According to Courtney Caldwell, founder of the annual Earth, Wind & Power Awards: “With climate change and dependence on foreign oil a major concern, more people than ever are turning to fuel-efficient or alternative powered vehicles. It’s become of vital interest to consumers, automakers, and the future of the Earth to produce vehicles that are compatible with our planet.”
You know, vehicles like the 2013 Dodge Dart and 2013 Mazda CX-5, recently named Most Earth Friendly Car and Truck of the Year—respectively—by the team at Earth, Wind & Power Media. The honors were presented during the current 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit and created “to honor vehicles that are driven by a power source that helps improve climate change by reducing the amount of CO2 emissions poured into the Earth’s atmosphere, promote a cleaner environment, and support the ultimate mission to achieve energy independence through alternative power sources.”
And how well do the 2013 Dodge Dart and 2013 Mazda CX-5 live up to that kind of acclaim? Let’s find out …
2013 EWP Awards: 2013 Dodge Dart
Thanks to some nifty aerodynamics work and Fiat’s MultiAir engine technology, the specially packaged 2013 Dodge Dart Aero can achieve EPA ratings of 28 mpg city/41 mpg highway/32 mpg combined with a six-speed manual transmission and the same city and combined marks, with a 40 mpg grade on the highway, when configured with an available six-speed automatic. Those numbers make the 2013 Dodge Dart one of just five mainstream compacts able to reach the 40-mpg barrier, a milestone that current rivals from Toyota, Hyundai and Kia can’t match.
The Dart also posted strong results with the EPA in terms of CO2 tailpipe emissions. Per the agency, the 2013 Dodge Dart Aero emits 275 grams per mile, with both transmissions, for a rating that translates into an 8-point score on the EPA’s 10-point scale.
"We are honored to accept this award that recognizes the Dodge Dart’s environmental friendliness and fuel economy of up to 41 miles per gallon,” said Reid Bigland, the Dodge Brand’s president and CEO. “In addition to its excellent fuel economy, the all-new Dodge Dart offers features and benefits never before offered in a compact car, the interior room of a mid-size car and class-leading technology, style and safety, and a starting price of just $15,995."
2013 EWP Awards: 2013 Mazda CX-5
The 2013 Mazda CX-5—a past winner of Autobytel’s Crossover of the Year Award—earned its place on the EWP’s Earth Friendly list as the first Mazda vehicle in the country to offer a full SKYACTIV powertrain, including both engine and transmission components. Backed by those innovations, Mazda’s compact crossover is good for EPA ratings of 26 mpg city/35 mpg highway/29 mpg combined in its manually transmissioned configuration, and can post an EPA line of 26/32/29 with its automatic; and either way, drivers enjoy six-speed setups.
In the emissions department, the 2013 Mazda CX-5 scored the same 8 out of 10 rating as the Dart, but while emitting 302 grams of CO2 per mile with a manual and 307 grams per mile when kitted out with its automatic.
"Mazda's unconventional approach to building cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles by way of SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY continues to change previously set-in-stone opinions about the internal combustion engine (ICE)," said Jim O'Sullivan, president and CEO of Mazda’s North American Operations. "By reimagining a seemingly rarely looked at—but much relied upon—technology, we've shown the benefits that ICEs can still offer consumers without passing on the heavy investments and costs related to utilizing more expensive alternative power solutions."