Kelley Blue Book just released its list of top 10 Green Cars for 2011, and while most of the vehicles you would expect to make the list are on it – including the 2011 Toyota Prius (shown above) and the previously mentioned Nissan Leaf, there are a ton of other vehicles that made the list that you might not initially expect considering some of them are traditional gas-burning vehicles and not hybrids at all.
The goal of the study was to present a variety of fuel-efficient and environmentally conscious vehicles that consumers can think about when they head to the dealership that won’t lighten their pockets terribly much considering the cost of gasoline, but will also keep the air clean and the environment healthy for future generations to enjoy. One thing KBB editors noted was that once again – as always – high gasoline prices actually get people thinking about hybrid vehicles and energy efficient cars. The same is true now, according to the editors:
In addition, Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence today announces the latest March 2011 survey data detailing consumer sentiment and opinions on gas prices, showing that gas prices are increasingly influencing car shoppers’ vehicle purchase considerations. The number of survey respondents reporting that gas prices have changed their mind about the vehicles they are considering increased 5 percentage points from 30 percent in February 2011 to 35 percent in March 2011. Further, the amount of respondents who identified better fuel economy as the primary reason they are looking to purchase a new vehicle also has been on the rise over the past three months, increasing from 6 percent in January 2011 to 15 percent in March 2011. In addition, 85 percent of car shoppers in March 2011 indicated that they feel gas prices will be higher in the next 30 days, up 11 percentage points from February 2011. On average, consumers taking the March 2011 survey said that a vehicle would need to get at least 26.2 highway miles-per-gallon in order for them to consider it for their next vehicle purchase.
Keeping consumer sentiment about gas prices in mind as the kbb.com editors chose their annual Green Car list for 2011, they were immediately struck by the much wider range of vehicles they had the privilege of considering this year when compared to years past. These days not only are there more hybrids than ever before, there also are more high-efficiency gasoline-powered vehicles on the road.
I have to acknowledge this – when I see vehicle companies marketing cars that get a whopping 20-25 miles per gallon, I have to scratch my head: my 7-year old sedan gets 25 mpg, and I think that’s pretty awful – I, for one, am hoping to have options in the 30s when I head out to buy my next vehicle.
Still, to the point – as mentioned, you’ll find the Toyota Prius in the list, you’ll also find the Chevrolet Volt, and the Nissan Leaf, of course. You may be surprised, however, to find winners like the 2012 Ford Focus and the 2011 Hyundai Elantra in the list as well – both of which are generally lauded as being great vehicles, but they’re not hybrids or electric cars. The moral of the story? You have options when shopping for a green vehicle.