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GREEN: Toyota Prius

- Fuel economy
- Roomy cabin
- Hatchback utility

- Digital gauges
- Price premium
- Steering feel
- Midgrade interior materials

2009 Toyota Prius

2009 Toyota Prius

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The Toyota Prius has done nothing less than convince the American public that hybrid cars are a good thing. It's in its second generation--and next year, a third version is in the works--but today's Prius blends 48-mpg fuel economy with a roomy package that's usefully sized to carry four adults, or with the rear seats folded, more gear than you imagine. The space-age dash takes a little getting used to, as does the Prius' somewhat artificial steering and braking feel. The Prius won't win any awards for a luxurious interior, either. At $23,375, it's changed forever the notion of what a family car should be. As an alternative to this highly alternative vehicle, Honda's Civic Hybrid takes a more conventional approach to its body style, but offers similar fuel-economy ratings.

Other Choices: Honda Civic Hybrid

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