In 2019, passenger cars in the United States coughed out 762.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the air you’re breathing, making them the primary source of on-road vehicle greenhouse gas emissions in the country.

If you want to make it more visual, that number is equivalent to the following:

  • 1,915,810,736,977 miles driven by an average passenger vehicle
  • 842,557,606,892 pounds of coal burned
  • 91,798,594 homes’ energy use for one year
  • 97,728,189,396,353 number of smartphones charged

The figures are staggering, and one way people can help is by getting greener vehicles such as hybrid cars. 

Read more: The best electric motorcycles you can buy – July 2021

Different types of hybrid vehicles

Hybrid cars come with a combo package of an internal combustion engine (ICE) and an electric motor. In parallel-hybrids, the ICE and electric motor work in tandem to generate power. There are also series-hybrid types where the engine recharges the battery and the electric motor providing all the thrust. Lastly, plug-in hybrids run primarily using the electric motor and only tap the engine when the battery’s out of power.

What are the benefits of hybrid vehicles?

Hybrid vehicles are perfect for those who want a green car but are not yet ready to get the more expensive full-electric vehicle. Today, you also have a ton of affordable hybrid vehicles from major manufacturers.

Hybrid cars are more fuel-efficient compared to vehicles running on gas or diesel. Whatever math you’ll do, you will definitely end up with more miles in between fill-ups. And that means a lot of savings for you.

Unlike electric vehicles, driving a hybrid wouldn’t subject you to the stress and anxiety of traveling to off-the-beaten-path places where charging stations are hard to find.

The resale values of hybrid vehicles are also considerably higher compared to traditional vehicle counterparts. Add to that the instant torque, no idling, and reliability while you own it.

On top of all these benefits of hybrid cars, your vehicle car will have fewer emissions, and you can help fight global warming. And yes, you’ll have cleaner air to breathe, too.

The 6 best affordable hybrid cars in the US in 2021

We rounded up a list of the best cheap hybrid cars receiving good reviews from experts and consumers. Aside from their competitive sticker price, these hybrids are also praised for their overall value. The popularity of these vehicles is attributed to good design, hybrid car specs, and hybrid car features.

2021 Honda Insight

If you want a hybrid car that doesn’t look like one, the 2021 Honda Insight was able to achieve a good balance between exceptional design and fuel economy. It has an EPA rating of 55 mpg while snaking around city streets, 49 mpg cruising on a highway, and 52 mpg combined. It will also not fall short if you’re looking for power since this green car has a total system power of 151 hp.

It boasts of generous interior space and is loaded with technologies that most consumers look for today. The Honda Insight hybrid comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also comes standard with active safety features.

The 2021 Honda Insight price starts at $23,130.

2021 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Blue

Korean car manufacturer Hyundai stepped up its hybrid vehicle game with the Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Blue. Implementing a bolder overall look using angular lines, the seemingly ready-to-pounce ride offers spacious interiors and creature comfort features such as heated front seats, hands-free trunk release, and a connected car system. It also has a 10.3-inch touchscreen in the middle of the dashboard, one of the biggest in its class.

The rear multilink suspension system ensures that you enjoy a smooth ride and confidently negotiate turns.

The Elantra Hybrid Blue EPA rating is an impressive 54 mpg combined. Its inline four-cylinder hybrid powerplant with a combined power of 139 hp gives you 53 mpg in the city and 56 mpg when on the highway.

The Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Blue price starts at $23,550.

2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid

Toyota is a brand known through the years for the reliability of its vehicles. The Corolla Hybrid 2021 lives up to this standard with a no-cost maintenance claim of 24 months or 25,000 miles. With a 53-52-52 mpg city-highway-combined EPA rating, you will save around $2,000 worth of fuel for 5 years.

Aside from its sporty styling, this green car from Toyota offers comfortable seating for five adults and comes with an 8-inch infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a host of active safety features.

The Corolla Hybrid is also praised for its crash test ratings and tagged as one of the Top Safety Picks of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The Toyota Corolla hybrid price starts at $23,600.

2021 Kia Niro Hybrid Crossover

While the Prius has been sleeping on its laurels in recent years, Kia developed a competitive crossover SUV for those who want a bigger option with a greener footprint. The Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid offers a best-in-class warranty of 10 years or 100,000 miles.

The Kia Niro Hybrid is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a parallel hybrid system with a respectable 104 hp from the former and 60 hp from the latter. Combined, this  hybrid SUV has a potent 139 hp.

It has a competitive 48 mpg during city driving, 44 mpg on the highway, and a 46 mpg combined EPA rating in terms of fuel economy.

Kia’s hybrid car offers a lot for your money. The handling is quite nimble and will be perfect for a small family. 

The Kia Niro Hybrid price starts at $24,690.

2021 Honda Accord Hybrid

American families have been in love with the Accord through the years and there’s no reason why it will be different for its sibling, the 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid. The greener choice offers a complete package of sleek looks, comfort, and great value for money.

The improved throttle response brings it closer to, if not better than conventional cars. The Accord Hybrid performance is highlighted by its quiet cruising behavior, balanced ride, and excellent handling.

Its two-motor hybrid system that produces 212 total hp is paired with an e-CVT transmission. Its lower tier variant has an EPA rating of 48 mpg in the city and 48 mpg on the highway. The Accord hybrid safety features earned it an NHTSA 5-star safety rating. 

The vehicle also comes standard with an 8-inch infotainment system, Bluetooth connectivity, AppleCar Play and Android Auto.

The Honda Accord Hybrid price starts at $26,570.

2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

The Sonata brand has climbed the ranks as one of the most trusted family sedans in the US market, and the 2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid continues to build on its legacy. Customers would love the Sonata Hybrid for the incredible value it offers. Add to that a good warranty coverage and a considerable trial period.

This midsize hybrid sedan sports a coupe-like design with elegant lines flowing from front to rear and on its sides. Its interior offers a quiet and comfortable ride with a good infotainment system that utilizes an 8-inch touchscreen.

It is also loaded with Hyundai’s advanced driving assistance technologies such as stop-and-go system, cruise control, collision warning, emergency braking, among others.

Under the Sonata Hybrid’s hood is a 2-liter four-cylinder engine mated with an electric motor. The combined power of the system is 192 hp. In terms of fuel economy, it will not disappoint, with  50 mpg for city driving and 54 mpg on the highway, or a combined EPA rating of 52 mpg.

The higher trim of the Sonata Hybrid also offers solar roof panels that offer about 700 miles of additional range annually.

The Hyundai Sonata  Hybrid price starts at $27,750.

Read next: Best electric cars: a buyer’s guide

That completes our roundup of the best cheap hybrid cars you can get in the United States. Stay tuned for updates.