Nissan Leaf Tops Best Green Car List for 2013
In a closely contested battle featuring more quality options than ever before, the 2013 Nissan Leaf electric vehicle has been awarded the top spot in Kelley Blue Book’s 10 best green cars list.
In a closely contested battle featuring more quality options than ever before, the 2013 Nissan Leaf electric vehicle has been awarded the top spot in Kelley Blue Book’s 10 best green cars list. “This year we had an embarrassment of riches,” says Jack Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for KBB, who was pleased with the departure from sparer competition in years past. “We went round and around on which car would be number one. It was a very difficult choice. We went with the Leaf because it was so much improved, with a lower price and better battery range.”
Narrowly missing the top spot was the 2012 Motor Trend Car of the Year, the Tesla Model S, which was deemed “the electric car most likely to gain mainstream success” in the future. As most other vehicles included in the competition were in the $30,000 price range, the $71,070 sticker price for the Model was a substantial drawback, knocking it back just enough to allow the $22,000 Leaf (after a $7,500 federal tax credit) to take the top prize.
With its federally adjusted price tag, the Leaf was the most affordable option of the group, beating out the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid at $25,790. The fully electric vehicle comes with a range of 75 miles per charge, and its “MPGe” (miles per gallon equivalent) ratings are 130 city, 102 highway, 116 combined.
In third place was the Ford Focus Electric, followed by the Chevrolet Volt, Toyota Prius Plug-In, Ford C-Max Energi, Jetta Hybrid, Honda Fit EV, Toyota Avalon, and Lincoln MKZ. Domestic brands accounted for half of the top 10, while Japan had four winners and Europe one. Ford was the single brand with the most winners with three, followed by Toyota with two.
The wealth of available options included in the contest represents a recent commitment made by many automobile manufacturers to design more environmentally friendly vehicles. In past years, Kelley Blue Book was even forced to include higher-mileage gasoline powered vehicles to ensure that a top ten list could be filled. Today, every major brand features multiple vehicles options powered by electricity or other alternative fuel sources. Rising sales numbers are also showing that the increase in availability is wanted by the car buying, and earth conscious, public.
Early versions of most hybrid and electric vehicles had severe range and power limitations, but those limitations are starting to deteriorate. Non-gasoline powered vehicles are quickly gaining in capability, able to travel much greater distances and requiring less time to recharge. Rather than being a novelty, these green cars are becoming a worthy alternative for many drivers, and continued development could see them becoming the most logical choice for new car buyers. In the meantime, there are already a number of options available on the road today, chief among them the 2013 Nissan Leaf, Kelley Blue Book’s Green Car of the Year.
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