Great group of offerings battle for top billing.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Oct. 25, 2012
2013 Ford C-MAX Energi PHEV-21 - $29,995 to start incl. D&H after $3,750 TC, 21-miles AER, 85 mph top speed on the pack and a 100 MPGe rating from the EPA.
From a PR released earlier this morning, five vehicles have been named finalists for Green Car Journal’s, 2013 Green Car of the Year. For the eighth consecutive year, the Green Car of the Year is poised to recognize environmental leadership in the automotive arena. The winner will be announced at a press conference during the LA Auto Show Press Days on Nov. 29.
May I have the envelope please…
This year’s finalists include the Dodge Dart Aero, Ford C-MAX, Ford Fusion, Mazda CX-5 SKYACTIV and the Toyota Prius c.
The shift toward ‘green’ vehicles is great for new car buyers who want to drive cleaner and more efficiently, while still experiencing the joy of driving.
According to Green Car Journal, the host of Green Car of the Year, the list underscores the evolving auto industry’s increasing focus on efficiencies and CO2 emissions.
The high mpg Dodge Dart Aero (41 mpgUS highway) and Mazda CX-5 SKYACTIV with the 6-speed stick (35 mpgUS highway) show that conventionally-powered, internal combustion vehicles can compete with the efficiencies of hybrids and diesels.
Toyota’s Prius c continues this automaker’s tradition of offering all-new, high mpg models under the Prius family moniker.
The Ford C-MAX and Fusion illustrate how mainstream models can present drivers multiple high-efficiency choices – with the C-MAX offering both a hybrid (47/47/47 mpgUS) and plug-in hybrid (the Energi is rated at 100 MPGe combined with its 21-miles AER) iterations, and the Fusion offering these power options, plus fuel-efficient EcoBoost variants.
The winner will be selected by an esteemed jury comprised of the nation’s top environmental leaders, including Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune, Ocean Futures Society president Jean-Michel Cousteau, and Global Green USA president Matt Petersen, plus Tonight Show host and auto enthusiast Jay Leno and Green Car Journal staff.
At least there are no Tahoe and Silverado Hybrids amongst the finalists this year as there was in late 2007 and was awarded the GCOTY for the 2008 model year
While I have not driven the Fusion Hybrid or C-MAX Energi, I have to give the nod to the C-MAX Energi for its very affordable $29,995 price tag after $3,750 tax credit.
2013 Mazda CX-5
For an all-around and affordable family vehicle however, the 2013 Mazda CX-5 is the car I believe most would enjoy driving. Its high seating position, excellent handling for a CUV, large cargo volume to stow and carry a family’s gear, outstanding fuel economy capability as experienced in the CleanMPG Review
(63.7 mpgUS result) and affordability (just $20,695 to start) make it the family car to own and drive.
While the Prius c is by far the most fuel efficient amongst the group, its lack of size and lackluster interior appointments make it a penalty box by comparison to the rest.
2013 Dodge Dart Aero
Tough to beat Race track LEDs on its backside
The Dodge Dart is a conundrum. While we wait for the Dart Aero variant with the 6-speed stick (28/41 mpgUS city/highway), its slightly less capable trims have provided lack luster results. To the point, at this year’s MAMA Fall Rally, the 27/39 mpgUS city/highway rated Dart equipped with the 1.4L turbo and 6-speed stick provided just 53 mpg on a RT loop and best of the 3 times I have driven the Dart on a RT loop. The MAMA Spring Rally yielded just 48 mpg… On the same MAMA Fall Rally loop, the much larger and far more powerful RAM1500 achieved 40.3 mpgUS. Both of these results were per the aFCD so the actual could be and more than likely is less). That said, I still hold out hope that there is something more with the lower Cd based Dart but in the real world, it like the C-MAX hybrid is proving to be lackluster where it counts most. That is saving at the pump.
2012 Toyota Prius c
It is bright, brash and fuel efficient like no other hybrid we have ever driven.
CleanMPG Previews the 2012 Toyota Prius c
In the C-MAX hybrids corner, it has a modern, well appointed and comfortable interior space distancing itself from the current generation of Prius family vehicles albeit with an EPA that has been pushed to its limits. We look forward to spending some more time in one in the future and maybe even a shootout of sorts…
Ford's C-MAX Energi PHEV – 21 miles Electric Range
Ford's Goofy C-MAX Hybrid Commercial
Ford's C-MAX Energi: 100 MPGe and Bests Its C-MAX Hybrid Brother
Ford Releases More C-MAX PHEV_Details
C-MAX Energi Becomes America's Most Affordable Plug-In Hybrid
C-MAX Hybrid Achieves 47 MpgUS City/Highway/Combined Rating
There are even more where these came from.
2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid – $27,200 to start while featuring a 47/47/47 mpgUS city/highway/combined rating.
Then we have the all-new upcoming 2013 Fusion. I have driven the 2013 with the 1.6L EcoBoost and 6-speed stick and 2.0L EcoBoost with the 6-speed AT. While expensive, they are the best looking of all the Green Cars on the final short list released earlier. The two provided a very quiet and comfortable cabin, and even decent fuel economy. The standout is the interior passenger capacity of 102.8 cu. ft. This is within a single cu. ft. of the class leading Sonata and while the cargo volume (12.0 cu. ft.) is hampered by the large Li-Ion battery, it is one stylish looking beast. More akin to a Jaguar than a Ford and that is saying something!
If I owned all 5 of these vehicles, the C-MAX PHEV for short distances would get the seat time with the c garnering most of the rest. I just would not enjoy it as much as the much more engaging CX-5 or C-MAX/Fusion contingent’s interior appointments.