Dodge, Ford, Mazda, and Toyota nominated for Green Car award

Green Car Journal announced its five nominees for Green Car of the Year, the winner to be announced at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show on November 29.

Toyota Prius C
The hybrid Toyota Prius C is just one of the fuel sippers nominated for Green Car of the Year. Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Each year, Green Car Journal names its Green Car of the Year at the Los Angeles Auto Show. For the upcoming award, the field has narrowed down to five contenders, each using technology to achieve high fuel economy.

Here are this year's nominees:

  • Dodge Dart Aero
  • Ford C-MAX
  • Ford Fusion
  • Mazda CX-5 SkyActiv
  • Toyota Prius C

The Aero version of the new Dodge Dart uses aerodynamic components, low rolling resistance tires, and a grille shutter to get 41 mpg highway from its turbocharged 1.4-liter engine. However, its combined city/highway fuel economy is only 32 mpg.

Ford gains two places among the nominees, one for its new Fusion and one for the C-Max, a model that will only be sold with a hybrid drivetrain in the U.S. The stylish new Fusion will give buyers a number of choices for drivetrains, from a hybrid system to Ford's economical EcoBoost engine. The C-Max looks to be a serious competitor for the Toyota Prius, as it gets 47 mpg. In addition, Ford will sell the C-Max Energi, which can be plugged in for even better fuel economy.

The all-new Mazda CX-5 is a more conventional entrant, yet it uses Mazda's new fuel-efficiency technologies. SkyActiv includes lighter structural components and the CX-5's direct-injection engine. Its fuel economy is the lowest of this lot, at 32 mpg highway and 26 mpg city.

Toyota's new Prius C is a small hatchback, and one of the least expensive cars here. It boasts 53 mpg city and 46 mpg highway, using Toyota's tried and true hybrid drive system.

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