What alternatives should I consider to a used Nissan Leaf hatchback?
The smaller Renault Zoe is a great electric car. Lease its battery and it makes a great used purchase and is exceptionally cheap to buy and run. It’s quiet and easy to drive, and its range is excellent. It didn’t fare as well as the Leaf in our last reliability survey, however.
One premium alternative is the Volkswagen e-Golf. VW says it has a battery range of 186 miles, but admits that’ll drop to around 125 miles in the real world. You can charge it through a three-pin plug, too, although it’ll take 13 hours for a full charge. It takes four hours for a full charge via a dedicated quick charger. It’s great to drive, but it is pricey.
So is the other premium electric car, the BMW i3, but it's undoubtedly very luxurious. The i3 uses state-of-the-art production techniques to offset its weight and offers a range of around 124 miles. You can even choose a range-extender option that incorporates a tiny petrol engine to top-up the battery pack when charge (and range) run low.
The first-generation Kia Soul EV is a funky-looking car that combines an instant hit of torque from its electric motor with the ability to cruise happily on the motorway at 70mph. However, its realistic range is very short at around 70 miles, and it’s not the most comfortable, especially on a bumpy road. An all-new version, utilising the technology from its sibling, the e-Niro, is now available, and this has a far longer range, in the region of 250 miles.
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