Honda's line of Accords won the 2014 Green Car of the Year award from an auto industry magazine at last week's Los Angeles Auto Show.
In recent years, Green Car Journal honoured cars whose selling points were emerging technologies including natural gas, electric and clean diesel.
This year, the prize's jurors - among them environmentalists and comedian/car enthusiast Jay Leno - opted to honour an already-popular model that has a gas-electric hybrid version, but also an internal combustion engine that runs on gas.
Ron Cogan, the magazine's editor and publisher, said the Accord's appeal is that its price and good gas mileage help make a widespread, positive impact on the environment.
He said fully electric vehicles, for example, tend to be more expensive and on the road in far fewer numbers.
"It may be wonderful what you're doing on an individual level, but your ability to make large-scale environmental impact is very small," Cogan said.
The other finalists were the Audi A6 TDI and BMW 328d, both diesels, the Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla.