The competition is really starting to heat up in the alternative fuel category. From compressed natural gas (CNG) to hybrids, plug-in hybrids, all-electric to clean diesel, it is easier than ever to choose a car or truck that reflects a concern for saving the environment or just saving on gas prices. For the Autobytel 2013 Alternative Fuel Car of the Year and two of the finalists, hybrids are still the leading technology with electric directly on its heels and with the bar being raised continously in this category, the mpgs just keep getting better.
An all-new entry to the hybrid market, the Ford C-Max Hybrid is the Autobytel 2013 Alternative Fuel Car of the Year. The compact hatchback is rated at 47 mpg and rides on the global Ford C platform which underpins the Ford Focus and Escape as well. The 2.0-lite, 4-cylinder engine is paired with an electric motor which, combined, creates 188 horsepower. With 52.6 cubic-feet of interior space, the Ford C-Max Hybrid offers plenty of space for passengers and cargo alike.
"The C-MAX Hybrid's 13.5 liter gas tank allows it to travel just under 600 miles between refueling stops, which also gives the hatchback long legs when motoring from one city to another."
The Tesla Model S is a luxury sedan with a full-electric powerplant. Covering the whole price range within the luxury segment by starting at $57,400.00 and going upwards of $100,000,00, this car brings the start up electric car maker more to the mainstream. A single electric motor produces an eyebrow raing 416 horsepower and no emissions. The Performance level of the Tesla Model S achieves 0-60 mph in just 4.4 seconds. This isn't your science teachers electric car. This sedan doesn't just stop at a 4-passenger capability: optional rear facing seats are available behind the backseat, expanding passenger paylod from 4 to 7.
Not satisfied with the sales success of the Volkswagen Jetta TDI, VW wanted to slice the Jetta pie to include a hybrid because hybrid buyers just don't consider diesel usually. Modestly priced and equipped at the base level with technology like Bluetooth and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, the amenities just get better as the price goes up but it barely tops $31,000.00 at its most kitted out. The gas engine, electric motor, and seven-speed gearbox help the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid achieve a combined fuel economy rating of 45 miles per gallon.
"If you take any joy in the act of driving yet you have to have a hybrid, it seems Volkswagen has built the car for you." - Autobytel review
Well-established in the Alt. Fuel world, the mid-size Chevrolet Volt is gaining in popularity in the U.S. Capable of a 300-mile range, the extended range sedan is neither exclusively electric nor gas-powered but uses a unique combination resulting in a car that rarely sees a gas pump. Forward collision warning system and lane departure warning system are new options that can be had on the 2013 Volt.
The editorial team of Autobytel has chosen the previous vehicles as the best of what we have seen in the category for 2013, and while there are many others in this class that probably deserve some kudos as well, we'd love to hear which you would choose for yourself. Let us know on the Autobytel Twitter or the Autobytel Facebook page.
2013 Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ
2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible
2013 Ford Fusion
2013 Cadillac ATS
2013 Jeep Wrangler
2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class
2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
2013 Porsche Boxster S
2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid
2013 RAM 1500
2013 Mazda MAZDA5