Environmentally friendly assistance please



Minivan finally died, so can go green!!!. kids off to college. want a hybrid, but need trunk space. prius too small for all the highway driving I do. camry trunk won’t work, as husband’s car is midsize sedan with only average trunk. highlander is too big. What can I buy that will be friendly to the environment but give me some trunk space? Is there a midsize hatchback, SUV, or wagon that I should be looking at? Seems like none of the true hybrid sedans have trunk space, maybe because they were converted from regular sedan bodies by plunking the hybrid battery in the trunk? HELP!!! We keep our cars a LONG time, so reliability is important. Comfort, reliability, environmentally friendly, and decent trunk space. Is that asking for too much? Kids will be home mid-May (I am driving their Corolla now), so need to figure something out soon…


go to kbb.com and click on new cars, then on hybrid.

there are 8 companies who make hybrid cars, suvs, vans, and even a truck.

all are of varying degree of greenability, and you have to sort through the models to see what you like, or need.


Look at the Camry Hybrid or the Civic Hybrid.


Or, the Altima hybrid.


Does it have to be a hybrid? And midsize? Some of the smaller vehicles like the Fit and Yaris have loads of space internally and get great mileage. Think about disposal of that battery pack and green may seem a little different.


You are already a very green and resonsible person by not buying more car than you need, keeping your cars a long time and taking good care of them.

As a prvious poster pointed out, the car with the most useful interior room and the best fuel mileage is a Honda Fit. With the back seat and passenger seat down you can even carry a stepladder and construction lumber. And it uses less gas than a Camry Hybrid. The Nissan Versa is another car with excellent mileage and a lot of interior room. The Toyota Matrix is a hatchback with a good highway ride, good fuel economy and lots of space. All vehicles mentioned will use significantly less gas than your minivan.

My son is an environmental scientist and keeps me well posted on good green behavior. He drives a manual shift, smallest engine Mazda 3.

If you must have a trunk for security reasons, I would go with the non-hybrid Camry, 4 cylinder. It will last 25-30 years with good care, and is good on fuel consumption. If I bought one it would likely be the last car I would ever own.

In short, a large hybrid car uses up more of the earth’s resources than a well-designed, high quality small non-hybrid car, and generates as much or more greenhouse gasses.

Hope these comments will help you make a good decision. When we get older, a GOOD HIGHWAY RIDE is very important. I would not give up comfort to be the ultimate green person.


Have you looked at the Honda Civic hybrid? I don’t think you really need a hybrid to be environmentally responsible. You could get any four cylinder car. All of the Hondas cars are ULEVs (ultra low emission vehicles). I am disappointed by the fuel economy ratings of the newer cars, but they are pretty clean in terms of their exhaust.


Thanks to everyone who has posted so far. To answer some of the questions, I do enough highway driving that I do not want to have a ‘small’ car like a Prius or Mazda3. We are still a family of four for part of the year, including driving vacations, where we would like to have one car that will hold four suitcases, and will comfortably seat our college-aged sons in the back. We really liked the Camry hybrid, but the trunk was a deal-breaker (same with any other hybrid with trunk that small).

So I’m going to read about some of the cars mentioned, but just wanted to reiterate my criteria: reliability, comfort (including on the highway), decent trunk size, and as environmentally friendly as possible given the other criteria!

Looking forward to what y’all will say next!


Agree with others that you might want to look outside of hybrids only…

However, I do not care for the Fit or Versa - they simply don’t get any better mileage than their larger siblings. In fact, the Nissan Versa, rated at 26/31 (28 combined) is no better than the 24/35 (28 combined) of the Ford Focus. And based on owner reports, the Focus actually beats the Versa by a couple mpg.

Also, consider besides just mpg that for environmentally friendly, you may want to look at emissions ratings. The same Focus as above is rated PZEV in CA / NE emissions states… In other words, while it uses more gas than a Prius, it puts out almost the same pollutants, and its emissions system is warrantied for 15 years or 150,000 miles. If you can find an 07 wagon still on the lots it could be a real steal of an environmentally friendly car with gobs of trunk space.

There are more ways to go green than just a Prius.


I would also avoid the hybrid fad (especially if you do a lot of highway driving) and simply look for the best mileage car that meets your needs.


Sounds like the 4 cylinder Camry non-hybrid is as good as it gets, if you need a trunk. My sister, a retired accountant has had one for 2 years and drives it all over North America. It does everything it’s supposed to do.


Agreed. With highway driving, you’ll be relying on the gasoline engine so you won’t get better mileage than a regular 4-cylinder.

I’m a huge fan of the Mazda3. I also like the new Toyota Matrix and the Subaru Outback if you’re looking for a hatchback or wagon. Subarus are a bit more expensive and don’t get quite as good mileage, but if you treat them right they’ll last forever. I wouldn’t buy an SUV, but if I did it’d be a Honda CR-V because it’s small enough to get decent mileage.

Good luck with your shopping and let us know what you decide!


Now can get a USA made real suv/ highbread. Logic for batteries ain’t there if on highway. If ya must get your bennie but acting “green”, @ least don’t go Rice white! Ever been to Japan? Not clean place at all!! Also (if ya have social thinking- VERY raceist! Don’t really care 'bout planet or peoples-of-colar, buy a Masda or such!


How about a Chevy Impala or Hyundai Sonata? Both are mid size, have plenty of rear seat room, spacious trunks, reliable, good on gas (actually, I think the Impala is slightly better real world, I get about 33mpg in an 01 Impala, and around 29 in a 99 Sonata), plus, they’re both very cheap and easily found. I think either would fit your needs beautifully. Oh, and parts are easy to find, and cheap, too. And servicing both is fairly easy (except spark plug replacement.)


…uh…yea…get an American made car…like a Honda Accord or a Toyota Camry. Heaven knows us Americans are not racist and our air and water are cleaner than Japan’s…right? That’s got to be right because ericpxjs says so! Just look at Houston and Los Angeles! Don’t get one of those nasty GM cars made in Mexico, or one of those Canadian made Fords.




Gotta be my favorite post in a long while, thanks ericpxjs!


Was that nonsense in response to me? I can’t even tell. I’ll buy American brands when they make cars I like that can compare to the Japanese brands in design and reliability.

Anyone know what a “bennie” is or where I can buy a “Masda”?


Another product of the State’s excellent education system… oh well.

But, on the good side, Huked on Foniks reelie werks fer mi!


once in a while a REALLY funny post can “make my day”

this one did!



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