This year’s San Antonio Auto & Truck Show in Texas highlighted environmental achievement by commercial vehicles, trucks, and performance cars, vehicle classes rarely noted as ‘green’ by nature in years past. This has changed dramatically in recent times, prompting Green Car Journal’s acknowledgement of these forward-thinking vehicles through its Green Car Awards program at the show, complementing the increasingly ‘green’ models featured on the show floor.
Taking home honors for 2018 Commercial Green Car of the Year™ was Ford’s Police Responder Hybrid. 2018 Green Truck of the Year™ was awarded to the Chevrolet Colorado, while the Mazda MX-5 Miata earned the first-ever 2018 Performance Green Car of the Year™. Along with the Colorado, 2018 Green Truck of the Year™ finalists included the Ford F-150, GMC Canyon, Honda Ridgeline, and Toyota Tacoma. Considered with the Ford Police Responder Hybrid for 2018 Commercial Green Car of the Year™ were finalists Ford F-250 Super Duty, Ford Transit Connect, Mercedes-Benz Metris, and RAM ProMaster City. Vying for 2018 Performance Green Car of the Year™ along with the Mazda MX-5 Miata were the Acura NSX, Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang, and Honda Civic Type R.
As the first pursuit-rated hybrid police car, Ford’s Police Responder Hybrid promises to bring significantly greater fuel efficiency and environmental performance to police department fleets across the nation. Based on the Ford Fusion Hybrid, the Police Responder Hybrid is expected to deliver 38 combined mpg and a few miles of ‘stealth’ driving on batteries. When parked, the battery pack allows the engine to shut off for brief periods while keeping the car’s electronics running, saving fuel and decreasing emissio
Chevrolet’s Colorado mid-size pickup offers nearly the same capacity, functionality, and features as this automaker’s full-size pickup, but with a more compact form and shorter turning radius that makes it easier to maneuver and park in tight city environs. Along with being a workhorse, it’s also civilized with its handsome design, array of advanced on-board electronics, and optional seating that accommodates up to five. Importantly, with its available Duramax Turbodiesel the Colorado delivers up to 30 highway mpg, the best in the segment.
Mazda’s extensively-redesigned, fourth-generation MX-5 Miata offers a sporty and fun driving experience in roadster and new RF retractable fastback form. This lightweight two-seat sports car is powered by a 2.0-liter SKYACTIV engine with a 6-speed manual transmission or 6-speed Sport automatic, delivering 155 horsepower and achieving up to 35 highway mpg. Long a favorite of sports car enthusiasts, the Miata has also been popular in amateur spec racing.
For years, automakers have focused on designing and building mainstream sedans, hatchbacks, and even crossover vehicles offering greater efficiency and improved environmental performance. An expanding ‘green’ focus on workhorse vehicles like pickups and light commercial vehicles, and now even performance cars, means buyers in these segments have increasing opportunities to drive ‘green’.