Earth Day is this Saturday, April 22, and we believe everybody owes it to Mother Nature to be as green as possible, or at least make an effort to. For drivers, that means choosing from the most efficient vehicles based on their daily needs.
Which ones might those be? Stop wondering, we’ve done all the research! Below you’ll find the greenest cars available right now—including conventionally powered models, hybrids and fully electric vehicles—based on Natural Resources Canada’s official ratings.
Not ready to electrify your ride yet? Fine. A number of small cars out there can be extremely easy on gas, you know.
Topping the list is the Mitsubishi Mirage, which also happens to be the least powerful vehicle in the country with 78 horsepower. Remarkably, it achieves 6.2 L/100 km in combined city-highway driving. Add 0.3 L/100 km if you pick the manual transmission instead of the automatic.
Several other models tie for second place at 6.7 L/100 km. They are the Hyundai Elantra, Nissan Versa, Toyota Corolla and Kia Rio. The Corolla Hatchback, Volkswagen Jetta and Honda Civic are more examples of traditional cars that burn less than 7 L/100 km.
Among regular hybrids, the ones that never need to be plugged in since they charge on the go, the Kia Niro takes the crown with a combined rating as low as 4.4 L/100 km (LX or EX trim). Keep in mind that this small Korean crossover is completely redesigned for 2023, as well.
Next, we find the Hyundai Elantra Hybrid and Toyota Corolla Hybrid, which both manage 4.7 L/100 km on average. Surprisingly, the latter is a tad more fuel-efficient than even the renowned Prius (4.8 L/100 km), whose sporty-looking fifth generation is now launching in Canada.
As for plug-in hybrids (PHEV), it’s a bit more complicated to determine the greenest models. It all depends on charging habits. In terms of zero-emission range, the top three consist of the Toyota Prius Prime (72 km), Toyota RAV4 Prime (68 km), as well as the Volvo S60 Recharge and V60 Recharge (64 km).
Finally, we arrive at electric vehicles (EV). While all of them can be considered green since they emit no greenhouse gases while driving, some are greener than others.
The all-new Hyundai IONIQ 6 and Lucid Air, two of the most aerodynamically designed production sedans ever, lead the way with an energy consumption of 14.9 kWh/100 km. The former can travel up to 581 km with a full charge, while the latter is rated at 660 km (Pure) or 684 km (Touring) depending on the model.
The third step on the podium is occupied by the popular Tesla Model 3 in single-motor configuration. This one achieves 15.8 kWh/100 km.