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Top 5 Green Cars of 2012 [Slideshow]

Top 5 Green Cars of 2012 [Slideshow]
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There’s no question that it’s a car’s world. America is built around the highway system, with sprawling towns made up of business districts and residential areas all mixed up together. Living in a big city can make walking, biking, and using public transit more realistic, but that’s no consolation when you’ve got to go 20 blocks in the pouring rain.

We like the independence and validation of a personal car, and for many, going car-free is many years away from being a reality. But that doesn’t mean you should just be content to chug around in the gas-guzzler you’ve got parked in the garage. If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, a few extra hours of research could yield you a car that’s not only much better for the environment, it’s kind to your wallet as well.

On the following pages, you’ll find Kelly Blue Book’s picks for some of the greenest cars for the 2012 model year. Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts and the picks they missed in the comments!

Note: there were 5 other cars on KBB’s top 10 list, but they irked me. There’s just something wrong about trying to pass off a brand new Lexus as a green car for the masses, I don’t care what kind of MPG it gets. If you want to see the cars that didn’t make my reality cut, click here.

5. 2012 Scion iQ


Continuing the happy tradition of compact-yet-sporty cars started by the Mini Cooper, the Scion iQ may look diminutive, but may surprise you. It’s perfect for those who need a little more leg room than a Smart car can provide, but hate having to pass up tiny parking spaces in the city.

What comes standard: Electronic rear-hatch locking system, a thumping 160-watt Pioneer audio system with HD technology, a USB input for your iPod, Bluetooth connectivity, 16-inch covered steel wheels, and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

What’s under the hood:1.4-liter in-line 4, 94 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm,  89 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 36/37

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Top image via Thinkstock, others via respective car manufacturers

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4:19PM PST on Dec 23, 2012

Roundabouts are becoming more common here in CA. I was surprised not to see the Smart car on here. I guess this might be because they were only talking about the newest models of cars. I am glad that car makers are making more "green" cars! I used to have a Honda Insight, got totaled in a wreck. Would love to have another (original style with the cover over the rear tires...)

2:27PM PDT on May 31, 2012


5:19PM PDT on May 15, 2012

They still need gas to run : (

7:27PM PDT on May 14, 2012

I think it was a sad day when America decided not to use the old fashion trains for public transportation.
I also think it would save so much time, gas and electricity if we had 'round a bouts' in the US like they do in England instead of stop lights!

2:31PM PDT on May 14, 2012


1:52PM PDT on May 14, 2012

You missed the Chev Volt and Ford Focus.... or do you have something against north maerican cars?

PS - the 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV is too small and too ugly for most people... plus how did that thing do in crash test??? I'd guess not too well.

8:59PM PDT on May 13, 2012

wow! wish more people would go carless or at least trade their gas-guzzling SUVs for better cars like these...

4:38PM PDT on May 11, 2012


12:27PM PDT on May 11, 2012

This is grey advertising !!
CARS ARE NOT GREEN no matter how hard the auto industry tries to convince us otherwise.
Greener are bicycles.

7:02AM PDT on May 11, 2012

I want a Mitsubishi i-MiEV so bad. :3

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