AAA Green Car Guide Ranks Tesla Model X #1, Model S #5, Chevy Bolt #3

7 days ago by Steven Loveday 19

Tesla

Tesla Model S and Model X At Tesla’s Fremont factory showroom

The American Automobile Association, perhaps better known as AAA, chose the Tesla Model X and Model S for three of seven 2017 Green Car top awards.

The Tesla Model X 75D earned the top spot in AAA’s 2017 Green Car Guide, as the best overall green vehicle. The Model S 60 (which is now discontinued) took the 5th spot. The Chevrolet Bolt, the only other long-range fully-electric vehicle on the list, came in third.

AAA Automotive Engineering director Greg Brannon shared:

Tesla

Tesla Model X

“Tesla — a standout in AAA’s evaluations — has helped widen the appeal of electric vehicles by showing they can be stylish, performance-focused and filled with cutting-edge technology.”

AAA scored a plethora of hybrids, EVs, alt-fuel vehicles, and efficient ICE cars for the Green Car Guide. The cars aren’t just chosen for their lack of carbon footprint. All 65 vehicles receive numerical scores in 13 categories including emissions, fuel economy, crashworthiness, roominess, ease of entry and exit, ride quality, interior noise, cargo capacity, acceleration, handling, maneuverability, and visibility.

Aside from having two cars in the top five, Tesla landed three of seven top awards. The Tesla Model S 60 was deemed the best large car. The Model X was also awarded as the Best SUV, along with topping the list as the Best Overall Electric Vehicle. Brannon concluded:

“With their lower ownership costs and compatibility with emerging autonomous technologies, electric vehicles are poised to be a key vehicle of the future.”

As a secondary part of AAA’s efforts, a survey was administered, related to EVs. The results were revealed alongside the 2017 Green Car Guide.

Survey Takeaways:

  • Millennials are most interested in EVs (18 percent)
  • Low gas prices are not impacting EV adoption negatively
  • Tesla is substantially impacting positive public perception of EVs
  • Fuel efficiency is a major consideration for buyers
  • 70 percent ranked fuel efficiency equal to cost, crash ratings, and performance
  • 30 million Americans are considering an EV purchase as their next vehicle

Source: Teslarati, AAA

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20 responses to "AAA Green Car Guide Ranks Tesla Model X #1, Model S #5, Chevy Bolt #3"

  1. rad says:

    Click on “AAA” after Source for a list of the top ten.

  2. bnovak says:

    Ouch. For those of us with a budget of around $30K for our one and only car, that list doesn’t provide many options.

  3. ClarksonCote says:

    Didn’t the Nissan Leaf place 10th as well?

    1. Assaf says:

      Yes it did!

      And the e-Golf is #4, to complete a 4-of-5 for BEVs in the top 5.

      Then there are the A3 sportsback and Sonata PHEV in there too, for 7-of-10 for plug-ins, 5 of them BEVs.

      Well, should be, no? With the title being Top Green Car list, I wouldn’t expect any car that’s not at least a hybrid to make it in.

      I’m really surprised the e-Golf scores so much higher than the Leaf, given it’s still the 24-kWh 2016 version of the e-Golf, vs. the 107-mile version of the Leaf.
      But then, AAA have always been a bit of car snobs.

  4. SparkEV says:

    What does green car mean anymore? Bolt is the most efficient car at the moment (until Ioniq BEV is out), yet it’s only ranked #3 while gas burner (Volvo) is ranked #2 and one of the least efficient EV (Tesla X) is ranked #1. Bolt should be #1.

    1. scottf200 says:

      Because it is more than just efficiency. For example, “Tesla — a standout in AAA’s evaluations — has helped widen the appeal of electric vehicles by showing they can be stylish, performance-focused and filled with cutting-edge technology.”

      1. SparkEV says:

        For stylish, performance electric drive train. I’d pick BMW i8 or Porsche Spyder. That still doesn’t explain why PHV with practically useless range is in #2 place above Bolt. What, suddenly the criteria change for #2 place?

        Fact is, they just pull sh*t out of thin air rather than looking at the green credentials. Bolt is by far the most green vehicle in that list.

    2. unlucky says:

      Yeah, the Volvo is not only a gas burner but it has a very short all-electric range (13 miles).

      AAA is out of their league here.

      They say that car expands the appeal of electric vehicles. Is it even electric though? Makes me wonder how the Porsche 918 would rate on their system. Or a McLaren P1. Those are as electric as this is. And they certainly are appealing.

    3. Tech01x says:

      What is the Bolt’s efficiency at 75-80 mph? it may very well be lower than the S, and roughly comparable to the X. The Bolt is unlikely to replace and ICE vehicle for a long trip due to anemic DCFC capability and infrastructure.

      1. SparkEV says:

        Tesla doesn’t cover the entirety of ICE range, either. For example, you wouldn’t travel far in Mexico or to Alaska with Tesla, which means Tesla is also anemic and require ICE car for some.

        65-70 MPH on Bolt showed 4 mi/kWh battery to wheels, better than S. Since this is the speed most US highways are rated, Bolt is more efficient than S, much better than X for most usage cases.

        Since Bolt is half the price of S/X, it is likely to be driven by more people; just not seeing it for now due to “stiff” price competition.

        Any way you look at it, Bolt should’ve won first place, especially over ICE car that’s in second place.

  5. Terawatt says:

    30 million Americans are considering an EV..? That’s like most of the Americans who are aware that EVs exist…

  6. unlucky says:

    Model X? Ha.

    There’s no way it should be above the S and Bolt.

    On another note, Bolts are currently outselling Xes in my area. Not too surprising given the price difference. But it is a good sign given the Bolt seems to have a sales issue in much of the rest of the country.

  7. Samwise says:

    Only in America would a massive SUV be considered the best green car you can buy…

  8. John Hollenberg says:

    Sounds like the “green” part was way down the list of attributes when they did the ranking. A Tesla is very nice and will move the bar forward for BEV, but lets face it, my 2011 Nissan Leaf is a lot “greener” in both energy used in manufacture and efficiency of operation.

    1. Tech01x says:

      Think of it another way… the Model X displaces an ICE SUV… the Lead displaces likely a Prius or a Camry. The effect is much higher. Plus, the X can be used to displace ICE based long distance travel with 4-7 passengers. The Leaf cannot. Also, the difference in efficiency at highway speeds (70-80 mph) is. or so great.

      Similarly, the new Pacifica PHEV is a very important green vehicle even though it has even less MPGe than a Model X.

      1. SparkEV says:

        You’re making all kinds of mental gymnastics to justify X being on top by looking at anything but green. Again, this is green car ranking, not “X displayed Y” ranking.

        If you’re talking about efficiency, how do you justify #2 spot being taken by practically ICE PHV over Bolt?

        Don’t be blinded by Tesla, look at the list. This list is anything but green car ranking. I do agree on Pacifica PHV being pretty good, much better than #2 (get it? number 2?) on this list. It’s just another example why this list is nonsense.

  9. Martin Winlow says:

    I see the Model S gets a ‘2’ for ‘Luggage Capacity’. This score (assuming it is not an error) calls into serious doubt *anything else* this survey has to say.

  10. Rainer says:

    The Volt doesn’t make the list? Seriously? A lot of these hybrids have a battery pack half the size of a Volt, so a lot more gas to burned, especially the Volvo, using premium.

  11. Steven Mazor says:

    The AAA green car guide selects a wide range of green cars, but their relative “environmental impact” is not the only criteria. The vehicles are ranked based on their overall usefulness as a family vehicle. Thus acceleration, braking, handling, ride quality, interior noise, cargo capacity and other factors (13 total) all are tested and affect the scores. Emissions and fuel efficiency are just 2 of the 13.

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