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Honda Accord Named Green Car of Year at L.A. Auto Show

Honda Motor Co Ltd's Accord was named Green Car of the Year on Thursday, the editor of the Green Car Journal announced at the L.A.

By Nichola Groom

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Honda Motor Co Ltd's Accord was named Green Car of the Year on Thursday, the editor of the Green Car Journal announced at the L.A. Auto Show.

The Accord won in large part because it offers high fuel economy ratings for gasoline, gasoline-battery hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the venerable sedan, said Ron Cogan, editor of the Green Car Journal.

"This year's winner offers something for everyone," he said.

The Accord beat out four other finalists: the Audi A6 TDI, the BMW 328d, the Mazda Motor Co Mazda3 and the Toyota Motor Corp Corolla. Audi is a luxury brand of parent Volkswagen AG.

It was the second year in a row that the winner was a top-selling sedan that offered U.S. consumers gasoline, gasoline-battery hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions.

Last year's winner of the prestigious award was Ford Motor Co's Fusion midsize sedan.

Mike Accavitti, head of automotive operations for American Honda, said the award is an obvious selling point for the Accord.

The Accord is the best-selling of the five finalists. Through October of this year, Accord sales were up 11 percent at 307,000 in the U.S. market, making it the second-best selling sedan behind the Toyota Camry.

"We're moving in the right direction, right?" Accavitti said to reporters after accepting the award.

The Accord gasoline and hybrid versions are made at the company's plant in Marysville, Ohio, and the plug-in hybrid in Japan.

The four-cylinder version of the Accord is rated by the Environmental Protection Agency at 30 miles per gallon, the hybrid version at 47 mpg and the plug-in hybrid at 46 mpg under gasoline power and 115 mpg-equivalent under hybrid-electric power. All ratings are for combined city and highway driving.

Accavitti said the award also gives credence to Honda's plans for more hybrid vehicles.

"You are going to see more and more of these hybrid motors coming across our lineup."

In addition to the Ford Fusion, previous winners have included General Motors Co's plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt in 2011 and Honda's natural gas-powered Civic in 2012.

The award has been presented since 2006, when Ford won for its Mercury Mariner hybrid, a since-discontinued sport-utility vehicle that attained about 27 mpg and had a starting price of nearly $30,000.

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Matthew Lewis)

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