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Leading Car Website Helps Consumers Make Green Choices

By: Bianca Spinosa Email
By: Bianca Spinosa Email

July 31, 2008

A top-rated car website is helping new buyers address fuel economy and environmental issues.

Kelley Blue Book is known for its new and used car information, and now it's announcing its take on the top-ten green cars manufactured.

KBB.com's reviews and listings have already made the site a trusted source on the auto industry. Now, car websites, like the auto industry itself, are providing alternative fuel choices for consumers.

The new green section of the KBB.com site helps car shoppers learn about alternative fuel technologies in the auto-industry, and the options go beyond hybrids.

Read online about cars that run on hydrogen and diesel, and you might be surprised that manufacturers like Honda, BMW and Audi have trendy diesel cars in the works.

To kick off the site's launch, KBB editors announced their inaugural picks for the top ten green cars.

The 2008 Toyota Prius tops the list, with Honda and Nissan hybrids in second and third. The site says they consider factors like comfort and performance----along with fuel economy and price.

and if you have an opinion, the green section encourages you to blog about it.

You can blog about green technologies or different car manufacturers.

Some hot blog topics right now are on green concept cars, like the Hynduai I-Blue.

The following is a complete list of kbb.com's top ten green cars:

1. 2008 Toyota Prius
2. 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid
3. 2008 smart fortwo
4. 2008 Nissan Altima Hybrid
5. 2008 MINI Cooper
6. 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid
7. 2008 Hybrid Fit
8. 2008 Mercedes-Benz E320 BLUETEC
9. 2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
10.2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid

KBB.com Editorial Comments on Top 10 Choices:

Toyota Prius

Of all the vehicles sold in the United States by all the major manufacturers, none is more fuel-efficient than the Toyota Prius. Not surprisingly, the green-car poster child also is the best-selling hybrid on the market. With exceptional average fuel economy of 46 mpg, seating for five and optional goodies like a rearview camera and navigation, the Prius remains the “it” car for everyone from green-leaning celebrities to commuters just looking to save some green at the pump.

Honda Civic Hybrid

Although the Civic Hybrid plays second fiddle to the Toyota Prius – and only the Toyota Prius – in terms of fuel economy, many buyers prefer the Civic’s more traditional sedan shape to the Prius’ “flashier” ovoid styling. Whether it pencils out financially compared with a gas-only Civic depends on a number of factors, but a Civic Hybrid owner will buy and burn around 30 percent less gasoline than his or her voltage-deficient counterpart.

smart fortwo

Instead of horsepower and handling, it might be more useful these days to measure a vehicle’s “bang for the buck” in terms of its fuel economy. On that scale, the smart fortwo is without equal. The tiny two-seater delivers 41 highway miles per gallon for the low, low starting price of just above $12,000 (add about $2,000 for conveniences like a stereo, air conditioning and power windows). Starting around $17,000, the convertible version easily qualifies as the most fuel-efficient, lowest-priced drop top on the road today.

Nissan Altima Hybrid

Using hybrid technology licensed from Toyota, the Nissan Altima Hybrid combines impressive fuel-economy with much of the same sporty character that has helped establish the Altima’s reputation as one of the most fun-to-drive mid-size sedans. The advanced technology isn’t confined to the engine bay, either, as the Altima Hybrid offers a slew of electronic comforts and digital conveniences like push-button start, navigation with traffic info and a rearview camera.

MINI Cooper

Cars that consume less fuel don’t necessarily have to sacrifice style or driving excitement. Need proof? You won’t find a more convincing argument than the lovable MINI Cooper. On the highway it can travel up to 37 miles on a single gallon. In the mountains, it demonstrates road-holding acumen on par with some much thirstier and more expensive performance cars. Offering one of the most distinctive designs on the road to boot, the MINI Cooper is a smart choice for cost-cutting, fun-seeking and fashion-conscious buyers alike.

Ford Escape Hybrid

Rising gas prices have been particularly troublesome for drivers who’ve grown accustomed to the raised seating position and added interior flexibility of SUVs. With the Ford Escape Hybrid, those so inclined can have their cake and haul it, too. The Escape Hybrid sweetens the sensible balance of a compact crossover SUV with lower fuel costs and the amusement of quiet, all-electric operation in parking lots.

Honda Fit

The littlest Honda isn’t the most fuel-efficient car in its class – a distinction that belongs to the Toyota Yaris – but it is the most versatile and most fun. An exceptionally flexible rear seat maximizes cargo- and people-hauling abilities, while an available Sport model offers a performance-tuned suspension and paddle shifters. Combined with a starting price of less than $15,000, the five-door Fit is a well-rounded economy car that’s good at everything from long commutes to long weekends.

Mercedes-Benz E320 BLUETEC

“Mercedes diesel.” Can’t you just see, hear and smell it idling so obtrusively before you at the stoplight? Now, forget that ever happened and picture a smooth, quiet and clean E-Class diesel that returns 36-percent better combined fuel economy than its gasoline-swilling counterpart. Like many new diesels on the way, the E320 BLUETEC combines cleaner diesel fuel with new engine and emissions technologies to deliver all the punch and efficiency of a diesel powerplant, but without the all the shake and soot.

Toyota Highlander Hybrid

For families that demand the added capacity of three rows, the Highlander Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient option available. The gas-electric version of Toyota’s mid-size crossover SUV combines available seating for seven, impressive average fuel economy of 26 mpg and proven reliability. The standard equipment list even includes four-wheel drive, so you can commune with nature with the added peace of mind that you’re spewing less into the air.

Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid

Owners of full-size SUVs are suffering more than most at the pump, and many are trading the excess capacity for smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles. But what of the large, active families that really do need all the size and towing ability of a large SUV? Now there’s a hybrid for them, too. The Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid can be equipped with seating for eight, four-wheel drive and can tow more than 8,000 pounds – all while seamlessly transitioning between gasoline and electric power and delivering 50-percent better city mileage than its gasoline-only counterpart.


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