The 2011 Chevrolet Volt was recently named Motor Trend's Car of the Year, Automobile Magazine's Automobile of the Year and even captured the 2011 Green Car of the Year Award, beating out the electric Nissan Leaf. However, MT, Automobile and Green Car Journal are not the only ones who hand out awards. The Leaf did manage to win the Green Car of the Year title from TheGreenCarWebsite over in the UK and has now been selected by Green Car Reports as the 2011 "Best Car to Buy."
GCR's list of nominees included the Chevrolet Volt, Honda CR-Z, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, Lexus CT 200h and the Nissan Leaf. When the competitive dust settled, the Leaf emerged the champ, narrowly beating out the Volt to capture victory. GCR, like MT, defends its selection, listing these reasons for endorsing the Leaf:
- A real electric car: Because it is the sole vehicle offered to U.S. buyers (by an established automaker) that uses absolutely no gasoline. There will be many more coming but this year, the 2011 Leaf is the one and only.
- The lowest carbon footprint: ...no matter how you run the numbers, it is the vehicle with the lowest carbon footprint of any new car sold today.
- 90 percent of your needs ... is enough: Just as General Motors will tell you that more than 70 percent of U.S. vehicles do less than 40 miles a day, Nissan frequently points out that more than 90 percent of U.S. vehicles do less than the Leaf's range of 100 miles per day.
- But why not the Volt? To be honest, we sweated over the choice this year. The 2011 Volt is, in some ways, a more appealing vehicle. But in our reviews, the Leaf scored 8.2 out of 10 while the Volt scored 8.0. The Volt uses gasoline. True, it may use almost none... but we think the difference between 70-odd and 90-odd percent of your travels on grid power alone is a significant dividing line.