The electric car segment is growing thick and fast with new models being added all the time. In fact, with this rapid rate of expansion, there are more options than eve...
The year 2020 has been a huge year for cars, with some tremendous vehicles meeting the public for the first time and hitting showrooms around the UK and the wider world.
The electrical vehicles market especially has been a hotbed of activity, with Volkswagen, Honda, Mini, Smart and Ford all introducing us to delicious new EVs. Meanwhile, Aston Martin have stepped outside their comfort zone and produced their first SUV in 100 years; Lexus have inspired us with a new convertible; Mitsubishi have given an old favourite a facelift; and Ford… well, it’s almost business as usual , you might say, with yet another reliable new offering.
Now that we’ve set the scene, it’s time for you to read on and see what all the fuss is about! We get this list of the coolest new cars of 2020 under way with the new EV from good old Volkswagen:
We may be about to say goodbye to the e-Golf, but Volkswagen have created a worthy replacement with the ID.3. The company started taking its first orders in July 2020 on this little smasher. The 1st edition packs a pulling power of 201 hp (200 PS) and 229 lb ft of torque, allowing the car to zip from 0 to 62 mph in 7.3 seconds and 100 mph tops. And gears, you ask? An uncomplicated 1-speed transmission.
The e-Golf’s spirit lives on in this hunky hatchback — and that’s a good thing. The steering is well-balanced and responsive, the car has lots of grip on the roads and is generally agile but also very stable. It’s a pleasure to drive — and there’s plenty of time behind the wheel before the next charge: the car’s range covers as much as 262 miles. Top job from VW.
USED PRICES FROM £32,000
The MINI Electric started hitting the world’s showrooms from March 2020 onwards. You might also know it as the MINI Cooper SE if you live outside of the UK. Regardless of how you might identify the Electric, the one thing on which we can all agree is what a fab little electric outing from the Brits this is. The engine packs a pulling power punch of 184 hp (187 PS) and 199 lb ft (270 Nm) of torque, serving up a top speed of 93 mph and 0 to 62 mph in 7.3 seconds.
You’ll get between 140 and 145 miles out of the MINI Electric before your next charge. In the meantime, you’ll be driving a vehicle that has well-balanced handling and feels generally stable, with little body lean when taking corners. The ride is relatively comfortable. This may be due to the Electric’s heavier weight increasing the overall comfort and stability of the car.
USED PRICES FROM £17,000
The Japanese giants decided to usher in the autumn with the GY Yaris, a four-wheel drive powerhouse of a hot hatchback. They’ve really gone for it and put under the bonnet a 1.6 litre, three cylinder turbo engine that hammers out 257 bhp and 266 lb ft of torque to shift the vehicle. The gears are manual, six speed, and the Yaris will charge from 0 to 62 mph in 5.5 seconds if you don’t fancy hanging around.
The vehicle is light, weighing 1 280 kilos, and moves gracefully on the roads, displaying plenty of traction in the process. The steering is direct and relatively well-balanced. Ride-wise, the suspension treads the fine line successfully between being firm but also soft enough to perform the job and adapts to bumps and imperfections in the road adeptly. It’s good work from Toyota this one.
USED PRICES FROM £11,000
In spring 2020, Aston Martin treated the world to its first SUV in 100 years, and you’ll be glad they did. The DBX blends staggering beauty with brute force, hitting 181 mph and powering from 0 to 62 in 4.5 seconds. A 4.0 litre twin-turbocharged engine with 542 bhp (550 PS) and 516 lb ft (700 Nm) of torque does the honours. In other words, it’s got some real oomph behind it.
As for the handling, you could barely ask more of it. The steering isn’t too heavy or too light and is accurate and responsive, so you don’t always have to negotiate with it. Meanwhile, the suspension is versatile, coping with bumps in the road easily and making for a comfy ride. The car is generally stable and performs respectably on roads, is excellent on the motorways and gives a solid account of itself off-road too (if you want to put such a gorgeous vehicle through the mud, of course).
USED PRICES FROM £10,000
Ford have teased car buyers with a torturous wait, taking orders early but delivering towards the end of 2020. The standard five-door electric crossover offers a standard range of 280 miles between charges, but sacrifices two-wheel drive to the 1st Edition and all-wheel drive models, which can get you out of sticky off-road situations easier than the rear-wheel drive standard. The vehicle provides reasonable acceleration of 0 to 6 mph in under 8 seconds, which is nothing to sniff at for such a big fella, and a high speed of 111 mph. The engine is a mini monster, too, cooking up 255 hp (259 PS) and torque of 306 lb ft (415 Nm) to haul the vehicle along.
The Mustang Mach E is easy on the eye, but rewards you with a stable drive, too. The car handles city roads steadily and smoothly, although you might notice the bumps on slightly rockier roads. It has plenty of grip on the roads and addresses corners with aplomb, staying level and resisting the temptation to lean. Some say the vehicle drives like a Mustang and is the way electric vehicles (EVs) are heading. If so, Ford have just fired some very powerful shots at its competitors.
Even though the Mach E has only just been released, you can still find a great deal on a used Mustang.
USED PRICES FROM £9,000
The 500 LC convertible is taking its time to reach our showrooms, but the wait will be worth it. This grand tour vehicle— a type of high-performance car suitable for everyday use —is a little piece of heaven on wheels, with a 5.0 litre engine, an automatic transmission and a top speed of 168 mph. The mileage per gallon is just 24.1 mpg, however, so you might want to go easy on the accelerator.
Before you introduce your convertible to the road, you can whip down the roof in just 15 seconds or, if you’re still travelling, you can slowly close it back up in under 31 seconds. Once you get going, you’ll see this convertible glides. The steering is accurate and the car feels secure as you turn corners. Generally, it holds the road well. The suspension gobbles up the bumps in the road so you can just enjoy the ride. That’s how it should be. Who’s in?
USED PRICES FROM £8,000
The Puma ST is set to hit the market in 2020, but Ford has been keeping punters guessing when exactly that day will come for this two-wheel drive wonder. Sitting under the bonnet is a 1.0 litre EcoBoost petrol hybrid engine that offers 123 or 153 hp (125 or 155 PS) with torque of 524 l ft (710 Nm), a top speed of 119 mph and 0 to 62 mph in an easy going 9.8 seconds.
The Puma ST feels smooth, healthy, strong and stable on the roads, which is a pretty tidy combination. It’s a spritely vehicle, handling-wise, with the steering weight heavy enough and providing the right feedback to inspire you with confidence while you drive. Meanwhile, the suspension is finely-tuned and softens impacts immensely, so the ride is rarely uncomfortable, if ever. Ford are playing major hardball with this one.
USED PRICES FROM £20,000
Mitsubishi treated the compact Mirage to a facelift and placed the vehicle on sale in early 2020. The new, improved model struts its stuff with a 1.2 litre petrol engine, calling on 79 hp (80 S) and 78 lb ft (106 Nm) of torque to get behind it, and offering either manual or CVT transmission. Put your foot down and you can hit 112 mph or slightly less, depending on the model, and proceed from 0 to 62 mph in 12.6 seconds or almost a second more. The Mirage will also cover 56 miles before a gallon runs out.
Mitsubishi have improved the handling, adding more weight to the steering so you get a stronger sense of how the front tyres are gripping. The car is also less quick to lean on the corners and holds the road better. Mitsubishi have also done what you’d ask of a compact and focused a little more on comfort in their suspension, making any journey more pleasant for you and your passengers. It’s a yes from us.
USED PRICES FROM £1,300
Honda’s first mass-market electric city car, which arrived in the summer, will make your heart flutter. These maestros of cute-sized vehicle manufacturing have caused a stir of excitement with the Honda E. Rightly so. The car can deliver 137 miles before the next charge and takes just 31 minutes to charge before getting back on it. Meanwhile, the engine houses 134 hp (136 PS), torque of 232 lb ft (320 Nm) and takes you from 0 to 60 mph in 9 seconds.
Honda aren’t kidding when they describe it as a ‘dream made real’ on their website. The steering is nicely weighted and accurate, there’s little body lean when turning corners and the car clings firmly to the roads. It feels zippy, too, and the ride isn’t three bad, either, with the suspension standing up firmly to ruts and potholes. Ultimately, this is an enjoyable car to drive. Don’t forget to give it a name, of course. May we suggest ‘Daisy’?
USED PRICES FROM £27,500
The dinky Smart ForFour is a four-person electric car that offers between 72 and 79 miles in range, calling upon an engine with 82 hp and 118 lb ft (160 Nm) to carry it forward. It’s a city car and will give you a top speed of 81 mph and 0 to 62 in 12.7 seconds. That’s no mean acceleration for a city car, however, and puts competitors such as the Skoda Citigo e iV under a bit of pressure.
The car is fun to drive, nippy and excellent for making short journeys. The steering is light and combines well with the compact size of the vehicle, making the vehicle easy to handle. The ride might feel slightly bumpy at lower speeds, but it smooths out as you go a little faster. Due to its green credentials, the Smart ForFour is exempt from road tax and the London Congestion Charge, so perhaps you’d cast aside any misgivings about its performance and give this eco-friendly run-around a go.
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