Green Car Journal Names 2015 Top Five Greenest Cars

Oct 21, 2014 06:30 PM EDT | Tim Healey

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Green-car publication Green Car Journal has already released its 2015 Green Truck of the Year finalists, so it's only natural that the mag would announce the 2015 Green Car of the Year frontrunners next.

The finalists for Green Car are the BMW i3, the Chevrolet Impala Bi-Fuel, the Audi A3 TDI, the Honda Fit and the Volkswagen Golf, Autoblog.com reported.

Readers well-versed in green-car technology will notice that the finalists essentially represent one car from each "green" category. The i3 is a plug-in hybrid; the Impala Bi-Fuel runs on compressed natural gas; the A3 TDI is a diesel; and the Fit is a standard gasoline-powered car that gets good fuel mileage. Finally, the Golf is a jack-of-all-trades since it can be purchased with a gas engine, a diesel engine or an electric engine, depending on where you live in the U.S.

The award, which will be announced at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show in November, doesn't just recognize the "greenest" car; Green Car of the Year also recognizes a model's availability on the mass market.

Last year's winner was the Honda Accord Hybrid/Plug-In Hybrid, while the previous winner was the Ford Fusion Hybrid and its plug-in compatriot. The year before that the nod went to the Honda Civic Natural Gas, and before that, it was the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle.

The emphasis on availability might hurt the Golf, as not every model is sold everywhere; alternatively, it could help since the Golf is a well-known model. The Impala Bi-Fuel isn't well-known or heavily marketed, so it also could falter in this respect.

The i3 offers attractive styling, the A3 continues a long Audi and Volkswagen tradition of diesel engines, the Fit is mass-marketed--all of those vehicles present strong cases. We'll see what happens next month in L.A.

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