Honda Accord wins Green Car of the Year

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

LOS ANGELES — The Honda Accord is the 2014 Green Car of the Year for its number of fuel-efficient versions.

The award was announced Thursday at the Los Angeles Auto Show, decided by a jury of industry people and celebrity Jay Leno.

“This car offers something for everybody,” including a version that gets 50 miles per gallon,” said Mike Accavitti, American Honda senior vice president.

The Accord was a finalist in a field that included two diesels: the Audi A6 TDI and BMW 328d, as well as the Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla.

Detroit’s automakers were shut out. Last year the Ford Fusion was named the winner and the Dodge Dart Aero was a finalist.

The Accord is available with multiple powertrain options, including a four-cylinder, V-6, hybrid and plug-in hybrid.

“The diversity of this field of finalists illustrates not only that green has gone mainstream, but also that there is no single approach to achieving ever-higher levels of fuel efficiency and environmental performance,” said Ron Cogan, editor of the Green Car Journal, which presents the award annually. “There’s something for everyone in this year’s field of finalists.

The Audi A6 TDI has a 3-liter, six-cylinder diesel, lightweight body and a start-stop system to further improve fuel efficiency. The sedan gets 38 mpg on the highway.

The BMW 328d has a four-cylinder diesel and gets 45 mpg on the highway and has a start-stop system.

The third generation of the Mazda3 is lighter and has SkyActiv technology. With the 2-liter engine the compact car gets 41 mpg on the highway.

The Toyota Corolla, new for 2014, gets 42 mpg on the highway with its Eco version that has a 1.8-liter engine.

“It’s all about fuel efficiency so this is a testament to our efforts that we’re on the right track,” Accavitti said in accepting the award.

On Wednesday Tetsuo Iwamura, CEO of American Honda, said he wants to close the gap in hybrid sales by which Honda trails Toyota and Ford. Honda’s hybrid cars include a one-motor Insight, the new two-motor system in the Accord and a three-motor system in the new Acura RLX on display here.

He would not reveal whether Honda will offer an updated Insight, but the new NSX super car arrives in 2015 will have a hybrid.

Honda also showed a fuel cell vehicle that is a second generation to the FCX Clarity, but Iwamura would not say whether the new car, which will go on sale in 2015, will keep the Clarity name.

Overall, Iwamura said Honda is restoring its reputation for engineering.

“We let some competitors pass us by,” Accavitti said. “We want to regain that leadership.”

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