Energy efficient cars 2014

Although Earth Day rolls around every April, that doesn't mean you can't do your best to help Mother Earth during the rest of the year. One of the best ways you can help make the world a greener place is by getting an eco-friendly car.

Trading in your current gas guzzler for an environmentally conscious model will not only help you reduce your carbon footprint, but it can also help save money on gas. The amount of cash you save and the degree you help the planet with one of these cars can make you the ultimate global citizen. Here are a few eco-friendly cars to choose from in 2014:

Honda Civic Hybrid: $25,425
This sleek-looking ride has a leg up over other hybrids on the market. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, which promotes the use of energy efficient cars, gave a thumbs up to the Civic Hybrid's 3,000 pound test weight. This is 1,000 pounds lighter than many other hybrids on the market. Not only will the lighter design help you achieve a smoother ride, but its 110-horsepower gas/electric propulsion system can get 44 miles per gallon.

Toyota Prius: $25,010
Since becoming one of the bestselling hybrids in 2001, the Toyota Prius is in a class of its own. Toyota has been making improvements on this car over the years to make sure it stays ahead of the times. One of the newest upgrades to this car complies with California's partial zero-emissions vehicle standards. This slick rides' 134 horsepower gas/electric system can really pack a punch. You also won't have to worry about making too many pit stops, as this ride gets up 51 miles on the gallon.

Nissan Leaf: $29,830
With a name like the Leaf, you may think this Nissan model is brittle and fragile, but this energy-efficient automobile is anything but. With a 107-horsepower propulsion system, this car can get up to 126 miles to the gallon and can go 84 miles before you have to recharge its batteries.

Toyota Prius C: $19,080
Toyota has established a mini empire on the energy-efficient car market. Not only is their standard Prius one of the best selling models, but the Prius C is looking to follow in the originals footsteps. The Prius C is one of the least expensive Prius hybrid choices, so you don't have to worry about draining your checking account. Along with being able to get 53 miles to the gallon, the Prius C comes in at a test weight of 2,750 pounds, much lower than the original model's weight of 3,500.

Smart Fortwo Electric: $25,750
Not only does the battery-based vehicle gets up to 122 miles to the gallon, but ACEEE also ranked it as the best of the energy efficient cars on the market of 2014. This car may seem a little compact - only measuring 8.8 feet long - but it is also one of the lightest models on the market coming in at 2,250 pounds. You will be quick and nimble as you are careening around tight turns in this green dream. Although you can zoom down the highway with this agile ride, you should practice good driving skills and practices. Purchasing car insurance can help cover the damages if you so happen to get into an accident.

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