Economy

Honda's Accord line wins 'green car' of year award

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Honda's line of Accords won the 2014 "Green Car of the Year" award from an auto industry magazine Thursday at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

In recent years, Green Car Journal honored cars whose selling points were emerging technologies including natural gas, electric and clean diesel. This year, the prize's jurors — among them environmentalists and comedian/car enthusiast Jay Leno — opted to honor an already-popular model that has a gas-electric hybrid version, but also an internal combustion engine that runs on gas.

Honda's suggested retail price for the Accord ranges from about $22,000 for a four-cylinder, gas-powered model to about $40,000 for a plug-in, gas/electric hybrid. Combined city/highway gas mileage estimates range from 28 miles per gallon to 47 miles per gallon.

Ron Cogan, the magazine's editor and publisher, said that the Accord's appeal is that its price and good gas mileage help make a widespread, positive impact on the environment. Fully electric vehicles, for example, tend to be more expensive and on the road in far fewer numbers, he noted.

"It may be wonderful what you're doing on an individual level, but your ability to make large-scale environmental impact is very small compared to a high-volume mainstream model that does it by being extremely efficient," Cogan said.

None of the other four finalists was from a U.S.-based auto maker. They were: the Audi A6 TDI and BMW 328d, both diesels, and the gas-powered Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla. Automakers often cite the Green Car prize in advertising.

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