IRVINE, CA - The editors from Kelley Blue Book's Web site, www.kbb.com, have released their list of the Top 10 Green Cars of 2011. Topping their list are the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt.
In this annual list, the kbb.com editors present a variety of fuel-efficient vehicles. The coverage includes detailed EPA-estimated fuel economy numbers and editorial commentary on why each model warranted a place on the list.
Here's the list:
1. 2011 Nissan Leaf - 99 mpg equivalent
kbb.com editors' comments: "With a groundbreaking combination of range, room and price, the Nissan Leaf is the first all-electric car for the masses. The EPA says the Leaf will deliver 73 miles per charge and the equivalent of 99 miles per gallon. But that's not the only thing green about the Leaf: recycled materials made from home appliances, old car parts and plastic bottles are used extensively throughout the vehicle. The limited range disqualifies the Leaf as an option for some drivers, but for those who can swing it, the Nissan Leaf is the real deal."
2. 2011 Chevrolet Volt - 93 mpg equivalent
kbb.com editors' comments: "For the first 35 miles of the day, the Chevy Volt is an electric car. After that, a gas engine kicks in to power the car for up to 379 miles. Some argue the all-electric Nissan Leaf is greener. Volt fans point to their car's superior range. We can recommend both, depending on the needs and desires of the buyer. As a bonus, the Volt looks like a tasteful vision of the future -- inside and out -- and is one of the most fun electrically driven cars we've driven so far."
3. 2011 Toyota Prius - 50 mpg (51 city, 48 highway)
kbb.com editors' comments: "The original hybrid for the masses is still the segment's heavyweight when it comes to getting the most miles for your gallon. Whereas some efficiency-focused cars require an adjustment in driving habits to wring the most out of the vehicle's fuel-saving technologies, the Prius allows you to drive as you normally would and still see mpg returns that you can brag about during your semi-regular visits to the gas station."
4. 2011 Lexus CT 200h - 42 mpg (43 city, 40 highway)
kbb.com editors' comments: "Who said a hybrid has to look like a spaceship? Or even a regular sedan? The 2011 Lexus CT 200h looks like a sporty little premium hatchback -- which is exactly what it is. It's only as quick as a Toyota Prius, but it's otherwise responsive and athletic. Put it in Sport mode and you may just forget you're driving a hybrid as you navigate twisting back roads in the newest and most affordable Lexus."
5. 2011 Honda Insight - 41 mpg (40 city/43 highway)
kbb.com editors' comments: "The most affordable hybrid on the market is now even more affordable. The Honda Insight has a new starting price of $18,950 -- reduced by more than $1,000 compared to last year's model -- and tops out around $24,000 with features like a navigation system, Bluetooth phone connectivity and an upgraded audio system. Above all else, the Insight's 41-mpg combined fuel economy rating qualifies it is as the third most fuel-efficient hybrid on the road."
6. 2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid - 39 mpg (41 city/36 highway)
kbb.com editors' comments: "Garnering combined EPA-estimated fuel economy of 39 mpg, the Ford Fusion Hybrid was an easy pick for this list. In addition to its outstanding fuel economy, we also like that it delivers the driving dynamics and comfort that make the conventional Fusion so endearing, including SYNC and navigation, with the addition of a really cool LCD gauge cluster."
7. 2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI - 34 mpg (30 city/42 highway)
kbb.com editors' comments: "Interested in saving the planet but don't want to stop having fun? The punchy, sticky, miserly Golf TDI just might be the instrument of good you seek. We're long-time fans of the Volkswagen Golf lineup for its European driving feel, hatchback utility and interior quality that outclasses anything else in its class. When outfitted with the automaker's ubiquitous 2.0-liter turbo-diesel engine capable of delivering quick launches and 42 highway miles per gallon, you can feel especially good behind the wheel."
8. 2011 Hyundai Elantra - 33 mpg (29 city, 40 highway)
kbb.com editors' comments: "There are now a few non-hybrid compact cars that deliver highway fuel economy of at least 40 miles per gallon, but the 2011 Hyundai Elantra is the only one that does so in every trim. In addition to the impressive efficiency, we're fans of the all-new Elantra's bold sheet metal, stylish interior and attractive list of standard and optional features."
9. 2012 Fiat 500 - 33 mpg (30 city/38 highway)
kbb.com editors' comments: "Fiat is returning to the U.S. after a 27-year absence, and we're confident this time will be a better experience for all involved. Smaller and less powerful than a Mini Cooper but with more personality than a Toyota Yaris, the Fiat 500 offers a new combination of European heritage and sub-compact practicality. We wish the small Fiat and its little 101-horsepower engine could eek a couple more miles out of each gallon, but it's still one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles available today -- and pretty darn charming."
10. 2012 Ford Focus - 31 mpg (28 city/38 highway)
kbb.com editors' comments: "Impressive fuel economy is just one of the things we like about the new 2012 Ford Focus. Among our favorite features are its excellent handling, impressively outfitted interior, sweet Euro styling and the availability of cool features like Ford's Sync entertainment and communications system. You can even equip the Focus with Ford's highly impressive auto-park feature. And for maximum efficiency, Focus sedan buyers can add the SFE package, upping highway fuel economy to a solid 40 mpg."