(LOS ANGELES, July 18, 2011) – The Automobile Club of Southern California has named its top ten green vehicles in the newly released Green Car Guide, designed to help new vehicle buyers with reviews of low-polluting and fuel-sipping cars.
The top-ranking vehicle by points in the Green Car Guide is the 2011 Toyota Highlander LTD Hybrid 4WD, an SUV with strong safety ratings from NHTSA that, at 28 miles per gallon, gets better fuel economy than some sedans.
When price is factored in the evaluation equation, the 2011 Scion Xd tops the list of green vehicles as the one with the best value, according to the Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center Manager and Chief Engineer Steve Mazor. The new guide contains reviews of 62 vehicles, a dozen more than the previous edition. The evaluations include hybrids, battery electric vehicles, PZEVs, CNG-powered vehicles, clean diesels, and vehicles leading in fuel economy.
“The Auto Club Green Car Guide includes a wealth of information about what it means to be ‘green’, discusses current and future technologies and provides tips for motorists to be ‘greener’ with their existing vehicle,” said Mazor. “This is especially important in light of this year’s high gas prices that exceeded $4 per gallon.” Along with real-world evaluations, the report highlights AAA resources for fuel-economy, aftermarket parts for green vehicles and a list of alternative fuel acronyms, he added.
High-quality low-emissions vehicles are available in just about every vehicle category and price range and offer motorists many alternatives, according to Mazor.
The top five scoring vehicles in the Auto Club Green Car Guide are:
- Toyota Highlander LTD Hybrid 4WD
- Volkswagen Touraeg Supercharged Hybrid
- Lexus LS 600h L Sedan
- Lexus CT 200h Hybrid
- Lexus RX450h
The top five best-value scoring vehicles in the Auto Club Green Car Guide are:
- Scion Xd
- Mazda 2 Touring
- Honda Fit Sport
- Chevrolet Cruze Eco
- smart passion coupe
Each of 13 categories (including emissions, mpg, acceleration, handling, interior noise, ride quality, and cargo capacity) was scored on 0-10 points. Scores were totaled to determine top vehicles. Then, each vehicle’s total score was divided by its as-tested price to determine its cost per point. The guide lists vehicle specifications, test scores, data and observations in one-page summaries.
Tested vehicles were selected based on emission certifications from the California Air Resources Board and EPA fuel economy ratings and had to meet the state’s PZEV emission standards. PZEV is shorthand for Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle.
Mazor and his team of specialists evaluated the vehicles at the ARC in Diamond Bar, at the Auto Club Speedway and on other roads. Testing procedures were developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Auto Club.