Alt Fuel: Electricity
Optimists Say: Electric-only cars powered by emissions-free lithium-ion batteries can travel at up to 80 mph for about 200 miles. They're quiet, they're smooth, and you'll never have to change your oil again. Major manufacturers, including Subaru and DaimlerChrysler, plan to introduce practical electric cars to the U.S. market in the next few years. Pessimists Say: Unless you have a spare $108,000 to buy the Tango T600, the electric speedster George Clooney drives, plug-in engines are better left on the links. If the whole country went electric, we'd need more sustainable sources of power to provide the juice. Learn More: www.pluginamerica.com
The Highlander Hybrid is the priciest SUV we tested, and the Limited model comes loaded with luxury features like leather-trim seats and a JBL stereo.
MSRP: $39,290 (LTD) As tested: $42,054 Hybrid premium: $2,900 MPG: EPA, 31 city/27 highway; our average, 25 Decrease in annual greenhouse-gas emissions from comparable gas-only model: 21.9 percent Pros: Lots of power, luxury features, space Cons: Unspectacular fuel economy, pricey