The 2015 AAA Best Green Car Award goes to the Tesla P85D. This marks the second year in a row an all electric Tesla Model S has taken top honors from AAA. The auto club tested a number of hybrid, plug in hybrid and electric cars before the awards were given out. Some cars featuring clean diesel technology or running on compressed natural gas were also considered.
The cars were tested by the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center (ARC) in 13 categories, including braking, fuel economy, emissions, handling, and ride comfort. “Low-emission vehicles and hybrid choices vary in quality, price and size. The AAA Green Car Guide is one of our ongoing programs to help consumers navigate the wide-ranging green car marketplace,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering.
“Green vehicles offer motorists a way to reduce emissions and save fuel and, depending on the choice of green vehicle, can help motorists save cash, especially when gas prices are high,” says ARC Manager Megan McKernan. “For the 2015 guide, the research center divided the vehicles into six car classifications and identified the winners and finalists in each category,” said McKernan. “We also recognized overall ‘Green Car’ and ‘Best Value’ winners,” she said. “All evaluators rated the Tesla high for comfort and ride quality. It handled well on our slalom course, and it has the best acceleration times of all the vehicles.”
The Tesla took top honors not only in the large sedan category but overall as well. The Volkswagen e-Golf came in second with the BMW i3 just a fraction of a point behind in third place. AAA also chose a winner based on overall value. The Nissan Versa SV took top honors in that category, primarily because of its low price, large interior and excellent fuel economy.