Green Car Reports 2011 Best Car to Buy Award

Green Car Reports 2011 Best Car to Buy Award

You're probably wondering by now, "Oh, no, another 'car of the year' award?"

Yep. And here's why.

We write a lot about future vehicles at Green Car Reports, but we also know that many of our readers seek practical information about which cars both save gasoline and lessen their impact on our environment. Which, luckily, usually goes hand in hand.

We get a lot of questions about whether it's greener to drive an old car with lousy mileage rather than buy a new one with good mileage. (It's not; more than 90 percent of a car's lifetime carbon emissions come from the fuel it burns.)

To give readers info they can use, we offer reams of new-car reviews, ratings, data, and specifications, both here and on our comprehensive sister site, We're also rolling out a new "Green Rating" this year for every 2011 car.

But we couldn't ignore the power of a single winner any longer. To say that one specific new car is the best in a given year offers all kinds of benefits, among them getting car buyers to ask: Why did that specific car win?

So later this month, we're going to announce the first annual Green Car Reports "Best Car to Buy" Award winner for the 2011 model year, in conjunction with the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show, which opens to the press on November 17, 2010.

On the same day, our MotorAuthority and TheCarConnection destination Web sites will announce their winners as well.

Stay tuned for more ... and feel free to suggest candidates that you think are the greenest 2011 vehicle. Leave us your thoughts in the Comments section below.

The Rules

The selection process begins with all new vehicles introduced or significantly updated for the 2011 model year. To be eligible, vehicles also must be available for purchase by February 28, 2011. This eliminates very few contenders, while bringing you the best information as soon as possible.

We apply a $50,000 base-price cap on entries, because that focus on mass-market vehicles eliminates ultra-luxury green machines that sell in such small numbers, that their cumulative impact is negligible. We rank the contenders by the numeric scores found on TheCarConnection's full vehicle reviews.

Finally, we choose the greenest new vehicle from the top of the rankings, based primarily on its ratings, with ties resolved by High Gear Media editors who consider other factors, including market impact, consumer significance, and lifetime environmental impact.

The nominees for GCR's Best Car to Buy 2011 are:


2011 Chevrolet Volt

2011 Honda CR-Z

2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

2011 Lexus CT 200h

2011 Nissan Leaf