Transportation: What are the Best Green Cars in 2010?
Since the technology exists to make all cars more environmentally friendly, you might wonder why every car company hasn’t offered a fully green model. Someday, the hope is that all cars will run without the need for fossil fuels and will not further add to the demise of fresh air. Until then, we can look to and thank the car companies that have put out models that aim towards a healthier planet. Here are ten of the best.
1. The Toyota Prius: The Prius had to ride out some bad press after recalls inconvenienced close to a million owners, but despite that black mark on Toyota’s record, the Prius 3rd Generation has come out of the gate strong and there’s no stopping it. For several years, the Prius has topped lists as the most fuel-efficient car available today. It gets over 50 miles per gallon.
2. Honda Civic Hybrid: This beauty of a car earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick award and it has a five star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. All that aside, it’s a green machine that clocks in at 42 miles per gallon.
3. The Honda Insight: With 40 miles per gallon and a reasonable price tag, it’s no wonder this baby from the first hybrid car company makes the list. It has Eco Assist technology that helps drivers work each time they drive it to beat their previous eco-driving performance.
4. Volkswagen Jetta TDI: This stylish diesel powered machine will get you 30 miles per gallon in the city and 42 miles per gallon on the highway. It produces 90% less diesel pollution than older diesel car models. Those who purchase the TDI also get a tax credit.
5. Ford Fusion Hybrid: It’s not cheap, but it is one of the fastest hybrid cars around. This gas and electric model will get you going up to 60 miles per hour in just under nine seconds. And you’ll get 41 miles to the gallon.
6. Audi A3 TDI: While relaxing to the sounds from your Sirius radio, you’ll be able to go for 34 miles on every gallon of diesel. The good news about this “Green Car of the Year” is that it doesn’t cost that much more than the traditional A3. And its looks earn it extra bonus points.
7. Lexus HS250h: If you’ve got a spare $35K that you’re dying to spend, plunk it down on this stunning hybrid. You’ll get 35 miles to the gallon and be seen around town in a car that looks good and is also good for the planet. Who knew going green could look so elegant?
8. Smart Car for Two: If you’ve been eying this tiny two-seater in the city, you might wonder about its performance. For just under $12K you’ll get tridion safety cell protection in case you come up against a larger car, an electronic stability program, and 33 miles per gallon in the city. Take it on the highway and you’ll get 41.
9. Toyota Camry Hybrid: Don’t want to spring for the Prius? Go with this cool car instead. The second Toyota to make the list, this sleek sister to the Prius is all about function. You can feel good about driving this Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emission Vehicle. You’ll get a full 34 miles to the gallon too.
10. Ford Escape Hybrid: What’s being called the “most fuel-efficient SUV on the planet” by its maker is a solution for the millions of drivers who would love to go green but need seating for the kids and their gear. And you don’t have to sacrifice looks for performance. It stands alone in its class at 32 miles per gallon. SUV and fuel-economy really can go together.
As more car makers get it that fossil fuels are not the way to go, what can we expect to see in the future? Will the next generation see a world without combustion engines? Many speculate that it’s going to be an electric world with recharging stations dotting the landscape instead of gas stations. There are no emissions with electric powered cars, and the batteries are improving to the point where they are no longer a concern in terms of how far a charge will last you. With fuel prices heading up and the awareness of the public increasing, high demand for electric and hybrid cars is expected into the future. Combustion engines will always serve a purpose, but will certainly not be the first choice for consumers in years to come.
Take one step towards a cleaner tomorrow by looking into the various models of hybrids available before buying your next car. Also consider alternatives such as carpooling, electric bicycles, rapid transit or ridesharing. Each person’s contribution counts towards a better future for everyone.