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Canadian Green Car contenders revealed

Three different types of powertrain represented in the final five vehicles

Published: April 4, 2013, 9:30 PM

Green Car

The identities of the five finalists for the first annual Canadian Green Car award were revealed today by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).

AJAC and Green Living jointly announced the creation of the Canadian Green Car award at the Canadian International Auto Show, in Toronto, in February.

The award program is intended to provide consumers with authoritative information about the broad range of vehicles and technologies available that offer the potential for environmental benefits.

The inaugural winner will be announced on Friday, April 12 at the opening of the Green Living Show, in the Direct Energy Centre at Toronto’s Exhibition Place.

The five finalists are:

- Ford C-MAX Energi (plug-in gasoline-electric hybrid)

- Ford Fusion Hybrid (gasoline-electric hybrid)

- Hyundai Sonata Hybrid (gasoline-electric hybrid)

- Mazda Mazda3 (gasoline engine and suite of SkyActiv technologies)

- Volkswagen Jetta Turbocharged Hybrid (gasoline-electric hybrid with turbocharger)

Other entrants included the Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel, Chevrolet Volt, Ford Edge EcoBoost, Ford Focus Electric, Mazda CX-5, Mazda Mazda6, Mercedes-Benz B250 Turbo, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Nissan Leaf and Smart Fortwo Electric Drive.

"The judges found the choice difficult because all the entrants are worthy, and they incorporate such differing routes to greener driving," said Peter Gorrie, chair of AJAC’s Green Car Award steering committee.

The competition placed heavy emphasis on fuel economy and emissions, but also considered other environmental features within each vehicle – for example, use of recycled or naturally sourced materials – and steps each manufacturer has taken to green its operations.

Equally important, it assessed market potential – factors such as build quality, driving experience, overall features, availability, general consumer appeal and price.

"After all, a car loaded with ‘green’ features will make a difference only if it sells in large numbers and supplants lesser models," Gorrie said.

That broad-based focus probably explains why none of the four battery-electric entrants made it into the final five. While they have strong credentials in terms of energy efficiency, they have yet to achieve mainstream market volumes and have real-world limitations for many, if not most, drivers in terms of driving range and recharge time.

The five finalists will be featured on the Green Living Show floor from April 12 through 14 and the winner's award ceremony will take place at 9:45 a.m., Friday April 12 on the show’s main stage.