December 4, 2012 4:59 PM | By John LeBlanc for MSN Autos
Retrospective: Green Car of the Year, 2006 to now

Find out which automakers have claimed the prize, and with which vehicles

Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid wins in 2008 (© Photo: Max Morse / RTR Photo)
  • Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid wins in 2008 (© Photo: Max Morse / RTR Photo)
  • Mercury Mariner Hybrid (© Photo: Chip East / RTR Photos)
  • 2006 Lexus RX 400h (© Photo: Lexus)
  • 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid (© Photo: Phil McCarten / RTR Photos)
  • 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid (© Photo: Toyota)
  • 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid (© Photo: Max Morse / RTR Photo)
  • 2008 Nissan Altima Hybrid (© Photo: Nissan)
  • 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI (© Photo: Fred Prouser / RTR Photo)
Photo: Max Morse / RTR PhotoShow Thumbnails
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When it comes to the North American auto industry, most people think of Detroit — you know, Motor City — but California shouldn't be forgotten. The Golden state is steeped in car culture, a source point for hot-rods, customs, tuners, and the green scene. It's only natural then, that the LA Auto Show is the location where the Green Car Journal hands out its annual Green Car of the Year award.

In the search for the best in "green" cars, GCJ says it looks for "affordable mass-market products that provide drivers full functionality and mainstream appeal." For the 2013 model year, GCoTY nominees include the Dodge Dart, Ford C-Max and Fusion hybrids, Mazda CX-5 and Toyota Prius C hybrid.

Click through the gallery to find out the previous winners of the Green Car of the Year award and our verdicts on the winners.

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