Friday, July 21, 2017

Which is the best City EV?

Renault Zoe with 400 km NEDC range at Paris Motor Show

After the success of this post, i decided to compare the current crop of city BEVs in Portugal and see which would the best:


BMW i3 - 4

Kia Soul EV - 3

Mitsubishi I-Miev - 2

Renault Zoe - 5 (300 kms real world range, 43 kW AC charging available)

Smart Forfour ED - 1

Volkswagen e-Up! - 2

Opel Ampera-e (Chevy Bolt) - 6


BMW i3 - 3

Kia Soul EV- 4

Mitsubishi I-Miev - 1

Renault Zoe - 5 (Five usable seats, 338 liters in the trunk)

Smart Forfour ED - 2

Volkswagen e-Up! - 2

Opel Ampera-e (Chevy Bolt) - 6

Reliability / Running costs

BMW i3 - 3

Kia Soul EV - 5 (7 year warranty, reliable battery)

Mitsubishi I-Miev - 1

Renault Zoe - 4

Smart Forfour ED - 1

Volkswagen e-Up! - 2

Opel Ampera-e (Chevy Bolt) - 3

Manoeuvrability / Dynamics

BMW i3 - 5 (Unbeatable Dynamics, near perfect manoeuvrability)

Kia Soul EV - 1

Mitsubishi I-Miev - 4

Renault Zoe - 2

Smart Forfour ED - 4

Volkswagen e-Up! - 4

Opel Ampera-e (Chevy Bolt) - 3


BMW i3 - 1

Kia Soul EV - 4

Mitsubishi I-Miev - 7

Renault Zoe - 4

Smart ForFour ED - 8 (At circa 24.000 eur, it is 18.000 eur cheaper than the BMW i3...)

Volkswagen e-Up! - 6

Opel Ampera-e (Chevy Bolt) - 2


BMW i3 - 16 (Good range, stellar Dynamics, too bad about the price...)

Kia Soul EV - 17 (A balanced car, but there are more suited models for city driving) 

Mitsubishi I-Miev - 15 (Great price and manoeuvrability, but the world has moved on when it comes to the rest...)

Renault Zoe - 20 (Spacious city car with unbeatable range, which compensates some shortcomings in the manoeuvrability side)

Smart Forfour ED - 16 (Great price and fit for the city, but needs better range and increased charging speed)

Volkswagen e-Up! - 16 (Typical Volkswagen personality traits: Not bad at anything, not especially good in any item and slightly overpriced for what it is)

Opel Ampera-e (Chevy Bolt) - 20 (Awesome range, unbeatable interior, but at an estimated 39k eur, it is playing in a different, higher class)


  1. Why are you including the Ampera-E? Have you tried it? When will it be available in Portugal?

    1. Because it is the same size of the Kia Soul EV and, in a stretch, could be considered a "city car".

      I have sat on one, but haven't driven it yet, my input on Dynamics comes from what i have read.

      Regarding availability in Portugal...Early 2019? :D

      My guess is that the Model 3 will arrive here sooner than the Ampera-e.

  2. AnonymousJuly 22, 2017

    Your choice for "city cars" is odd as it includes the Kia Soul and the Opel Ampera-e, why not including the Nissan Leaf, is it so much larger?

    Saying that in terms of reliability/running costs the
    Renault is ahead of the Volkswagen e-Up! is overlooking the facts that Zoes are troublesome and prone to multiple needs to drive to the workshop. One of the worst cars reliability wise.

    Dynamics and Manoeuvrability on the Mitsubishi i-Miev is one of the poorest features of this car.

    Price-wise, the BMW i3 is one of the best values the money
    can buy: no rust (aluminium, CFRP, plastics and glass), 5 years of free maintenance, build construction unseen in the class and upgradeable battery.
    Do not understand why all comparisons are made with the Smart ForFour but on this one, price, it is mentioned the ForTwo...

    Summary: desagree with the comment about the i3 price, it is deserved. For your info, the Mitsubishi i-Miev is almost 10.000 Eur more expensive than the Smart ForFour! I know which of the two would take.

    1. Thanks for the detailed comment, regarding your points:

      The Kia Soul measures 414 cms in length, the Ampera-e 417 cms and the Renault Zoe, 408 cms. Less than 10 cms between them, so in a stretch, we can consider the first two as city cars. Not so with the Leaf, at 445 cms.

      Renault offers 5 years warranty in Portugal, VW only two. The Zoe battery from LG is considered less prone to degradation than the one of the VW.

      I agree with you on the i3, except on the fact that it costs almost twice as much as the Smart, that is why the BMW had a price penalty.

      My bad on the Fortwo ED thing, i meant to say Forfour ED...Name changed now.

      As i said early in the post, this has to do with EV's currently available in Portugal (With the Ampera-e thrown in, just for fun. And the fact i like it...), so tariffs have to do with local prices.

      Regarding the I-Miev vs Smart comparison, i would also take the Smart, but let's not forget that the Japanese has one important item that the Smart lacks: DC Fast Charging, which can be a decisive feature for some people.

  3. " 43 kWh AC charging available"

    Jose, you should know the difference between kW (charging speed) and kWh (battery capacity)

    1. Good point, it slipped my mind, will correct it.