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Buying & Leasing a Car

2009 Best List: Green and Used Cars

Top choices from economy to luxury, hybrid or diesel.

Whether you are looking to save money by buying a used car or just save on gas, these are our best cars for the price.

Best Used Cars

If you want: Great gas mileage in a small package
Car: 2006 Pontiac Vibe ($9,614)
Why we like it: GM’s twin of the Toyota Matrix costs less but has the same fuel-efficient engine and generous cargo space.

If you want: A budget-friendly family car
Car: 2007 Hyundai Sonata GLS ($10,565
Why we like it: This car competes with the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, but it comes with a lower price.

If you want: Luxury at an affordable price
Car: 2006 Acura TL ($21,091)
Why we like it: The reliable TL offers stellar resale values, standard safety features and fuel-efficient performance.

If you want: A crossover SUV
Car: 2005 Toyota RAV4 ($13,144)
Why we like it: Toyota’s small crossover consistently tops its class for its mix of functionality, fuel-friendliness and value.

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Best Green Cars

Ford Fusion Hybrid: ($28,350, 41 mpg city/36 hwy) Besting the Camry hybrid by 8 mpg in the city, Ford’s family sedan has optional leather seats and a cool dashboard display that sprouts leaves as your mileage improves.

Audi A3 2.0 TDI: ($30,775, 30 mpg city/42 hwy) Audi adds a diesel engine to its entry-luxe wagon for 2010. The A3 cleans up its act with 30% better fuel economy than its gas-engine sibling and boasts a hefty 236 pound-feet of torque.

Lexus RX 450h: ($42,535, 32 mpg city/28 hwy) With 30 mpg in combined city and highway driving, the redesigned 450h boasts 20% better fuel economy than the old RX hybrid. Lexus’s good looks and ten airbags are standard fare.

Mercedes GL350 BlueTec: ($60,825, 17 mpg city/23 hwy) Refreshed for 2010, the GL has a six-cylinder diesel that boasts the torque of an eight-cylinder engine. It can haul seven people, and the third row flips down for 44 cubic feet of cargo space.