2017 Toyota Prius
Best Eco-Friendly Car
Someone has to save the world, not to mention save money. We include hybrids, diesels and even a few fuel-sipping gas-only cars.
The Prius long has been one of the most efficient gas-electric hybrids you could buy, but its 2016 redesign resulted in even better efficiency, with an EPA-estimated rating as high as 58/53/56 mpg city/highway/combined in Eco trim. What's more, the redesign addressed the Prius' key shortcoming: a brittle, noisy ride. The new suspension tuning results in a significantly better driving experience, so you can go green on your daily commute without sacrificing comfort. While there are more electric cars hitting the market — some with long ranges — the Prius remains one of the best ways to travel as far as you want on as little fuel as possible.
2017 Toyota Yaris iA
Best Eco-Friendly Deal
Formerly a Scion and co-developed with Mazda, the Yaris iA subcompact sedan has an unusual history but offers good value for the money, with a starting price below $17,000. It's also one of the most efficient new cars: With the optional automatic transmission, the Yaris iA gets an EPA-estimated 32/40/35 mpg city/highway combined. The low price doesn't mean low-rent, though, as the Yaris iA has a finely finished interior that's a step better than the class norm and that includes features such as a standard precollision system backup camera, push-button start and cruise control.
2017 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid
Driving a hybrid has sometimes meant driving compromises, but the Malibu Hybrid isn't one of those. The hybrid drivetrain is very well done, delivering smooth power, and brake-pedal feel is good, too; that's sometimes rare with hybrids and electric cars. With a comfortable ride and quiet interior, the Malibu Hybrid is a great place to let the miles pass between stops for gas. Those stops will be infrequent, too, since the mid-size sedan gets an EPA-estimated 49/43/46 mpg city/highway/combined. A roomy cabin with a backseat that's big enough to comfortably carry adults is another plus.
2017 Ford Fusion Energi
If you like what the Fusion Hybrid offers, but you want to take it a step further, may we suggest the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid? With its bigger battery pack, the Fusion Energi can operate on electric power alone for up to 21 miles. When its all-electric range is depleted, the Fusion Energi still offers good gas mileage with an EPA-estimated 42 mpg in combined driving. Whether you want to drive back and forth to work without gas or put a significant dent in the amount of fuel you use, the Fusion Energi gives you the overall efficiency of an electric car and the convenience of a gas-electric hybrid in one mid-size sedan.
2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid
The Fusion mid-size sedan is a stylish, good-driving family car, and the hybrid model takes the things we like about it and adds a refined hybrid system that gets an EPA-estimated 43/41/42 mpg city/highway/combined. It offers impressive all-electric performance, with the ability to drive up to 85 mph on electric power alone. Driving style is an important factor in the fuel-efficiency equation, and the Fusion Hybrid's EcoGuide coaching system helps you tailor your driving style to get the most from the car's technology. The Fusion Hybrid also offers Ford's Sync 3 multimedia system to keep you and your passengers entertained.
2017 Honda Fit
Whether you get the standard manual transmission or the optional continuously variable automatic, the Fit is an efficient hatchback: It's rated at 32 mpg combined with the manual and up to 36 mpg combined with the CVT. Nimble handling makes it ideally suited to navigating city traffic, as does its available LaneWatch camera system, which gives you a wide-angle view of the right side of the car when making right turns. There's also its innovative second-row Magic Seat, which can be configured different ways to suit varying cargo-carrying needs, whether you need to haul a bike or a flat-screen TV.
2017 Lexus RX 450h
The RX 450h is a solid choice for luxury shoppers looking for an efficient SUV that doesn't scrimp on amenities. It gets an EPA-estimated 31/28/30 mpg city/highway/combined with standard all-wheel drive and an electric motor driving the rear wheels. The RX has adopted the aggressive styling cues defining modern Lexus models, and it offers things such as heated and ventilated front seats, leather upholstery to keep you comfortable and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking to keep you safe.
2017 Tesla Model S
The Model S proved there was a market for all-electric luxury cars — something that hadn't been seen before its introduction. It was also the first mass-market electric car with a battery big enough to quell most range-anxiety concerns. New offerings with bigger batteries have since debuted, but the Model S has consistently demonstrated that electric cars can be fun as well as eco-friendly with its pin-you-back-in-your-seat acceleration. The Model S single-handedly made electric cars desirable, where before compromise was the overarching theme. That's no small feat, and luxury brands have taken note with plans to launch their own electric cars.
2017 Toyota Prius c
With its small size, tight turning circle and EPA-estimated 53 mpg in city driving (for the 2016 model year), the subcompact Prius c is made for urbanites. Its hatchback offers versatility and its gas-electric drivetrain provides a more entertaining driving experience than you might expect. It's not quite as inexpensive as the Toyota Yaris iA, but its affordable starting price and overall fuel efficiency (2016 models get 50 mpg in combined driving) mean you'll save money, both now and in the future. Whether gas prices remain low or spike again, you'll be covered with the Prius c.
2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
If you want to go green but need a vehicle that's big enough for the family and all the stuff that goes along with life and kids, the Highlander Hybrid is worth a close look. With room for up to eight people in three rows of seats, it gets an EPA-estimated rating as high as 30/28/29 mpg city/highway/combined with standard all-wheel drive. With a refined driving experience and enough versatility to haul yardwork supplies on the weekend and carry kids to school during the week, the Highlander Hybrid supports both your environmental and family priorities.