20 Best Ecological Cars Under $40,000 (2024)

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With the rising pollution levels and rising concern for our environment, ecological cars have emerged as popular choice among the classes as well as the masses.

These cars emit lower harmful compounds as compared to regular cars and also offer good fuel economy.

Here is the list of 20 best green cars that are affordably priced under $40,000:

1. Toyota Camry Hybrid

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Powered by a 2.5-litre petrol engine and an electric motor delivering a combined output of 200hp, Toyota Camry Hybrid is an aristocratic looking sedan that impresses with its performance.

Loads of tech features, roomy cabin, and high combined fuel economy of 40 mpg make it one of the best hybrid cars in the segment.

The car offers EPA-estimated 40 mpg of fuel economy in mixed driving.

The car offers a good handling and riding experience and remains quiet and undisturbed by ruts and bumps. It is modestly priced at $27,675.

2. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

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The all-wheel drive Toyota RAV4 hybrid comes with a starting price of $29,990 and is equipped with the same Hybrid Synergy Drive system that powers Toyota Camry Hybrid.

It offers 34 mpg of fuel economy in the city and 30 mpg on highways. Producing a combined power output of 194hp, it is one of the best hybrid SUV in terms of performance.

It also offers good cargo flexibility, good ride height and easy drivability. The car can cover the 0-60 mph sprint in just 8.3 seconds and has a top speed of 114mph.

It is also known for better noise insulation than most of its competitors.

3. Toyota Prius

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Toyota Prius remains the undisputed king of green cars despite some stiff competition in the arena. It is one of the best green cars in the world that offers a City/Highway combined fuel economy of 52 mpg.

This conventional hybrid hosts a small gasoline engine along with two electric motors. The Eco version of this car betters this figure by 4 mpg.

The car is known for delivering a smooth ride with very little road noise evident inside the cabin. Its polarizing styling may put-off many but its performance overshadows that completely.

Overall, the car offers an amazing blend of space and efficiency at an economical base price of $24,370.

4. Toyota Prius Prime

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Toyota Prius Prime easily makes it to the list of best electric cars. Prius Prime is the top-of-the-line plug-in version of Prius that claims to offer better fuel economy and a superior driving experience.

The larger battery of this car as compared to Prius allows it to go for 25 miles on a single charge. The total combined output stands at 121 hp.

The car achieves an estimated 54 mpg of combine fuel economy in the normal hybrid mode. Priced at $27,995, Toyota Prius Prime is notable for its high-tech features, especially the 11 inch vertical touch screen display.

5. Toyota Highlander Hybrid

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Perhaps the most spacious of all green cars in this list is Toyota Highlander Hybrid that offers 8 passenger seating arrangement; thanks to its third row seat. People with large families desiring a fuel efficient car can pick this one without any second thoughts.

The 306 hp engine of this car puts out a handsome mileage of 30 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on Highways.

Priced at $27,675, the car comes with Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) that is known to squeeze out more mileage.

Test drive this car before buying to know whether you are at ease with CVT or not. That apart, it would not be wrong to call this car the best Hybrid SUV around.

6. Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

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One of the most fuel efficient sedans on the bloc, Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid is powered by a version of the engine that is used in Chevrolet Volt.

It is priced at $28,750. The battery of this car is a little smaller than that found on Volt and it does not have to be plugged in.

A huge list of tech highlights on this car includes built-in 4G LTE plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Capability.

It is more fuel efficient than Toyota Camry Hybrid, giving out 46 mpg of combined fuel economy.

Also Read: 15 Best Rally Cars of all times

7. Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

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Hyundai entered the green car market with its Ioniq and the car offers some tough competition to other established players in this field.

It is the most fuel efficient hybrid in the market offering 57 mpg of mileage inside the City and 59 mpg on Highways.

Producing a total power output of 139 hp, the car offers better cargo and passenger space than Toyota Prius.

The low centre of gravity of the car combined with lightweight, independent rear suspension makes it a delight to handle. The Linear braking feel comes as another surprise.

The car is priced at just $ 23,035 to take the competition head on.

8. Honda Accord Hybrid

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The midsized sedan, Honda Accord Hybrid is priced at $30,480 and it happens to be the most fuel-efficient of all mid-sized sedans offering 49 mpg in the city and 47 mpg on Highways.

It is equipped with a 2.0-litre, 4 cylinder engine paired with an electric motor to produce 200 hp of power that is enough for daily driving needs.

Features like push-button and remote start, keyless entry, full driver assistance suite and power seats are standard on the base trim of the car.

It might be one of the most expensive options in its class but its superb fuel economy makes it an excellent value.

9. Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

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Audi A3 Sportback e-tron, priced at $39,850, is an electric car that offers a pleasing blend of hatchback and hybrid.

It is the only hybrid in the A3 range and one of the best electric cars under $40k.

You have the option of running this car on electric motor alone or coupled with the 1.4-litre petrol engine. The combined power output is pegged at 204 hp.

The EPA estimates an average of 83mpg that includes 16 miles driven in purely electric mode. The power is transmitted to the front wheels with the help of a 6-speed manual transmission.

The plush interiors of this car come loaded with plenty of equipment and are practical too. The all-wheel drive makes this car all the more exciting.

10. Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid

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Quite affordably priced at $35,435, Hyundai sonata Plug-in Hybrid is much desired car in the mid-sized hybrid sedan segment.

The high capacity battery system of the car can be plugged into any charging station or into a regular household electrical outlet.

It keeps on going for 590 miles using both electricity and gas combined. The GDI 2.0-litre 154 hp Atkinson cycle engine runs on regular gasoline and is paired with a 50-Kw electric motor emitting 67 hp of power.

It offers a good combined fuel economy of 39 mpg. The serene and smooth ride quality comes as the icing on the cake.

11. Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid

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Identical mechanically to Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima is one of the best green cars under $40,000. The car carries a 2.0-litre, 4 cylinder engine that works in tandem with a 67 hp electric motor to produce a total power output of 202 hp.

The EV mode of this car lets you go fully electric offering 29 miles of electric range, better than most cars in its class.

The lively initial throttle response is the high point of the car. The starting price of the car is $35,210.

The agreeable personality and well rounded attributes of this car make it one of the most desirable cars in its segment.

12. Chevrolet Volt

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Manufactured by General Motors, Chevrolet Volt is a plug-in hybrid car that is powered by two electric motors.

The gasoline-hybrid power-train of this vehicle is known for its impressive all-electric range, better acceleration and greater efficiency. It gets a 1.5-litre gasoline engine along with a 18.4Kw battery pack.

The all-electric range of the car stands at 53 miles. The EPA rated fuel economy of Volt in all-electric mode is 106 mpg and in charge sustaining mode is 42 mpg.

The car is especially fun to drive and happens to be one of the smoothest driving hybrid vehicles around. The base model of the car is priced at $33,220.

Also Read: 18 Best Subcompact Cars

13. Chevrolet Bolt EV

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Chevrolet Bolt is a front-engine, all-electric, five-door subcompact hatchback that is fun to drive.

It is plug-in hybrid with 53 miles of electric range. It comes with a floor-mounted 200 hp electric motor that offers 96 mpg and a 75 mph highway range of 190 miles.

The car accelerates well, reaching 0-60 mph in just 6.5 seconds. The price of the car starts at $37,495.

It has been named in the Times Magazine best inventions of 2016. The practical and spacious interiors of the car come as a bonus.

14. Kia Niro

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The SUV version of Hyundai Ioniq, Kia Niro combines great style with good fuel economy. The well sorted interplay among the electric, gas and braking system makes this car a pleasure to drive.

Emitting a total power output of 139hp, the SUV offers a good combined fuel economy of 50 mpg.

The 6-speed automatic transmission makes it all the more desirable. The high quality interiors of the vehicle and the user-friendly infotainment system add to its desirability factor.

The car comes at an affordable price tag of $23,785, making it lesser priced than its rivals. It can be said to be the best hybrid SUV in its segment.

15. Nissan Leaf

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One of the best electric cars, Nissan Leaf is affordably priced at $31,545. It was the first credible and fully electric family car.

This compact five-door hatchback produces no tailpipes pollution or greenhouse gas emissions.

It is powered by an 80Kw, 110 hp producing engine paired with a 30Kw Lithium Ion battery offering an EPA Rated 107 mile range.

It can accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 11.5 seconds and offers a top speed of 89 mph. Spacious interiors, low running costs and smooth power delivery are its plus points.

16. Mitsubishi i-MiEV

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Mitsubishi i-MiEV is an affordably priced, quirky looking car that is powered by a 66 hp electric motor and 16Kw Lithium-Ion battery that enables it to go 62 miles on full charge.

The motor is combined with a single-gear transmission. The car offers a lively steering feel, firm brakes and a smooth ride.

The EPA-estimated range of 62 miles makes driving comfortable on short commutes and in city driving. The low centre of gravity of this car makes it offer decent body control. The car comes at a price tag of $23,845.

17. Ford C Max

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Ford C-Max is a hybrid compact MPV that is comfortable and fun to drive. It offers a combination of a 2.0-litre engine, an AC electric motor and a CVT to generate a combined power output of 188 hp and an EV-only range of 20 miles.

The fuel economy figures for the car stand at 42 mpg inside the city and 38 mpg on highway. The car is surprisingly peppy and offers a solid ride.

The price of the cars starts at $24,995 and it qualifies as one of the best electric cars under $40k.

18. Ford Fusion Energi

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Ford Fusion Energi is a gasoline electric hybrid version of the standard Ford Fusion sedan.

The base model of this car is priced at $34,755. The car derives its power from the 2.5-litre Atkinson-cycle 1-4 and AC electric motor combination.

The total power output of the car is 188 hp. The car is notable for good head-room and legroom for the passengers, easy-to-use infotainment system and an upscale cabin.

It also offers a generous list of standard features. The EPA has rated the fuel economy for this car at 41 mpg.

19. Toyota Avalon Hybrid

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Avalon Hybrid from Toyota Motors is a perfect pick for you if you desire exceptional fuel economy of a hybrid but at the same time, you also want a little extra performance and a roomy cabin.

All the three trims of the car come equipped with a 2.5-litre , 4 cylinder engines combined with a 105Kw electric motor that derive it’s power from the trunk-mounted battery pack.

The car hosts electronic CVT and delivers 40 mpg of fuel economy in the city and 39 mpg on highways. It’s base model is priced at $38,587.

Also Read: 10 Best Diesel SUV’s

20. Volkswagen e-Golf

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e-Golf from Volkswagen is an all-electric variant of the Golf hatchback and is the only electric car by the company.

It makes use of a 134 hp electric motor that emits 214 pound-ft of torque and is equipped with a 35.8Kw Lithium ion battery.

This four door hatchback is agile, versatile and fun to drive. Promising an EPA-estimated 125 miles of range, the car offers a combined fuel economy of 119 mpg. At $28,995, e-Golf is very affordable too.

The above list is of full of sedans, subcompact cars as well as SUVs so the buyers are spoilt for choice. Let us do a bit for our environment by choosing any one of these best green cars.

It brings together easy-to-use efficiency and a rewarding drive.

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