Thrifty near 30

The Green Car List

Toyota Prius ($22,160; 48 city/45 hwy; Safety 4-5 stars)

More than a status symbol among environmentalists and celebrities, the Prius is also a very accommodating passenger car.

Honda Civic Hybrid ($15,480; 40 city/45 hwy; Safety 4-5 stars)

The Civic Hybrid is just about as comfortable and stylish as a compact sedan can be, with little sacrifice in drivability.

Nissan Altima Hybrid ($26,140; 35 city/33 hwy; Safety 4-5 stars)

The Altima employs technology developed by Toyota— the solidly proven Hybrid Synergy Drive. It’s only available in eight states.

Toyota Camry Hybrid ($25,860; 33 city/34 hwy; Safety 4-5 stars)

The best-selling car in America is also available as the most fuel-efficient mid-size sedan on the road.

Ford Escape Hybrid, also the Mercury Mariner and Mazda Tribute hybrids ($28,140; 32 mpg; Safety 3-5 stars)

If cars like the Prius and Civic Hybrid are too small for your daily needs, the Escape Hybrid may be the solution to your problem.

Mini Cooper Clubman ($24,100; 26 city/34 hwy; Safety NA)

In place of a hatchback, it has rear side-hinged"barn” doors that open wide to swallow cargo.

Mercedes E320 BlueTec (clean diesel) ($53,025; 23 city/32 hwy; Safety 4-5 stars)

The E-Class lineup gets cleaner, sportier and more powerful to better compete in what has become one of the most competitive segments in the industry.

Kia Rio ($13,540; 27 city/32 hwy; Safety 3-5 stars)

Frugal-minded buyers should be impressed by the Rio5, which yields a good balance between fuel economy and performance.

Ford Focus ($15,425; 24 city/35 hwy; Safety 4-5 stars)

Comprehensive restyling and retuning give the Focus a more contemporary flair and even better handling.

Toyota Matrix ($16,170; 26 city/33 hwy; Safety 3-5 stars)

If you’re on an economy-car budget, but you want something sporty and versatile, the 2008 Toyota Matrix deserves a good long look.

Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid ($24,545; 24 city/32 hwy; Safety 4-5 stars)

The Malibu’s bold, attractive sheet metal and stylish interior touches are backed by confident handling, a quiet ride and an overall level of refinement competitive with the category’s best.

Saturn Vue Green Line ($26,270; 25 city/32 hwy; Safety 4-5 stars)

The Vue Green Line features a hybrid system that puts more emphasis on power enhancement than fuel economy.

Saturn Aura Green Line ($24,550; 24 city/32 hwy; Safety 4-5 stars)

Even as Saturn begins unleashing its most appealing cars ever, the automaker has committed to maintaining its popular"no haggle” pricing policy.

Lexus RX 400h ($42,345; 27 city/24 hwy; Safety 4-5 stars)

Better fuel economy, better performance and an even tidier carbon footprint than an RX 350 help make the RX 400h a popular pick with people who demand practical justifications for raising their social consciousness.

Toyota Highlander Hybrid ($34,885; 27 city/25 hwy; Safety 4-5 stars)

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid is the only fuel-sipper to offer families three-rows of seats that fold flat to accommodate the extra cargo that typically accompanies fun-loving families.

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