Three of 2020’s most exciting electric cars reviewed

June 14, 2020

The pressure to ditch your petrol or diesel car has never been greater. And motorists are responding with 28% of new car sales in 2020 either battery electric or hybrid vehicles. Why the sudden shift? In part, because drivers can secure great tax breaks by reducing their carbon footprints, particularly with cars that emit no tailpipe carbon. But the other major reasons are the advanced technology, enormous choice and long range that electric vehicles now offer. As we reveal in this comparison of the MINI Cooper Electric, Peugeot e-208 and the Kia Niro electric.

 

MINI Hatch Cooper Electric 32.6kWh

A true British classic on the outside with an all-new electric motor on the inside, the MINI Cooper Electric offers iconic styling with carbon-free driving.

Seating four people, the car provides a WLTP range of 142 miles and it packs a real punch achieving 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds. Powered by a single electric motor on the front wheels, the MINI puts out 182bhp - the same as a two-litre petrol-powered engine. With its battery sitting low in the car’s chassis it has a low centre of gravity which helps it stick to the road and makes it fun to drive.

You might be wondering about the internal space in a car that’s named for its compact design. But MINI has been careful to design the car without compromising on leg room or boot space which stands at 211 litres.

The MINI comes with 50kWh rapid-charging capability so its battery can be topped up from 11 to 88 miles of range in just 29 minutes. The battery can also be boosted from 0% to 80% using an 11kWh home wall point in three hours and 15 minutes. Offering a vehicle fuel equivalent of 154mpg, the MINI also provides good economy.

With an upmarket image, the MINI lives up to high expected standards with soft-touch interiors and solid feeling knobs and switches all presented with its bespoke circular touch-screen design.

Despite all the change under the bonnet, the MINI Hatch electric is still unmistakably a MINI. Perfect for anyone looking for a classic, small hatchback with solid green credentials.

 

Kia e-Niro 64kWh

When the Kia e-Niro emerged onto the driving scene back in 2017 it gave the competition a shake up. And the latest model, with its Tesla-like WLTP range of 283 miles, continues to impress. A powerful 64kWh motor (almost double that of the MINI) delivers the electric equivalent of 158mpg and a 0-60mph time of 6.9 seconds - not much faster than the MINI.
But if you’re looking for space over speed, the Niro’s large, family-friendly, SUV-style body provides plenty of space with room for five and 451 litres in the boot.

That said, the car’s responsiveness is a major reason it’s so well loved as power is delivered directly to the motor without hesitation. As with all electric cars, there’s no noise from the motor except a slight hum as the car accelerates at faster speeds. And the ride is pretty smooth too.

With its long-distance range, the Niro is well suited to extended journeys and, as such, can be charged using a rapid charge connector which will boost the battery from 23 to 184 miles in just 44 minutes.

Inside, the Kia e-Niro has a quality feel and provides a range of driving positions enabled by seat height and steering wheel reach adjustments. When it comes to infotainment, there’s a punchy eight-speaker sound system with subwoofer and wireless smartphone charging as standard. With Apple CarPlay and Android Auto you can use certain smartphone features legally and safely while on the go.

If you’re looking for a quality SUV that can travel long distances on a single charge without breaking the bank, the e-Niro could be your go-to car.

 

Peugeot e-208 50kWh

If you want to go electric without making a big song and dance about it, the Peugeot e-208 hatchback could be the perfect choice. With its 50kWh battery and 134bhp motor, it’s not quite as fast as the Kia e-Niro or the MINI covering 0-60mph in 8.1 seconds. However, the e-208 offers an impressive WLTP range of 217 miles - the equivalent of 154mpg.

Indistinguishable from petrol and diesel Peugeot 208’s, the e-208 has five doors and seats for five, making it easy to use for those with children or anyone with mobility issues.

In comparison to other similarly-sized electric cars, the Peugeot e-208 stands out for its ability to accept 100kWh rapid charging. This will take the battery from 18 to 140 miles of range in just 27 minutes. Perfect if you don’t want to stop for long at the motorway services on the way to your destination.

A notable interior design difference is the car’s small steering wheel which makes it easier for drivers to see the raised digital dashboard. The interior has a pleasing, quality finish and the infotainment system provides Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Despite the e-208’s small size, there’s plenty of room in the front for taller drivers and the 311 litre boot space is supplemented by a range of interior storage including good sized door bins, cubbies and a tray below the dashboard. Making this a highly practical smaller family car.

If all or any of these cars has wet your electric driving appetite, get your no obligation quote here.

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