Eligible products: Any 2020 model car that can be used nationwide whenever it is launched or last updated.
Guidelines: We consider all vehicles that reduce fuel consumption and / or minimize carbon and pollutant emissions, regardless of fuel type. Vehicles with lower overall costs have an advantage over vehicles with higher premiums. The winners are selected from our five environmental categories: battery-electric, plug-in hybrid, gas-electric hybrid, clean diesel and conventional high mileage gasoline.
2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid: Best Eco-Friendly Car of the Year
Before the COVID-19 pandemic was overwhelmed, climate change has caused people’s long-term attention, and all that anyone could talk about was electric vehicles. Even then, we were fans of technology, but regardless of its prospects due to the additional – mainly upfront – costs associated with the purchase of electric vehicles, as well as the fact that they exclude the majority of residents and many other consumers.
Plugin traffic is driven by global government mandates and carmakers who are trying to apply them, not by overwhelming consumer demand. We argued that without reason, to go beyond the environmental imperative, consumers would stick to what they knew. Gas-electric hybrids are checked and identical in ownership with a regular car. We discussed many hybrids for this award, including SUVs that are certainly more popular, but we’ve united around the model that made the biggest impression on us: the new Toyota Corolla Hybrid 2020.
Toyota Corolla Hybrid has an EPA rating of 53/52/52 mpg city / highway / combined – just like the Toyota Prius and about 20 mpg more than a regular Corolla. And we did it better: while driving in the real world in fine weather one of our editors saw the readings of the trip computer worth 76.1 and 78.6 mpg. The Corolla Hybrid is also impressive in terms of costs: it starts at $ 24,055 (all prices include tolls), around $ 3,000 more than gas-powered Corolla LE, but around $ 1,200 less than the cheapest Prius.
Toyota Corolla Hybrid 2020 is completely new and joins the redesigned regular Corolla 2020 sedan. (Corolla Hatchback, which debuted in 2019, is not available as a hybrid). The Corolla Hybrid combines a Prius 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with two electric motor generators and integrates them in a fluid and natural way, similar to a continuously variable automatic transmission.
The hybrid stands out for fuel economy and value, but, refreshingly, it’s not much else: the sedan feels and looks like a regular car with fast, smooth power; controls without complications; and comfortable manners on the road. When hybrid vehicles first hit the market in flamboyant style and color, they started out as a one-part fashion statement, one-part environmental statement, but the first part of that equation turned many buyers off, as did the Price Jump required to obtain hybrid powertrain.
Fast forward to 2020, and this year’s winner takes another direction and tackles both negatives, offering the hybrid on the second-lowest trim level rather than the highest, as some hybrid models have. (In any case, we’d like to see some higher versions of Corolla Hybrid added.)
Toyota Corolla Hybrid 2020 has the appearance of a main compact car and the matching price of this compact car, while providing excellent gas mileage. We chose Corolla Hybrid as our green car of the year before a pandemic hit our coast; now that it has, an affordable car with high mileage seems even more attractive than it could have with a stronger economy.
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Duramax Diesel: Nominated
Wait a minute, a half-ton diesel truck nominated for our Green Award? You better believe it. How can we justify having a light duty diesel towing platform between hybrids and electric cars? Simple: fuel economy.
All the examples of the new turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder diesel engine we’ve tested on a light truck have been fantastic, with amazing responsiveness and quiet operation, but most importantly for our purposes, the EPA rates Officially Silverado 2020 1500 diesel at 23/33/27 mpg city / highway / combo for two-wheel-drive model and 23/29/25 mpg for 4×4. (Related GMC Sierra 1500 diesel gets slightly higher ratings low due to a more streamlined and more blocking style).
But our test results with different Silverado versions returned fuel consumption in the range of 38.1 mpg with a very, very careful drop to 32.0 mpg with normal driving on a 200-mile loop. In short, most of our experiments with half-ton diesel fuel transducers have exceeded EPA ratings with one exception, explained by major altitude change and higher speeds. Even in this application, 27.4 mpg provided excellent fuel consumption for a half-ton truck.
However, it is not cheap. It will cost at least $ 5,300 compared to the 5.3-liter V-8 engine and $ 6,700 more than the standard four-cylinder turbocharged 2.7-liter in the cheapest Silverado 1500 LT 4 × 2 double cab. But if you are looking for effortless towing and economical fuel consumption, few do it better.
Honda Civic 2020: Nomination
Electric motors and high-capacity batteries attract all the attention, but the strongest argument for positive environmental impact can still come from an efficient internal combustion engine. There is no better case than the Honda Civic, the venerable compact during the third consecutive tour among the ecological nominees for Cars.com. The current generation, introduced at the end of 2015, works with a gasoline engine in the United States.
Civic is available in countless levels of trim and body style, but the vast majority make a total EPA estimate of 32 mpg or higher. The mileage leader is the Civic sedan, which provides an excellent combined 36 mpg estimate for EX and EX-L trim levels. These strips constitute roughly 1 in 4 new Civic 2020 sedans listed on Cars.com in this letter – much better availability than the efficient strips of some competitors. (For example, Elantra Eco Hyundai 36-mpg is virtually impossible to find).
Fuel economy adds up when considering the Civic’s popularity: over 325,000 sales in the US. USA In 2019, even when consumers fled to SUVs. By ranking as Honda’s No. 2 seller in 2019, it easily outperformed popular SUVs like the Ford Escape and Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Perhaps that’s because the Civic’s efficiency doesn’t come at the expense of its appeal. Already class leader, the Civic was updated for the 2019-20 model years with some small but significant improvements. It is as attractive as ever. Environmentalism has as much to do with incremental improvement for many as massive profits for a few, and few cars show this like the Civic.
2020 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid: Nominated
You might think that all plug-in hybrid electric vehicles have the best of both worlds: the all-electric range for city driving and the on-board gasoline engine for carefree off-road travel. However, many PHEVs are in short supply in the all-electric range, so it is difficult to justify the additional cost of the technology.
According to the EPA, the 2020 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid has this trend, offering an impressive 47-mile all-electric range. When the battery pack is depleted and can still be used as a hybrid car, it is still highly efficient: the estimated driving speed of the city / highway / hybrid is 44/40/42 mpg.
Some efficient cars are not great at driving, but this is not the case with Clarity. Acceleration is smooth and predictable, the feel of the brake pedal – something hybrids struggle with – is good; the control reacts; and it’s quiet on the highway. The cabin is spacious and the trunk has a considerable 15.5 cubic feet, making the car comfortable enough for a family of four.
The starting price of USD 34,355 is much higher than the Honda Accord Hybrid 2020 of similar size, which starts at USD 26,575 and has an EPA rating of 48/47/48 mpg. But Clarity qualifies for a federal tax break of $ 7,500, which can bring the car’s initial price close to several hundred dollars for the Accord Hybrid price, and also qualifies for various state incentives. If you want the benefits of the car’s electrical environment, but need the convenience of a gas vehicle, Clarity Plug-In Hybrid stands out.
2020 Tesla Model 3: Nominated
Tesla Model 3 is a compelling vehicle, and its sales are sufficient to prove this. Yes, if you want, just an electric car is a “green card”. However, even in the electric field, efficiency is also important. The rear-wheel-drive version of the Tesla Model 3 is the most efficient electric car on the market. For the Standard Range Plus model, the EPA rated equivalent is 141 mpg. It is only between the modern Ioniq Electric with a power rating of 133 mpg-e in 2020 and the standard and remote Type 3 versions rated with 131 and 130 mpg-e, respectively. (Ioniq is a good electric car, but it is not yet available nationwide; Tesla has also challenged this requirement, but the popularity of the Model 3 is really hard to ignore.)
Although an electric car has no local emissions and can be powered by renewable energy, not all electricity sources are as clean as others, and efficiency also translates into two important factors directly felt by owners: range and speed of charging. For example, the popular Chevrolet Bolt EV has 118 mpg-e. If all other factors (delivered power, on-board charging speed) were equal, the Model 3 would power the same power over the same period as the Bolt EV would have added more range miles.
Tesla is not an ideal company, but environmental factors have always fueled its efforts, and Tesla cars (also not perfect) have always been prepared for quick charging and long driving – reducing fear of reach and attracting the uninitiated. Performance is the key to these qualities and is one of the many reasons why Model 3 is closer than ever to fulfill the promise of Tesla Elon Musk’s EV for the masses.