Three of the Most Eco-Friendly Green Cars
Long gone are the days when fuel was cheap and auto commercials didn’t bother to mention fuel economy. With gas at $3.00+ a gallon and the media telling us the polar caps are melting, the car companies are turning out environmentally-friendly vehicles fast enough to make a polar bear’s head spin. Here’s a look at three green cars currently or soon to be on the market. I’ve divided them into the following categories: 1. traditional gas engines, 2. hybrids, and 3. anything goes. First up is the Scion iQ, built by Toyota. At first glance this thing looks like the so-called SmartCar (which, it turns out, is pretty stupid). In reality, however, it’s an intelligently designed vehicle which is about as good as any car that achieves 37 MPG can get. It’s powered by a peppy little 1.3L 94 HP engine, is 120 inches long and 66 wide, and has a turning circle of 26.4 feet. The web site says the back seat will fit additional passengers. That’s a lie, unless they mean a pair of amoebas or one of those contortionists who can squeeze himself into a sack. Still, for a skateboard on wheels the Scion isn’t a bad choice. There are worse ways to spend $16K.
Next we have the Toyota Prius, which is actually an entire class of vehicles, each of which gets a combined 50 MPG city and highway.
This is, IMO, the best ultra-efficient ride on the street today. The gas/electric power plant gives the Prius decent performance and the interior can actually hold four grown-up human beings reasonably well. Plus the new models have nifty features like crash-avoidance sensors. Price: $25K or so, depending on model and options.
The last entry fascinates me for reasons I can’t explain. It’s the Elio, which is scheduled for a 2014 market release. This is basically a motorcycle with a metal bubble around it that its inventor claims will get 84 MPG. It reminds me of some of the wilder concept cars from the 50s and 60s. Whether it eventually claims a piece of the market or not is anyone’s guess, but I give the guy who came up with it an “A” for effort. Price: $6,800.00 (seriously).