Tesla wins the AAA Green Car award
In a photo from Tuesday, April 7, 2015 in Detroit, a Tesla Model S 70D is seen during a test drive. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Published Tuesday, April 19, 2016 1:35PM EDT
The American Automobile Association declared the Tesla Model S 70D its 2016 Green Car of the Year.
The luxury, battery-powered sedan came top in a consideration of 80 vehicles currently on sale in the US that can be considered green, whether in terms of powertrain technology or fuel efficiency.
"The Tesla Model S 70D has a 240-mile range, room for five, excellent power and steering, and fast charge capability," said John Nielsen, AAA's managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. "Add sleek styling, great acceleration and an air of sophistication that separates it from other alternative-fueled vehicles and you see why the Model S 70D was our top vehicle this year."
The car scored a total of 92.49 points (out of a possible 130) across 13 criteria from specifications to value for money and test data.
In second place came the BMW i3, an equally premium, compact electric car that can be specified with a gasoline-powered engine that can kick in as an emergency range extender when the battery starts to fade and there are no recharging points.
The third place award went to the Volkswagen e-Golf SEL Premium, meaning that each of the organization's top awards for green motoring went to true plug-in electric cars.
The highest-ranking hybrid was the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron premium. It came fourth with 83.49 points and was followed closely by the Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium, a large family car with true off-road capabilities thanks to permanent four wheel drive yet a combined cycle fuel efficiency of 33mpg thanks to its lightweight and efficient four-cylinder boxer engine.
The report, now in its sixth year, is quickly becoming an important guide to anyone trying to make sense of greener automotive options.
"Today car shoppers can choose high-quality, zero-to-low-emission vehicles in a growing selection of body type and size and price," said Megan McKernan, manager of the AAA's Automotive Research Center. "[The Guide] is designed to help give consumers research-based information and tips to find the vehicle that best suits their needs and navigate the green car marketplace with confidence."
The AAA also named its best green car under $30,000, which in 2016, is the Mazda 3S Grand Touring, plus the green pickup of the year -- the Ford F-150 Supercab Lariat