Greenest car for 2012 to be announced at L.A. Auto Show

If driving a greener car is one of your New Year resolutions (hey, 2012 isn’t that far off!), then you may want to consider one of Green Car Journal’s five finalists for the Green Car of the Year award.

This year’s five finalists include the 2012 Ford Focus Electric, 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas, 2012 Mitsubishi i, 2012 Toyota Prius v and 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI. The winner will be announced at the Los Angeles Auto Show Press Day on Nov. 17, and all five cars will be available by Jan. 1, 2012.

While the Nissan Leaf won’t be mass produced until 2012, making it ineligible for this year’s award, this Raging Ecoist anticipates it will be among the nominees for 2013. In the mean time, learn how you can test drive one here.

Green Car Journal, in a press statement, said it chose these finalists because of their individual approaches on making cars greener. According to the publication, the Honda Civic Natural Gas uses a clean-burning fuel that is readily available in the United States; the Volkswagen Passat TDI produces lower emissions while achieving a high MPG rating; the Prius v marks the expansion of Toyota’s popular hybrid car into its own group of vehicles; and the Ford Focus Electric and Mitsubishi i represent more choices in all-electric vehicles available to Americans.

“This year’s Green Car of the Year finalists underscore that there is no single solution to our transportation challenges,” said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and editor of GreenCar.com. “Here we have five exceptional answers to the question of how we’re going to increase efficiencies, reduce tailpipe and CO2 emissions, and decrease petroleum use. These nominees deserve to be recognized for their unique approaches in providing consumers diverse choices as cars intelligently evolve toward a more environmentally-compatible motoring future.”

Choosing the Green Car of the Year is no easy task. Fortunately, Green Car Journal has some help from some big champions of the environment, including Carl Pope, chairman of the Sierra Club; Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council; Jean-Michel Cousteau, president of Ocean Futures Society and Matt Petersen, president of Global Green USA. What’s more, Jay Leno, noted auto enthusiast and host of “The Tonight Show,” as well as automotive icon Carroll Shelby join Green Car Journal editors in rounding out the 2012 jury.

If you will be in the Los Angeles area from Nov. 18 to 27, you can learn more about eco-friendly cars at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Tell us do you or are you planning on driving a more fuel-efficient vehicle?

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