With so many brands and so many models it’s sometimes hard to discern any serious disparities between cars that exist in the same class. As with all weighty decisions, the best way to approach the situation is by narrowing down your options and think about what you really want out of a car. For example, a couple with three young kids will certainly not have the same needs a salesman living on a narrow street in Brooklyn. Furthermore, being conscientious of the environmental impact of driving a car will also remove many options from the table.
But going green is not as limiting as it used to be. There are a myriad of hybrid and electric models out there. The only challenge is finding the right one for you.
For Commuters: The 2013 Chevy Volt
Some people spend several hours in their cars every day. Whether facing rush hour gridlock on I-5 or a wreck near the Vista Ridge Tunnel , each second stuck in traffic burns up precious and expensive gas. That is, unless you drive an electric car. Included in Kelley Blue Book’s 10 Best Green Cars of 2013, the Volt (starting at around $31,000) is ideal for commuters because it is an all-electric car for the first 38 miles after it has been fully charged. Once the juice has been depleted, a gasoline engine delivers the following 344 miles. On top of this benefit, buying a newer car like a Volt means easier maintenance and access to Chevrolet oem parts.
For Teen Drivers: The 2013 Ford Fusion
At the absolute forefront of parents’ minds is safety, and the idea of handing over the keys to anything less than an armored vehicle seems almost crazy. For this reason, many parents opt to go for bulky, older cars, which at a glance may seem like a good idea. However, as Joseph White noted in the Wall Street Journal, many of these older cars do not have the safety features that come standard on new cars.
In fact, a new car may be the way to go. True, teen drivers are bound to put a few dents in virtually anything they drive, but the safety technology that has been developed in the past few years will render these cosmetic deficiencies virtually invisible to parents. The three cars that recently topped the WSJ’s list are all mid-sized sedans that are relatively inexpensive: Honda Accord (around $21,680), Toyota Camry (starting at $22,235) and Ford Fusion (available from $21,900). The former two cars may have numerous merits, but the new Fusion Hybrid is truly one of the most outstanding economically- and ecologically-friendly cars in production, starting at $27,200 for the hybrid model. With eight standard airbags and a multitude of other security features, it is also one of the safest. It may also be an ideal car for new mothers living in urban areas.
For Executives: The 2013 Tesla Model S
Any car this cool isn’t going to be cheap. However, it is stunning. On top of its distinct design and ability to go from 0-60 in a scant 4.2 seconds, the Tesla Model S also has the longest range of any all-electric car, as reported in the New York Times. Add to this the fact that it was recently awarded Motor Trend’s 2013 Car of the Year, and you have all of the reasons you need to get one of these truly amazing vehicles, provided, of course, you can afford it. The 2013 Tesla Model S starts at around $62,400. And it’s simply beautiful.