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Go Green With An Energy-Efficient Car In 2014

The average miles per gallon (mpg) for all new cars purchased from October 2007 to February 2014 in the U.S. was 25.2, according to the University of Michigan’s Transport Research Institute. That number represents a near 5 mpg increase from February 2008.

Average mpg will need to increase substantially more in the next 10 years to reach the Obama Administrations goal of 54.5 mpg for all new 2025 models. But fuel efficient automobiles are still fast becoming the rule, as opposed to the exception. Here are reviews of three of the most energy efficient cars for 2014.

Mitsubishi i-MiEV

The i-MiEV is one of the least expensive electric vehicles on the market, but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. The electric and gas combination gets the i-MiEV an astounding 111 MPGe, a measure that indicates how far the car can travel electrically on the energy produced from one gallon of gas with a full battery. The battery has a range between 56 and 62 miles before the engine kicks in.

Photo by David Villarreal Fernandez via Wikimedia Commons

San Antonio residents will enjoy free metered parking downtown with this and other hybrids, while those in Austin can receive a rebate up to $1,500 on the purchase and install of a charging station at their home. But the i-MiEV battery takes nearly 24 hours to charge completely with a 110-volt apparatus, seats fewer people than most other electric hybrids and is not known for its speed. Still, its $22,995 MSRP makes it an attractive option.

Toyota Prius C Models

There are four Prius C models for 2014, with the C One being the least expensive. Prius Cs have more interior space and cargo room than the i-MiEV due primarily to the fold-down rear seats. Though the Toyota website boasts a 53 city mpg, Consumer Reports put the number at 43.

Photo by Mariordo via Wikimedia Commons

The Prius became the first mass produced hybrid in 2000, which means there are plenty of used models out there to help you save even more. Those with less-than-perfect credit, however, should beware of unsavory dealerships trying to take advantage of your situation. DRIVETIME recently pointed out how several Dallas-area dealerships not only force buyers to bring cash payments to them as often as once per week, but are also known to repossess if a payment is 24 hours late.

The $19,080 MSRP for the 2014 Prius C One makes it the least expensive on the market, but higher processes and handling fees in Texas will boost this number a bit.

Nissan Leaf

The Leaf is the best-selling electric hybrid worldwide due to its speed, quiet engine and of course fuel efficiency. Its “Eco” driving mode extends the battery range and mpg. The 2014 model also features a visualization program that assists you when parallel parking or backing into a parking space.

Photo by Tennen-Gas via Wikimedia Commons

The Car Connection gave the 2014 Leaf a 7.6 (out of 10) overall rating, but a perfect 10 for fuel efficiency. The Leaf gets 115 MPGe and comfortably seats five. The 4-door hatchback model starts at $28,980 MSRP.