2011 “Top Green Cars”

Kelley Blue Book Picks Top ‘Green’ Cars for 2011

Posted by Joshua Condon

The Nissan Leaf. (Photo courtesy of Nissan.)Kelley Blue Book has released its annual Top 10 Green Cars list, which looks to balance “safety, creature comforts and driving enjoyment” with fuel efficiency derived from modern EV, hybrid and plug-in hybrid technologies, as well as overachieving gasoline and diesel powertrains. In other words, KBB is ranking the best cars that are also ultra-fuel-efficient?, rather than resorting to straight fuel-economy number-crunching.

And the winners are:

  1. Nissan Leaf: KBB calls this “the first all-electric car for the masses,” and notes that not only is its reported fuel-efficiency equivalent of 99 mpg incredibly environmentally friendly, but that “recycled materials made from home appliances, old car parts and plastic bottles are used extensively throughout the vehicle.”
  2. Chevy Volt: If the Leaf was first, the Volt must have been second; KBB notes that each green vehicle serves a different set of driver needs and that the Volt “looks like a tasteful vision of the future — inside and out — and is one of the most fun to drive EVs we’ve driven so far” while delivering a fuel-efficiency equivalent of 93 mpg.
  3. Toyota Prius: The longstanding green car of record. KBB appreciates that achieving excellent fuel efficiency in the Prius does not require an overhaul of driving habits, as with some other vehicles.
  4. Lexus CT 200h: A sporty-looking premium hatchback, delivering both Lexus’ standard for quality and luxury and a 42 mpg combined fuel-efficiency rating.
  5. Honda Insight: The Insight dropped $1,000 from the sticker price of last year’s model, making it, at $18,950, the most affordable hybrid on the market.
  6. Ford Fusion Hybrid: Take the already-popular Fusion sedan, then add a hybrid powertrain that increases the combined fuel economy to an impressive 39 mpg, and KBB calls the Fusion Hybrid a success.
  7. Volkswagen Golf TDI: The 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine doesn’t just deliver an impressive 42 mpg highway, it does so with the grunt, pep and pickup that many drivers relish.
  8. Hyundai Elantra: “In addition to the impressive efficiency, we’re fans of the all-new Elantra’s bold sheet metal, stylish interior and attractive list of standard and optional features,” KBB says.
  9. Fiat 500: The 500 marks Fiat’s return to the U.S. after 27 years, and while the tiny 101-horsepower engine should deliver a bit better than 30 mpg city/38 mpg highway, the 500 packs a lot of charm into its subcompact frame.
  10. Ford Focus: Euro styling, impressive handling and Ford’s commitment to high tech at all price points make this a great small car for everyone, KBB says, but for the green-minded, the SFE package will increase the highway fuel efficiency to a solid 40 mpg.

[Source: Kelley Blue Book.]

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