Tesla X

Top 10 electric and hybrid cars of 2017

Image credit: Tesla

For years, electric cars were just around the next corner. Have manufacturers truly turned that corner now? We compare this year's top ten plug-in and hybrid cars to see how far they've come.

Top five electric vehicles

1 Renault ZOE Hatchback

With its low running costs and easy drive, the Renault Zoe hatchback is one of the most appealing electric vehicles on the market today. It’s also one of the cheapest to purchase, and has a significantly longer range than most other electric models.

Renault Zoe Hatchback

RRP: from £17,795

Horsepower: 68kW

Battery: 22-40kWh 400V lithium-ion

Kerb weight: 1,468kg

Max range: up to 402.3km battery-only

Acceleration 0-62mph: 13.5 seconds

2 Hyundai IONIQ Electric

Looking more sophisticated than its rivals, the Hyundai Ioniq is spacious enough for the family, and comes with a special climate control system, regenerative brakes and an aerodynamic body. However, it has a limited range and is more expensive than the everyday car.


RRP: £28,356

Horsepower: 88kW

Battery: 28kWh 360V lithium polymer

Kerb weight: 1,420kg

Max range: 280km battery-only

Acceleration 0-62mph: 9.9 seconds

3 Tesla Model X SUV

One of the most expensive electric cars, the Tesla Model X comes with everything you’d expect from the price tag. Incredible acceleration, range and style; you’ll be looking good while saving the planet. Plus, the doors open like the DeLorean from ‘Back to the Future’, which will give you extra ‘cool’ points.


RRP: from £81,000

Horsepower: 245-444kW

Battery: 70-100kWh lithium-ion

Kerb weight: 2,467kg

Max range: up to 482km battery-only

Acceleration 0-62mph:

2.8 to 5.2 seconds

4 Nissan Leaf

A decent family hatchback, the Nissan Leaf is cheap in the electric car market, but it’s still expensive when you compare it to its petrol siblings. It scored full marks in crash testing by Euro NCAP though, and comes with stability control, so it’s one of the safest for your family.


RRP: from £26,125

Horsepower: 80kW

Battery: 24-30kWh 360V lithium-ion

Kerb weight: 1,475-1,535kg

Max range: 200-250km battery-only

Acceleration 0-62mph: 11.5 seconds

5 BMW i3 hatchback

The i3 was conceived entirely from scratch, rather than using previous BMW cars as a template. It’s made of lightweight materials including carbon-fibre and aluminium, so the heavy battery doesn’t compromise driveability. It’s expensive, but has all the BMW brilliance and driving dynamics to make up for it. An optional range extender adds up to 300km with help from an engine.


RRP: from £31,810

Horsepower: 125kW

Battery: 33kWh 353V lithium-ion

Kerb weight: 1,320-1,440kg

Engine: 0.60 L 2-cylinder (optional)

Max range: 241km battery-only

Acceleration 0-60mph: 7.2 seconds

Top five hybrid vehicles

1 Audi A3 sportback e-tron

With big range potential, the e-tron performs just like the A3 would, but you save money on running costs, and help out the environment. Using both the motor and engine gives the e-tron decent speed and acceleration, so you don’t have to worry about the battery weighing it down. Its roomy and comfortable interior makes it a good choice for a family car.


RRP: £35,245

Horsepower: 150kW

Engine: 1.4L petrol engine and electric motor

Battery: 8.8kWh lithium-ion

Kerb weight: 1,540kg

Acceleration 0-62mph: 7.6 seconds

Top speed: 138mph

Combined fuel economy: up to 156.9mpg

CO2 levels: 38g/km

2 Volkswagen Golf GTE

The GTE is VW’s first plug-in hybrid, and they’ve done a very good job with it. However, it’s pricier than the usual turbo Golf and drives slower than its predecessor when the volts run out. It costs less than the e-tron though, and runs just as well.


RRP: £33,995

Horsepower: 152kW

Engine: 1.4L 150 PS TSI direct-injection petrol engine and a 102 PS electric motor.

Battery: 8.8kWh lithium-ion

Kerb weight: 1,520kg

Acceleration 0-60 mph: 7.6 seconds

Top speed: 135mph

Combined fuel economy: up to 166mpg

CO2 levels: 39g/km

3 Mercedes-Benz C350e

With the Mercedes slogan, quality German engineering is a guarantee. A whopping 600Nm of torque means the c350e is a rapid cruiser. The interior is comfortable and stylish and its performance is the same as other models in the C Class, but you will have to sacrifice some boot space, as the battery pack reduces it by 145 litres.


RRP: from £38,900

Horsepower: 205kW

Engine: 2.0L turbocharged petrol

Battery: 6.2kWh lithium-ion

Acceleration 0-62 mph: 5.9 seconds

Top speed: 155mph

Combined fuel economy: up to 134.5mpg

CO2 levels: 48g/km

4 Volvo XC90 T8

Although it’s not very affordable for most of us, the XC90 T8 is one of the greatest sports utility vehicles on the market. The fact that its hybrid specs are some of the best around, makes it even better.


RRP: £59,850

Horsepower: 299kW

Engine: 2.0L 4-cylinder

Battery: 9kWh

Kerb weight: 2,296kg

Acceleration 0-62mph: 5.6 seconds

Top speed: 142mph

Combined fuel economy: 134.5mpg

CO2 rating: 49g/km

5 Toyota Prius hatchback

The Prius has been around since 1997, and has been refined through the years. Its Eco model ranks as the all-time most fuel-efficient gasoline-powered car without plug-in capability; being very reliable and cheap to run adds to the Prius’s charm. However, its look won’t be for everyone.


RRP: from £23,295

Horsepower: 90.2kW

Engine: 1.8L 4-cylinder

Battery: 202V lithium-ion

Kerb weight: 1,495kg

Acceleration 0-60mph: 10.5 seconds

Top speed: 114mph

Combined fuel economy: 94mpg

CO2 levels: 70g/km

Other great electric cars              

Kia Soul hatchback - from £13,160

Volkswagen e-Golf - from £31,680

Ford Focus Electric - from £31,000

Jaguar I-Pace - from £50,000 (rumoured)

Volkswagen e-up! - from £25,280

Tesla Model S - from £61,500

Tesla Model 3 - from £30,000 (released late 2017)

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