The Best Eco-Friendly Cars Of 2015

Toyota Camry Hybrid
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Eco-friendly cars have come a long way over the last few years. Now, you don’t have to sacrifice style or drive a space age-looking vehicle in order to be green. Be it traditional, hybrid or electric, we found the following cars to be the best eco-friendly cars available in 2015.

Toyota Camry Hybrid

Starting at around $26,000, the hybrid version of one of America’s top-selling cars won’t give you sticker shock and really doesn’t cost much more than non-hybrid version. Once you factor in the EPA estimated 41 MPG, it makes shelling out a few extra bucks seem worth it anyway. The 2015 Camry Hybrid received a makeover, so it has an updated interior, better handling capabilities and a few other goodies. Combine this with its top-rated crash test performance, and you have a solid hybrid car that won’t break the bank.

Tesla Model S 70 D

Telsa Model S

Telsa Model S front end. Image Credit – Robert Couse-Baker (Flickr)

Tesla Motors makes 100 percent electric cars. With prices starting above $75,000, these cars are out of reach for most Americans – and a hard sell for the rest of us, as the cars can only travel a little over 200 miles before they need to be recharged (good luck with finding a recharge station). Regardless, these luxury electric cars look better than the Prius and can hit 60 MPH in less than three seconds. Front and rear engines (no, that is not a typo) make the vehicle all wheel drive. The company says these two motors let its Model S 70 D “achieve supercar status.” Another interesting feature is the Autopilot function that gives the car the ability to drive itself. More importantly, Tesla’s Model S 70 D achieved five-star ratings in all categories of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) crash tests.

Kia Optima Hybrid

The Union of Concerned Scientists, an environmental group comprised of scientists, ranked Hyundai-Kia as the greenest car manufacturer in the world. Its study found that Hyundai-Kia produced “15 percent less global warming pollution — and 13 percent less smog-forming pollution — than the national average.” Therefore, it only makes sense that a Hyundai-Kia car would make this list. We found the Kia Optima edged out the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. The Optima, which gets an estimated 36 MPG city/40 highway, is a sharp looking car at a reasonable price.

There are many more choices than what we named, and most of them are great cars. Don’t let cost or your credit be a roadblock to driving a green car. Look at reputable dealerships like DriveTime for a used, eco-friendly vehicle and do your part to make the world a little better.

Volkswagen Passat

Even though Volkswagen found itself on the wrong end of an emissions scandal this year, Volkswagen’s 2015 Passats are still more eco-friendly than most non-hybrid cars. The reason has more to do with how the cars are made, rather than the cars themselves, which aren’t shabby in the eco-friendly department either.

Passats that are sold in North America are manufactured in Chattanooga, Tennessee at a LEED Platinum certified plant. It is the first and only auto plant to receive this distinction. It earned this certification because of its 33,000-panel solar park that can produce as much as 9.5 million watts, an eco dry scrubber system that saves 20,000 gallons of water a day, a rainwater harvesting system that saves 350,000 gallons of water a month and an enhanced painting technique that reduces CO2 emissions by 20 percent, according to the Volkswagen website. This alone makes the Passat a great choice.

The 2015 Volkswagen Passat comes in both a 6 speed manual or automatic (each 4 cylinder).  The EPA rates fuel economy for Passat’s 6 speed manual model at a combined 35 MPG while its’ automatic likeness gets a combined 34 MPG.

As consumer demand for more efficient vehicles evolves and technology changes, 2016 is poised to be another exciting year for eco-friendly transportation options.

And don’t forget to enjoy the ride!

Content courtesy of SocialMonsters. Feature image courtesy of Aadnan Zaman (Flickr

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