Cruise Through 2018 In An Eco-Friendly Ride

While it would be wonderful if we could all afford to buy the most efficient vehicles in 2018, electric cars can be quite expensive and out of reach, even as great as they are for the environment. An alternative, hybrid cars are a little more friendly on our wallets, and also minimize the carbon footprints left behind when we drive old gas-guzzling vehicles.

To start off the year, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite, most-affordable hybrid vehicles on the market. While still quite pricey, these cars have excellent MPG and are built to last, meaning less money spent on gas and maintenance. Buying pre-owned or the base model (as opposed to the latest version with all the bells and whistles) can also help to minimize expenses. As cars are an investment and should be purchased with the future in mind though, we recommend saving up and investing in a vehicle that meets your commute needs and is kind to the environment. Here are our favorite hybrid vehicles for 2018.

1. Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

Price | $22,200 (Base Model)

Eco | Weight-Saving Aluminum To Conserve Energy, Bio-Fabrics, Raw Materials, & Recycled Plastics Used In Car Interior

Base Model Specs | 5 Seats, 139 HP, 58 MPG (Combined)

Key Features | 2017 IIHS Top Safety Pick Of The Year, Automatic Emergency Braking With Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Detection With Rear Cross-Traffic Alert & Lane Change Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Apple CarPlay™ & Android Auto™, Wireless Charging For Electronics, 26.5 Cu. Ft. Of Cargo Space, Integrated Memory System, Remote Lock/Unlock, Clari-Fi™ Music Restoration Technology, Dynamic Bending Light

The Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid has been called the most fuel-efficient car in America; it’s spacious, comfortable, and thoughtfully designed. With a 690-mile range, this vehicle is friendly to the environment, as well as your bank account. We especially love that for every Hyundai sold a portion goes to Hyundai Hope On Wheels® to help find a cure for childhood cancer. 

More about the Ioniq Hybrid

2. Toyota Prius c 

Price | $20,630 (Base Model)

Eco | Hybrid Synergy Drive®, EV/ECO Modes, Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle Rating, LED Headlights & Taillights

Base Model Specs | 5 Seats, 99 HP, 46 MPG (Combined)

Key Features | Toyota Safety Sense™ With Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure Alert, Automatic High Beams, Entune™ Audio System, Interior Climate Control, Wide Array Of Eye-Popping Exterior Colors, 60/40 Split Rear Seats, 17.1 Cu. Ft. Of Cargo Space, Multi-Information Display

Similar to the original Prius, the Toyota Prius c (c standing for city) is the smaller and more affordable model of the popular eco-friendly car. Designed so that you can choose your drive mode (EV or Eco Mode), the Prius c will help you to optimize your efficiency by maximizing fuel economy and reducing your carbon footprint.

More about the Toyota Prius c

3. Kia Niro Hybrid Crossover

Price | $23,240 (Base Model)

Eco | Regenerative Braking System That Recycles Energy When Braking & Deceleration, Aerodynamic Design To Minimize Drag, High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Projector Beam Headlights & LED Positioning Lamps

Base Model Specs | 5 Seats, 139 HP, 50 MPG (Combined)

Key Features | 6-Speed Dual-Clutch Automatic Transmission, Wireless Charging For Electronics, Apple CarPlay™ & Android Auto™, Harman/Kardon® Premium Sound System, Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist & Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Smart Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning System, Park Assist System

Named the vehicle that “lights a fire with looks and performance” by USA TODAY, the Kia Niro is sleek, efficient, and advanced in both function and design. A hybrid crossover, it holds the Guinness World Record title for the lowest fuel consumption driving across the USA from coast to coast in a hybrid car; the entire trip was made with only 4.1 tanks of gas.

More about the Kia Niro

4. Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Price | $23,500 (Base Model With Rebate) 

Eco | Advanced Battery Technology, Eco-Spoke Alloy Wheels, Plug-In Hybrid Option, Color LCD Trip Computer With Hybrid Technology Display, LED Interior Lights

Base Model Specs | 5 Seats, 193 HP, 42 MPG (Combined)

Key Features | Lifetime Hybrid Battery Warranty, 6-Speed Automatic Transmission, Apple CarPlay™ & Android Auto™, Interior-Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor, Blue Link® Telematics System, Integrated Memory System, Hands-Free Smart Trunk

Hyundai calls the Sonata Hybrid its “tight-fisted with fuel and generous with performance” vehicle. With one of the most efficient batteries and Gasoline Direct Injection in its 2.0L 4-cylinder engine, this car is perfect for a fuel efficient and environmentally-friendly ride. And, like the Ioniq Hybrid, purchasing this vehicle helps to find a cure for childhood cancer through Hyundai Hope On Wheels®.

More about the Sonata Hybrid

5. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Price | $27,135 (Base Model) 

Eco | Hybrid Synergy Drive® & Energy Monitor, LED Headlights

Base Model Specs | 5 Seats, 194 HP, 32 MPG (Combined)

Key Features | All-Wheel Drive, 70.6 Cu. Ft. Of Cargo, Bird’s Eye View camera, Siri® Eyes Free, Toyota Safety Sense™, S-Code Paint Treatment, HomeLink®, Integrated & Connected Navigation, Hands-Free Cargo, 120V Rear Cargo Power Outlet, Tow Up To 3500 LBS With The Tow Prep Package

It’s the most expensive car on our list, but if you are looking for a spacious, all-wheel-drive hybrid vehicle, the RAV4 Hybrid from Toyota is going to be your best bet. Designed for adventure and getting off the beaten path, it was named the best hybrid SUV for the Money by U.S. New & World Report in 2017. 

More about the RAV4 Hybrid


Kayti Christian, a staff writer for The Good Trade, is a storyteller, creator, activist, and avid traveler hailing from Colorado, now living in London. With 30+ stamps in her passport, she is passionate about responsible tourism and is always looking for new ways to be a more conscious traveler. She is currently pursuing her MA in Creative Nonfiction Writing at City, University of London.