It is easy being green!
Think you can’t have one of these green cars because you have kids? Not true! You can drive in style and save some green while being green!
When looking for the best eco-friendly family cars, I didn’t have to look farther than stories written by our A Girls Guide to Cars experts! These are some smart, tech-savvy women who know their cars. From a Hybrid minivan (yes, a minivan) to an uber-techy SUV crossover, there really is something for everyone. Check out 5 green cars that are also family cars and see if they are the eco-friendly family cars that would work for your family!
5 Best Eco-Friendly Family Cars
1. Chrysler Pacific Hybrid Minivan
You read that right. This is a minivan that is also green and eco-friendly. It is actually the first plug-in gas hybrid minivan. You can drive up to 30 miles on the electric charge and if you need to go further then you can use the gas/battery hybrid. The Chrysler Pacifica helps to extend its fuel efficiency by re-capturing energy that is created by regular use of the car such as braking, cruising and more, so when the electric charge is expended, the Pacifica still gets 30 +/- MPG. Amazing for a minivan that seats seven and has an easy entry/exit third row.
“We drove the Pacifica E Hybrid through Los Angeles and up the coast to Malibu recently and I was very impressed. My drive partner Chris and I took turns at the wheel and found it to be fun and easy to drive (despite its size, it pulled U-turns like a champ); it handled nicely and accelerated confidently, both in electric and gas modes, driving more like a car than a minivan; it didn’t feel huge or unwieldy even though it’s quite sizable.”
The 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid starts at under $40,000. There are three models: Limited, Touring, and Touring Plus. $45,000 for the platinum model and tops out at about $47,000 fully loaded. The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan may cost more than the standard model, but it also currently qualifies for $7,500 in federal tax credits. It may also qualify for state credits too, making it even more affordable in the long run.
2. Chevrolet Volt
If you don’t need a huge car, then you may want to consider the Chevrolet Volt. It is one of the best eco-friendly family cars because it continues to offer more and more efficiency. On the 2019 model, you can drive up to 50 miles on the battery only, and the gas engine gets 35 + MPG. Just three years ago, the all-electric range was only 30 miles. The Chevrolet Volt was “refreshed” for 2019 and includes more ergonomic seating and quicker charging. In fact, it can achieve a full charge in only 2.3 hours.
“As a hybrid-electric car, the Volt has a smooth, high-tech feel when you drive it, but inside, it’s streamlined and simplified. Have you ever driven a car that has too many buttons and too much information on the screen? Chevrolet took that into consideration and created a console that is simple to use. There are plenty of fun features, like the Apple CarPlay, which integrates with your iPhone, and the WiFi hotspot, not to mention all of the options that OnStar offers, including remote start from miles away and live map guidance.”
3. Toyota Prius
Of course, you knew a Prius belonged on this list. It is cool and hip but also truly good for the environment and your wallet. It’s been 20 years since Toyota redefined green cars with the introduction of the Prius. And they have continued to upgrade and innovate throughout the last two decades.
The 2017 Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid is a game-changer when it comes to saving money on fuel. The Prime is a hybrid plug-in vehicle, meaning that you can plug it in to charge the battery and run it on electric, but you can also run it on regular gasoline. There’s never any need to worry about finding a charging station or running out of charge because the car will simply switch to gasoline power automatically. And everything about this car is designed to maximize fuel economy – even when you are running on gasoline. You’ll get far better gas mileage than with any regular vehicle. I drove the Prius Prime for a week with my average “commute” (aka running errands and transporting kids) being about 40 miles per day. And during an entire week, I used less than an eighth of a tank of gas!
The 2018 Prius starts at about $23,500 for the base model and the Advanced model starts at $33,100. There are whispers that the 2019 model will be refreshed with updated styling.
4. Tesla Model X SUV
For anyone who wants to scream at the top of their lungs “I drive one of the best green cars ever,” the Tesla Model X is for you. The falcon rear doors are super cool but also very handy. They offer easy access to second-row seats and make getting in and out very comfortable. You can also opt for up to a seven-passenger seating configuration. If you have a bunch of kids, you don’t have to give up the hip factor. With a 230-mile range, you can go just about everywhere.
We took a test drive and you can see the how the doors open and what the interior looks like here:
The 2019 Tesla Model X SUV is, by far, the most expensive of all the cars listed here. It starts at just under $80,000 and tops out at about $140,000.
5. Kia Niro Hybrid
If you like space the Kia Niro is one of the roomier green cars on the market today. It seats five with plenty of legroom in the back seat. The safety features are not to be overlooked either. Whether you get the base model or the top of the line Touring, Kia offers features like vehicle stability management and tire pressure monitoring. For families that need to stay charged up, the two 12 volt outlets and two USB charging ports will be appreciated. Being able to set up Apple Car Play or Android Play on the infotainment touchscreen is also a huge plus.
“The trunk space in the Niro is very large even with the back seat up. Boasting 19.4 cubic feet of space with the seats up, we were easily able to hold our groceries without encroaching on the back seat. If we had put the back seats down we would have had 54.5 cubic feet of cargo space, more than double!”
These five eco-friendly family cars are the future of the auto industry. While not everyone is looking for green cars in their driveways, families now don’t have to huff it to work on a two-speed just to be environmentally responsible!