Top 10 Green Cars of 2010
IRVINE, Calif. — With Earth Day 2010 coming on Thursday, the editors from Kelley Blue Book decided to reveal their selections of this year's Top 10 Green Cars.
The newest version includes a mix of domestic and foreign brands with some vehicles using either hybrid or clean-diesel technology.
Two vehicles on the list struck site editors most.
Kbb.com praised the Volkswagen Golf TDI as one of the newest clean diesels offering hybrid-like fuel efficiency without the complication, weight and expense of a big battery pack.
The site also hailed the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid, which editors believe is a vehicle that demonstrates how SUV-like features such as towing and cargo-carrying can co-exist with a hybrid powertrain.
These two vehicles were examples of what the site tried to accomplish with this list. Editors explained that instead of just ranking units by fuel efficiency, they instead sought out a variety of vehicle types since not everyone who wants to go greener will have their transportation needs met by a small sedan.
"Whether car shoppers' top motivations are to save the planet or just save some greenbacks, there are many enjoyable green vehicle options available in the marketplace now with more exciting models coming down automakers' product pipelines in the near future," explained Jack Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kbb.com.
"From conventional gasoline-powered fuel sippers to hybrids to diesels, we think car shoppers will be impressed with the variety in vehicle types and sizes, as well as the vast array of various technologies, available on the market for the green-minded consumer today, as showcased in our Top 10 Green Cars of 2010 list," Nerad continued.
Here is the complete listing of Kbb.com's Top 10 Green Cars for 2010, along with additional commentary from site editors:
2010 Toyota Prius: 50 mpg (51 city, 48 highway)
"Although the third-generation Toyota Prius is the biggest, most powerful iteration yet, it's also the most fuel-efficient. In addition to all the sophisticated hybrid powertrain technology under the hood, the Prius offers a high-tech options list that includes a glass moonroof with a solar-powered ventilation system, voice-activated navigation and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with Lane Keep Assist."
2010 Honda Insight: 41 mpg (40 city, 43 highway)
"Starting at $20,510 and topping out at just $23,810 — with features like a voice-activated navigation system, Bluetooth phone connectivity and an upgraded audio system — the Honda Insight is the most affordable hybrid available today, and the second most fuel-efficient car on the road."
2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid: 39 mpg (41 city, 36 highway)
"We like the Ford Fusion Hybrid not just for the outstanding fuel economy, but also because it maintains much of the conventional version's wonderful driving character. The Ford Fusion Hybrid delivers all the balance and comfort of a traditional mid-size sedan, but with far greater efficiency (and a cool LCD gauge cluster)."
2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI: 34 mpg (30 city, 42 highway)
"With its latest identity crisis in its mirrors, the Rabbit is once again the Golf and now offers a mileage-maxing clean diesel engine. The same diesel powertrain found in the Jetta TDI and Jetta Sportwagen TDI delivers a 30-percent increase in fuel economy over its gasoline counterpart and a wallop of low-end torque that makes it even more fun."
2010 Mini Cooper: 32 mpg (28 city, 37 highway)
"The famously responsive and eager little Mini Cooper is roomier and more livable than many imagine, and just as fun as anyone could expect. The fact that it also delivers impeccable fuel economy is simply the cherry on top of one of our favorite automotive sundaes."
2010 Ford Escape Hybrid: 32 mpg (34 city, 31 highway)
"Combining utility and efficiency in a compact package, the 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient SUV on the road today. With room for five, an available SYNC infotainment system and, new for 2010, integrated blind spot mirrors and an optional parallel parking-assist system, the Escape is one well-rounded green ride."
2010 Honda Fit: 31 mpg (28 city, 35 highway)
"It isn't as fuel efficient as the Toyota Yaris (36 highway mpg), but the Honda Fit is so much more fun, functional and interesting that it gets our nod here once again. Every Fit features a flexible multi-fold rear seat and surprising cargo capacity, while secretly lead-footed greenies can choose a Sport model with paddle shifters and a performance-tuned suspension."
2010 BMW 335d: 27 mpg (23 city, 36 highway)
"To most passersby the 335d looks like any other BMW 3 Series. To the driver, however, the 335d is something truly special. To the styling, luxury and refinement of the standard 3 Series, the 335d adds a six-cylinder diesel engine. Immediate power, robust acceleration and 36 miles per gallon highway fuel economy make us wish more cars featured a diesel option."
2010 Toyota Highlander Hybrid: 26 mpg (27 city, 25 highway)
"We said it last year and we just might say it next year: The 2010 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient three-row vehicle on the road. The Highlander Hybrid is a green family favorite not just for its seven seats and superior fuel economy, but also for its standard all-wheel drive and demonstrated reliability."
2010 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid: 22 mpg (21 city, 22 highway)
"Gas costs can be brutal on a large family with the occasional need to tow a boat or trailer. For those who need the towing and cargo capacity of a large SUV but are looking to save a few bucks at the pump, the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid fits the bill. Available in two- and four-wheel drive, the Chevy Tahoe Hybrid can tow up to 5,900 pounds — a substantial burden — but return six more miles per gallon in the city than its conventional counterpart."