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.
RRP: from £17,795
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.
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
Battery: 70-100kWh lithium-ion
Kerb weight: 2,467kg
Max range: up to 482km battery-only
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Engine: 2.0L 4-cylinder
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
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)