• Ford Fusion wins Green Car of the Year award at 2012 LA Auto Show.
  • Judges included car guy Jay Leno and Sierra Club leader Michael Brune.
  • Fusion beat out Toyota Prius C and Ford's own C-Max, among others.

Ford has quietly been leading the high-mpg movement this year, and now the results are in: the new 2013 Ford Fusion was awarded the coveted Green Car of the Year award at the LA Auto Show, edging out fuel-sipping luminaries like the Toyota Prius C and Ford's own C-Max.

Sponsored by Green Car Journal, the Green Car of the Year award has typically gone to vehicles that don't tend to sell in large numbers. The Fusion's victory marks a departure from that norm--after all, the Fusion is one of the best-selling cars in America. And the award was for the entire Fusion lineup, not just the extra-efficient Hybrid model.

Naturally, the Fusion Hybrid grabs all the headlines on the strength of its exceptional 47-mpg fuel economy, which trounces the Camry Hybrid's 41 mpg. But there's also the volume-selling turbocharged 1.6-liter "EcoBoost" model, which gets up to 25/37 mpg in a more conventional and affordable package.

It probably doesn't hurt that the newly redesigned Fusion now has a hint of Aston Martin styling up front, so consumers are no longer forced to choose between fuel-sipping and style.

But perhaps the best evidence for the Fusion's broad appeal is the fact that the Green Car of the Year panelists included certified gearhead Jay Leno and Sierra Club leader Michael Brune. When those two guys endorse the same car, you know it's something special.

What it means to you: The 2013 Ford Fusion should be the first Green Car of the Year to appeal to hyper-milers, average shoppers and auto enthusiasts alike.

See more LA Auto Show news.

Which car would you pick for green car of the year? Tell us in the comments below.

author photo

Josh Sadlier is an automotive journalist based in Los Angeles and has contributed to such publications as Edmunds.com and DriverSide.com. He holds arguably the most unexpected degree in his profession: a master's in Theological Studies.

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