Toyotas First Purely Electric Car Does Battle With Two Of The Best Electric Family Cars On The Market
Toyota may have been the brand that brought hybrid cars to the masses in the early 2000s, but the Japanese giant has taken its sweet time producing its first electric car: the bZ4X SUV. Not only is the first of 11 yes 11 EVs Toyota plans to launch between now and 2030, it must be able to compete against the heavy hitters from the electric family car class, including the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Volkswagen ID.4.
Weve sung the praises of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 on more than one occasion, with the zero-emissions family hatchback taking home two trophies in the 2022 DrivingElectric awards, and coming out on top in a few of our other group tests. Meanwhile, the spacious, practical and comfortable Volkswagen ID.4 is a solid choice in the world of electric SUVs.
Pros: Eye-catching looks, class-leading charging speeds, huge boot
Cons: No rear wiper, range compared to some rivals, not much else
Pros: Quiet and comfortable, very good to drive, excellent on-board tech
Cons: Average charging speeds, divisive styling, high insurance rating
Pros: Understated looks, spacious cabin, instant torque
Cons: Not very involving, infuriating infotainment, expensive
It is worth noting that were using the more performance-oriented ID.4 GTX for this test because it more closely matches the specifications of our top-of-the-range Ioniq 5 and bZ4X. But which of these electric family cars comes out best?
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Porschetaycan 4s Cross Turismo
- $93,700 – $187,600
- Edmunds Tested RangeEdmunds’ real-world range test measures the distance an electric vehicle can travel on a full charge.More info
- 250 mi
- Edmunds Rating
- 8.3 out of 10
The Cross Turismo is the wagon-like version of Taycan. It provides more cargo room and passenger space with no perceptible trade-off in the driving experience. With the Cross Turismo, you can get incredible comfort and effortless driving one moment and then, with the twist of a knob, world-beating performance the next.
Nissan Leaf: Simple Practicality At An Accessible Price
When it comes to electric cars, many Australians cant go past the Nissan Leaf. The Nissan Leaf is a fully electric car with its affordable price point, good looks, and impressive driving range. While there are more advanced cars on the market, Nissan Leaf still has a lot to offer.
The Leaf will take you between 270 and 385km on a single charge depending on the model variant that you choose. With a standard 240V outlet, the Leaf 40kW can reach full charge in 17.5 hours this can be shortened to 7.5 hours with a Type 2 charging unit, so you can charge overnight and start the day with a full 270km of range.
The 2021 Leaf E+ has been upgraded with a more energy-dense battery pack and extended real-world range up to 385km, which will make it even more practical for Australian buyers especially one-car households.
With little noise from the tires and only slightly more wind noise from the door mirrors, the Leafs cruising ride is smooth and pleasant. It comes well-equipped as standard with Nissans Safety Shield 360 suite of driver-assistance features, including automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.
In terms of the Leafs aesthetics, it does admittedly look a little dated now but that doesnt mean you cant have fun with this car after all, Nissan has introduced some pretty cool special edition models over the years!
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Read Our Full 2022 Nissan Leaf Review
The Nissan Leaf was really the first affordable electric car that didn’t share its body with an internal combustion car. Now in its second generation, the Leaf is a little more normal in appearance, and thanks to the availability of the Leaf Plus model, can top the 200-mile plateau that seems to be the point where range anxiety begins to lessen. The base Leaf, however, is still around for those who don’t intend to go very far at any given time and are happy to not pay extra for range they don’t really need. Indeed, when you factor in the federal tax credit, the Leaf’s base price is effectively only $20,875 and could be even cheaper if you live in California and other states with additional credits or tax rebates. Even the Plus is only in the mid-20s when rebates and credits are factored in thanks to a hefty price cut for 2022. With either version, you get Nissan’s user-friendly infotainment tech and well-executed driver assistance features along with a reasonably spacious, comfortable and practical four-door hatchback body style, which is something that can’t be said of other cheap EVs like the Mini Cooper SE and Mazda CX-30.
The Future Of Electric Vehicles Is Just Beginning
Electric vehicles offer something for everyone. Theyre a tech advocates dream come true while assuaging the concerns of the eco-conscious . And for the penny-pinchers among us, eliminating the cost of fuel is a gift that keeps on giving.
As automakers continue to embrace and innovate upon their electric vehicle offerings, the market is likely to grow even as the total cost of ownership of an EV drops. In short, the future of EVs of all types and styles is exciting.
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Build It And They Will Come
While the electric car has a checkered past, there is a consensus among auto industry executives and analysts that a tipping point is approaching where mass adoption will become unavoidable because of falling battery costs, pressure from regulators and generous government subsidies. âThese factors have come together to force the traditional industry to take electrification seriously â faster than we had previously expected,â said Max Warburton, an analyst at research firm Bernstein. âThis is now really happening.â
According to Bernstein, dramatic declines in the price of batteries will allow leading automakers to sell fully electric vehicles for less than cars powered by gasoline and diesel as soon as 2022. Electric cars, they argue, are already gaining traction: As recently as 2010, annual sales were close to zero. âThereâs just such an incredible amount of money being poured into electric cars,â said Al Bedwell, the director of global powertrain at LMC Automotive.âIâve been looking at this industry for 20 years, and my real gut feeling is that itâs kind of unstoppable now.â
Read Our Tesla Model 3 Review
For many people, this is the only affordable electric car. It definitely isn’t, but it’s still an obvious choice given Tesla’s clear advantages in terms of electric battery range, current availability and its expansive Supercharger network. Even the most basic “Standard Range Plus” Model 3 is rated to go farther on a charge than the base models of the other electric cars in these first two price brackets, while pricier Long Range and Performance models go even farther. Acceleration is also exceptional, and although there’s definitely more to a car’s performance credentials than a single 0-60-mph run yielding a low number, the Model 3’s squatty stance, low center of gravity and well-tuned suspension result in capable handling on curvaceous roads. It’s not a sport sedan, but it doesn’t need to be. Now, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the Model 3’s suspect build quality and reliability, and the questionable functionality of everything in the car being controlled and displayed by one touchscreen. And while “Autopilot” is an impressive advanced adaptive cruise control system with automated steering and lane changes, it’s still just that. The driver must still be prepared to take over as is the case with other such systems. And no, it cannot fully drive itself no matter what option box you select.
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Fuel Cost: Electric Cars Vs Gas Cars
Comparing the costs of electricity required to run an electric car versus the costs of gasoline to power a regular car is still an arcane science with many variables. Charging at home overnight, for example, allows you to charge at off-peak hours, reducing your costs. If you charge during the day, you’ll see those rates jump. If you often charge at work or an outside charging station, you’ll need an account with one of the growing numbers of electricity providers. Generally speaking, electricity costs less than gasoline and its pricing is more stable. But there’s a learning curve to understanding when it’s cheapest to tap into the grid to top up your EV.
Mg Zs Ev: The Most Affordable Electric Suv On The Market
As the most affordable electric car on the Australian market at present, it should come as no surprise that the new MG ZS EV is one of the most popular electric cars in Australia. Its safety tech features make the MG ZS EV an excellent family car for many Australian families.
MG has been a strong player in the Australian market, and was well known for its iconic sports car but its probably their electric SUV that will make them household names again.
The MG ZS EV is an impressively designed vehicle. It looks great on paper too, with three driving modes , MG Pilot Driver safety technology, impressive range figures, and a relatively low price point. Pegged as a family-friendly electric car, the MG ZS EV is also a practical offering, with plenty of space for kids and shopping.
In terms of driving performance, the MG ZS EV is not going to win any races but it does have more than enough power under the hood to get you around town in a comfortable fashion. The cars interior quality could be improved too. While some may enjoy the minimalist design, others will likely see it as a bit cheap.
However, the MG ZSs biggest drawcard is its price point from just $44,990 driveaway for the Essence model, making the electric dream far more accessible to everyday Australians.
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For all your years behind the wheel, if you’re like most, you’ve driven vehicles with gasoline engines.
And after reading reviews and learning more about the benefits of driving an electric car, perhaps you’ve decided to make the switch.
It could be the emissions-free drivetrain or the fact you don’t need to visit a service station to fill up the tank.
Or maybe you like the incentive of a potential $7,500 tax credit you can put right into your savings account.
But with the electric vehicle category being relatively new, it can be hard to know the best options when you’re in the market.
Who makes the best electric car? Should you buy a Tesla or also check out other options?
Let’s look at some available choices when you’re in the market for an electric car.
Read Our 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Review
We’re not sure if the Ioniq 5 looks like it came from the future or from a “Back to the Future Part II”-style vision of the future, but either way, it sure is different. Although it looks like a compact hatchback, in reality, it’s as long as the quite-large 2022 Hyundai Tucson with a wheelbase longer than the very-large Hyundai Palisade. It’s not very tall or high off the ground, but inside, its deceptive dimensions provide a surprisingly airy, spacious and versatile cabin. We also love its user-friendly and well-executed technology, both in terms of infotainment and safety, plus the clean, minimalist look that still maintains some physical controls. Yes, that’s a knock on Tesla. Every Ioniq 5 features the same 77.4-kilowatt-hour battery pack , and like other EVs, it feeds the rear wheels or all four thanks to an additional motor up front. This results in multiple performance and range figures, though the gap in performance is far more pronounced . Importantly, every Ioniq 5 has 800-volt electrical architecture, making it possible to charge from 10-80% at a 350-kW charger in just 18 minutes. It’ll speed things up at less powerful chargers as well.
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Fully Electric Cars Vs Plug
Electric cars are just that: cars powered solely by electricity stored in a battery pack. Plug-in hybrids, on the other hand, use a regular gasoline engine paired with a battery pack and electric motor. The battery pack can be recharged from an electrical outlet or charging station, but it can also store energy recaptured during braking. Usually the battery pack on a plug-in runs out of electricity within 20-40 miles, at which point the gas engine takes over, so you never need to worry about running out of juice. Full EVs require more thought, route planning, and an evolving knowledge of the location of charging stations.
For many buyers, an electric car makes perfect sense. Even drivers with average commutes can often make it through a full workweek on a single charge. Electric cars offer a clean commuting alternative and are usually eligible to use HOV lanes with a single driver. And today’s electric cars range from mainstream compact picks to vehicles with luxury-grade sport and comfort, so there’s something for every budget. For drivers not quite ready to take the all-electric plunge, plug-in hybrids are an excellent alternative. When you’re ready to explore the world of plug-in and electric cars, Edmunds can help you research EVs and find a great deal in your area.
Read Our 2022 Kia Ev6 Review
Although based on the same platform as the Hyundai Ioniq 5, including its 800-volt electric architecture, the Kia EV6 is its own thing. You definitely can’t tell they’re mechanically related by looking at them inside and out. The EV6 is similarly shaped and sized as the Mustang Mach-E, itself an unusual “what is it exactly?” body style that’s somewhere in between SUV, wagon and hatchback. The term “crossover” has never been so apt. Like the Mach-E, the EV6 skews toward the sporty end of the spectrum especially the EV6 GT that boasts 576 horsepower and 0-60 time of 3.5 seconds. The Ioniq 5 doesn’t offer such a high-performance model. The EV6 starts things off with a 58-kWh battery pack with a range of 232 miles and modest performance the 77.4-kWh pack kicks it up to 310 miles with RWD and 274 miles with AWD. All of this basically means the EV6 is fully competitive on the EV front, but simply viewed as a car, we love its design, its well-executed tech, comfortable and engaging driving experience, and nicely crafted cabin that’s also pretty cool to look at.
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Characteristics Of The Smallest Electric Cars
Electric propulsion has a lot of benefits, but a number of drawbacks, too. Despite this, there has been widespread acceptance of the technology, and a compact electric car is a great way for first-time buyers to get an introduction to what is likely to be the future of all cars. But what exactly defines this segment?
Why It Stands Out: Bladder
Most gasoline-powered cars can’t go 406 or 516 miles on a tank, so the fact that the Lucid Air is capable of traveling that EPA-estimated distance on a single battery charge is quite simply astonishing. If that’s not enough to take you where you need to go without range anxiety, its 900-volt electrical architecture allows it to add 300 miles of range in 20 minutes. After 500 miles of driving, taking 20 minutes to recharge and grab a burger doesn’t seem like much of an inconvenience. Oh, and we haven’t even talked about the car yet. This grand sedan, with an admittedly grand price tag, provides both superlative ride comfort and surprisingly agile handling. Plus, with 800 horsepower available … yeah, it’s quick, with lesser versions boasting only 620 hp or 480 hp . The 1,111-hp Dream Edition you might have heard about has already exhausted its reservation allocation. We also like the interior, which lives up to its lofty price point in terms of both design, functionality and materials quality. Long-term quality and reliability is a great big question mark, however, as is any number of elements related to a new carmaker. You’re definitely going out on a limb here despite the Lucid Air seeming to be such a knock-out effort.
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What Makes The Electric Car Industry Different
The electric car industry differs from the traditional automotive industry because it is so new. Until recently, very few companies manufactured any kind of electric vehicle, but now every major automaker in the world is developing or producing an EV.
Because major interest in EVs is so recent, the only established industry leader is Tesla. Start-up EV makers can compete fairly well with traditional automakers for EV market share, making it difficult to discern which companies will ultimately dominate the electric car market. That unpredictability makes investing in the electric car industry more risky than adding portfolio exposure to the automotive industry as a whole.
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Note that all base prices include destination charges unless otherwise noted, but not tax incentives, fuel savings or other discounts some EV makers bake into advertised prices. However, we do indicate which cars are still eligible for federal tax credits. For those who pay enough federal tax to qualify, you can effectively subtract that amount from the base price.
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