As COP26 gradually draws to a close, there’s lots of talk about whether the event will lead to any real change, or if it was just a stage for world leaders to talk about the dangers of global warming without making any firm commitments. All will be revealed in the fullness of time.
We can sympathise to an extent. Making change on a global scale is not easy. However, on an individual level, it’s much easier to do your bit for the environment. All you need to do is make your next car battery electric, or if you’re not quite ready to go fully electric, a plug-in hybrid. Either way, you’ll radically decrease your personal carbon footprint and as an extra bonus, eliminate or radically reduce the cost of filling up.
Here are our top 10 plug-ins to get you from A to B with little or no C (O2).
The RAV-4 has been consistently popular with drivers in the large SUV segment. With a big airy cabin, loads of storage space, and four-wheel drive, practicality doesn’t get much better than this. In plug-in hybrid guise, the RAV-4 really shines with a speedy 0-62 in around 6 seconds that’ll beat most hot hatches away from the lights. It’s no slouch range-wise either and can cover up to 46 miles in EV mode. In all-electric mode, the RAV-4 is an expectation-defying experience delivering a refined and perky drive despite its SUV bulk. If you’re looking for big-car practicality without the big car carbon footprint, then the RAV-4 has you covered.
Wow. Where on Earth did this come from? Kia doesn’t design ugly cars by any means, but the Korean automaker is not exactly known for producing cars that set the pulse racing. But then again, it doesn’t need to; The Sportage is a fantastic SUV and a perennial favourite of Intelligent Car Leasing customers. But the EV6 is on a whole other level. Looking like a sleeker version of Jaguar’s tasty I-PACE, the EV6 is just downright gorgeous with lots of distinctive design flourishes such as its signature rear light strip that sweeps across the entire rear of the car connecting both wheel arches. The basic RWD drive model offers an impressive 328 miles of range so you’ll be able to turn a lot of heads between charges.
Ford is playing catch-up in the plug-in stakes with no sign of a plug-in or EV version of the ever-popular Focus or Fiesta. In terms of plug-in hybrids, all we have is the Kuga crossover (and a great hybrid it is too) but Ford has made up for their lack of model option with the rather stunning Mustang Mach-E. Drawing inspiration from its classic muscle car heritage, the Mach E has powerful good looks while offering a healthy dose of practicality and refinement. Depending on your choice of drive, this stylish SUV will deliver 248 – 273 miles of range. So while Ford might be late to the party, the Mustang has certainly managed a grand entrance.
SEAT has spun off its CUPRA performance brand to great effect. Top of our list is their lively take on the mid-sized performance SUV concept. Named after a peninsula in Majorca, the Formentor is just as hot as the Iberian climate. If you’re looking for something practical that’ll draw looks on the school run, then the Formentor is worth considering with its low and powerful stance and fancy copper coloured Brembo brake callipers. The E-HYBRID offers a respectable 37 miles in EV only mode, so you’ll look good while being kind to the planet.
Who doesn’t like the Fiat 500? This dinky style icon can squeeze into just about any inner-city parking spot (Low Emission Zones be dammed!). The New 500 features a unique frontend look with cool split headlights that are specific to this new all-electric model. Fiat has also managed to cram an impressive amount of tech into such a small space. For our money, the larger battery version hits the sweet spot with a very respectable 199 miles of range. If you want to look good in the heart of the city without adding to air pollution, then the Fiat New 500 is for you.
This e-Pug is gorgeous. Pretty much everyone agrees on that. Featuring Peugeot’s signature three claw led lights and fang running lights it’s hard not to be impressed. Peugeot is going through a bit of a renaissance right now and most of their model range look fantastic: from the uber-popular 2008 and 3008 SUVs to their sleek 508 saloon. But for us, nothing holds a candle to this electric hot hatch. Winner of countless awards and with some very snazzy tech such as the unique 3D i-Cockpit display you just can’t go wrong. And with 217 miles of range, it goes super far for a supermini.
It’s a Volkswagen so you literally can’t go wrong. Of all manufacturers, VW has done the most to reinvent itself to fit our electrified future. The lack of an engine has enabled VW engineers to extend the cabin further towards the wheels, so you get the maximum benefit from its ground-up EV design making the ID.3 a bit like the TARDIS; On the outside, it’s the size of a Golf, but inside it has Passat-levels of space. There’s also lots of cool gizmos like the ID Light that will sweep across your dash in the direction of the next turn. Very clever. It’s the Golf for the electric generation.
Who doesn’t fancy driving something premium? Even better, what about a premium plug-in hybrid. Well, a LOT of Intelligent Car Leasing customers like this specific combination of prestige badge and zero-emissions capable driving. The A250e will cover most daily commutes in electric-only mode with its impressive 44 miles of range. The cabin is pure Mercedes refinement which is made all the more refined when travelling in near-silent EV mode. The A250e is a tremendous package for those not quite ready (or unable) to make the leap to battery-electric but are looking to reduce their carbon footprint while looking really good into the bargain.
One of our EV Revolutionaries, the Hyundai IONIQ 5 is just plain bonkers – but in a good way. The IONIQ 5 has arguably the most distinctive looks of any EV currently on sale, and boy, does it look good. Strong lines, angled bodywork, and some decidedly retro-futuristic light clusters make the IONIQ 5 not just stand out from the crowd but jump up and down yelling ‘look at me!’. It also has some serious chops when it comes to gizmos – not least the 3 pin sockets in the rear and boot compartment that let you plug in any domestic appliance, or even charge another EV. If you want to embrace the future and look like it when driving, the IONIQ 5 is for you.
It’s almost too obvious, but it’s still one of the best EVs out there. Another of our EV Revolutionaries, the Tesla Model 3 single-handedly ushered in the EV revolution with phenomenal sales making it the world’s best-selling electric car for the last three years running. The Model 3 ticks all three boxes when it comes to electric driving: impressive acceleration (0-60 in 3.1 seconds), impressive range (352 miles) and impressive technology (the list is literally too long to fit between brackets). It looks good and is the most technologically mature EV available with over the air software updates that can be downloaded on your smartphone and then sent to your car, which doesn’t sound like much, but trust us when we say other manufacturers are struggling to match Tesla’s slick update process (we’re looking at you Volkswagen).
If you’re looking to cut your carbon footprint and reduce your fuel bills then take a look at our latest hybrid and electric leasing deals.
Categories : Top Car Choices