As gas prices increase, you can save some money by buying a more environmentally friendly vehicles. That may only be true when evaluating the cost of gas over time, however. Hybrid and other cars that rely on energy sources other than gasoline may cost more to own over the long-term when you consider the initial price of the car and the cost of maintenance.
Eventually, it is quite possible that green cars will be less costly to own than gasoline-based cars, but that time is not here yet. While you can certainly save money in the cost of gas over time when compared to a comparable car, money is a poor reason for choosing to buy green.
So why buy green at all? If you believe that it is important to do less damage to the environment, you may be willing to pay a little extra in order to achieve that goal. Just buying a more fuel-efficient vehicle is only part of the answer; in fact, many people will point out that in some cases buying green, due to the manufacturing process, can be more damaging overall.
However, as more people become interested in green technology, it will become more affordable for businesses to research, develop and improve this technology. Eventually, with enough momentum, green technology will be more affordable and more effective.
Kelley Blue Book has announced their choices for the top ten green cars of 2010. Here is how the editors explain their methodology:
While it would have been simple just to have ticked off the Top 10 vehicles in fuel efficiency and let it go at that, we again sought out a variety of vehicle types because not everyone who wants to get greener will have their transportation needs met by a small sedan. To be considered for the green Top 10, each vehicle was required to offer fuel economy and CO2 emissions superior to the bulk of vehicles in its class and at the same time provide all the safety, creature comforts and driving enjoyment that would make it pleasant to own.
Here is the list:
- 2010 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid: 22 mpg (21 city, 22 highway)
- 2010 Toyota Highlander Hybrid: 26 mpg (27 city, 25 highway)
- 2010 BMW 335d: 27 mpg (23 city, 36 highway)
- 2010 Honda Fit: 31 mpg (28 city, 35 highway)
- 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid: 32 mpg (34 city, 31 highway)
- 2010 MINI Cooper: 32 mpg (28 city, 37 highway)
- 2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI: 34 mpg (30 city, 42 highway)
- 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid: 39 mpg (41 city, 36 highway)
- 2010 Honda Insight: 41 mpg (40 city, 43 highway)
- 2010 Toyota Prius: 50 mpg (51 city, 48 highway)
My 2004 Honda Civic LX, not a hybrid model, is approaching 120,000 miles, so I still have several years before I’ll need to replace it. When you replace your current car, what will you purchase?
Published or updated April 26, 2010.