Ask Us Anything

Should I buy a new electric car now?


I am holding my breath before taking the EV plunge. The choice so far is between the Nissan Leaf e plus, the Kia e-Niro 64kW and the Hyundai Kona Electric. I know two of these will be 192-reg, but so far I have taken a test drive in the Kona and the current Leaf. Sorry to report that the Kona got the thumbs down on a few fronts.

Sadly the nit pickers have decided that they can throw the scraps to "poor Paddy". Smaller touch screen, standard cruise control and no spare. No height adjustment for front passenger seat. Just compare the UK offerings. Also quite a lot of road noise. To add insult the dealer padded his price to a ridiculous €40,000 after all rebates.

The test in the Leaf, albeit not the desired version, was a pleasure. It even had a slim spare wheel slung outside under the boot. Your review of the e-Niro doesn't mention the spare wheel, which is essential outside the cities. And as some drivers will want to carry one and the tools to fit it a lot of that space will be gone.

The Kona actually has a well under the boot floor, which houses the charging cable. How ridiculous is that! Imagine a young family going on an overnight trip. Pull everything out to find the cable... So finally, the question: should I go for the Leaf when it arrives or wait for the 2020 Volkswagen I.D.?


Peter Browne (Cavan)

Feb 2019 Filed under: electric cars

Expert answer

Hi Peter,

You make a good point about the spare wheel, and it’s something we should look at more often. Actually, it’s a serious issue — a great many cars now come with no spare at all, as car makers trim them to save weight for emissions and economy tests.

Try the Kia e-Niro before you take the leap — it’s mechanically the same as the Kona but roomier inside, and should come with a slightly better standard spec. The Leaf is an excellent car, but we can’t comment on the longer range version as we’ve not driven it yet. Likewise the Volkswagen I.D., which looks set to be a game changer, but obviously as we’ve not driven one it’s hard to tell. Basically, the best advice is if you can hang on for a few months, that might be worth doing.

A few reviews to help you decide:

Hyundai Kona Electric review

Kia e-Niro review

Nissan Leaf reviews

Neil Briscoe - Complete Car Advisor

Read all questions...