Despite the recall woes plaguing Toyota for the better part of 2010, KBB still recognizes the Prius for its amazing fuel efficiency, solar-powered ventilation system, high tech navigation and other features.
Instead, KBB wanted to include a variety of vehicles because the Toyota Prius isn't always going to be the best choice for everyone who wants a more environmentally friendly vehicle.
According to KBB, "To be considered for the green Top 10, each vehicle was required to offer fuel economy and CO2 emissions superior to the bulk of vehicles in its class and at the same time provide all the safety, creature comforts and driving enjoyment that would make it pleasant to own."
So while the top 10 green vehicles are listed in order from most fuel-efficient to least fuel-efficient, the vehicle's fuel rating wasn't the sole reason it was chosen for inclusion in the list.
A quick trip down the list to number 10, the least fuel-efficient vehicle chosen, and we find the 2010 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid.
With a combined fuel economy of 22 mpg, this hybrid can fit a large family while still towing 5,900 pounds. The 21-mpg city rating on the hybrid is up from the 15-mpg city rating that the standard Chevrolet Tahoe gets.
The rest of the 2010 Top 10 list looks like this:
2. Honda Insight Hybrid -- 41 mpg combined
3. Ford Fusion Hybrid -- 39 mpg combined
4. Volkswagen Golf TDI -- 34 mpg combined
5. MINI Cooper -- 32 mpg combined
6. Ford Escape Hybrid -- 32 mpg combined
7. Honda Fit -- 31 mpg combined
8. BMW 335d -- 27 mpg combined
9. Toyota Highlander Hybrid -- 26 mpg combined
10. Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid -- 22 mpg combined (that's 6 mpg more than a conventional SUV of its size)
As you can see by looking at this list, there is a vehicle to fit nearly every purpose. From the small subcompact to a full-sized SUV and everywhere in between, KBB's list is inclusive of all passenger vehicle types.
While a 22-mpg vehicle may not be the epitome of fuel efficiency, it is a noted improvement over the non-hybrid version. However, the debate over green and greener will still carry on: Is a 22-mpg vehicle worthy of inclusion on a green cars list?
Business guru Melissa Hincha-Ownby blogs about the latest in green biz. Read more on her green business blog: www.mnn.com/featured-blogs/greenbusiness. Visit the Mother Nature Network at http://www.mnn.com.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services