Top Eco Friendly Cars of 2014

Smart Car Parked - Eco Friendly
Garry Knight, Flickr
Which one of these is not like the others? The smart ForTwo electric gets its choice of parking spots, in addition to top ranking among environmentally friendly cars in 2014.

If you’re looking for a new car and are thinking you’d like to trade in that old pollution machine for a bona fide eco-warrior, you’ve come to the right place. Openbay has tracked down a list of the top 10 most eco-friendly cars for 2014 – each of them ranked by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and assigned a “green score” – all the better to help you make your decision about buying the vehicle that’ll cause the least amount of damage to Mother Nature while saving you big-time money at the pumps.

  1. Smart ForTwo Electric Drive. Manufactured by Smart, a division of Daimier AG, this car’s diminutive size and sticker price of $25,000 may cause you to shake your head – until you see that this fully electric ride gets the equivalent of 122 miles per gallon in the city, 93 on the highway. With a green score of 59, this is the ACEEE’s number one most environmentally friendly car.
  2. Toyota Prius c. A hybrid that starts at just over $19,000 and gets you 54 miles to the gallon in the city and an equally impressive 46 on the highway, the Prius c manages to meet two enormously important criteria: affordable price and amazing gas mileage. Its green score is 57.
  3. Nissan LEAF. With a sleek, handsome appearance that’ll no doubt cause a couple of double-takes, this fully electric, 107-horsepower hatchback nabs the equivalent of 106 miles per gallon in the city, 92 on the highway. With a starting MSRP of almost $29,000 it’s not cheap – but its green score of 55 is a big convincing factor.
  4. Toyota Prius. One of the standard bearers of eco-conscious commuting, the original Prius hybrid is Toyota’s mid-size offering that gets 51 m.p.g. city, 48 m.p.g. highway. With a green score of 55, a 134-horsepower engine, and a sticker price of $24,000 this is one of the longest running hybrid models on the road today.
  5. Honda Civic Hybrid. If you’re into the idea of a sedan that’ll give you a bit more room to stretch out, you could do a lot worse than the Civic Hybrid. Starting at close to $28,000, it gets a respectable 44/47 m.p.g. and comes with a 1.5 liter, 110-horsepower engine. Green score: 55. And it’s a great looking car.
  6. Lexus CT 200h. Starting at $32,000, the CT 200h hybrid from Lexus is known first for its excellent gas mileage (51 m.p.g. city, 48 m.p.g. highway) and second for the superior handling abilities, which is the result of its lower overall stance and profile. It’s also a hatchback, which boosts it up a notch in the convenience category. Green score: 55.
  7. Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid. Offering proof positive that Toyota is at the head of the herd when it comes to offering quality green cars, this plug-in hybrid version of the Prius gets a green score of 55 and starts at just under $30,000. Its average miles per gallon are 51 in the city, 49 on the highway.
  8. Mitsubishi Mirage. If you’re looking for an affordable ride and are okay with a tiny, traditional non-hybrid car, then the Mirage is for you. With a sticker price under $13,000 and a green score of 54, Mitsubishi’s long-running model is the highest ranked non-hybrid car on the ACEEE’s list. Estimated miles per gallon are 37 city, 44 highway.
  9. Honda Civic Natural Gas. This is the car for anyone looking to cut back on emissions and save a pretty penny on fuel. The Honda Civic Natural Gas runs on – you guessed it! – clean burning natural gas. With prices starting at around $29,000, this car will fetch you about 27 m.p.g. in the city and 38 m.p.g. on the highway and has a green score of 54.
  10. Honda Insight. Rounding out the top 10 list of most environmentally friendly cars is the Insight hybrid from Honda – an affordable compact that costs about $19,000 and gets 41 m.p.g. in the city, 44 on the highway. Its green score is 53.