Not only does the Volt impress by seamlessly transferring over from electric to gas power once the battery is depleted but somehow the car manages to remain a very chuck-able and fun to drive compact family sedan no matter what mode of propulsion you are using. The Volt feels very much like a Cruze with a slightly lower center of gravity which has given it a bit more of a desire to hug the road when taking tight corners especially when the car is set to “Sport” mode. Regardless, the 2013 Chevy Volt is the environmentally friendly daily driver that you can pick-up now at your local Chevy dealer with no real compromises or excuses in the overall usefulness or fun to drive categories even necessary.
If you are the kind of person who really wants to cut back on our use of fossil fuels today, right here and right now with a substitute that is easily found all across North America then check out the 2013 Honda Civic Natural Gas. It’s essentially a Honda Civic sedan powered by a 1.8 liter 4-cylinder engine that runs on natural gas instead of gasoline and as a result just so happens to run cleaner and with less internal friction thereby aiding the possibility of long engine life.
Toyota pretty much owns this market segment, and rightfully so what with the success of its ever expanding Prius lineup. And while we do appreciate the Prius V wagon for its extra size and more eager handling compared to other Prii, that model narrowly missed the podium due to the existence of one much more fun to drive car—the 2013 Toyota Camry Hybrid. Not only is it fuel efficient just as promised by the EPA but it also manages to avoid every single “hybrid-ism” that annoys us in the Prius. Not only does this Camry feel like it has a battery powered turbocharger attached to its 4-cylinder engine (it is far too easy to hit 100 miles per hour in this car) but it also gives off no tell-tale whines, clicks with only engine bay silence at parking speeds giving away the game a little bit.
This category really is a no brainer after you drive the Nissan Leaf, Fit EV and Mitsubishi i-Mi-Ev which all take decidedly different approaches to electrified personal transport. In the Mitsubishi you will think you have been swallowed by a Japanese Pokemon character whereas the Leaf will make you believe that to save the Earth all of the inherent pleasure of driving must be eradicated from our planet. Thanks to a feisty independent rear suspension that ensures taut handling and a sport button equipped battery pack that allows the wasteful laying of front tire rubber we are quite sure that the 2013 Honda Fit EV proves electric cars can be fun to drive.
Sure, it’s only an alternative if you live in Southern California near some of the very few hydrogen refueling stations in this country but given those limitations this is amazingly complete alternative fuel vehicle choice. After refueling which takes about 3 minutes, the range in the Clarity is about 230 miles and this four door sedan built on a bespoke Honda platform offers plenty of room for four full size adults and even their luggage. Lastly, not only does the Clarity accelerate, handle and brake with the usual Honda-ness but it also feels just as solidly built as any ordinary and much less complex Accord.