Kelley Blue Book’s Best Eco-Friendly Cars

With Earth Day 2017 around the corner, the expert editors at Kelley Blue Book, the vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry, name their top picks of eco-friendly new cars available under $40,000. The variety of hybrid, electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles recommended by editors all offer stellar fuel economy at affordable prices for the environmentally conscious new-car shopper.

“With each new model year there are more ‘green car’ choices than ever before,” said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “Whether you are looking for something that stands out as visually unique to proclaim your environmental friendliness, or if you prefer your vehicle to blend in with the more traditionally gas-powered crowd, automakers now offer several vehicles with a variety of eco-friendly powertrain options to accommodate both the lifestyle and budget needs of just about any buyer.”

Kelley Blue Book’s 2017 10 Best Hybrid Cars Under $40,000



Starting Price

Fuel Economy

Total System Power

Sample Editorial Comments


2017 Toyota Prius


52 mpg combined

(54 city/50 hwy)

121 horsepower

The competition has never been stiffer, but the proven Prius remains king of the hybrids…


2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid


58 mpg combined

(57 city/59 hwy)

139 horsepower

Hyundai’s first foray into the dedicated hybrid market, the Ioniq debuts as nothing less than the most fuel-efficient hybrid on the market…


2017 Honda Accord Hybrid


48 mpg combined

(49 city/47 hwy)

212 horsepower

In addition to its highly efficient, well-integrated powertrain, the Accord Hybrid delivers all the comfort, convenience and excellent resale value of its more established sibling…


2017 Kia Niro


50 mpg combined

(52 city/49 hwy)

139 horsepower

The new-from-the-ground-up Kia Niro is a dedicated hybrid vehicle for efficiency-minded drivers who’d rather drive something that looks more like a regular car…


2017 Kia Optima Hybrid


42 mpg combined

(39 city/46 hwy)

192 horsepower

Like its Hyundai Sonata corporate cousin, the edgier Kia Optima midsize sedan also is available as an efficient, smooth-driving hybrid…


2017 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid


42 mpg combined

(39 city/45 hwy)

193 horsepower

The third of five midsize sedans on this list, the Sonata Hybrid is appealing for all the same reasons as the traditional, gas-only Sonata…it’s roomy, comfortable and has one of the segment’s best-designed and most practical interiors…


2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid


32 mpg combined

(34 city/30 hwy)

194 horsepower

Equipped with the same proven Hybrid Synergy Drive system that powers the Camry Hybrid, the all-wheel-drive RAV4 Hybrid combines class-leading fuel economy with ride height, cargo flexibility and go-anywhere attitude…


2017 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid


46 mpg combined

(49 city/43 hwy)

182 horsepower

The Malibu Hybrid is among the most fuel-efficient midsize sedans on the market, leveraging a version of the same gas-electric hybrid architecture that drives the newest Chevrolet Volt…


2017 Toyota Camry Hybrid


40 mpg combined

(42 city/38 hwy)

200 horsepower

Start with the best-selling car in the country, add 40-mpg fuel economy, and you’ve got something special…


2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid


29 mpg

(30 city/28 hwy)

306 horsepower

Three rows of seating, 30 mpg in the city and Toyota reliability make the Highlander Hybrid a tempting SUV…

To learn more details about Kelley Blue Book’s 2017 10 Best Hybrid Cars Under $40,000, visit

Kelley Blue Book’s 2017 5 Best Electric Cars Under $40,000



Starting Price

EPA Fuel Economy Equivalent

(City/Hwy Combined)

Range Per Full Charge

Charge Time at 240V

Sample Editorial Comments


2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV


119 MPGe

238 miles

9.3 hours

The first all-electric car to combine a sub-$40,000 starting price with driving range of more than 200 miles, the new-for-2017 Bolt also is a pleasure to drive and versatile, too…


2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric


136 MPGe

124 miles

4.4 hours

The most energy-efficient entry on this list also is the most affordable…


2017 Volkswagen



119 MPGe

125 miles

5.3 hours

Arguably the most fun-to-drive car on this list, the e-Golf combines European driving manners, class-above interior quality and more range for 2017…


2017 Kia Soul EV


105 MPGe

93 miles

4.8 hours

The Kia Soul is one of our favorite small cars…for buyers who can swing it, the gas-free Soul EV is the coolest Soul of them all…


2017 Nissan Leaf


112 MPGe

107 miles

About 6 hours

Dating all the way back to the dawn of this decade, the groundbreaking and ever-evolving Leaf has received several upgrades and enhancements over the years…

To learn more details about Kelley Blue Book’s 2017 5 Best Electric Cars Under $40,000, visit

Kelley Blue Book’s 2017 5 Best Plug-In Hybrid Cars Under $40,000



Starting Price

Electric Range

Hybrid Mode Fuel Economy (City/Hwy Combined)

Approximate Charge Time

Sample Editorial Comments


2017 Toyota Prius Prime


25 miles

(640 miles total)

54 mpg

2.2 hours (240V),

5.5 hours (120V)

The Toyota Prius Prime brings together the time-tested reliability of Toyota technology, a pleasantly rewarding drive, and easy-to-use efficiency…


2017 Chevrolet Volt


53 miles

(420 miles total)

42 mpg

4.5 hours (240V),

13 hours (120V)

Beyond efficiency…the Chevrolet Volt is fun to drive…the interior is both more conventional and more high-tech than before….and it looks great…


2017 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid


29 miles

(610 miles total)

40 mpg

3 hours (240V),

9 hours (120V)

The Optima Plug-In shares its gas-powered sibling’s good looks and elegant interior, but adds 29 miles of all-electric range followed by 40-mpg fuel economy…


2017 Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid


27 miles

(590 miles total)

39 mpg

3 hours (240V),

9 hours (120V)

Baked into the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid is the same value proposition you’d expect with any Sonata: standard features include a hands-free smart trunk, 8-inch touchscreen with navigation, seven airbags, heated seats and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto capability…


2017 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron


16 miles

(380 miles total)

34 mpg

2.3 hours (240V), 8 hours (120V)

Take the sportiness, handling and high-tech cabin of the Audi A3, add an efficient 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, plus an electric motor for 204 combined horsepower, and you have the most fun-to-drive entry on this list…

To learn more details about Kelley Blue Book’s 2017 5 Best Plug-In Hybrid Cars Under $40,000, visit

To discuss this topic, or any other automotive-related information, with a Kelley Blue Book analyst on-camera via the company’s on-site studio, please contact a member of the Public Relations team to schedule an interview.