2020 Lemon Aid New Car Reviews - Electric and PHEV

Reflecting the requests from APA members, Lemon-Aid features a dedicated Electric-PHEV section for 2020 which gathers all the vehicles in the segment in one section.

Chevrolet Bolt  Kia Niro   MINI Countryman   
Hyundai IONIQ  MINI Cooper  Nissan LEAF   

2020 Chevrolet Bolt

 

 

 

What’s new
Estimated range increases 34 kilometres, to a total of 417. The reverse and 360 degree view cameras are now in high definition.

Performance
The electric motor of the Bolt is very strong and delivers vivid acceleration. Handling is very competent but not as precise as that of the Volkswagen e-Golf, but more satisfying than those of the Hyundai Ioniq, Kia Niro and Nissan Leaf. The suspension is firm and can clunk loudly on poorly maintained roads. The steering of the Bolt has a reassuring heft. The interactive infotainment screen used in the Bolt engages and repels users in equal measure. 

Comments
The Bolt is Chevrolet’s all electric car meant to go head-to-head with the Nissan Leaf, the Ionic and Kona from Hyundai and their crosstown cousins, the Niro and Soul from Kia. When introduced, the Bolt looks like a breakthrough product in the affordable electric vehicle field but other makers are quickly catching up.
According to Chevrolet, the 200 horsepower electric motor can reach 100 km/h from a stop in about seven seconds. GM predicts a maximum range of up to 417 kilometres, with an 80kilometre charge available in under two hours with a 240 volt charger, and up to 145 kilometres available in about 30 minutes if you employ a high voltage level III charger.
GM notes that the Bolt is a 4G LTE WiFi hotspot and the MyChevrolet Mobile App will help the driver to monitor vehicle charge status, start the car remotely and pre-condition cabin climate inside the cabin while the car is plugged in, which minimizes energy draw once the car is under its own power. The EV-specific navigation system of the Bolt is set up to maximize range and also display local charge points.
The tall hatchback body looks crisp and modern. Except for height, the Bolt is smaller is all dimensions than the Nissan Leaf but offers greater cabin space than the Nissan. The cabin of the Bolt is dominated by a sweeping dashboard with a large touch screen at its heart. While the cabin is roomy and dramatically styled, cabin materials are disappointing for a car in this price segment.

Pricing
The base LT trim is equipped to suit many buyers. At $5300, the Premier trim upgrade, which includes a name brand audio system, blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors, heated rear seats, a 360 degree camera system as well as a camera-based rear-view mirror (a negative factor in use as it forces eyes to refocus to view the image), is comprehensive equipped and reflects the value of the additional content. The Driver Confidence package, which is standard on the Premier trim and optional on the LT model, brings blind spot, rear cross traffic and reversing monitors, is available as a single option group on the LT. The $795 Driver Confidence II package adds a forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, a lane departure warning and a lane keep assist system for an extra $795 on the Premier. LT buyers who want the Driver Confidence II package must also buy the Driver Confidence package, for an all-in price of $1590. A Federal Government rebate introduced May 1, 2019 of up to $5000 on the Bolt will breathe new life into sales in Ontario. The Federal rebate can be added to the generous rebates of $8000 from Quebec and $5000 from British Columbia. The Bolt is a poor lease value for 2020.

Reliability
Very few complaints have been received. The budget cloth covering the driver's seat car wear prematurely but will be replaced during the warranty period. Electric cars are often reliable due to their simple mechanical elements. The battery pack warranty is eight years/100,000 km. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
Electric motor (200 HP)
Transmissions: None
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  n/a
Highway Fuel Economy:  n/a
Electric Mode Operation: 417 km

Active Safety Features:  Optional forward collision warning, including pedestrians, blind spot, rear cross traffic and lane departure warnings, and a lane keeping system

Additional airbags: Frontal knee airbags and outboard rear seat side airbags

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000, 8/160,000 (on electric drivetrain)
Current Generation Debut:  2017
Country of Origin:  United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Sm. Front Pass.: A

Head/Seat: G

Rear: G

Headlight: A

NHTSA Rating:


2020 Hyundai Ioniq

 


 

 

What’s new
Mid-cycle refresh updates the exterior and cabin and there have been packaging changes as well. The new 38.3 kWh battery pack on the 2020 full electric Ioniq is linked to a 100 kW motor that has a maximum possible range of 274 kilometres.

Comments
About the same size as an Elantra, the IONIQ is built on a different platform designed to accept conventional hybrid, plug-in hybrid and full electric powertrains.
The exterior is modern, crisp and tidy but doesn’t signal the car is powered by alternative powertrains. With a 0.24 co-efficient of drag, the shape is very slippery. The cabin is practical and straightforward; rear seat legroom is more adequate than generous. In order to try to save some weight as well as reducing the use of oil, the hood and tailgate of the Ioniq are formed from aluminum. The interior door trims are fashioned from plastic, powdered wood and volcanic stone, with sugar cane materials employed to fashion the headlining and carpets.
A 104 horsepower 1.6L four is the basis for the hybrid and plug-in hybrid. Total system horsepower for the hybrid is 139 and maximum electric-only range for the plug-in is 37 kilometres. The hybrid and the plug-in send power to the front wheels via a six-speed dual clutch automated manual transmission but the all-electric variant dispenses with a transmission altogether. The full electric version is powered by an 100 kW motor with a maximum possible range of 274 kilometres.

Pricing


Ioniq hybrid: the base Essential trim is reasonably well equipped and would suit the needs of many buyers. The Preferred trim upgrade, with L.E.D., Keyless Go, heated rear seats and steering wheel, a sunroof and blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors, is good value. The Ultimate trim, with leather seating, a power driver's seat, a name brand audio sysem, navigation as well as active cruise control, is a great deal.

PHEV: Offered only in the Preferred and Ultimate trims, the plug-in is priced from $5200 (Preferred) to $5350 (Ultimate) higher than the regular hybrid of the same trim level. The Ultimate trim upgrade adds a power driver's seat, leather upholstery, a sunroof and L.E.D. headlamps, at a reasonable price.

Full electric: No full electric pricing details are availability as this written. For 2019, the fully electric Preferred model was priced $5150 more than the Plus, with the Ultimate electric priced $5650 higher than the Ultimate Plus. The fully-electric Ioniq qualifies to a $5000 Federal rebate, an $8000 rebate from Quebec and a $4000 subsidy from British Columbia. The plug-in qualifies for a $2500 rebate from the Federal Government, $4000 from Quebec and $2500 from British Columbia. The Hybrid model is a poor lease value for 2020, but the plug-in and full electric Ioniqs are reasonable lease deals this year.   
Reliability: New vehicle, insufficient data on Hyundai hybrid vehicles thus far.

Specifications


Body Style:  4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.6 L-4 H (139 combined)*, 1,6 L-4 H Plug-in (104 HP gas, 45 kW electric), Electric (100 kW)
Transmissions: 6A (dual clutch/Hybrids)
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive
City Fuel Economy:  4.2L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  4.2L/100 km

Active Safety Features: Optional adaptive cruise control with autonomous emergency braking, blind spot, rear cross traffic and lane departure warnings as well as la ane keep assist system

 

Additional airbags: No info available

Warranty: 5/100,000, 8/160,000 (on electric drivetrain)
Current Generation Debut:  2017
Country of Origin:  South Korea

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Sm. Front Pass.: G

Head/Seat: G

Rear: G

Headlight: NR

NHTSA Rating:


2020 Kia Niro

 


 

 

What’s new
The 2020 Niro was delayed until February 2020.  
Comments
Based on the same component set as the Hyundai Ioniq, the Niro is a five-door tall hatchback that Kia will market as a compact hybrid CUV. The Niro’s 103 horsepower Atkinson cycle 1.6L four combines with a 43 horsepower electric motor for a total system output of 146 horsepower.
The plug-in hybrid version of the Niro has a maximum possible full-electric range of 43 kilometres under ideal conditions; with a combined power rating of 139 horsepower. The full electric model produces 201 horsepower and a whopping 291 lb-ft of torque. A 64 kWh battery pack can take on 160 kilometres of charge in 30 minutes when using its standard Level 3 charger, and can be fully charged using a Level 2 charger in 9.5 hours.
Though tidy enough and unlikely to offend, the exterior styling of the Niro is not the styling tour-de-force observers have come to expect from Kia. Design aside, the Niro's exterior envelope encloses a commodious cabin with good space for four adults and whatever chattel they choose to bring with them. Attractive instrumentation, practical controls and attractive materials make the Niro a good space to inhabit.

Pricing

Hybrid: Moving up from the L to the EX is extraordinary value and includes convenience features such as Keyless Go, heated steering wheel, wireless cellphone charging as well as blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors. Moving up to the EX Premium adds active cruise control, lane keep assist, leather upholstery and cooled front seats, at a tempting price. The price for migrating to the SX range-topper reflects the value of the additional content.

PHEV: The PHEV is offered only in the EX Premium and SX Touring trims. The EX Premium, with forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking, blind spot, rear cross traffic and driver awareness monitors, lane keep assist and a lane centring device, is good value. Moving up to the SE Touring adds LED headlamps, heated rear seats, cooled front seats, leather seating and a name-brand audio system, at a bargain price. The PHEV versions of the Niro are priced $4200 (EX Premium) and $3000 (SX Touring) higher than the equivalent hybrid models. Quebec provides a taxpayer subsidy of $4000 for Niro PHEV buyers and the Federal Government offers a $2500 subsidy for the purchase or 48 month lease of a new Niro PHEV.

BEV
The BEV version of the Niro is offered only in EX and SX Touring trims. The PHEV and BEV variants only intersect at the SX Touring trim, the BEV version of which commands a $16,500 supplement. Of the BEV models, the SX Touring, with LED headlamps, leather seating, front and rear heated seats, cooled front seats, a name brand audio system, a heat pump system and a full suite of active safety equipment such as forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking, blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings, active cruise control and a lane keep assist system, is priced to reflect its additional equipment. Niro BEV buyers enjoy an $8000 taxpayer subsidy from Quebec and a $5000 subsidy from the Federal Government.
Reliability
Not rated as too little information is available on Kia's hybrid system reliability. It is important to maintain the car using the "Severe Service" schedule exclusively at a Kia dealer to maintain a verifiable maintenance record in the event of engine failure. An extended powertrain warranty should be considered a necessity in the event you plan to keep a Niro with a gas engine past the warranty period. 

Specifications


Body Style: 4HB

Occupants: 2/3

Engine: 1.6L-4 H (146 HP combined)

Transmissions: 6A (dual clutch)  

Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy: 4.6L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy: 5.1L/100 km

Active Safety Features: Optional adaptive cruise control with autonomous emergency braking, blind spot, rear cross traffic and lane departure warnings.


Additional airbags: Driver's side knee airbag
Warranty: 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut: 2017

Country of Origin: South Korea

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Sm. Front Pass.: G

Head/Seat: G

Rear: G

Headlight: P

NHTSA Rating:


2020 MINI Cooper

 


 

 

What’s new
The previous six-speed hydauiic automatic transmission has been replaced by a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission. The six-speed manual transmission went AWOL for the first half of the model year but returned in the spring. The sole transmission initially for the John Cooper Works model for 2020 is a conventional eight-speed automatic. A full electric MINI, sold as the Cooper SE, goes on sale in the spring.

Performance
The 1.5L turbo triple is quick, flexible and smooth at normal speeds and now has a smoother idle than it did when the current Cooper was released. The big 2L turbo in the Cooper S furnishes strong acceleration with an engaging exhaust note, but is quiet when cruising.
Though very firm, the ride of the Cooper S does not jar occupants, and allies with impressive handling controlled by near telepathic steering.
The cabin of the current MINI may appear to be virtually the same as the last one, but its ergonomics, with easily scanned gauges and logical controls placed where you expect them to be, is a huge improvement over the previous MINI. Front seat occupants enjoy comfortable seats and plenty of legroom, but those in back will find space tight and access is limited. Trunk space is limited from the back of the rear seat to the tailgate but the space is deep below the window line and regularly shaped. Cabin materials and fit and finish are impressive. 

Comments
Two and four-door hatchbacks and a convertible model are available. 

Pricing
Migrating from the 1.5L turbo triple Cooper to the 2L turbo four Cooper S, costs $4300. Opting for the high-output of the Cooper S, sold as the John Cooper Works, will set you back an extra $7300. The Convertible body style is priced $6600 more than a three-door Cooper powered by the same engine. The five-door hatchback body is priced $1300 higher than three-doors of the same horsepower. The basic Cooper trim is quite well equipped but it might not be easy to find as dealers will likely treat the Classic trim, equipped with a large format glass roof, heated seats and fog lights, which is a $2000 value for only $1500, as the defacto base model and order accordingly. The Premier trim upgrade, with features such as Keyless Go, auto dimming mirror, rain sense wipers and dual zone air-conditioning, is good value. The range-topping Premier+, which includes equipment such as active L.E.D. headlamps and navigation, is overpriced. Individual options such as leather upholstery and metallic paint are very expensive. The MINI electric, sold in Classic, Premier and Premier+ trims, is priced up to $18,550 higher than the equivalent 1.5L Cooper but triggers big taxpayer subsidies from B.C. and Quebec, as well as an assist from Federal taxpayers as well. The MNI Cooper is a reasonable lease deal for 2020. Leasing is a good way to compensate for the short powertrain warranty.

Reliability
Not rated as too little information is available on the new generation. The previous generation was rated below average. Except for the battery pack, with is covered for eight years/160,000, the warranty on the MINI SE expires at four years/80,000 km. Leasing this car for no longer than the four year warranty is recommended. 

Specifications


Body Style:  2CV, 2HB


Occupants: 2/2


Engines: 32kWh battery pack (184 HP). 177 kilometre range.  


Transmissions: None


Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive


City Fuel Economy: 8.3L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy: 6.4L/100 km

Active Safety Features: Optional adaptive cruise control with autonomous emergency braking 


Additional airbags: Front knee airbags


Warranty:  4/80,000 on the vehicle itself with no additional coverage for electric drive unit. The Battery pack is covered for 8 years/160,000 km. 


Current Generation Debut:  2015


Country of Origin: England and Holland


IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Sm. Front Pass.: NR

Head/Seat: G

Rear: G

Headlight: P

NHTSA Rating:


2020 MINI Countryman 

 

NOT RATED

 

 

What’s new
Horsepower on the John Cooper Works increased from 228 to 301.

Performance
The 1.5L turbo triple has become more refined over the years and is now acceptably smooth as well as sufficiently quick. In MINI tradition, handling is crisp and the ride is more supple than in the previous version of the car. The cabin of the Countryman retains a very MINI look, but like the smaller Cooper, the previously scattergun ergonomics have been replaced by straightforward controls. The Clubman cabin is very stylish, with attractive cabin fittings and lots of soft-touch surfaces. Chic two-tone cabin trim options and abundant attractive faux alloy trim. Cargo space is reasonable with the rear seat in place and versatile with it folded.
Comments

Though the Countryman is an XXL size it still looks like a MINI. Very elegant interior and reasonable cargo space. The Clubman and Countryman are similar in size and concept that, to outsiders, overlap one another. 

Pricing

The 2L Cooper S is priced $3000 higher than a similarly equipped 1.5L triple. The John Cooper Works version of the Countryman costs $8400 more than a Cooper S. At $12,900 more than a 1.5L Cooper with automatic transmission, the plug-in hybrid variant is very expensive but will trigger taxpayer subsidies of $4000 from Quebec, $2500 from B.C., and $2500 from the Federal Government program that began on May 1, 2019. The Classic trim and Premier trim upgrades are both very good value but the Premier+ range-topper is a bit overpriced. Several varieties of leather upholstery, ranging from $1500 to $2250, are available. Metallic paint is an expensive option on the Countryman. The Countryman is a very good lease value for 2020.


Reliability
Below average. Servicing costs are similar to those for a German luxury car. Short powertrain warranty with no coverage past four years/80,000 km. The battery pack for the Countryman PHEV is covered for eight years/128,000 kilometres. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.5L-3 T* (134 HP)*, 2L-4T (189 HP: John Cooper Works: 228 HP)

Transmissions: 6M, 6A* 
Drive Layout: All-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  10.5L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy: 7.4L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available adaptive cruise control with autonomous emergency braking
Additional airbags: Dual front knee airbags
Warranty: 4/80,000 on the whole car, including the electric drive units. Eight year/128,000 km warranty on the battery pack.  

Current Generation Debut:  
Country of Origin: Unknown

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Sm. Front Pass.: NR

Head/Seat: G

Rear: G

Headlight: P

NHTSA Rating:


2020 Nissan Leaf

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s new
Altered packaging for 2020. Added safety equipment for 2020. The base S trim (62 kWh only) now features autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection as well as blind spot, lane departure and rear cross traffic warnings. All models include rear seatbelt pre-tensioners, front occupant knee airbags, seat-mounted rear outboard side airbags and rear automatic emergency braking. The trims powered by the 40 kWh battery pack gain intelligent emergency braking with pedestrian detection and an eight-inch touchscreen. Previous complaints regarding a too-distant steering wheel have been addressed by a standard telescoping steering wheel for the 2020 model year. The larger 62 kWh Plus battery back went out of production in March of 2020.

Performance
With abundant instant torque and sufficient horsepower, the Leaf delivers strong, silent acceleration. The Leaf's steering is video game light at low speeds but gains some heft as velocity increases and has good directional stability at highway speeds. Handling is steady rather than involving but this is compensated by a fantastically compliant ride that has great absorbency without a trace of wallow. Unless using the one foot e-Pedal--which will bring the car to a stop without engaging the brake pedal--the Leaf's regenerative braking is totally transparent. Road and wind noise are both well suppressed.
While the cabin of the new Leaf is more elegant and better finished than its predecessor, it is still disappointing in design terms as well as the quality of its components given that it is Nissan's technological standard bearer and the high cost of the car. That said, the driver faces clear instrumentation and the controls for audio and climate functions are straightforward. The variable weather experienced during our time with the Leaf demonstrated that the heating and air conditioning work well. Our SL tester was equipped with heated seats front and rear, which can warm the occupants and reduce the need to use the energy gobbling heater during cooler weather.
The front seats are substantial and supportive, and while the driver has good space, the wide centre console makes all but the smallest front passenger feel confined. Like the last Leaf, the rear seat of the new car is both peculiarly shaped, oddly placed and legroom is tight for the size of the car. The trunk is big, deep below the window line and with fold down rear seats, expandable.

Comments
The electric motor produces 147 horsepower, with 40 kWh (241 kilometre range) and 62 kWh (363 kilometre range) battery packs available. All Leafs are equipped with a 480V fast charging port. Both 115V and 220V charging cables are included on the Leaf. ConnectSM, with an iOS-Android interface, can monitor the performance parameters of the car and perform various functions from your cell phone.

Pricing
The Leaf range is separated into two streams. The 40 kWh battery pack is only offered in an SV trim, with the 62 kWh battery pack available (only until March) in S, SV and SL trims this year. Moving up to the 62 kWh battery pack on the SV trim costs $4600. The 40 kWh SV trim features the Pro-Pilot active cruise control and lane-centring device, navigation, an eight-way power driver's seat, heated front seat, a hybrid heating system and a driver awareness warning. On the 62 kWh model, moving up from the S to the SV trims is good value but the range-topping SL, even with leather seating and designer audio, is overpriced. Taxpayer substidies of $8000 from Quebec, $5000 form B.C. and $5000 from the Federal Government rebate program, are available.

Reliability
Not rated, new model. The previous Leaf was reliable up to about the 100,000 kilometre point after which typical Nissan problems, like premature suspension wear, accompanied by witheringly expense repairs, as well as steering rack problems, rear their ugly heads. Leasing would be a way to avoid these costly, premature component failures.  

Specifications


Body Style:  4HB


Occupants: 2/3


Engines:

Electric Motor (147 HP) 

Transmissions: None 


Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive


City Fuel Economy:  n/a
Highway Fuel Economy: n/a


Active Safety Features: Standard forward collision warning including pedestrians, autonomous emergency braking, blind spot, rear cross traffic and driver awareness warnings. Optional adaptive cruise control and a lane centring device


Additonal airbags:: None


Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000, 8/160,000 (batteries)


Current Generation Debut:  2018


Country of Origin:  United States


IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Sm. Front Pass.: NR

Head/Seat: G

Rear: NR

Headlight: NR

NHTSA Rating: