2012 Volkswagen Passat

If you’re shopping for a fuel-efficient car, Green Car Journal has recognized five that they consider the best of the bunch. The magazine will announce the winner of its 2012 Green Car of the Year award at the Los Angeles Auto Show November 17.

The five finalists are the 2012 Ford Focus Electric, 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas, 2012 Mitsubishi i, 2012 Toyota Prius v and 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI. Last year’s winner was the 2011 Chevrolet Volt.

“What is notable about this year's field of outstanding nominees is that they represent different takes on what makes a car ‘green,’” Green Car Journal says in a statement. The magazine says its editors consider dozens of vehicles that run on several types of fuel, including diesel, natural gas, electricity and gasoline. “Along with quantifiable environmental achievement, market significance and ‘newness’ are but a few of many criteria considered as the field is narrowed to a final five.”

Some of these cars have not been rated for fuel economy by the federal government yet. But the EPA says the 2012 Mitsubishi i should get 126/99 mpg-e (miles per gallon equivalent) city/highway; the 2012 Toyota Prius v gets an estimated 44/40 mpg; and the 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI should achieve fuel economy ratings of 30/40 mpg with an automatic transmission and 31/43 mpg with a manual.

Shopping for a hybrid car? Check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars. Then, look for a great deal on a new car by checking out this month’s best car deals. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.