IRVINE, Calif., April 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The expert editors from Kelley Blue Book's www.kbb.com, the leading provider of new car and used car information, today announce the 10 Best Green Cars of 2012 (http://www.kbb.com/car-reviews-and-news/top-10/10-best-green-cars-2012/).
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In this annual list, especially timely this year due to rising gas prices and just in time for Earth Day 2012, the kbb.com editors present a variety of fuel-efficient vehicles worthy of buyers' consideration. New for 2012, the editors not only name what they feel are the 10 Best Green Cars of the year, but also rank their selections in the feature story on kbb.com.
Vehicle fuel economy and gas prices are up, while consumer fuel consumption is down, and the road keeps getting a little bit greener with each new model year. But standout fuel efficiency alone is not enough to win a spot on kbb.com's annual 10 Best Green Cars list. Kbb.com's editors also weighed factors like value, features and comfort in putting together this year's collection of exceptional efficiency experts.
"With the rollercoaster of gas prices affecting consumer buying habits and pressure from the government to produce more environmentally friendly new-vehicle fleets, auto manufacturers are responding with more robust offerings in the 'Green Car' segment than ever before," said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com. "After driving and testing nearly every new vehicle available on the market today, our annual kbb.com 10 Best Green Cars list provides a roadmap for consumers who are looking for a new car to not only help save money on fuel expenses, but also to help save the Earth."
Sample Selections from Kbb.com's 10 Best Green Cars of 2012
Toyota Prius c
The c is the smallest member of the growing Prius family, which includes the familiar hatchback that is synonymous with hybrids, a larger wagon, and a plug-in model. The budget-friendly c offers up to 53 mpg in city driving, seating for five, and more cargo space than its subcompact dimensions might suggest. It all adds up to make Prius c the perfect choice for those seeking a practical, inexpensive, stylish way to save fuel.
According to the EPA the Nissan Leaf has a rated range of 73 all-electric miles, and Nissan has told us it will go more than 100 miles on a single charge. That turns on our inner tech geek, while its starting price of around $35,000 reaches out to our pragmatic side. And above all else, it's made from recycled materials from old cars, home appliances and plastic bottles, which quite frankly, awakens our inner tree hugger.
The newest all-electric car on the block is also the least expensive and has the best mile per gallon equivalent of them all at 112 MPGe. Starting at $29,125 less destination – or $21,625 when factoring in the federal tax credit incentive – the Mitsubishi i has room for four passengers, a 62-mile range rating and a small size that helps it slip into even the tightest spots.
The elusive 40 mpg mark is hit and miss for non-hybrid cars, but for the 2012 Hyundai Elantra it's an easy target. The Elantra obtains 40 highway mpg in all trim levels thanks to its fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engine, all while looking good in its wavy sheet metal and offering value with its low entry price.
Chevrolet Malibu Eco
While recent non-hybrid compact cars are notorious for flirting with the 40 mpg mark, conventional midsize sedans continue to hover in the mid-30s. The new Malibu seemingly bridges the efficiency gap between the two categories with eAssist, a system that conserves fuel by using a small lithium-ion battery to supplement the engine, along with regenerative braking and start-stop technology.
For the remaining five vehicles, including full editorial commentary for each of the editors' picks and the rank order, please visit http://www.kbb.com/car-reviews-and-news/top-10/10-best-green-cars-2012/.
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About Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com)
Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the industry. Each week the company provides the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website www.kbb.com, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In and Suggested Retail Values and Fair Purchase Price, which reports what others are paying for new cars this week. The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies as well as governmental agencies. Kbb.com provides consumer pricing and information on minivans, pickup trucks, sedan, hybrids, electric cars, and SUVs. Kelley Blue Book Co. Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of AutoTrader.com.
SOURCE Kelley Blue Book