Class, you can either specify fabric seats, or Artico, but be aware that it comes with a real leather interior unless requested otherwise.”

Meanwhile, for the first time, buyers of the latest Jaguar Land Rover Range Rover can now request a completely vegan interior, which is said to generate just a quarter of the carbon dioxide emissions real leather does.

While Tesla cars are fully electric, only three of its models have ecologically friendly features the X, the 3, and the S. “Whilst the X and S both have leather-free seats, the 3 comes with synthetic materials used all throughout its cabin, with Tesla claiming that the interior of the car is 100% leather-free,” the report says.

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When requested, Porche’s fully electric vehicle, the Taycan, comes with non-leather choices, as well as Race-Tex microfiber, which is similar to a semisynthetic suede. The floor coverings of the vehicle are also manufactured from recycled fishing nets. 

“The bottom line is that there’s no such thing as a 100 percent vegan car, unfortunately,” says Dominika Piasecka, a spokesperson for the Vegan Society. “The key with veganism is trying to do your best. It’s not possible to be 100 percent vegan in this imperfect world but we can avoid animal suffering as much as possible. Avoiding leather is a practical thing we can do while buying a car, while we can’t of course avoid tires or steel.”

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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