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Lexus GS450H Selected As Top "Green" Vehicle

The Automobile Club of Southern California has selected its top green car pick for 2012 and it’s the Lexus GS450H.  Featured along with more than 60 other “green” vehicles in the Auto Club’s Green Car Guide, the announcement was made at today’s September gathering of the Motor Press Guild at the Auto Club’s Administrative Offices.
The guide helps those in the market for a new vehicle with information about low-polluting and fuel-sipping cars.  The report also lists 10 top green vehicles based on scores and value. 
When price is factored in the evaluation equation, the 2012 Nissan Versa tops the list of green vehicles as the car with the best value this year, according to the Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center (ARC) Manager and Chief Engineer Steve Mazor.  The evaluations in the latest guide include 62 hybrids, battery electric vehicles, PZEVs, CNG-powered vehicles, clean diesels, and vehicle fuel economy leaders.
ARC engineers and specialists evaluated the vehicles based on criteria including emissions, fuel economy, crashworthiness, braking, acceleration and handling. Tests were performed at the ARC in Diamond Bar, the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana and on Southern California roads.  Testing procedures were developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Auto Club.
“Near-term trends show continued improvements to traditional gas engines, more hybrid vehicles and more plug-in vehicles in the marketplace,” said Mazor.  “There also will be more battery electric vehicles from start-ups like Tesla, Fisker, Coda and AC Propulsion, as well as the more established manufacturers,” 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:
  1. Lexus G450H
  2. Toyota Highlander LTD Hybrid 4WD
  3. Toyota Camry Hybrid LE
  4. Audi Q7 TDI Quattro Tiptronic
  5. Lexus LS 600h L
The top five best-value scoring vehicles in the Auto Club Green Car Guide are:
  1. Nissan Versa 1.6S
  2. Hyundai Elantra GLS M/T
  3. Scion iQ
  4. Scion xD
  5. Mazda 2 Touring
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 fuel economy ratings from the US EPA. 
The full report is available online and also will soon be available at no charge at Auto Club branches while supplies last.  
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The Automobile Club of Southern California is a member club affiliated with the American Automobile Association (AAA) national federation and serves members in the following California counties: Inyo, Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare, and Ventura.