Before we chose our 4 small choices of 2015, we had to think about everything people like you are looking for in a compact car. Do you want to find something that provides the best gas mileage? Do you have children, so safety and comfort will be your main focus? Are you okay spending $30,000 or do you need something less expensive? We tried to take all of these into account before we decided on these four choices.
BMW i3 Electrical Car
The BMW i3 is considered, by far, the best small car choice on the market. Outside of the fuel efficiency, the BMW i3’s electric motor is equivalent to a 170 horsepower. So anyone driving the vehicle will still feel like they are going fast in this lavish little vehicle.
It takes about 4 hours on a 240v circuit to fully charge the vehicle, which can be done while you are sleeping. Most importantly, this SUV provides 139mpg, which beats its competitors by 28mpg. It is also very agile in regards to handling performance. The only downfall is the $42k cost.
Mitsubishi i-MiEV SE
If you need something a little less expensive, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV SE (say that 10 times fast!) is the smart choice. Coming in at $22,995, this vehicle is considered one the cheapest electric cars today. It takes a few hours longer (6 to 7 hours total) to charge than the BMW i3, but that shouldn’t be a huge deal if you are charging while you sleep.
However, this has to be done on a 240v charger, because it takes as long as 21 hours on an 110v. The energy equivalent to the miles per gallon comes out to 111mpg, which is still fantastic. Unfortunately its super slow (66hp) and the ride can be quite bumpy. We understand this is going to turn several people off to the Mitsubishi i-MiEV SE, but thanks to the lower cost, it was worth discussing.
Currently the Ford Focus electric car is #3 on the mpg list, but since we’re focused on other areas, we felt the Nissan Leaf was a better “in-between” choice from the two vehicles above. The Leaf has a typical range of about 75 miles on one charge, but the energy output garners around 106mpg.
A full charge on this little car only takes 6 hours on a 240v outlet. However, we read various reports stating Nissan has been able to lower this time through various tests. In addition, performance handling isn’t the greatest, but this Nissan is one of the most comfortable options available on the market.
You can purchase this one for about $29,000, but as high as $35,000.
The Volt is probably one of the oldest cars with both electric and gasoline capabilities. It definitely provides a more appealing design than its competitors, but doesn’t offer nearly as many miles per gallon on the road. However, it actually offers move overall mpg than the Mitsubishi. It can get 99mpg in electric mode, but an additional 32 miles when you switch over to fuel.
The 2015 version runs around $34,000, and with only a 4 hour charge time on a 240v, it’s the ideal choice for several car owners.
Whether you choose one of these or pick a small car more suitable for your needs, the future of mpg, comfort, and handling performance is intriguing. Eventually they will find a way to make these vehicles with a much cheaper price tag.