LOS ANGELES — The 2013 Ford Fusion, in all its various iterations, was named Green Car Journal’s 2013 Green Car of the Year on Thursday, in a ceremony at the Los Angeles auto show.
The Fusion comes in five flavors, with three different gasoline engine choices including two with EcoBoost turbocharging technology, a hybrid version and a range-extended plug-in hybrid.
The Fusion beat finalists that included the 2013 Dodge Dart Aero, Mazda CX-5 Skyactiv, the Toyota Prius C and Ford’s other fuel-sipper, the C-Max. Ron Cogan, the editor of Green Car Journal, said the widely praised Tesla S electric vehicle was excluded from consideration because of its high price and limited availability, especially for its base model.
Otherwise, consideration was given to production vehicles on sale by Jan. 1 of the award year.
Mr. Cogan said the Fusion was chosen for its overall fuel efficiency, lower emissions and environmental friendliness. It was also chosen because the models are “priced to encourage the kind of sales volume that can truly influence environmental improvement.”
In addition to a starting price around $22,000 for the base model, the Fusion also earned a Top Safety Pick rating, based on crash-testing, from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The base Fusion has a 2.5-liter engine rated for up to 34 m.p.g., with EcoBoost models achieving up to 37 m.p.g. highway. The hybrid, which was rated at 47 m.p.g. over all, will accelerate to 62 m.p.h. on electric power alone. The Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid can travel up to 20 miles on electricity alone, before gasoline-electric hybrid power kicks in to extend range for hundreds of additional miles.
The award was judged by a panel that included environmentalists, Jay Leno, the television host and auto enthusiast, and Green Car Journal staffers.
Past winners of the award include the natural gas-powered Honda Civic, the Chevrolet Volt and diesels from Audi and Volkswagen.