Ahead of L.A. Auto Show, finalists for Green Car of the Year are announced

Automotive aficionados are gearing up for this year's Los Angeles Auto Show, preparing to whet their appetites for the industry's latest and upcoming offerings. Eco-friendly fans have their own cause to celebrate, as this year's eighth annual Green Car of the Year Award will definitely set the stage for future developments in the hybrid and electric-car markets.

This year's list of finalists features the Dodge Dart Aero, Toyota Prius, Ford C-MAX, Mazda CX-5 and Ford Fusion lines of cars. According to the Los Angeles Times, each selection was based on that model's efforts related to power conservation and low emissions output systems.

Interestingly, the Mazda and Dodge automobiles are not hybrid-style vehicles. Yet their updated engines and energy delivery networks enable them to improve gas mileage while still relying on a more traditional powertrain layout. The two Fords and the Toyota come in regular hybrid and plug-in hybrid varieties, the latter of which means that those cars have the capacity to be recharged at home or on the go.

In a press statement, Ron Cogan, editor of the industry news source Green Car Journal, highlighted the fact that this year's list suggests that consumers have a greater selection of eco-friendly cars to choose from. The publication's list of top green cars for 2013 mirrors the L.A. Auto Show finalist docket, and the panel of judges for the competition will feature some of its staff.

It's tough to say which model will win – readers will have to wait until late November for the auto show's grand opening. However, the level of competition at this year's event could be a signal that more consumer-friendly autos will be hitting car showroom floors in the near future.

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