2013 Green Car of the Year Finalists Announced
As part of the annual festivities surrounding Los Angeles Auto Show, the folks at Green Car Journal present their Green Car of the Year award. The nature of the recipient of the award changes year to year, and focuses on the sensibilities of the automotive work in that year. Winners in past years have been hybrids, diesels, and EVs, and this year’s list of finalists reflects that selection. The 2013 finalists for Green Car of the Year are the Audi A6 TDI, BMW 328d, Honda Accord, Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla. Rather than focus on exotic green cars, this list is a practical one and reflects vehicles with green credentials that have mass-market appeal. PHOTOS: See more of the Audi A6 TDI The two diesel powered German vehicles are certainly favorites of this writer. For the A6, 428 pound feet of torque and 700 miles per tank is nothing to scoff at. BMW’s TwinPower diesel inline-4 makes decent acceleration and returns 45 miles per gallon.
The Honda Accord is a fascinating choice as a finalist, as Green Car Journal counts the I4, V6 and Hybrid variants as one. Those are three very different powerplants. With the I4 returning 36 mpg and the V6 netting 34 mpg, it only gets better with the Hybrid’s fuel economy of 50 mpg city and 47 highway. There is also a plug-in version of the Hybrid to choose from.
PHOTOS: See more of the 2014 Mazda3
The car that may take the award this year is the Mazda3 and its SKYACTIV powertrain. Mazda’s best-selling model features a 2.0-liter I4 that returns 41 mpg. Even if you opt for the 2.5-liter I4 (the model that is actually fun to drive) features regenerative braking, helping it earn 38 mpg.
The car that has us scratching our collective heads is the Toyota Corolla. The Corolla does return 42 mpg highway, but only when you spend more money for the LE ECO model. That specialty eco-trim strategy sends the wrong message to buyers, and the only way it achieves the 38 mpg highway on the non-ECO models is to de-tune the 1.8-liter I4 so much that it is dangerously slow.
PHOTOS: See more of the 2014 Toyota Corolla
But we see either the Mazda3 or one of the diesels taking home the Green Car of the Year Award. We’ll find out for sure on the second press days at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show at the end of November.