Some of these cars have yet to be released; however, if they stand up and perform the way they have been touted, they will well and truly have earned their spot on this list.
The upcoming Chevrolet Volt 230 will be the chart topper as it is said to give you 230 miles per gallon in the city. This number can be played with due to the interaction of the electric and gas portion of the car. For the first 40 miles of the charge, the car will run completely on electricity, after that, the gas power kicks in more and more as the mileage ticks off. If you drive less than forty miles a day, this car could definitely be your new best friend, though the price tag for this car will exceed $40,000.00. You’ll have to save a lot of gas in order to make up the difference in cost.
3rd Generation Prius
The next car on the chart is the 3rd generation Toyota Prius, coming in at $22,000.00, this car will be much more attainable than the Volt. It retains its familiar shape though it has been sleeked up a bit and is essentially the same size. The gasoline engine is a little stronger than the predecessor and there have been other upgrades also that gives this car a 51/48 mpg respectively. Toyota has addressed the faults of the previous year, giving the vehicle a more rigid chassis and upgraded electric assist steering. The new Prius also has an optional self parking system. Solar powered ventilation systems are also available on some models, an affordable car that continues to work hard towards eco-friendliness.
Eco friendly car number three is the Honda Insight re-enters the race with a base price tag of $23,550 and the fully loaded Insight EX that includes all sorts of goodies such as a navigation system, costs only slightly more than the bare bones Prius. This little car sports an Integrated Motor Assist hybrid system that starts with a 1.3 liter four cylinder gasoline engine with 88 horsepower and 88 pound feet of torque. The electric motor generates another 13hp and 58 pound feet of torque, this will move the Insight up to 30 mph without the help of the gas engine. When the gas engine does kick in, it’s a seamless transition that doesn’t cough and rumble. The braking system also acts as a recharging system, sending charge to the battery whenever the brakes are applied. This car gets approximately 40/43 respectively
Ford Escape Hybrid
Coming up next in line is the Ford Escape Hybrid which is the first SUV style eco friendly vehicle on the list. The Escape Hybrid has been on the market for five years now and those five years have filled Ford with experience and knowledge that is in turn rolled back into the next version of the vehicle. This is another vehicle that will have a ‘park assist’ system which automatically steers the vehicle into a suitably sized parking space. The fuel economy for this vehicle is 34 in the city and higher on the highways, this makes it the most fuel efficient SUV on the market. The Hybrid model of the Escape starts at $31,500. What this vehicle is fighting is the Honda CR-V fully gas powered and the Toyota RAV4 fully gas powered which are all around better vehicles and turn in a respectable 20mpg combined fuel economy at a much lower ticket price.
Honda Civic Hybrid
The Honda Civic Hybrid is the next one to step up as one of the first members of the Honda Hybrid lineup. This is a small family sedan and serves well for a couple with young children. This little sedan is powered by a 1.3 liter i-VTEC 4 cylinder engine with integrated motor assist and a permanent magnet electric motor, producing 110 horsepower and 45 mpg on the highway, controlled by a continuously variable transmission. It is equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system to ensure your tires are always at the correct inflation to give the best gas mileage. The base price of this hybrid is $23,800.00 making it an affordable green solution.
Ford Fusion Hybrid
The 2010 Ford Fusion is the first US hybrid that sports a fully functional gasoline-electric powertrain, the Fusion can even run in full electric mode with the air conditioner on. This little family sedan delivers 41 mpg city and 36 mpg highway driving. This spunky little sedan starts at $27,270.00 so it won’t drain the pocketbook as much as many competitors. The Fusion Hybrid is equipped with a 2.5 liter four cylinder gasoline engine producing 156 horsepower and is paired with an electric motor that raises the horsepower to 191. Power is transferred to the wheels by a continuously variable automatic transmission.
Lexus HS 250h
In the luxury field you could have guaranteed that Lexus would have their bid in and they do with the HS 250h which is base priced at $34,200. This little luxury sedan delivers 35 mpg combined driving through a powertrain that is from the Camry Hybrid though it’s platform is unique to it alone. When you drive this vehicle you will have no doubt you are driving a luxury car, it’s ride, lack of cabin noise and nimble handling combined with just about every luxury feature possible as either standard or optional, will leave you with no doubts.
Porsche Cayenne Hybrid
If you have a need for even more luxury and you have the pocketbook healthy enough to support it, you may want to take a look at the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid. This sporty little hybrid is due to be released some time in 2010. The price tag is expected to range between $44,000 and 123,000 making this a very expensive green machine. Full specs on this vehicle are only speculation at this point and full knowledge of it’s capabilities won’t be realized until those specs become available.
Mercury Milan Hybrid
The 2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid is available sporting two gas/electric engine options, one being a 2.5 liter in-line four and the peppier 3.0-liter V6 version. On electrical power alone this vehicle can hit 47 mph which is the fastest electric only speed for any hybrid currently on the market. It is equipped with a continuously variable automatic transmission and delivers 41/36 mpg city, highway respectively. This vehicle base prices out at $31,235 making it one of the more expensive eco friendly cars but is well worth the look.
Nissan Altima Hybird
The last car on the list and quite possibly the least is the Nissan Altima Hybrid. This vehicle is Nissan’s first bid to run in the hybrid race. Equipped with a NiMH batter pack designed by Panasonic, the Altima is currently a bit of a mix and match concoction of parts and pieces from Ford and Toyota. This hybrid has limited availability which will make getting parts harder than the rest as well as making service in general a bit harder to come by. The overall design of this vehicle is basically the same as the non hybrid Altima. There is a rumor that the 2012 Altima will have a completely new design so you may want to wait for the 2012 model before considering this vehicle.