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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

My current lease is coming to an end and it’s time to jump on the EV bandwagon! TBF I nearly did three years ago but the lease prices on the i3 were crazy!

This will be a second car for us so I’m not overly worried about range anxiety, the only long journey I currently do is a trip to Nottingham and back twice a month, 160 mile round trip, but I can do that in the diesel which we’ll still have as the ‘larger car’.

I‘m trying to decide between the i3 (standard black interior trim), Honda e (not Advance) and Mini (level 2 spec). I’ve had the i3 on a test drive for a day and have the Honda for 24 hours from Tuesday. The Mini is now becoming more tricky to secure a test drive with Tier 4 restrictions...

Lease prices I have currently based on a 3+36 at 10k miles are i3 - £346, Mini - £338 and the Honda - £366.

Currently feels like the sensible choice is the i3. It’s the larger of the three, bigger range, and as it’s been around a while most of the bugs should be worked out. I’ve got a feeling that the Honda is going to steal my heart though even though it’s the most expensive and has the smallest range... I haven’t completely written off a Mini, the price is great but everything I’ve read and seen suggests it lacks that ‘something special’ you’d want an electric car to bring.

Am I missing something or does anyone have any insight or opinion? Should I spec up the trim levels? The Honda Advance trim adds £75 a month for auto parking rear view camera mirror and a three pin plug socket...

Thanks in advance!
 

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Thanks in advance!
A Freudien slip? I think you’ve already chosen the top spec Honda ;)

As it’s to be a second vehicle, will you be doing 10k miles pa? If not, you may get a better deal by going for 8k miles a year. That would mean you can have the more expensive trim level of the vehicle you eventually choose.
 

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I think most reviews I have seen say the Mini is the best fun to drive by far, the Honda is the quirkiest but a bit naff to drive, isn't the I3 old hat now? There are no inherent faults or known issues with the Mini (given that the top is a normal high spec Mini cooper and the bottom is a tried and tested I3 motor and battery).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@E7EV Dropping to 8k miles a year might not be a bad idea. 10k gives me a buffer but I have a sneaky feeling we’ll end up using the ev for most trips other than motorway journeys!

@DrMagical you’re spot on about the Mini but I just wish the electric version looked more... electric. It’s probably the middle-ground for me in my decision at the moment, proven i3 tech, low lease cost and it’s a new model to the market.
 

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Might want to have a look at the videos by the EV Puzzle over on YouTube - he tested the Honda and the Mini to replace his Kona - spoiler alert... went for the Mini
 

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The i3 was very much a car ahead of its time. The battery tech has improved since the original i3 was launched, the drivetrain and construction were always interesting. BMW have sold more each year since it was launched (unlike most cars where they sell most in the first year after release, declines over time, bumps with the facelift then replaced after 7-10 years), and as alluded to above, shoving the i3 guts into the mini shell is a bit of a hack job.

I'd say have a look also at the Mazda mx30 (although the stupid noise that can't be disabled would be an absolute "nope" for me) and the Fiat 500, as alternative "second car" choices.

But I'd also strongly recommend look at the VW ID3. The lease rates on these are very competitive and you might get "more car than you need" but that's hardly something to complain about! Yes, there's some teething issues with software but they are actively being resolved. If it's at the same price as the others you're looking at then it's got to be worth a look?
 

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I currently have an I3 and have test driven the Mini and Honda.
Ride and handling - The Mini is sort of sportier but I prefer rear wheel drive of the I3. The Honda is nothing special to drive. The I3 has the best 0-60 time.
Space - the Mini feels a bit cramped and rear seat acces is poor, my wife said no as its a faff to get the weekly shop into it. Access to back seats is best in the Honda and the rear luggage space is small but easy to get at. I am used to driving sports cars and the Mini has that feel, it is something that wraps around you whilst with the Honda and I3 you sit in an open space.
I am a great fan of AEB and adaptive cruise control so the lack of this was the reason to walk away from the Mini. The I3 system is pretty basic but the ACC works enough of the time to be useful and the AEB system only has to work once to pay for itself so a 50% chance of working is better than nothing. The ACC/AEB system on the Honda is very very good, better than the Tesla Model 3 (which I had before the I3). It has less phantom braking events than the Tesla and is very capable. It doesnt worry about undertaking cars in the centre refuge and unlike the Tesla isn't upset by oncoming double decker buses on narrow roads.
Gizmos and toys - the Honda is in a different league. The video door mirrors and 360 view are fantastic and I was sold on them after 5 mins, the video rear view mirror is a bit more of an acquired taste but you can switch it off. The interface is rather complex and I think i would still be finding features after 6 months but I would regard these as Easter eggs. I could play for hours in it.

But then RANGE RANGE RANGE. The Mini and Honda simply fail. I test drove both over the summer in temperature of 16-19 C and the range was rapidly ticking downwards from 100 miles as soon as I set off. In the winter I suspect you would be looking at 80 miles which is simply not enough. In my case this would require a full charge every night just to do my commute and one missed charge or a detour and I would be stuck on a country lane somewhere. Whether this is a problem depends on your use case.
 

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I'd say have a look also at the Mazda mx30
2nd that. I spent about 30 minutes looking at a static one at our local dealer. Fit, feel and interior quality are on par with the i3. Not sure where the lease prices come in at but MSRP is competitive.

THe MX-30 is a bit compromised because like the MINI it is based on an ICE platform. Back seat leg room is not great.




The i3 was very much a car ahead of its time.
There may never be another car like it.

BMW blew a 10 year lead when they ended project-i. They really did.

BMW's unique hybrid synchronus electric machine (motor) was better than Nissan, Renault or Tesla's. Tesla finally caught up with the model 3. I wonder if BMW and Tesla quietly cross licensed some patents.
The i3 has the best battery cooling system.
The i3 is still the only volume production car with a carbon fibre body.

Many of the components, methods and structural parts on the i3 were a generation ahead.
 

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I feel like the Audi A2 was kind of similar to the i3 in many ways, and was also ahead of its time (and didn't sell well and got canned before it was properly appreciated).
 

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The I3 has the best 0-60 time.
Mini has the same electric machine(motor) in a heavier car.

The i3s improves handling and stability at 70mph+. It is a bit stiffer than the i3 but not crashy or unpleasant. The biggest problem with the i3s is the MSRP. It lists for more than a Model 3.
 

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Remember too that the Mini is the only one that will easily beat it’s claimed WLTP range. And the elephant in the room, it’s the only cool brand EV.
 

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Might not fit the cool car image, but I tested the Zoe ZE50 GT spec a few months ago, and it was really impressive overall (not very powerful though). Leases are from £250 for the top of the line on the carwow calculator...
 

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I would wait for the Fiat 500. Good range, good kit and you can have it as a convertible. What’s not to like? Failing that I would get an Ioniq on £200 a month. It would even cover your Nottingham trip.
 

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I'm also keen on the Fiat but I think i will wait a year to see what actually comes out. Every new EV has had problems with the first off owners being beta testers with no guarantee that their car will get the fixes. This is also Fiats first proper EV so based on history the app won't work and there wil be various failures and incompatibilities.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The input so far has been great, thank you everyone!

Watching the EV Puzzle videos was really interesting for the Mini and Honda E comparison.

As for a Fiat 500 I appreciate i’s retro design but I’m not sure it’s quite me...

The ID3 I’d considered, although I’d read they’d seemed to cut a few corners on the interior quality and it didn’t hold up to the Golfs interior? The number of trim levels for the ID3 seems excessive too! I picked a mid-range trim and the monthly lease was coming in at £440-450ish, so around £100 a month more than the i3, Honda E and Mini...

I’ve sort of made peace with the fact that I’ll never use this car for the twice monthly 160 mile trip to Nottingham, the more research I’ve done it seems that even if I got an EV with a 200+ mile range running it at 70 mph for most of the journey would really damage the range.

I’m leaning towards the i3 but the Honda arrives on Tuesday and as a techie I’m really looking forward to experiencing it first-hand.
 

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Have you considered Ioniq 38 kWh? Mine has done a one-way 160 mile trip in wet & cold, nonstop, I hypermiled it as was my 1st trip in it, and arrived with 40 miles on the clock. Adaptive CC works really well with radar in nose. WLTP is 193 miles, your 160 mile round trip will be a cinch in summer, and ok in winter at steady 60 I estimate. It's about the most efficient EV, along with Model 3 LR. Having a heatpump really helps it. Nice long warranty as well. Mine's now for sale... :)
 

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Might not fit the cool car image, but I tested the Zoe ZE50 GT spec a few months ago, and it was really impressive overall (not very powerful though). Leases are from £250 for the top of the line on the carwow calculator...
I second that. It’s definitely the best all rounder, especially if it’s a second car.
 
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