Kelley Blue Book's www.kbb.com, the leading provider of new- and used-vehicle information, today announces the launch of KBB Green www.kbb.com/green, an all-new section of the company's top-rated Web site designed to help guide new-vehicle shoppers on environmental and fuel economy issues.
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Kelley Blue Book's new Green section allows new-car shoppers to obtain information about alternative-fuel technologies, such as hydrogen cars, diesel cars, hybrid cars, natural gas cars, electric cars and flex fuel/ethanol vehicles, as well as fuel-sipping gasoline cars. Kbb.com's vehicle experts also will keep consumers up-to-date on the latest Green news and information from around the automotive world. The video section of KBB Green offers an in-depth, inside look at the latest eco-friendly vehicles on the market from both the Kelley Blue Book perspective and the carmakers' themselves. KBB Green also features helpful tools such as the Perfect Car Finder® and the all-new Fuel Efficiency Challenge.
In conjunction with the launch of KBB Green, the expert editors of Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com name their inaugural picks for the Top 10 Green Cars. With skyrocketing gas prices and growing environmental consciousness, it's no surprise that Americans are seeking more fuel-efficient vehicles. While automakers work feverishly to increase fuel efficiency across the board, many economical standouts are already available in many categories to meet the needs of almost any new-car shopper.
In compiling the 2008 list of the Top 10 Green Cars, the kbb.com editors looked at more than just fuel economy and price. As would any new-car buyer, they also considered factors like comfort, performance, utility and technology. In addition to the three most fuel-friendly cars available today -- Toyota Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid and smart fortwo -- the list includes exceptionally efficient vehicles from a variety of categories, all the way up to a full-size SUV, like the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid. The Top 10 Green Cars list also includes a sampling of the variety of drivetrains and Green technologies currently available to American consumers.
"In today's rapidly changing economy and environment, KBB Green is a one-of-a-kind resource for anyone interested in learning more about hybrid and alternative-fuel vehicles," said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com. "Our list of the Top 10 Green Cars shows consumers that there are fuel-friendly vehicles available in almost every segment to accommodate a variety of lifestyles, so you don't have to sacrifice much, if anything, to go Green."
Listed below, in order of combined EPA-estimated fuel economy, are the kbb.com editors' choices for the 2008 Top 10 Green Cars:
Top 10 Green Cars Vehicle City MPG Highway MPG Combined MPG 2008 Toyota Prius 48 45 46 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid 40 45 42 2008 smart fortwo 33 41 36 2008 Nissan Altima Hybrid 35 33 34 2008 MINI Cooper 28 37 32 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid 34 30 32 2008 Honda Fit 28 34 31 2008 Mercedes-Benz E320 BLUETEC 23 32 26 2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid 27 25 26 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid 21 22 21 Kbb.com Editorial Comments on the Top 10 Green Cars Toyota Prius
Of all the vehicles sold in the United States by all the major manufacturers, none is more fuel-efficient than the Toyota Prius. Not surprisingly, the green-car poster child also is the best-selling hybrid on the market. With exceptional average fuel economy of 46 mpg, seating for five and optional goodies like a rearview camera and navigation, the Prius remains the "it" car for everyone from green-leaning celebrities to commuters just looking to save some green at the pump.
Honda Civic Hybrid
Although the Civic Hybrid plays second fiddle to the Toyota Prius -- and only the Toyota Prius -- in terms of fuel economy, many buyers prefer the Civic's more traditional sedan shape to the Prius' "flashier" ovoid styling. Whether it pencils out financially compared with a gas-only Civic depends on a number of factors, but a Civic Hybrid owner will buy and burn around 30 percent less gasoline than his or her voltage-deficient counterpart.
Instead of horsepower and handling, it might be more useful these days to measure a vehicle's "bang for the buck" in terms of its fuel economy. On that scale, the smart fortwo is without equal. The tiny two-seater delivers 41 highway miles per gallon for the low, low starting price of just above $12,000 (add about $2,000 for conveniences like a stereo, air conditioning and power windows). Starting around $17,000, the convertible version easily qualifies as the most fuel-efficient, lowest-priced drop top on the road today.
Nissan Altima Hybrid
Using hybrid technology licensed from Toyota, the Nissan Altima Hybrid combines impressive fuel-economy with much of the same sporty character that has helped establish the Altima's reputation as one of the most fun-to-drive mid-size sedans. The advanced technology isn't confined to the engine bay, either, as the Altima Hybrid offers a slew of electronic comforts and digital conveniences like push-button start, navigation with traffic info and a rearview camera.
Cars that consume less fuel don't necessarily have to sacrifice style or driving excitement. Need proof? You won't find a more convincing argument than the lovable MINI Cooper. On the highway it can travel up to 37 miles on a single gallon. In the mountains, it demonstrates road-holding acumen on par with some much thirstier and more expensive performance cars. Offering one of the most distinctive designs on the road to boot, the MINI Cooper is a smart choice for cost-cutting, fun-seeking and fashion-conscious buyers alike.
Ford Escape Hybrid
Rising gas prices have been particularly troublesome for drivers who've grown accustomed to the raised seating position and added interior flexibility of SUVs. With the Ford Escape Hybrid, those so inclined can have their cake and haul it, too. The Escape Hybrid sweetens the sensible balance of a compact crossover SUV with lower fuel costs and the amusement of quiet, all-electric operation in parking lots.
The littlest Honda isn't the most fuel-efficient car in its class - a distinction that belongs to the Toyota Yaris -- but it is the most versatile and most fun. An exceptionally flexible rear seat maximizes cargo- and people-hauling abilities, while an available Sport model offers a performance-tuned suspension and paddle shifters. Combined with a starting price of less than $15,000, the five-door Fit is a well-rounded economy car that's good at everything from long commutes to long weekends.
Mercedes-Benz E320 BLUETEC
"Mercedes diesel." Can't you just see, hear and smell it idling so obtrusively before you at the stoplight? Now, forget that ever happened and picture a smooth, quiet and clean E-Class diesel that returns 36-percent better combined fuel economy than its gasoline-swilling counterpart. Like many new diesels on the way, the E320 BLUETEC combines cleaner diesel fuel with new engine and emissions technologies to deliver all the punch and efficiency of a diesel powerplant, but without all the shake and soot.
Toyota Highlander Hybrid
For families that demand the added capacity of three rows, the Highlander Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient option available. The gas-electric version of Toyota's mid-size crossover SUV combines available seating for seven, impressive average fuel economy of 26 mpg and proven reliability. The standard equipment list even includes four-wheel drive, so you can commune with nature with the added peace of mind that you're spewing less into the air.
Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid
Owners of full-size SUVs are suffering more than most at the pump, and many are trading the excess capacity for smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles. But what of the large, active families that really do need all the size and towing ability of a large SUV? Now there's a hybrid for them, too. The Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid can be equipped with seating for eight, four-wheel drive and can tow more than 8,000 pounds - all while seamlessly transitioning between gasoline and electric power and delivering 50-percent better city mileage than its gasoline-only counterpart.
For more information on all of the Top 10 Green Cars, visit www.kbb.com/topgreen08.
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