2017 Eco-Friendly Car of the Year: Toyota Prius

2017 Toyota Prius

Manufacturer image

The Prius has long been the face of the hybrid segment and along the way developed a cult following of eco-conscious consumers. It remains an extremely efficient five-seat mid-size hatchback — regular models get 52 mpg in combined driving, according to the EPA, while the Eco version gets 56 mpg combined — and with its redesign for the 2016 model year, the Prius addressed its biggest driving-comfort shortcomings, widening the appeal of an already popular model.

Its gas-electric drivetrain features a 1.8-liter four-cylinder gas engine and electric motor that make a combined 121 horsepower and drive the front wheels through a continuously variable automatic transmission. The cargo area measures 24.6 cubic feet and a standard 60/40-split folding backseat increases the car's versatility. There's no shortage of safety features, either, with standard forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, among others.