With the latest version of parent Toyota's gasoline-electric Hybrid Synergy Drive system under the hood, the posh RX 400h is the first SUV hybrid that actually outperforms its gasoline counterpart. A 3.3-liter gasoline V6 teams up with powerful front and rear electric motors to create a four-wheel-drive RX that is not only quicker (7.3 seconds to 60 mph, against 7.8) but also vastly more fuel-efficient (31 mpg city/27 mpg highway, versus 18/24 mpg). $49,060
The four-wheel-drive, 247hp, V6-powered Ridgeline pushes the pickup truck to a new level of user-friendly, with why-didn't-they-think-of-that-before features such as a lockable under-bed trunk and a tailgate that swings down or to the left. Its fully independent suspension-the first in a half-ton pickup-offers very un-pickuplike handling. It features a stiff, unitized body structure and five-foot bed made of a steel-reinforced composite. $27,700$31,490
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.