If you’re considering trading in your old gas guzzler for a new, environmentally-friendly model, don’t visit any dealership until you’ve done your research. No matter what you hear in the news, not all green cars are created equal. Almost every automobile manufacturer has its own version of a green car and competition has become fierce. Now that you are no longer forced to choose between two or three models, it’s in your best interest to do a fair amount of research before you choose your next car.
We’ve compiled a list of the top five environmentally-friendly cars of 2012 to help get you started on your search. Here are our picks:
If you’re looking for a car to take you the short distance to work or school, the Volt is what you need. One charge can carry you up to 50 miles; 375 miles if you use electric and gas. Recharging your car will take only four hours on 240 volts and ten hours on 120 volts. The Volt has received a five-star crash safety rating, making it one of the safest green cars on the market.
2.Toyota Prius V
67.3 cubic feet of cargo space give the Prius the feel of a mini-van in a trendy design. If you aren’t sure just how much space 67.3 cubic feet will give you, consider this: with the rear seats folded down, you can fit 98 paper grocery bags into the back of the Prius V. With gas mileage ratings of 44 MPG in the city, 40 MPG on the highway, and 42 MPG combined, you’ll spend less time filling up and more time on the road.
3.Toyota Prius C
The smaller version of the Prius has better mileage ratings than its big brother and costs significantly less. The Prius C is the perfect choice for city driving, and younger drivers may prefer it over other Prius models thanks to its sporty exterior. The Prius C is both comfortable and safe to drive because of its roomy interior and nine standard air bags.
If there’s one drawback to this vehicle, it’s the prohibitive cost for the average car buyer. If you can swing the $36,000 price tag, you’ll own the best electric-only vehicle in history. A single charge will cost just under $3.00 and will carry you 106 miles through the city and 92 miles over the highway. When it comes to maintenance, the Leaf will cost $1,800 less over a five year period than its gas fueled counterparts.
The i is by far the most reasonably priced all-electric car on the market today. At just under $30,000, the car is more affordable for the masses. The zippy, nimble design of the car will appeal to younger shoppers and the comfortable, roomy interior will appeal to all. The i is perfect for those who commute within the city or who are looking for a second car to use for errands and short trips.
Whether you want an all-electric vehicle or one that can run on gas or electric, you’re sure to find exactly what you want this year. The competition to manufacture the best green car is heating up and the public is reaping the rewards. Take a trip to your local dealership and look at any one of these top six green vehicles; you won’t be disappointed!
Wilbur Smith is an auto-enthusiast, environmental activist, and freelance blogger for a website that will help you get the best trade-in value for your old car so that you can afford a new one.