There’s no question that it’s a car’s world. America is built around the highway system, with sprawling towns made up of business districts and residential areas all mixed up together. Living in a big city can make walking, biking, and using public transit more realistic, but that’s no consolation when you’ve got to go 20 blocks in the pouring rain.
We like the independence and validation of a personal car, and for many, going car-free is many years away from being a reality. But that doesn’t mean you should just be content to chug around in the gas-guzzler you’ve got parked in the garage. If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, a few extra hours of research could yield you a car that’s not only much better for the environment, it’s kind to your wallet as well.
On the following pages, you’ll find Kelly Blue Book’s picks for some of the greenest cars for the 2012 model year. Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts and the picks they missed in the comments!
Note: there were 5 other cars on KBB’s top 10 list, but they irked me. There’s just something wrong about trying to pass off a brand new Lexus as a green car for the masses, I don’t care what kind of MPG it gets. If you want to see the cars that didn’t make my reality cut, click here.
5. 2012 Scion iQ
Continuing the happy tradition of compact-yet-sporty cars started by the Mini Cooper, the Scion iQ may look diminutive, but may surprise you. It’s perfect for those who need a little more leg room than a Smart car can provide, but hate having to pass up tiny parking spaces in the city.
What comes standard: Electronic rear-hatch locking system, a thumping 160-watt Pioneer audio system with HD technology, a USB input for your iPod, Bluetooth connectivity, 16-inch covered steel wheels, and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).
What’s under the hood:1.4-liter in-line 4, 94 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm, 89 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 36/37
Top image via Thinkstock, others via respective car manufacturers
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may
not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.