Best Hybrid Cars for the Money: Go Green, Save Green

Toyota Prius HybridCost-conscious consumers dream about saving prices at the pump, but many are reluctant to pay the steep costs of purchasing an economical new vehicle. Fortunately, an array of inexpensive pre-owned hybrids are available at buy here pay here dealerships across the country—all for under $20K. Here’s a list of the most cost-effective hybrids, according to average prices paid on USNews.com.

The following five hybrids are the best vehicles to go green while saving green.

2010 Toyota Prius
Average Price: $18,567

The Prius continues its reign as the hybrid king of fuel economy—the 2010 model achieves an impressive 51/48 mpg for city and highway. The 2010 redesign introduced a more powerful four-cylinder gas engine and two electric motors, granting the hybrid a noticeable boost in power. After activating the push-button start, drivers have three additional driving mode options: eco, power and ev mode that differ in energy usage and performance. Drivers and passengers enjoy its spacious interior and cargo space. The 2010 Prius’ high priority on safety is apparent with its standard seven airbags, electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes.

2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid
Average Price: $17,650

The 2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid‘s similarities to its gas-powered counterpart make the eco-friendly version a wise alternative. Its fluid acceleration and performance are sure to please motorists that expect more traditional handling from hybrid vehicles. A roomy cabin ideal for families, though the battery pack encroaches upon valuable trunk space—a common grievance among hybrids. The standard trio of electric motor, four-cylinder engine and continuously variable transmission achieves 33/34 mpg fuel economy on the city and highway.

2010 Honda Civic Hybrid
Average Price: $15,805 – $16,316

The 2010 Civic Hybrid tops the charts in safety, standard features and fuel economy. This small hybrid is pleasantly crammed with standard features including a six-speaker stereo system, auxiliary/USB ports and automatic climate control. An electric motor and 1.3-liter inline four-cylinder engine combine forces to enable an excellent fuel economy of 40/45 mpg city/highway. The Civic Hybrid gains an edge by including the many safety features that were absent in 2010 small cars. Electronic brake-force distribution, traction control and electronic stability control are all present in the Civic Hybrid’s standard model. All these new models come with a different number of computers and sensors that check the status in the vehicle, there are tools that let you read these computers, you just need to read reviews of the obd2 tools to be able to analyze your vehicle.

2011 Honda Insight
Average Price: $15,430 – $18,009

Small and sporty, the 2011 Honda Insight scored superbly in safety and reliability ratings. It received a 9.6 out of 10 for safety and eight of 10 for reliability, according to JD Power and Associates. Steering and braking feels as though you’re driving a gas-only car, though a 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine and electric motor lay under the hood. Averaging 40/43 mpg city/highway, the fuel economy ranks as one of the highest in its class. Cruise control and a USB port are added upon upgrading to LX trim.

2010 Nissan Altima Hybrid
Average Price: $15,476

Nearly indistinguishable from its gas-powered brethren, the 2010 Nissan Altima Hybrid shined among its peers. Precision steering and linear regenerative brakes garnered high acclaim from critics. The hybrid’s fuel economy of 35/33 mpg city/highway also gained commendable marks for its midsize car class. A push-button start galvanizes the four-cylinder engine, electric motor and continuously variable transmission. Decked out with creature comforts like the six-speaker stereo, dual-zone climate control and its superbly comfortable cabin, the 2010 Altima Hybrid is an all-around great buy.

[About the author: Dave Billings loves the smell of asphalt mixed with diesel on a hot day. He has been working on cars and going to auctions for the past 20 years and he still loves learning about domestic and foreign cars.]