Which green cars didn't make the cut for Best Car To Buy award?

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2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, Ioniq Electric, and Ioniq Plug-In

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, Ioniq Electric, and Ioniq Plug-In

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We have a slim field of only three new green cars this year competing for the Green Car Reports 2017 Best Car To Buy award.

They are the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, the 2016 Tesla Model X, and the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime.

There's a much longer list of new vehicles that didn't make the cut this year; this is where we explain what they are, and why they're not on our finalist list.

DON'T MISS: One of these 3 cars will be Green Car Reports' Best Car To Buy 2017

In large part, it has to do with model cadence, or the timing of vehicle releases and when the press can get into cars that represent the production vehicles that will go on sale.

To qualify for our award, at least two High Gear Media editors have to spend enough time in a vehicle that they have some sense of how it works, responds, and functions.

Several vehicles on the list below just won't make it in time for our deadline of November 1, 2016.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

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2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

The new Chrysler Pacifica minivan, which replaces the previous-generation Chrysler Town & Country, has gotten largely positive reviews for styling, capacity, and on-road travel.

What few people expected was that Chrysler would launch a version that, despite its "Hybrid" name, is actually a plug-in hybrid with an expected electric range of about 30 miles.

ALSO READ: Chevrolet Volt: Green Car Reports' Best Car To Buy 2016

Since most plug-in hybrids now are either compact to mid-size hatchbacks or sedans (with a few pricey luxury SUVs in the mix), a plug-in hybrid Pacifica could offer a very compelling package.

Sadly, Chrysler just wasn't able to get us into a Pacifica Hybrid by the end of this year.

So, we'll consider it next year as a candidate for our 2018 award.

2017 Honda Accord Hybrid, Napa Valley, California, Jul 2016

2017 Honda Accord Hybrid, Napa Valley, California, Jul 2016

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2017 Honda Accord Hybrid

We named the hybrid Honda Accord our Best Car To Buy for 2014, and then suffered 18 months of e-mails from readers complaining that the car wasn't available at their dealers.

Honda admits that it had supply problems with some components of the 2014 and 2015 Accord Hybrids, which were built in its Ohio assembly plant.

CHECK OUT: Tesla Model S: Green Car Reports' Best Car To Buy 2013

It canceled the model for a year in 2016, and has just relaunched it after moving production to Japan, where the company makes most of its hybrids for global markets.

But after driving the 2017 Accord Hybrid earlier this year, it didn't make the cut simply because it hasn't changed enough to warrant being a finalist.

Its range is incrementally higher, its motor power is slightly greater, and the hybrid Accord gets some new features that the gasoline Accord got last year. That's all.

2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco road trip, May 2016 - Maryland's welcome center wins

2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco road trip, May 2016 - Maryland's welcome center wins

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2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco

We spent an interesting and enjoyable 2,900 miles with the fuel-efficient Elantra Eco version of Hyundai's redesigned compact sedan earlier this year.

Fitted with a small turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine and a 7-speed direct-shift gearbox, the Eco model is EPA-rated at 35 mpg combined.

While that's the highest rating for any Elantra, it's so far below the 56-mpg combined rating for the 2016 Toyota Prius Eco that the most efficient Elantra just didn't make the cut.


 
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