When switching from gas to more eco-friendly fuels, don't think that saving the planet means that you have to sacrifice performance. Cars that run on alternative fuel options often perform better and get better mileage than their old-school, oil-dependent counterparts.

On average, passenger cars travel about 21 miles on each gallon of fuel. Compare that MPG to that of these popular hybrid cars on the market:

- Toyota Prius ? 48 MPG

- Honda Civic Hybrid ? 40 MPG

- Ford Escape Hybrid ? 34 MPG

More MPGs are available here.

Though hybrid vehicles can cost more than gas-powered ones, with MPG numbers like these above, the savings a hybrid can offer easily add up. For example, the average driver of a gas-fueled car that travels 600 miles per month will use 29 gallons of gas, while a Prius owner with the same schedule will only need 13. If the price of gas for both cars is $3 a gallon, the Prius owner will save nearly $600 on gas each year!

Savings aren't the only place that alternatively fueled cars edge out the competition. The smoother, quieter ride an alternative-fuel car offers crushes the noisy, bumpy gas-powered driving experience like an aluminum can in a recycling machine.

When shopping for your next vehicle, test-drive an alternately-fueled car and see for yourself how enjoyable the eco-friendly hybrid experience can be.