You’ve already seen the shamrocks, the green rivers and the “Kiss me, I’m Irish” t-shirts. In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day and all that is green, here are the top 10 green cars on the market in 2010.
10. Ford Escape Hybrid
Ford boasts that its $30,000 Escape Hybrid is “the most fuel-efficient SUV on the planet.” And it’s a particularly appealing option to the thousands of would-be green drivers who need a family-sized alternative to smaller hybrids. The 2010 model averages 32 miles per gallon (mpg). It’s also the lone SUV to make the list.
9. smart fortwo
Yes, it’s small. But it’s also incredibly fuel efficient, considering it’s not a hybrid. The smart fortwo gets 36 mpg, which goes a long way in the cities this car was built for. If you live in the ‘burbs or a rural area, however, this may not be the car for you.
8. Lexus HS 250h
The lone luxury hybrid on the market, the Lexus HS 250h sits firmly between $30,000 and $40,000, and gets an average of 35 mpg. With the cutting-edge comfort, technology, and safety that Lexus drivers have come to expect, we’ll soon find out whether there is, indeed, a market for luxury hybrids.
7. Toyota Camry Hybrid
At 34 mpg, the Camry Hybrid is designed to save you money over the course of the year. Those worrying about the recent recalls can breathe easy, because according to Toyota, just 22 Camry Hybrids were recalled this year. And while some consider it a funnily-shaped Prius, it’s actually more affordable than the hybrid champ.
6. Audi A3 TDI
The Audi A3 TDI made a big splash this past October, earning the “Green Car of the Year” title from Green Car Journal. The 5-door, 6-speed Audi gets 34 mpg, which is more than a third better than the gas-consuming version. And unlike many hybrid or diesel models, the fuel-efficient edition is just a fraction more expensive than the standard A3.
5. Volkswagen Jetta TDI
As the highest-ranking diesel-powered car to crack the top 10, the Jetta TDI gets 34 miles per gallon — good enough to compete with the hybrids. And its clean-running engine easily meets the emission requirements of all 50 states.
4. Ford Fusion Hybrid
The Fusion Hybrid, which gets 41 mpg, was recently named “the best gas-electric hybrid yet” by USA Today. This sedan makes up for its sticker price (around $28,000) by saving drivers almost $600 per year on fuel, compared to the more-affordable standard Fusion. It’s also getting quite a bit of fanfare for being the one of the fastest green cars produced in America (0–60 in 8.7).
3. Honda Civic Hybrid
The Civic Hybrid gets about 42 mpg, and offers an alternative design to drivers who are unimpressed by the typical hybrid body. More importantly, it’s a Top Safety Pick of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and it earned a 5-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Green and safe is an unbeatable combo.
2. Honda Insight
It’s hard to believe that it’s been a decade since the Insight first hit the market in all of its innovative, 2-seated glory. And while the Civic Hybrid has a narrow advantage in terms of gas mileage, the Insight costs $4,000 less, with a sticker price just over $20,000. With a fuel economy over 40 mpg, we’re giving the Insight a slight edge over its pricier cousin. But it still plays second fiddle to the car its design clearly emulates. Yep, you guessed it….
1. 3rd Generation Toyota Prius
For the 7th year in a row, the Prius was named Consumer Reports’ best “green” car. That’s in spite of the recent recall, which affected nearly half a million Prius drivers. As Toyota works to repair its image, the company will take solace in the fact the Prius remains the most popular and fuel-efficient car on the market, at over 50 mpg.