At Newbridge Luxury Car Village.
Not strictly a tour.
A colleague is looking to replace his car and asked a few questions about EVs. So I whisked him down to Newbridge in the Leaf to look at some of the options.
First was a visit to Mercedes to ask about the B Class electric. Disappointingly they didn’t have one, weren’t expecting one back in until March. They sold their demonstrator last month and a pre-owned one before that. Not very enthusiastic was how it came across. But not disinterested.
Next was clockwise to BMW. On display at the moment there is an i8 and a Base i3 REX. Stunning though the i8 is, practical it most certainly isn’t! He really liked the i3, with its particular individual looks and techy feel. Main concerns were the lack of of luggage space and the concept of a child in the rear behind him, he’s 6’2″, kicking him through the vent panel. He did love the suicide rear doors, reminded him of his old RX8..
Final visit was to see Cezar at Western Nissan. More space in the rear, more luggage space, more toys, for less money. Although the car has some characteristic features, it otherwise has conventional looks.
Final thoughts he offered, with no commitment to actually buy anything:
The Leaf offered best value for the price. Ignoring the B Class entirely, between the i3 and Leaf he was struck by how the BMW was like a stunning toy, but in base form it certainly came over as having a poorer build quality. Moving up the range, pricing made it uncompetitive. The Leaf he felt was more subtle, Zero Emission rather than ‘LOOK AT ME I’M DIFFERENT, I’M ELECTRIC’ like the BMW. Each has its own market appeal, but as a daily driver for our work there is a clear case for the Leaf. Both offer way more internal space than their exteriors suggest.
Kia and Renault he’s still to look at, though I suspect the Zoe will be too small, while the Soul we saw on the road back wasn’t really to his aesthetic taste.
Will he take one, don’t know. He is a petrol head, rides motorbikes, but….the merits of silent motoring, lower costs, cabin preheat and, importantly, the point and go fun of all the torque from standstill may just win through. I’ll let you know.