In a little more than a month’s time Green Car Journal will announce the 2013 Green Car of the Year during the 2012 LA Auto Show.
On November 29 the winner is to be selected from a pool of five finalists that include hybrid powertrain vehicles, as well as cars with fuel-miser internal combustion engines.
The contenders are the Dodge Dart Aero, Ford C-MAX, Ford Fusion, Mazda CX-5 SkyACTIV and the Toyota Prius c.
A jury comprised of environmental leaders, including Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune, Ocean Futures Society president Jean-Michel Cousteau, and Global Green USA president Matt Petersen, will select the winner. Joining the panel will be Tonight Show host and auto enthusiast Jay Leno, as well as Green Car Journal staff.
In a press release, Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of the Green Car Journal and president of the Green Car Institute, remarked on the growth of the “green” segment of the auto industry, saying that today, “the sheer number of environmentally positive production vehicles available to consumers is just eye-opening.”
This year’s five nominees (as well as those from last year) support Cogan’s comment on the burgeoning market of fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly autos, as all of the models are mass-market products that have MSRPs within reach of most consumers shopping the new-car market. “What’s tougher these days is narrowing down the universe of great candidates to a
field of five nominees, as we have today,” said Cogan.
The base model Prius c is the lowest of the bunch, listing for $18,950, and claims an estimated mpg of 53 city/46 hwy. Dodge’s Dart Aero starts at $19, 295 and boasts 41 mpg hwy/28 mpg city, while the Mazda CX-5 begins at $20,995 with fuel economy estimated at 26 mpg city/35 mpg hwy. Ford’s C-MAX Hybrid offers fuel economy figures of 47 mpg for both city and highway, and a base price of $25,200.
Although the announcement of the vehicles in the contest for Green Car of The Year didn’t specify which variants of the models might take the prize, we suspect that if Ford’s Fusion is selected as winner, the judges would likely peg the Fusion SE Hybrid for its 47 mpg city/hwy economy. The SE Hybrid tops the price chart at $27,200, a healthy $5,500 more than the S model Fusion. Yet the S doesn’t provide the same fuel economy as the hybrid, posting 22 mpg city/34 mpg hwy, making the S model the least fuel efficient of the five cars.
The Honda Civic Natural Gas was named 2012 Green Car of The Year, beating out the Ford Focus Electric, Mitsubishi i, Toyota Prius v, and VS Passat TDI.