May 18

The 7 Best-Looking Affordable Cars that Drive Electric

 

Just because you want to drive an electrically propelled car doesn’t mean it has to be unattractive.

Although we’ve seen frumpy little eco-mobiles come along in the name of ultra-green earth-hugging minimalist sensibility, most automakers – if they hope to sell their vehicles – are designing cars that will appeal to a broader audience.

Of course vehicles from brands like Audi, Mercedes, BMW – and let’s not forget Tesla’s Model S and X – are nothing to kick out of your garage, but our list will focus on “affordable” models.

Looking at both plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles, most of which with subsidies net for somewhere in the 20s or 30s, we’ll attempt an unofficial beauty contest here, though of course beauty is ultimately in the eye of the beholder.

7. Kia Soul EV


Cool-looking enough for even the most street-wise and hip hamsters, Kia’s Soul is a unique animal among all-electric cars.

The stylized box on wheels delivers 93 miles of EPA-rated EV range, plus ample cargo and people space.

When Kia redesigned the gas-powered Soul a couple years ago, the company was smart enough to include room underneath the vehicle for a 27-kWh battery for an EV version to allow the roominess in the upper living quarters.

Adding to the design cues are a two-tone color scheme, blue-accented projector beam headlamps, and LED rear lamps.

Available two-tone mirrors with integrated LED turn signals add to the quirky charm, and because it is an EV with no gas engine to keep cool, the front grille with integrated charge port door is closed offering a different look and better aerodynamics.

6. Chevy Bolt EV

We’ve heard some people say the Bolt is not so pretty but with input from a form-follows-function vantage point, the Bolt’s spec sheet adds to the attraction.

Basically, the new tall hatchback – which Chevrolet insists is a “compact crossover” probably because that trending keyword helps its approval – delivers the most range for the dollar.

After a $7,500 federal credit it can net for a few bucks below $30,000 and serves up 238 miles of EPA rated goodness, so what’s not to like?

Further distinguishing it from others here is the beautiful fact that it’s a purpose-built EV with its liquid thermally managed 60-kWh batter integrated in the floor of a “skateboard” chassis design like Tesla uses (and which GM had originated prior).

Since it has such a big battery, Chevrolet’s engineers were unafraid to give it sizable horsepower and torque (which requires energy and which other EVs must limit lest range be too severely sapped). The Bolt gallops from 0-30 in 2.9 seconds, 0-60 in 6.5 seconds and this is quicker than other compliance vehicles in its class.

But this is about looks you say? Sure, it looks like a modern tall hatch with lines that are not jarring to our sensibilities from any angle. Inside, it is roomy and thanks to the battery in the floor, its 95 cubic feet volume is right there with a Tesla Model S (if not including the frunk, which the EPA does not due to an arcane rule on measuring space).

The 10.2-inch touch screen and comfortable interior are styled with contemporary materials, and all told the Bolt is a fetching piece of kit.

5. Volkswagen e-Golf

Back to judging just on aesthetics, there’s also nothing in a VW Golf to offend the eye of most people, and the German automaker’s ubiquitous hatch adds flair in the EV version.

The all-electric car gets the new headlights, taillights, front fenders, and bumpers from the refreshed, Europe-market Golf. that the regular gasoline-powered Golf won’t see until the 2018 model year.

To make the front stand out somewhat further, are large C-shaped LED running lights and a thin blue accent stripe across a stylish plate that substitutes for the gas-powered car’s grille.

As a converted EV, its space inside is alright, as VW packaged the battery so as to not compromise cargo or passenger room overly much.

Good news also is a new battery for 2017 bumps range by 50 percent to 125 miles by EPA reckoning.

4. Hyundai Sonata PHEV and Kia Optima PHEV (tie)

Optima PHEV.

New plug-in hybrid cousins from Korea, both the Hyundai Sonata PHEV and Kia Optima PHEV tie for fourth position.

Both share the same 2.0-liter gas-electric powertrain and 9.8-kWh li-polymer battery in trunk – the largest in this midsized PHEV sedan class.

Range and mpg is thus very similar. The Sonata sings on pure electricity for up an EPA-rated 27 miles and after that it morphs to a regular hybrid churning out a decent 39 mpg. The Optima manages 29 miles on the EPA’s treadmill, and 40 mpg on gas.

Hyundai, like others endows them with blue accents (because blue is the new green, maybe?) and otherwise they get a spot because they are simply handsome looking vehicles that look like the non-plug-in members in their families lines.

3. Chevrolet Volt

Chevrolet’s compact hatch that looks like a sedan in became 2016 the first plug-in car to undergo a comprehensive redesign.

The original model was more distinctive, but it there’d been mixed feelings about that one in that it did not look at all like the show car from 2007.

In any event, the “gen 2” Volt, while bearing no small resemblance to a Cruze, otherwise looks mainstream contemporary with techie features baked in.

Its lines are more sculpted and pointier, yet rounder for the nose, and it does show its DNA borrowed from others Chevrolets, including the Impala, and Malibu.

Attractive also is that the 53-mile range “extended-range electric” Volt offers more all-electric traveling range than any other full-range, full power plug-in hybrid competitor. Why, even the 2011-2015 model had more range than the rest of the pack, for that matter, and the new Volt is just that much further out in front.

Its 53 miles is enough for a large majority of people to do all their daily driving on electricity, a full foot to the floor will not kick on the gas as it will in other plug-in hybrids, and in hybrid mode it is rated 42 mpg for 420 miles total EV plus gas range.

Also attractive is it zips from 0-30 mph in just 2.6 seconds which is right quick.

The only downside is the Volt is not midsized, and the rear seat is low on legroom, just OK in headroom, and the middle back seat is roomy enough for a five-year-old who won’t mind straddling the battery hump, or an infant in a child seat.

2. Ford Fusion Energi

The range topper for the Fusion line which includes mild and aggressive gas versions, a hybrid and this plug-in hybrid, the Fusion Energi was an easy choice to make.

It sells relatively well, and its similar hybrid cousin is so much better looking than the new Prius that it has ascended the sales ladder to give that formerly dominant model fits.

The Fusion thus benefits from a mainstream-attractive coupe-profiled sedan look, which includes thin roof pillars and sweeping character lines, a new trapezoidal-shaped grille.

As true of the C-Max Energi, the Fusion Energi provides 19 miles EV range and the Fusion Energi also provides 400-plus miles of hybrid range at a respectable 38 mpg.

Inside, the design and layout are useful and aesthetically pleasing. It offers more room than the Volt, but unlike that longer-range vehicle which benefits form being purpose made as a plug-in, the converted Fusion’s trunk mounted battery does take space.

That prevents fold-down seats, and eats some luggage room, but the vehicle all told is a nice looking proposition.

1. Tesla Model 3

Hands-down the most attractive plug-in car is the pending Tesla Model 3.

The sleek lines are expected to fare well against entry level BMWs, Audis, and Mercedes, and it’s already been rewarded by long lines of buyers who each plunked down $1,000 refundable deposits.

Due in July, the car which learns lessons from the Model S – but which company head Elon Musk says will definitely be down-market from – is also the quickest with base models doing 0-60 in around 6 seconds.

Minimal range for the $35,000 and up car is 215 or more miles, and other versions will offer bigger batteries and all-wheel drive.

HybridCars.com

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 18th, 2017 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

COMMENTS: 41


  1. 1
    Dave G

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    May 18th, 2017 (6:30 am)

    While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I have to say that the only 2 cars that look nice to me are the Volt and Model 3.

    Also, while not on the list, I’d say the Pacifica Hybrid isn’t bad looking, and extremely practical. What other vehicle hauls 60 sheets of plywood and has 33 miles AER? People talk about VIA and Workhorse pickup trucks, but for many work applications, a minivan works better than a pickup or SUV.

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  2. 2
    Loboc

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    May 18th, 2017 (7:50 am)

    Still don’t see one better looking than ELR!

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  3. 3
    American First

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    May 18th, 2017 (9:03 am)

    I disagree completely! 😉

    The best looking PHEV is the Ford Fusion Energi because the Tesla Motors Model 3 is not available for sale. As an owner of the Hybrid version since 2014, I love my sedan, I get great comments from my family (my sister-in-law has a Lincoln MKC and a Mercedes Benz and she likes my car), and I get plenty of surprised and wondering looks from many people as I quietly roll by.

    I am frustrated that Ford, after five years (2012 to 2017), has not upgraded the Energi with a better EV range, although some Energi owners (at their forums which I visit) have reached up to 30 miles. The loss of internal space isn’t an issue for these owners (my Hybrid does allow the two rear seat backs to fold down) so if that is the ONLY issue against the Energi, it wins above all the others for the “best looking and affordable car that can drive electric”!

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  4. 4
    Mark Z

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    May 18th, 2017 (9:14 am)

    Consider a used Tesla Model S priced below 40K; an attractive and affordable vehicle available today.

    https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/threads/2013-model-s-60-kwh-50k-miles-39k.90855

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  5. 5
    American First

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    May 18th, 2017 (9:35 am)

    Mark Z:
    Consider a used Tesla Model S priced below 40K; an attractive and affordable vehicle available today.

    https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/threads/2013-model-s-60-kwh-50k-miles-39k.90855

    Jeff posted that [our list will focus on “affordable” models]. The Model S isn’t “affordable” for most of us, and the list doesn’t include used models, because the Fusion Energi can have an even lower used price than any Model S. So the Fusion Energi wins, new or used.

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  6. 6
    MnVikes

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    May 18th, 2017 (9:52 am)

    Hey, where’s the Prime on that list? 😂LOL

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  7. 7
    TurboFly

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    May 18th, 2017 (9:57 am)

    though of course beauty is ultimately in the eye of the beholder.

    You don’t say. I for one, cannot stand the Soul. Yeah the EV seems to be a nice technology package, but the car itself. Along with the Nissan Cube, might be one of the ugliest thing on 4 wheels there is.

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  8. 8
    American First

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    May 18th, 2017 (10:25 am)

    I reviewed the list again and I see another Ford missing (not the C-Max): the Focus Electric. Its redesign compares it closer to the Fusion in looks, so I ask if it qualifies or is it not “affordable” in price? According to “Car & Driver” the retail price is $29,995 without incentives: http://www.caranddriver.com/ford/focus-electric.

    And according to Ford, the starting price is $29,120:
    http://www.ford.com/cars/focus/2017/models/focus-electric/

    here another look:
    http://www.thecarconnection.com/overview/ford_focus-electric_2017

    So it should be on this list at the third position (ahead of the Chevrolet Volt) , and becomes the best looking and affordable BEV. If you take out the unsalable Model 3, then the list is shortened and the first two will be the Fusion Energi and the Focus Electric.

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  9. 9
    Loboc

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    May 18th, 2017 (10:39 am)

    “Focus Electric. Its redesign compares it closer to the Fusion in looks, so I ask if it qualifies or is it not “affordable” in price? ”

    American First,

    It also remains to be seen if Model 3 can come in as ‘affordable’. I seriously doubt they will be below $45k for a base+ model.

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  10. 10
    Jim I

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    May 18th, 2017 (11:49 am)

    I kind of like how our Ford C-Max Energi looks inside and out!

    But it will most likely be gone in November for a Chevy Bolt!

    Then we will be a Volt & Bolt Family…..

    🙂

    Jim – C-5277

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  11. 11
    Tim Shevlin

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    May 18th, 2017 (1:44 pm)

    Some years ago the Guggenheim Museum in New York had a world class display of the automobile as art, a truly phenomenal exhibit that I got to see when it toured and stopped in Las Vegas. If they ever do another similar exhibit none of the cars in this list will be there, but the ELR sure will.
    I do like my Gen 2 Volt better than my ex-Gen 1, and I rate it good but not great. It is a nice composite of Honda Civic last generation and Hyundai Elantra–not a bad thing.

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  12. 12
    john1701a

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    May 18th, 2017 (1:52 pm)

    MnVikes: Hey, where’s the Prime on that list? LOL

    Many people want a “blend in” vehicle. That’s why GM leaned heavily toward a Honda influence for gen-2 Volt. It clearly resembles the previous generation Civic, which was a very popular design. Ironically, the new Civic went in the opposite direction, taking a “stand out” appearance… which is proving to be popular.

    Prime’s look abandons the expectation of what Prius should look like, with all the LED lights in front and aggressive grille. The curve of the lights & glass is back is obvious break-away from the “plain” we see everywhere else.

    In other words, some people define “best” as a good fit for what’s on the road currently. Others prefer something that won’t look old in a few years and take their chance on what could end up being a trend setter. After all, the status-quo is really getting outdated at this point.

    Looking at the dual-wave in person, you quickly discover there’s more opportunity to styling than just what the industry has stuck with in the past.

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  13. 13
    Jackson

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    May 18th, 2017 (1:57 pm)

    If the Model 3 is exempt for not being available yet, the ELR is also exempt for not being available any more. Things are changing quickly now, doubtless this list will look quite different in a couple of years.

    I’ve seen a few Soul EVs in my EV microclimate, and the blue-and-white looks great in person. However, I’ve also seen it close up in parking lots, and the interior looks tiny, tiny. I don’t know what the numbers on the Soul are, but my Volt seems to have much more usable space. BTW, there are (or were) other signature color schemes for this car, including all-black with red roof and accents reminiscent of the 1960’s TV Batmobile.

    j7dm4h.jpg

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  14. 14
    DonC

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    May 18th, 2017 (2:10 pm)

    The funny thing is, when the i3 was first released I thought it was horrible looking. In person it was much better, and this morning, when I saw it, I found it attractive. So yeah, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That said, I’m not thinking the Prius Prime falls into the same category. LOL

    Agree the Model 3 will be pricier. But my main observation about the Model 3 is that, because it looks so much like a Model S, it’s a bit stale even before its released. The Model S has been out long enough that its design is no longer fresh. so having another vehicle resemble it so closely seems like poor judgement. Now we have a ton of Model S around, so that might be influencing the perception, but I’d imagine Model 3 sales will more or less match Model S sales by geographic area.

    FWIW the design of the first gen Volt seems to be holding up. This week someone asked me if I had gotten a new car! So funny. Guess a wash now and then helps.

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  15. 15
    john1701a

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    May 18th, 2017 (2:20 pm)

    DonC: FWIW the design of the first gen Volt seems to be holding up.

    That’s an unrealized benefit for owners. GM’s choice to make gen-2 look more mainstream did indeed preserve some of the stand-out appeal of gen-1.

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  16. 16
    bitguru

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    May 18th, 2017 (2:37 pm)

    Hyundai Ioniq ?

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  17. 17
    James

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    May 18th, 2017 (2:54 pm)

    MnVikes:
    Hey, where’s the Prime on that list?😂LOL

    Like saying, “Hey, where’s my buck-toothed, 300 lb. sister on that list”?

    L 🙂 L

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  18. 18
    Kdawg

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    May 18th, 2017 (3:12 pm)

    Jackson,

    I’m not a fan of the Kia Soul at all. I don’t like the overall shape, especially the roof-line. It reminds me of the Flintstone’s car.

    flintstone.gif?w=240

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  19. 19
    Sean

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    May 18th, 2017 (4:08 pm)

    Well if I were the judge here I think the Ford Fusion Energi should have more electric range and a nicer looking grille similar to that of the older Tesla Model S by being converted into a pure electric vehicle and as well speaking of The Model S I know it’s more expensive then the Model 3 but to tell you the absolute truth I like the design and look of the model S a whole lot better then the Model 3 due to it’s design plus it has more range the only other vehicle I like is the Tesla Model X that vehicle is da bomb and if Tesla can make it cheaper as a second generation vehicle I would be proud of them doing so.

    So that more people can hop on to the EV band wagon when it’s more affordable to the masses but at the same time by having more range then the original Model X.

    On the positive I hope that Elon Musk keeps making new vehicles over time and I can’t say about the trucks for right now.

    But if he can make a mid duty or heavy duty size pick up truck and by making them look like the everyday pick-up truck by towing up to 10,000-15,000 lbs then bring it on! Also I’m very proud that he might want to make an electric semi truck if he can make something this massive for the truck market but at the same time by giving the semi driver around 800 to 1200 miles of electric range then I could see this a win, win, win, solution when it comes to replacing big diesel semis on the road and best of all no more smelly diesel fumes which can be quite unpleasant to the nose.

    I normally don’t bring this one up but I learned that hydrogen may not be all that bad.

    As it may not be fossil fuel related at all.

    Which I thought it was originally in the past when it comes to hydrogen stations as they’ve been known to be highly flammable so maybe people could make these stations safer in the future by adding safety features to the hydrogen stations and the vehicles themselves as well too and I’ll agree that the infrastructure for the stations would have to be cheaper and these vehicles should have a plug like any other electric vehicle so that they can be a part of the future!

    No Plug No Sale!

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  20. 20
    James

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    May 18th, 2017 (4:26 pm)

    OT:

    Prius safety issue.

    I’m wondering how John and Charlie H. will respond to this issue since the
    subject gets panned by Prius fans over at Priuschat.com. Mostly, people respond with: “Oh,
    that problem was with the ’04-’05 models and Toyota fixed it with an ECU update”, or “I think
    it’s the tires…”. Both of these answers are incorrect.

    I have a 2007 gen 2 Prius ( unfortunately ). The wife mostly drives it while I drive the Volt
    and my 1995 Toyota T100. She asked me to drive it the other day as we’ve had record
    rains and we had to drive 30 miles home in low traffic at 12:00 am with bad puddling in
    the wheel trenches in every lane. I pale at the thought of her driving home in such
    conditions in the Prius.

    Ever since we’ve owned the car we’ve experienced the infamous Prius traction control
    issue. You drive over a painted line, puddle or railroad track in the rain and it’s drive wheels
    slip, especially if you are on the throttle. This cuts power, resulting in sometimes
    dangerous situations. Toyota engineers say this protects their complex hybrid drive
    system. I say it causes very dangerous situations. People in Colorado and Minnesota say it makes Prius a lousy choice in snowy areas.

    My wife has complained on this issue, but myself as a male – I jot it down to her
    unwillingness to bend to the Prius HSD system and be careful. When I think about
    it – these cars should be engineered to accommodate everyone.

    In 10 years of owning
    this car, I’ve only had this situation happen to me a few times. Yet the other night
    in pouring rains on the freeway at night, it happened – traction control cutting off
    power whilst driving at 60 mph for 30 miles – about a half-dozen times. Each time
    we’d hit a particularly deep pool in the wheel trench of the lane, the power would
    cut off to the wheels, and the steering wheel would pull to the left or right.

    I generally drive with a strong grip on the wheel – but most people are lax on
    grip and I especially can see women not grab the wheel in time and have a major
    issue. Each time, the dashboard warning light comes on warning of reduced/cut
    power and each time I lost momentum. For one second, you think the car has
    stalled and you’re in deep poo poo. Then, your mind recovers and you know
    the HSD has cut power to the drive wheel temporarily and you feel the tug
    on the steering wheel, gently tugging back and hoping nobody behind you
    is too close ( or thinks you’re drunk ). I would slow down to 50 mph and look
    for the lane with the least water. At midnight, the low traffic just exacerbates
    the issue and this little Prius is weaving down it’s lane at 10 mph below the
    speed limit whilst ICE cars and semis try to blow me off the highway as I
    struggle to get home in the rain!

    A scary drive, no doubt, and one in which the Volt has zero problem accomplishing more safely.

    John and Charlie H – Why do Prius people on PriusChat defend the car with
    this issue? Why don’t you admit this is a serious and dangerous flaw with HSD?

    *** I would not buy a Prius product or Toyota Hybrid with HSD unless I can be assured this issue has effectively been solved.
    By this, I mean a detailed explanation by Toyota of how the later models do not have this issue and how they solved it. ***

    Here’s what Cars Direct.com says – Do you want to do this every time you get into your car when it’s raining?
    http://www.carsdirect.com/car-safety/how-to-disable-prius-traction-control

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  21. 21
    James

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    May 18th, 2017 (4:37 pm)

    DonC:
    The funny thing is, when the i3 was first released I thought it was horrible looking. In person it was much better, and this morning, when I saw it, I found it attractive.

    Hey Don, you sure you weren’t looking at that i3 this morning with your “beer goggles” on?

    HAW! 🙂

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  22. 22
    James

     

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    May 18th, 2017 (4:48 pm)

    The whole subject of beauty is a sticky wicket.

    Subjective – definitely. The BMW i3 in white looks like a Star Wars storm trooper helmet
    on wheels. Sure – there’s a ton of Star Wars geeks out there – so to each their own….

    Of course, as a marketing guy – buying decisions don’t completely weigh upon looks alone,
    naturally, although the shallow nature of this article isn’t completely without merit. Turns
    out that appearance can be the deciding factor in many people’s purchase of an automobile.

    Surely we wouldn’t line up our wives and girlfriends and argue about which one is nicer
    to look at. Buying decisions make up a matrix of pluses and minuses and weigh
    heavily upon personal perceptions of value.

    No mentions of the Hyundai Ioniq, Karma Revero or BMW i8 definitely are oversights in this article. And a couple examples of controversially-designed electrics could’ve been helpful as
    a measuring stick. BMW i3, Prius, Prius Prime and Mitsubishi iMiev could’ve been offered up as cars that divide people along distinct lines re: opinion of aesthetic.

    I’m just glad the stigma of the electric car looking like a golf cart for the road has gone largely by the wayside.

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  23. 23
    Jackson

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    May 18th, 2017 (4:55 pm)

    Kdawg:

    [The Soul EV] reminds me of the Flintstone’s car.

    Don’t laugh, it didn’t use any gas either!

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  24. 24
    James

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    May 18th, 2017 (5:18 pm)

    Hopefully, we won’t go further and delve into color – save that for politicians,
    pundits and cable news personalities. Color does change the way many
    auto designs look. Take Volt, Bolt EV and BMW i3 for example. These are
    cars with many unusual black accents. Buy the car in black and these
    features disappear – making the whole visual of the car different. Some cars
    look better in some colors. It’s a whole deep pool of personal taste, etc.

    2rjNUrn

    Example of black vs. white BMW i3

    BMW-i3%20black%20vs.%20white_zpsworq1g0p.jpg

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  25. 25
    Jackson

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    May 18th, 2017 (5:29 pm)

    James: No mentions of the [ … ] Karma Revero or BMW i8 definitely are oversights in this article.

    These aren’t “affordable” according to the premise. The Model 3 is pushing it at a probable 45K, IMO.

    James: the Hyundai Ioniq

    Is it available here yet?

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  26. 26
    Jackson

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    May 18th, 2017 (5:35 pm)

    James: Hopefully, we won’t go further and delve into color

    The smaller the car, the brighter the paint should be. It’s a night-visibility thing. If you must drive a small black car, be the first to turn on your lights, not the last.

    You’re joking about politicians, pundits and cable news, right?

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  27. 27
    john1701a

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    May 18th, 2017 (5:50 pm)

    James: Why don’t you admit this is a serious and dangerous flaw with HSD?

    Switching to better tires solved traction issues for gen-2. No big deal. Gen-3 introduced the two-speed system, ending any need to upgrade beyond the standard all-season tires for slippery driving. Prime (gen-4) offers a disable of traction-control. There is no safety issue. In fact, the following features come standard on all Prime:

    – Dynamic Radar Cruise
    – Pre-Collision Baking
    – Lane-Departure Detect with Assist
    – Automatic High-Beams

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    May 18th, 2017 (7:43 pm)

    john1701a,

    Wow, does it have a margarita maker too, for after you arrive at wherever you’re going?…. ___Making arriving even more important___.

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    May 18th, 2017 (8:10 pm)

    john1701a: Gen-3 introduced the two-speed system, ending any need to upgrade beyond the standard all-season tires for slippery driving.

    Does 2 speed mean slow and slower?

    https://priuschat.com/threads/is-my-baby-totaled-2013-prius-rear-ended.171729/

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    May 18th, 2017 (9:09 pm)

    Jackson: These aren’t “affordable” according to the premise. The Model 3 is pushing it at a probable 45K, IMO.

    Is it available here yet?

    Last I checked the Model 3 starts at $35,000.

    I think you mean if you put a lot of options that most of the others don’t even have available it will push it to $45,000.

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    May 18th, 2017 (10:04 pm)

    Recoil: Last I checked the Model 3 starts at $35,000.

    I think you mean if you put a lot of options that most of the others don’t even have available it will push it to $45,000.

    For $35,000 maybe it comes not with that 60 kWh battery nor an EVSE but with a very long power extension to get that 200+ mile EV range? Or a hamster in a cage with a generator as the power source?

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    May 18th, 2017 (10:05 pm)

    Recoil,

    I think that when the M3 finally appears, it will cost a lot more than $35,000. Either that, or it won’t be very comparable to the other “affordable” cars until you spend at least $45K. It may be a little of both; I think base could be $1.99 short of $40K, with popular options putting it $9.99 below $50K.

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    May 18th, 2017 (10:06 pm)

    James,

    Black color may make “these features disappear – making the whole visual of the car different” but it will always stay ugly, no matter what color you paint it.

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    May 18th, 2017 (10:52 pm)

    Recoil: Last I checked the Model 3 starts at $35,000.

    I think you mean if you put a lot of options that most of the others don’t even have available it will push it to $45,000.

    Get back to us when you can actually buy a Model 3 for $35k 🙂

    Just like the Model S was supposed to be available for under 50k when it first came out.
    (I think that was the number but correct me if I’m wrong)

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    May 18th, 2017 (11:10 pm)

    john1701a: Switching to better tires solved traction issues for gen-2.No big deal.Gen-3 introduced the two-speed system, ending any need to upgrade beyond the standard all-season tires for slippery driving.Prime (gen-4) offers a disable of traction-control.There is no safety issue.In fact, the following features come standard on all Prime:

    – Dynamic Radar Cruise
    – Pre-Collision Baking
    – Lane-Departure Detect with Assist
    – Automatic High-Beams

    Why don’t we have to disable traction control on Volt or Bolt EV?

    Is it because Toyota’s engineering is superior? They said it was to protect
    the axle from breaking!

    Why do I have adequate traction control on demand automatically on my Volt?

    Your answer re: tires is false. I use Bridgestone Ecopias – the absolute most popular
    tire to replace OEMs on Prius. Ecopias come standard on all LEAFs. You say
    they hydroplane in wet? Do I have to change my all season tires when it rains?

    Your answer makes no sense.

    It took 4 generations for Toyota to come up with a fix, albeit a disconnect of traction control all together?!

    This is absurd!

    I recall a similar situation with gen 2 headlights. The HID headlights, which the industry states are superior to standard bulbs…Were defective on Prius. They went out just after the factory warranty period. As you know, this lead to bogus letters to Prius owners telling us to baby our HIDs and not “cycle” them – meaning, turn them on, then off, then on again. Let me think – when you get in your car at night, you turn them on – then you go to the store and turn them off when you go inside. When you return with your soda pop you turn them back on…Toyota said that was a no-no! So when we all got pissed there came two class-action lawsuits, one on the East coast the other on the West coast. Finally, Toyota caved. They never officially admitted fault, but added a special addendum to Prius warranty claiming a longer mileage number for bulb replacement. Before you scoff at this – the cost for each headlight was over $750. Often with labor the cost of replacement was in the thousands! Why? Because the geniuses at Toyota made sure you had to remove the ENTIRE BUMPER AND FASCIA TO REPLACE AN HID HEADLIGHT BULB! Now there’s good engineering for ya!

    So OEMs make mistakes. They all do. “so what!”, you say. Well,
    anyone with a brain would think Toyota would get right to work solving this problem for the new 3rd gen Prius – which is “all new” from the ground up. Guess what? They didn’t!!!!!!!!!!!
    Dealer techs would look to the floor in shame when asked if Toyota solved the HID bulb problem on the new car!!!!

    I’ll never buy a Toyota again.

    Period.

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    May 18th, 2017 (11:26 pm)

    Jackson: The smaller the car, the brighter the paint should be.It’s a night-visibility thing.If you must drive a small black car, be the first to turn on your lights, not the last.

    You’re joking about politicians, pundits and cable news, right?

    I hope I’m detecting sarcasm.

    Have you noticed after Obama has left office, suddenly African Americans are not
    rioting in the streets? Have you noticed the tensions between police officers and
    African Americans has tapered off dramatically?

    The only people that were dead set on highlighting racial tensions were
    people like Reverend Al Sharpton (who makes millions attacking companies for
    not having enough black people in their advertising – and tax evasion) and TV/news media outlets . There was so much stoking of the racial division fire during the last eight years, I believed we would soon be back in the 1960s with perhaps a civil war over race! The press used these isolated incidents to gain ratings and fuel fervor.

    Funny thing – It seems president Trump has united black and white, yellow and
    green against him. Funny how that happens. They seem too preoccupied with
    obstruction and protest, digging up shadows of Russians and hate speech with
    name calling to focus on their divisions over color!

    Whodathunkit?!!!

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    May 18th, 2017 (11:34 pm)

    Jackson: These aren’t “affordable” according to the premise. The Model 3 is pushing it at a probable 45K, IMO.

    Is it available here yet?

    Yes. The Ioniq Hybrid and Ioniq EV are the first to market and are here now.

    The PHEV Ioniq is due later.

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    May 18th, 2017 (11:53 pm)

    John and many others – and I mean MANY others state that v.2 Volt is “mainstream” looking.

    I suppose that is because the need for efficiency through the air begets a lower nose and a
    swoopier, fastback roofline. Toyota got the small frontal area right, and literally reintroduced
    America to the fastback. Soon, many saw the light – how practical hatchbacks are, mixed with
    the aerodynamic advantage.

    Thing is – the Prius looked weird. Total act of function over form. But we all seemed to get to
    work figuring out how to make an aerodynamically efficient car look good too. It seemed the
    parts were already in place – Supercars all are swoopy with some edgy features that act
    to sculpt the wind and look exciting.

    Too bad Honda and then Hyundai lead the way in forming clay and metal into sporty looking
    shapes with swoopy features like headlights and rear spoilers. GM, Ford and Toyota caught on
    and now everything from a KIA sedan to a little subcompact have nice shapes, often taken
    from nature ( like a shark ) to achieve a nice look and slippery profile to the wind.

    GM penned a sporty design for Volt v.2. I think my v.1 is looking rather dated. I think it
    was a tad bit quirky, although it didn’t stop me from buying one. I never got around to
    striping the rocker panel area so that the “drooping door” look where the metal doors
    overhung the straight horizontal line down the side of the grey plastic rocker area. I always
    said I’d do that and I still may. Just depends upon how much longer I keep it. There is
    no doubt, in my opinion that the v.2 Volt looks better in every way. That is not to say
    I think v.1 is unattractive – I still like it.

    GM felt the need to incorporate little cues from the original concept car into the production
    Volt. This resulted in those weird overhanging doors I mention above and naturally, the
    black accent line under the side windows and the weird black rear treatment that went
    away in 2013. They felt they had to make Volt look different – which they did – and achieve
    the Prius aero profile without looking like a Prius. Two things they accomplished successfully.

    GM is knocked for making v.2 Volt look somewhat like a Civic. The Volt SEDAN looks like
    the Civic Coupe of a couple generations back. This is a good thing. The Civic is one of the
    best selling subcompacts ever. It’s handsome. Honda got there first. The latest Civic has
    gone away from those styling cues, and now the Volt has them. So be it. Think of it this
    way – if your new girlfriend looks a whole heckuva lot like that actress you admired 4 years
    ago – does that make your girl not so special?

    All new cars have to cheat the wind. In this respect, new and wildly different designs will
    be near impossible to achieve. We’ll see different character lines stamped in steel – like we
    see already on the sides of nearly all cars. We’ll see different headlight treatments and
    all sorts of wheels. But altogether the auto fleet will have to take on shapes that look
    similar to gain the efficiency required to stay competitive in the marketplace.

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    May 19th, 2017 (12:03 am)

    [2rxidb3]

    [2rxx9p0

    [maxresdefault.jpg

    One freaking weird looking automobile!

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    May 19th, 2017 (12:18 am)

    James: Your answer makes no sense.

    That’s because you don’t want it to. I could just as easily say GM gave Volt mountain-mode because battery was needed to supplement an underpowered engine. We know it was really to give owners greater flexibility… just like Toyota has done with the many extras for Prime owners. For example, a charge-mode is available. It’s not necessary, but particular situations offer a benefit.

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    May 20th, 2017 (11:26 am)

    James: Why don’t you admit this is a serious and dangerous flaw with HSD?

    It’s quite a contradiction for that claim to be made, yet continue to drive that vehicle for 10 years.

    If it’s so dangerous, why didn’t you trade it in? Used values were remarkably high. Retaining ownership invalidates the supposed danger.

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