Warren Brown and Lou Ann Hammond chat about cars on www.washingtonpost.com October 18, 2013

Good morning Warren and Friends

The short list for NACTOY is out. Which of these vehicles would you vote for and why? Remember, you don’t compare the vehicles against each other, but against the competition in it’s class. What makes the car you choose the best in it’s class with the winner being the best value for the money?

This is the short list for the 2014 North American Car of the Year

BMW 4 Series
Cadillac CTS
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Chevrolet Impala
Infiniti Q50
Jaguar F-Type
Kia Cadenza
Lexus IS
Mazda3
Mazda6
Mercedes-Benz CLA
Toyota Corolla

This is the short list for the 2014 North American Truck/Utility of the Year

Acura MDX
BMW X5
Buick Encore
Chevrolet Silverado
GMC Sierra
Hyundai Santa Fe LWB
Jeep Cherokee
Kia Sorento
Land Rover Range Rover Sport
Nissan Rogue
Subaru Forester
Toyota Tundra

The second contest is for the 2014 Green Car of the Year jury. Which would you vote for?
The Finalists:

Audi A6 TDI
Audi’s 2014 A6 TDI blends excellent “green” credentials with unexpected levels of performance in a high efficiency vehicle. Its 3.0-liter, 6-cylinder TDI clean diesel engine with tiptronic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive provides 240 horsepower and 428 lb-ft torque, achieving 0-60 mph in just 5.5 seconds. A start-stop system aids efficiency, as does a lightweight body that makes extensive use of aluminum body panels. This sedan features an EPA estimated 38 highway mpg that enables over 700 miles of highway driving range.

BMW 328d
Featuring the first 4-cylinder BMW diesel engine in the U.S., the new 328d combines exceptionally high fuel efficiency with the performance expected of BMW models. EPA estimated 45 mpg highway fuel economy is achieved with this sedan’s 2.0-liter TwinPower clean diesel powerplant, which produces 180 horsepower and 280 lb-ft torque. Efficiency is enhanced with engine auto start-stop and brake energy regeneration. A 328d Sports Wagon is also available. The models are offered in rear wheel drive or with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system.

Honda Accord
Honda’s popular Accord sedan aims to lead in the efficiency space with an array of efficient powerplant choices including four-cylinder, V-6, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid versions. Even the V-6, the largest engine option, nets 34 highway mpg with the four-cylinder rated at up to 36 highway mpg. The bar raises considerably with the Accord Hybrid at 50 city and 47 highway mpg, and the Accord Plug-In with it’s 47 city and 46 highway mpg on hybrid power. The Plug-In also offers an EPA rating of 115 MPGe, the highest of any mid-size hybrid sedan in the country.

Mazda3
The all-new third generation Mazda3, this automaker’s best-selling model worldwide, is lighter, more efficient, and packed with advanced electronics. The 2014 Mazda3 features an appealing new design and has been built from the ground-up with Mazda’s award-winning SKYACTIV technology. The 2.0-liter powered Mazda3 four-door sedan offers best-in-class 41 mpg highway fuel economy, with the five-door hatch coming in at up to 40 mpg. A more powerful 2.5-liter engine with an i-ELOOP capacitor-based regenerative engine braking system gets 38 mpg.

Toyota Corolla
The Toyota Corolla has long been a best-seller due to it’s blend of efficiency and affordability. With the all-new 2014 Corolla, Toyota adds visual excitement, improved driving dynamics, and even greater efficiency to it’s popular compact sedan, achieving up to 42 highway mpg delivered by the model’s Eco version. This level of efficiency is achieved with a 1.8-liter, 140 horsepower engine featuring the first use of Toyota’s Valvematic technology in this country. A driver selectable ECO function moderates acceleration and optimizes on-board systems to enhance mpg.

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louann Warren Brown and Lou Ann Hammond chat about cars on www.washingtonpost.com October 18, 2013 Auto industry news Automobiles and Energy car buying tips Green cars North American Car Truck of the Year (NACTOY) Technology Warren Brown Washingtonpost.com

About the Author:

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year (NACTOY), Women's World Car of the Year (WWCOTY), and the Concept Car of the Year.