Greenest Car of 2012: Prius C

Toyota’s Prius C is the greenest car of 2012, the smallest car in the new Prius family.

The five-door hatchback entered the market last March as one of Toyota’s fastest selling cars. It’s rated at 50 mpg combined city/highway and costs about $19,000.

Honda’s Fit electric vehicle (EV) took second place, followed by the original Prius and the new Prius Plug-in. The larger Prius V came in at #11. 

The Honda Civic Hybrid took fifth place and three Ford vehicles made the list: the Focus EV and the Fusion and C-Max hybrids. Volkswagen’s new Jetta hybrid was seventh and the Smart ForTwo, #8.

This is the 15th year that the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy released these ratings, and for 2012 new models dominate the list. Last year, Mitsubishi’s electric car, i-MIEV, topped the list. 

The Scion IQ and Smart ForTwo are the only non-hybrid, non-plug-in vehicles that remain on the list because of the variety of advanced options that have entered the marketplace.

Prius C:

"The vehicles at the top of this year’s rankings are proof that automakers are really ramping up their offerings. There are more hybrid and electric options on the market this year than ever before and the race for a spot on the Greenest list is increasingly competitive. Automakers have revamped their offerings to meet the growing demand for efficient vehicles and new fuel economy standards," says ACEEE lead vehicle analyst Shruti Vaidyanathan.

You can research the eco-performance of any 2013 model. Each vehicle gets one Green Score, which combines measures on  tailpipe and greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption. 

This year, new measures have been added to better reflect each vehicle’s lifecycle impact: emissions from the vehicle manufacturing process; changes to gasoline, diesel, and natural gas upstream emissions; and updates to the forecasted mix of fuels used to generate the electricity used to power electric cars.  

You can also identify the top vehicles for every class, including SUVs and trucks. 

Which are the dirtiest vehicles? Three Ford vehicles top the "Meanest" list: Ford F-350 FFV pickup truck, Ford F-250, and Ford E-350 wagon.  

Check out Greener Cars:

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