Among the many formation models, from the Nissan Leaf to the Lucid Air, with a Toyota Prius, Chevrolet Volt and Tesla Model 3 in between, the Green Car Report’s annual Best Car To Buy winner is what we should buy. It’s not just about what you think. , but a glimpse into the future.
Over the years, as the eco-car market has moved from what was once called “economy cars” to coordinating green and premium prices, the award requirements have changed. of correction.
Early on, we applied a $60,000 price cap to finalists. It had to score highly against its eco-friendly car peers on companion shopping site Car Connection. Around 2017, they raised the price cap, but added a minimum mileage of 200 miles for EVs and a minimum electric mileage of 32 miles for plug-in hybrids. This year, we’ve done away with plug-in hybrids entirely, as EVs are now available in nearly every vehicle category. He also removed EV range requirements as charging infrastructure expanded and more households sought his second (or third) EV for commuting.
The thread that connects all these picks: every one was either a plug-in vehicle or offered a plug-in version.
Ten years ago, we believed in electric propulsion as the future. Since then, peer-reviewed papers, respected scientific sources, automakers, and regulators have worked together to build momentum behind the idea that EVs are superior for most typical use cases. I’m here. for the environment. Learn about plug-in hybrids, hybrids, and other ways to achieve higher efficiency and less energy use. We want to emphasize the best, but that doesn’t mean we want to alienate anyone from striving for better.
Here is a list of past Best Car To Buy winners:
2011 Nissan Leaf
This was the electric car that started it all, the first mass-priced modern car that ran entirely on pure battery power with no exhaust pipes.
The first time I drove the Nissan Leaf powertrain was in 2009, when Leaf development was in full swing, in a boxy Nissan Cube. Ironically, that package may have brought the Leaf closer to success in the United States.
The 2011 Nissan Leaf was rated at 73 miles of range, providing plenty of range for most American commuters and showing that EVs can be safe, reliable and cheap to drive. Nissan has made numerous improvements over the years, including a larger battery pack, and Nissan has sold around 600,000 Leafs worldwide.
2012 Toyota Prius Family
The 2012 Toyota Prius V Tall Wagon scales up the Prius idea, increasing rear seat flexibility and cargo space without seriously impacting the Prius’ excellent fuel economy. The Prius plug-in hybrid, on the other hand, offered six miles of all-electric driving.
Neither of these two models were game-changing, but they did much to enhance the appeal of what was the most fuel-efficient line-up at the time. Looking back, it was a step forward for Toyota to spread the hybrid system to more types of models in its lineup.
2013 Tesla Model S
Driving the Tesla Model S was a revelation, and I was amazed at how far the electric vehicle field has come in such a short time. The 17-inch touchscreen display was praised as “so fast, crisp, and relatively intuitive that it makes all other control systems look pitifully outdated.” It also states the following for the entire Model S: period. The fact that it’s green is mostly secondary. ”
Yet in 2012, Tesla had already started laying out its Supercharger network, and by this point almost everyone had a better vision of where the DC fast chargers should be placed. cross country road trip.
2014 Honda Accord Hybrid
The most mainstream Accord sedan was the vehicle Honda chose to introduce its all-new two-mode hybrid system. It mostly relied on an electric motor to turn the drive wheels. I chose the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid because it was more responsive than other hybrid systems and in real life he was able to get 40 mpg. It was never widely available.
Honda has since re-equipped the latest version of this system in the CR-V and Accord, but the loss of the Clarity plug-in hybrid has left the plug-in idea behind for now.
2015 Volkswagen Golf Family
For 2014 (model year 2015) the Volkswagen Golf adopted a new generation modular platform, making it much easier to produce different powertrain versions. Volkswagen offers petrol, TDI diesel and all-electric e-Golf options. We appreciated the TDI’s fuel efficiency, but the star of the lineup from our perspective was the e-Golf. This is the fully electric version offering a 24.2 kwh battery and 83 miles of range, offering a lively and sporty driving experience. Compare with Leaf. And with the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal hitting, the award is always seen a little differently in retrospect.
2016 Chevrolet Volt
The first generation Chevrolet Volt was already an impressive green car. But the second-generation Volt, which debuted in 2016, not only improved plug-in hybrid technology, but broadened its appeal, potentially making mainstream compact sedans like the Chevrolet Cruze obsolete at the time. (GM chose to retire both within his 3 years). Year).
The 2016 Chevy Volt offers longer all-electric range, an improved driver interface, a reconfigured interior and improved cabin finishes. The 2016 Chevy Volt stayed true to its extended range electric vehicle concept. —and it was more livable day by day. “It’s really good.”
2017 Chevrolet Volt EV
With its spacious interior, spirited driving manners, and EPA-rated range of 238 miles, the Volt EV almost certainly won the 2017 award given in November 2016. We called the 2017 Chevrolet Volt EV Made in America. It’s a milestone electric vehicle and a “spiritual successor” to the original Nissan Leaf, said to offer the range of a Tesla at about half the price.
2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
Don’t let the understated badge fool you. A true plug-in hybrid, his 7-seater Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid can go 33 miles on a single charge if he just keeps pressing the accelerator lightly. The Pacifica Hybrid is aimed at busy families, not geeks. This van does not have multiple modes. Plug it in overnight and the system will take priority as long as it has a charge. Even running a charge, in total he still has a big, spacious people carrier that can achieve 32 mpg.
2019 Tesla Model 3
The Model 3 first took delivery in July 2017, but was still very slowly making its way into the inner circle of early reservation owners when it was considered for the 2018 award. won. We praised the Tesla Model 3 for its sports sedan reflexes and balanced driving feel, and panned it for its minimalist interface and wild variations in build quality. some rivals. “In terms of design and engineering, the Model 3 is probably the most advanced electric vehicle in the world,” he said of the Model 3, pointing out its over-the-air update capabilities.
Tesla’s Supercharger network and good route planning put doubts to rest. To his two other EV finalists, the Hyundai Kona Electric and the Jaguar I-Pace, the Model 3 was “the only EV that could take a cross-country road trip and be sure to make it.” .”
2020 Audi E-tron SUV
From the first time I drove the Audi E-Tron SUV in late 2018, I knew that the German luxury brand was on the verge of transformation. This excellent electric SUV had it all. An electric car, but not a reinvention of the brand. The E-Tron SUV, and shortly thereafter the Sportback, fit perfectly into Audi’s line-up alongside existing petrol models, gaining even more luxury without sacrificing anything. 204 miles of range was a disappointment, but the range and charging consistency more than made up for it.
It turns out that buyers put a lot of weight on the EPA range numbers themselves. This is what Audi has addressed with his upcoming revamped model, his 2024 Q8 Audi E-Tron.
2021 Ford Mustang Mach E
Who would have thought the Mustang would be called the most important new green car of the year? Couldn’t come up with any other decision.
“The Mach-E is not a clichéd Tesla killer,” we write, emphasizing that we think it’s a better car than the Model Y in many ways, marking a possible inflection point in EV adoption. “It’s definitely the sweet spot for many Americans who want an electric car instead but don’t see themselves in a Tesla.”
2022 Lucid Air
How do you name a car starting at $170,000 on its debut Dream Edition Best Car To Buy?
This is a question we anticipated last year as we were absolutely convinced that Lucid was ready to scale and based on technology that would change the electric vehicle market. At the very least, Lucid Air’s incredible efficiency, range and performance will catalyze faster change and better use of precious battery resources. Lucid got a lot of attention with the 520-mile Lucid Air Dream Edition Range and the 516-mile Air Grand Touring, both of which beat Tesla’s benchmarks. In 2023, the three-motor Air Sapphire, which surpasses the Model S Plaid, will produce even more gasps.
where does it leave us? See the Best Car To Buy 2023 finalists and find the winner on January 4th.