The Honda Civic GX won the top spot on the "Greenest Vehicles of 2011" list compiled by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
This year's list includes the most diverse collection of vehicles in the 14 years that the council has been rating new cars for environmental impact. On the list are plug-ins, gasoline hybrids, diesels, natural gas vehicles and "conventional" gasoline vehicles.
The Honda Civic GX has won the top honor for eight years running, but the rest of the list saw a shake-up from last year. Six new models--the Nissan Leaf, Ford Fiesta FSE, Chevrolet Cruze ECO, Hyundai Elantra, Mazda 2 and the Chevrolet Volt--displaced entries on last year's list. The Hyundai Elantra made a 4-gallon per-mile improvement in fuel economy over the 2010 model.
The strong showing of conventional vehicles on the list shows strong commitment toward fuel economy by manufacturers, the council said.
"We're seeing an increasing number of highly efficient gasoline options from both foreign and domestic automakers along with the first electric vehicles. Ford introduced the Fiesta this year and Chevrolet debuted the Cruze, both of which do exceedingly well in our ratings," ACEEE Analyst Shruti Vaidyanathan said in a statement.
Here's the council's list:
- Honda Civic GX
- Nissan Leaf
- Smart Fortwo Cabriolet/Smart Fortwo Coupe
- Toyota Prius
- Honda Civic Hybrid
- Honda Insight
- Ford Fiesta SFE
- Chevrolet Cruze ECO
- Hyundai Elantra
- Mini Cooper
- Toyota Yaris
- Mazda 2
- Chevrolet Volt
Although desirable from a consumer and environmental standpoint, fuel efficiency and low emissions do not directly impact car insurance rates.