Cars and Drivers

Top Ten Green Cars

BMW i3When the editors at Kelley Blue Book (KBB) made their list of the top green cars last year, the 2014 winner was not even available. There is a novelty factor in any list of the top 10 anything, of course, but in the world of all-electric (EV), hybrid electric (HEV) cars and natural gas-powered cars, there are big leaps forward every year, and this year is no exception.

At number 10, the Volkswagen Jetta comes in both EV and HEV models. The manufacturer’s suggested list price (MSRP) on the basic Hybrid SE is $28,130, according to KBB. The Jetta hybrid sold a total of 955 cars in the United States last year, according to, and has sold 276 in the first three months of this year.

The ninth best green car is the Lexus ES 300h from Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM). The Lexus ES sold 4,039 vehicles in 2013 and 1,384 in the first three months of 2014. The MSRP on the car is $40,410.

In eighth place in the KBB ranking is the natural gas-powered Civic from Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (NYSE: HMC), which sold just 432 cars in the United States in 2013 and an even more meager 62 in the first quarter of this year. The MSRP on the car is $27,430.

The C-Max hybrid from Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) finished seventh in the ranking. Ford sold 8,511 of the cars in 2013 and has sold 1,685 thru March of this year. An EV version is also available, the C-Max Energi. The basic SE version of the hybrid carries an MSRP of $25,995.

At number six in the rankings is the Chevy Volt from General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM). A plug-in hybrid (PHEV), the Volt sold 4,244 cars in the country last year and has sold 1,478 so far this year. KBB lists the MSRP at $34,995.

The Model S sedan is fifth on KBB’s list. The car from Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) was the Top Pick for 2014 by Consumer Reports magazine. Tesla sold 4,750 of the cars last year and 1,300 so far this year. The MSRP on the Model S is $71,070, according to KBB.

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The fourth place car is the Accord hybrid from Honda. The car is also available in a plug-in hybrid version. So far in 2014, Honda has sold 1,346 of the cars. There is no data at for 2013 sales. The car’s MSRP is $29,945.

In third place is the venerable Toyota Prius, which is available in hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions. The Prius hybrid first went on sale in 1997 in Japan as the first of the mass-produced HEVs. There are three HEV models, with the best-selling Liftback posting 2013 sales of 34,981 in 2013 and 10,917 in the first three months of this year. The MSRP on the basic model is $25,010.

The second ranked car is the all-electric Leaf from Nissan. The Leaf gets nearly 55% of the U.S. market for all-electric vehicles, but that is a total of less than 10,000 sales in 2013. The Leaf has sold 2,507 cars so far this year, and the MSRP on the basic model is $29,830.

The top vehicle on the KBB list is the new all-electric i3 from BMW. The car was introduced last November and sales have not been added to’s list yet. The company has reportedly boosted production from 70 cars a day to 100 cars a day to meet strong demand. That indicates BMW expects to sell around 20,000 of the vehicles this year at an MSRP of $42,275.

Overall, hybrid sales accounted for about 3.3% of all U.S. car sales in 2013, and sales of the all-electrics accounted for just 0.26% of all sales last year.

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