We’re always looking for new and exciting ways to reduce our carbon footprint and save the planet. Separating your recyclables and using paper instead of plastic are great, but their effect is minimal when compared to some of the other sources of greenhouse gasses in your life.
Driving a traditional gas-powered car is probably the biggest part of your carbon footprint, but switching to something more eco-friendly might seem like it’s out of your price range. If you’re interested in switching it up, here are a few eco-friendly cars that won’t break the bank.
- Ford Fusion Hybrid
The Ford Fusion is already a nice little family car — you’d never know it was a hybrid by looking at it except for the decal on the trunk. Its 2.0L hybrid engine will get you where you need to go with an estimated gas mileage of 43 miles per gallon.
The newest model of this car, the 2017 Fusion Hybrid S, is currently priced at $25,295, but some Ford incentives that hit at the end of 2016 actually dropped the price below $20,000 for earlier models.
- Toyota Prius Two
The Toyota Prius has been the butt of a lot of jokes since it first rolled off the production line, but it’s still one of the best moderately priced hybrid cars on the market. It also gets the best fuel economy of any non-electric car on the market today — you can drive a mind-blowing 56 miles per gallon.
The Prius Two is currently priced at $24,685 and has been named the Best Hybrid for 2017 by U.S. News & World Report. If that’s still a little bit out of your price range, the Prius c One is under $20,000 with comparable gas mileage.
- Kia Optima Hybrid
The Kia Optima is already a popular sedan and family car. The gas-only model gets a respectable 24 mpg in the city and 34 on the highway. The hybrid, for just about the same price, gets 39 mpg in the city and nearly 50 on the highway.
This year’s model for the Optima Hybrid is starting at $25,995, making it a little pricier than the other cars on this list so far but not by much.
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- Honda CR-Z LX
Honda has a reputation for small, efficient cars. Adding a hybrid to the mix just helps to reinforce that reputation. The CR-Z LX packs quite a bit of power in its little 1.5L 4 cylinder hybrid engine. Pair that with a 6-speed manual transmission and 39 miles per gallon on the highway, and you’ve got the recipe for the perfect little hybrid.
It’s also one of the most reasonably priced hybrids on our list, with base models starting at $20,295.
- Hyundai Sonata Hybrid SE
The Hyundai Sonata is one of the highest rated cars currently on the market when it comes to safety. With a 2.0L hybrid engine, 6-speed automatic transmission and every safety feature you can think of, the 39-mpg city mileage is just the icing on the cake.
The Sonata Hybrid starts out at $26,000, with plug-in options available from $30,100 to $38,600.
- Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid
If you want a hybrid but have your heart set on an SUV, then you’re in luck — the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid has everything you want in one neat package. The 2016 model starts at $27,997. While the model was dropped by Subaru for the 2017 model year, the manufacturer did debut a new version of this neat little SUV at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.
- Toyota Camry Hybrid LE
We tried not to have more than one entry from any particular manufacturer on this list, but the Toyota Camry Hybrid was just too good to leave off. Everyone is familiar with the Toyota Camry — you’ve probably got at least one friend who owns one because they’re such great little cars. The Hybrid LE takes what makes the Camry great and adds a hybrid engine to make it that much better.
The Camry Hybrid LE starts at $26,790 and gets an astonishing 42 miles to the gallon under city driving conditions.
Helping the environment by trading in your old gas guzzler for a hybrid doesn’t have to break the bank. All the cars on this list are available for under $30,000, and many manufacturers and states offer incentives for buying a hybrid that could cut your costs even further.
If you’ve got your heart set on one brand, talk to your local car salesman to see what hybrid options they have available for you that will fit into your budget. Save money and the planet in one move — everyone wins!