Since 2006, the Green Car Journal has taken it upon themselves to award a Green Car of the Year out of the most recent crop of eco-friendly vehicles. This year's field has been narrowed down to five finalists. They are:
A quick scan of the list, and you'll notice there are two diesels and three hybrids in the running. Determining the winner isn't based on emissions and miles per gallon alone. Rather, the winner is determined via a panel of 11 judges. These judges are considered automotive and environmental experts and include such notable names as Jay Leno, Jean-Michel Cousteau and Carroll Shelby.
So who's going to take the prize? According to the rules, the car that most embodies advancement in environmental progress over the previous year of vehicles. Last year's winner was the Volkswagen Jetta TDI - winning for being the first vehicle to achieve emissions certification in all 50 states without the need for special additives or extraordinary measures. Additionally, the Jetta earned points for a 41 mpg fuel rating - solid numbers for a diesel engine.
This year's winner will be announced at the Los Angeles Auto Show, which takes place from December 4th to the 13th.