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Kelley Blue Book Ranks Best Eco-Friendly Cars

Grant Whittington headshotWords by Grant Whittington
Leadership & Transparency
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While Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day top the list as the biggest holidays for spending, maybe Kelley Blue Book’s timely ranking of the most eco-friendly cars can persuade shoppers to open up their checkbooks right in time for Earth Day.

Editors at Kelley Blue Book, a California-based vehicle valuation and automotive research company, recently released their annual list of top hybrid, electric and plug-in hybrid cars under $40,000.

Here is a breakdown of which car manufacturers appeared most on the lists comprising of 20 cars:


  • Toyota: 5

  • Hyundai: 4

  • Kia: 4

  • Chevrolet: 3

  • Audi: 1

  • Honda: 1

  • Nissan: 1

  • Volkswagen: 1
Last year’s ranking of 10 Best Hybrid Cars featured cars under $30,000. The price range was upped to $40,000 for this year’s list, but only two cars exceed that starting price. The first is Honda’s only car in the field of 20, a 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid that narrowly creeped above $30,000, and the other is a three-row seating 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid.

Electric and hybrid cars are becoming increasingly popular, and as a result, automakers are producing more versatile cars that are both stylish and green.

“With each new model year, there are more ‘green car’ choices than ever before,” Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book, said in a press statement.

“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 lifestyle and budget needs of just about any buyer.”

The lists come from what Kelley Blue Book calls its "expert editors" and combines starting average price, fuel mileage and power. Let's take a look at the lists.

10 best hybrid cars under $40,000

5 best electric cars under $40,000

5 best plug-in hybrid cars under $40,000

Photo by mariordo59/Flickr

Grant Whittington headshotGrant Whittington

Based in Washington, DC, Grant works as a program assistant at SEEP Network, an international development nonprofit. A proud graduate of the University of Maryland, Grant spent four months post-grad living in Armenia where he worked for Habitat for Humanity and the World Food Programme. Grant is passionate about humanitarianism and finding sustainable approaches to international development. He enjoys playing trivia with friends but is still seeking his first victory - he ceaselessly blames his friends lack of preparation.

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