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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
Earlier this year I decided my next car would be an EV. I booked extended test drives for a BMW i3s, a Nissan Leaf (40), a Hyundai Kona and a Peugeot e208. Unfortunately I had to cancel the Leaf due to the pandemic but it didn't really excite me and I have concerns about the battery thermal management.
I really loved the i3s for its acceleration, agility and spacious interior. I am not sure about driving it in winter (we currently have two 4WD vehicles due to where we live) and so would need to buy winter wheels. I really like the environmental credentials of the car too. The standard stereo was crap though so I'd look at a HK upgrade. It was also fidgety!
The Peugeot e208 was really well planted with a great modern interior and forgiving suspension. I found it a bit slow (I'm an Audi S3 driver) but it's a lovely looking thing. I can also get a new GT spec for the price of a one year old i3s, offering an extra year of warranty.
The Kona was fine but not interesting enough for me. I didn't like the torque steer much but the range was fantastic.
So, the 'heart' choice is the i3s and the 'head' choice is the e208. How do I choose?!
 

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Coin? Don't ask me, I look on cars as a tool, a cost drain and not a source of entertainment. It's obviously nice to have a car you really enjoy driving, but for me as a late starter driving any car that gets me where I want to go is enjoyable. That's why I buy snow tyres!

I'd be worried about the cost of a minor accident in the i3 though due to its construction.
 

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I'd go with the head. i3's strange suicide doors are not fun in parallel parking spots (you can't open the back door without opening the front door and in parallel parking you're unlikely to be able to access the back seats). I don't think the i3 has a spacious interior; it does feel like it, probably, but I believe overall is smaller than a Zoe.
 

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I would also suggest that you try the MG. Very spacious interior and boot. Packed with features, with some that don't appear on some of the others and a darn sight cheaper. Don't be put off by the brand name. They've been making EVs for quite some time now, we've just not heard about them. The same company makes VW/Audi for the Chinese market (That's why you can recognise a lot of the parts in the MG).
 
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Is your choices narrowed down to the i3 / e208 only? Is your timeline pretty short for getting into an EV or is it just a target for the year?

Reason I ask is there is a number of vehicles at the pre-order, or release phase that you might want to look at? EV-Database might help you see what is coming along a bit better.
But I wonder if holding out a little will yield you something closer to what you are looking for?

IMHO - I wonder if BMW will start to phase out the i3 soon? Seeing how they are ramping up their standard series for BEV like the upcoming X3. They started out of the gate really well with the i3, but left it too long to follow up and are now struggling to keep with the pack as a result. Shame in a way, but I am sure their persistence will push through in the end. End of the day it's still a 'city' car.

The Nissan Leaf - if you are after something soon would not be something to discount just yet, if you like the power of an S3 - you should look at the e+ / 62kW instead as the acceleration on that is very nice, but appreciate it's not for all.
Thermal management would not be an issue unless you plan to QC >3 times in succession to get to a destination. I'm yet to have a long journey in mine, but even then the sort of holiday trips I do would only need 1-2 small QCs and not a 20-80% charge. You'll get deep discounts and quicker delivery here than with others if that's where your priorities lie.

As for what's coming... The Mini is going to pack a punch with torque and in the realms of i3 / Leaf e+, otherwise there is the Seat El-Born coming later this year, or the VW ID3.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Coin? Don't ask me, I look on cars as a tool, a cost drain and not a source of entertainment. It's obviously nice to have a car you really enjoy driving, but for me as a late starter driving any car that gets me where I want to go is enjoyable. That's why I buy snow tyres!

I'd be worried about the cost of a minor accident in the i3 though due to its construction.
You make a good point about the accident repair issues and I see that as one of the downsides of the i3. I love driving though and spend a lot of time in the car so I'd want it to be fun and engaging; that's why I'm finding it so tough to choose. My husband sees cars as a means to an end but it's not like that for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'd go with the head. i3's strange suicide doors are not fun in parallel parking spots (you can't open the back door without opening the front door and in parallel parking you're unlikely to be able to access the back seats). I don't think the i3 has a spacious interior; it does feel like it, probably, but I believe overall is smaller than a Zoe.
Compared to the e208 the interior is much better (space-wise, or at least the feeling of space). The Peugeot felt a bit claustrophobic after spending time in the i3. I don't need to worry about accessing the rear seats very often. My last car was a 3-door and although we have dogs we don't tend to use the back seats for passengers. Most of the time I'll be driving alone. I might have to look at a Zoe when things ease up.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I would also suggest that you try the MG. Very spacious interior and boot. Packed with features, with some that don't appear on some of the others and a darn sight cheaper. Don't be put off by the brand name. They've been making EVs for quite some time now, we've just not heard about them. The same company makes VW/Audi for the Chinese market (That's why you can recognise a lot of the parts in the MG).
I considered a test drive of the MG but our nearest dealer is quite some distance from us and I'd probably have to take it to a public charger somewhere to get it back - assuming I did an extended test drive. They do seem excellent value for money though; have you got/driven one?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Is your choices narrowed down to the i3 / e208 only? Is your timeline pretty short for getting into an EV or is it just a target for the year?

Reason I ask is there is a number of vehicles at the pre-order, or release phase that you might want to look at? EV-Database might help you see what is coming along a bit better.
But I wonder if holding out a little will yield you something closer to what you are looking for?

IMHO - I wonder if BMW will start to phase out the i3 soon? Seeing how they are ramping up their standard series for BEV like the upcoming X3. They started out of the gate really well with the i3, but left it too long to follow up and are now struggling to keep with the pack as a result. Shame in a way, but I am sure their persistence will push through in the end. End of the day it's still a 'city' car.

The Nissan Leaf - if you are after something soon would not be something to discount just yet, if you like the power of an S3 - you should look at the e+ / 62kW instead as the acceleration on that is very nice, but appreciate it's not for all.
Thermal management would not be an issue unless you plan to QC >3 times in succession to get to a destination. I'm yet to have a long journey in mine, but even then the sort of holiday trips I do would only need 1-2 small QCs and not a 20-80% charge. You'll get deep discounts and quicker delivery here than with others if that's where your priorities lie.

As for what's coming... The Mini is going to pack a punch with torque and in the realms of i3 / Leaf e+, otherwise there is the Seat El-Born coming later this year, or the VW ID3.
Timeline-wise I'm looking at having something by July, which is partly why I had limited the choices. I also only wanted to spend £28,000 max - I'm buying rather than leasing/PCP etc. I signed up for details of the VW ID3 quite some time ago but haven't received anything so far. That might be a good option. The extended Leaf I think is too expensive at the moment and as we currently have two Nissans I fancied a change. I also didn't like the idea of the Bose sub woofer eating up boot space - I would want the better sound system. Good point regarding the thermal management though and I'm probably over-worrying about it. If there was an e+ available near to me I'd give it a drive but the local Nissan dealer wouldn't let me have more than a 15 minute drive! I've had some bad experiences with Nissan over the years and it puts me off a bit to be honest.

I have considered the same point about the BMW i3 being a bit long in the tooth but I'm sure I read somewhere that there is a bigger battery yet to come.

I could try the Mini as I know the nearest dealer to me has a tester available but I was a bit concerned about the range. Some days I will need to ensure I can get 120 miles with some dual carriageway driving and I didn't think it would manage that sort of distance.

I don't know... after driving the cars in Feb/March I thought it was all clear in my mind but now I feel overwhelmed by the choices and like I'll need to go back and drive them all again when circumstances improve!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
How the heck do you line that up with the i3s? It's about £10k adrift :oops:

Is there not a 'used' Tesla that would be affordable, at a pinch? Sounds more like your kind of thing.
I'm only looking at used i3s - about £28K is feasible for a one year old 120Ah i3s. I looked for Teslas but couldn't find one in my price range that wasn't a saloon (dog in boot requirement). Plus, my husband would be very upset as he doesn't like much about the company...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Either of those is a deal-breaker :)

(I have a Kona - I wouldn't think the boot is particularly good for a dog unless it's pretty small (the dog).)
:-D Two border collies. I had a Kona for an extended test drive and it was a bit smaller than I expected but I loved the range. I can't afford a Premium SE though yet. The Hyundai dealer was excellent by the way and getting an extended test drive was no hardship at all - unlike some other dealers. I wouldn't buy a Kia because they messed me about so much. Vauxhall never called me back. Nissan wouldn't let me have an extended drive either. How do you find your Kona?
 

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I considered a test drive of the MG but our nearest dealer is quite some distance from us and I'd probably have to take it to a public charger somewhere to get it back - assuming I did an extended test drive. They do seem excellent value for money though; have you got/driven one?
I have a friend in Wiltshire who had the same problem with the dealer so far away, so I can understand your hesitance. (He went with the 62 kWh Leaf, parting with his already Leaf).

Yes I've had mine since 2nd March, but not really had a chance to do a long drive except for the return from the dealer. I really like it. It is really spacious and mega comfortable. I've had 2 Zoes and the MG is much better in many ways. The Zoes seat have no lateral hold. Which is quite annoying as it holds the road very well. Sadly you don't as you slide sideways when you go for it. Nor are they adjustable for height. This means (for me as I'm very short) that I had to have 2 cushions to see out of the window and the 'c' pillars made part of the road invisible. The MG is not as efficient as the Zoe, but most of my driving has been down the local dual carriage-way so has been at mainly 70 mph. (acceleration is quite nice too :) )

Edit: My MG dealer was quite happy for me to have a 24 hour test drive (loosely meaning: bring it back some time tomorrow)
 

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Timeline-wise I'm looking at having something by July,
Someone on the 'EV News rides again' thread reckons that post Corona there will be a glut of EVs and wait times will be very short. So you could have quite some choice.
 

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What about prices?? I know gluts should mean reductions but will the manufacturers be able to maintain price levels?
 

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What about prices?? I know gluts should mean reductions but will the manufacturers be able to maintain price levels?
I really hesitate to guess. But, when I p/x'd my Zoe the dealer put it on Autotrader for £15,591 (about a £4.5k markup) at the time Autotrader put it at about £500 more than average (I must look after my cars. Who knew?). Now, 6 weeks later, it's marked at £1,244 more than average. So used prices have dropped (unsurprising really). I imagine that dealers will want to shift stock asap, so there could be some very interesting deals for those who can move quickly.
 
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Discussion Starter #18
More choice will be good in many respects but might make me even more confused and indecisive! :) I'm keen to see the VW ID3 and I really liked the look of the Honda e but I don't think it will have the range I need sadly. I just want to make the right decision as I'll be planning to keep it for at least five years and I'm easily bored.
@Neilew what you say about the Zoe is interesting and would bother me. At the very least (for me) a car should corner well to keep it interesting and I wouldn't want to be sliding about in the seats. One of the best cars I've owned had pneumatic seat bolsters you could inflate and deflate on the go.
 

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I wouldn't want to be sliding about in the seats.
My wife used to cling on to the strap every time we went round a corner. When we tested the MG she was immediately taken by the seats.
 
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