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  • 5 EVs That Will Win You Over

    5 EVs That Will Win You Over

    Not too long ago widespread EV adoption was considered a thing of the far distant future. And while yes, there's a ways to go before that happens, every day it becomes a little less in the future and a little more now.  

    There are several parts to the story of growing EV interest.  One, is both availability and affordability.  Automakers are growing their EV lineups leaps and bounds each year giving consumers more choices at more price points.  Second is technology.  It's evolving at a rapid pace, meaning more range for electric vehicles, easing anxiety fears. Third, and importantly, more consumers are starting to get comfortable with the whole idea (and getting tired of paying high prices at the pump.) Fourth, the public charging infrastructure is also improving. 

    special ev photo-amyAll this said, you may or may not be ready to embrace an future with an electric vehicle in it yet. But they are some of the most exciting vehicles on the road today, with a lot to offer, more than you probably expect.

    Here we take a brief look at 5 specific models that are up for 2022 Electric Vehicle of Texas (from top left): the 2021 Polestar 2, 2022 Kia EV6, 2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5, 2022 Nissan LEAF PLUS, and 2021 VW ID.4.  They were all entered in the 2022 Texas Auto Roundup held by the Texas Auto Writers Association in April. Results will be announced May 12.

    Having recently spent a week with the IONIQ 5, I drove the Kia EV6, Nissan LEAF,  Polestar 2 and VW ID.4 at the event. 

    Why will these EVs win you over? You'll be shocked at their performance - and by that I mean their instant torque and acceleration. You'll be wowed by their innovative and creative design inside and out. You'll be jaw-droppingly impressed with their incredible technology.   

    The five vehicles are listed below in alphabetical order with some highlights. For a more comprehensive look at all of their many features, please visit each vehicle's website. For more general information about EVs and what to consider when purchasing one, check out our Guide to Electric Cars.

    2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5 Limited AWD

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    The new IONIQ 5 is distinguished from the pack after recently winning 2022 World Car Of The Year, besting its sibling the Kia EV6 along with the Mustang Mach-E  to win it. I recently reviewed the IONIQ 5 and you can find my review here.

    The IONIQ 5 heralds a new era of EVs for Hyundai.  Unique features outside its striking exterior design include its Vehicle 2 Vehicle Charging (V2V) feature that allows you to charge small devices.

    In the cabin, sustainable materials include recycled PET bottles, plant-based (bio PET) yarns and natural wool yarns and bio paint with plant extracts.  A unique sliding Universal Console allows the driver to enter from the passenger's side. This model is also equipped with a giant vision panoramic glass panel roof, along with Hyundai's first augmented reality Head-Up Display which is terrific. I also love the remote chart port door feature.

    Also notable, Hyundai's latest Highway Driving Assist technology. It may just be the best semi-autonomous system I've driven (it shares this system with Kia.)  

    THE NUMBERS:


    • Horsepower: up to 320 (AWD)
    • Torque: up to 446 lb.-ft. (AWD)
    • 0 to 60:   less than 5 seconds.
    • Range:  256 miles.
    • AWD/RWD: Both.
    • Towing Capacity: Up to 2,000 pounds.
    • Level 2 (240v) Charge Time: 8.5 hours.
    • DC-Fast Charging:   800-volt fast-charging will charge 10 to 80 percent in 18 minutes
    •  MRSP: Starts from $43,650. This model MSRP's for $55,920.

    Kia EV6 GT-Line AWD

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    Wow is pretty much the first word that came to my mind when I laid eyes on Kia's first dedicated EV the EV6.   It's one impressive-looking crossover inside and out in this Steel Matte Gray hue and larger than I expected.

    The expansive cabin is rather jaw dropping too and one of the most unique I've seen in terms of design.  The floating center console is terrific. I also loved the Black Vegan Leather w/ White Vegan Leather Trim. The headrests are really unique as well.

    The EV6's performance is also a highlight as you'd expect with its horsepower and torque. 

    Features include remote start, a 14-Speaker Meridian Premium Audio System, a Heat Pump (AWD), which helps preserve all-electric range in cold weather driving conditions.  Like the Hyundai IONIQ 5, it  has the Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) function that  allows you to charge computers, camping, tailgating, and back-up power at home, as well as an augmented reality heads up display.

    The EV6 also has Hyundai's next-gen Highway Driving Assist Tech.

    THE NUMBERS:


    • Horsepower: Up to 320
    • Torque: Up to 446 lb.-ft.
    • 0 to 60:  4.6 seconds (GT AWD model.)
    • Range: Up to 310 on the RWD model
    • AWD/RWD: Both.
    • Towing Capacity:   up to 2,300 pounds. 
    • Level 2 (240v) Charge Time: 7 hours 10 minutes.
    • DC-Fast Charging: Ultra-fast DC charging capability from 10-80 percent charge (up to 217 miles range) in under 18 minutes. 

    2022 Nissan LEAF SL Plus2022-nissan-leaf-plus-s-carprousa

    This Nissan LEAF is a true pioneer. Nissan launched it eleven years ago and it was the world's first mass-market EV. The automaker says since then its sold more than 500,000 Nissan LEAFs worldwide.

    As far as this list goes,  the LEAF has the most affordable entry point for the base model. The model pictured here is the range-topping SL Plus. It features the larger of the lineup's two batteries and rides on 17-inch wheels.

    The LEAF Plus SL's interior features leather appointed heated seats.  A 7-speaker Bose Energy Efficient Series Premium Audio System utilizing lightweight speakers sounds really great.  I would though like to see an updated multimedia/map screen.

    I also loved the conveniently located, easy to use e-pedal on the LEAF. The e-pedal is essentially using one pedal both to accelerate and break, and helps conserve battery energy. It's a typical feature of every EV out there.

    Other great LEAF Plus S features include the use of a Bio Suede PET material and a remote charge door release. You'll find the charge port in the "frunk" area, which is different that your typical EV.  

    Standard LEAF SL PLUS features include ProPILOT Assist, a hands-on driver assist system.

    THE NUMBERS:


    • Horsepower: 214
    • Torque: 250 lb.-ft.
    • Range: 226 miles (SL PLUS only)
    • AWD/RWD: Both.
    • MPGE combined: 104-108
    • Towing: 
    • Level 2 (240V) Charge Time:  11.5 hrs.
    • DC-Fast Charging: Quick Charge 45 min to 80% at fast-charging stations.
    • MSRP:  Starts from $27,400; as equipped: $39,255.
     

    2021 Polestar 2 Performance Pack

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    The new Polestar 2 may be a new brand, but it looks vaguely familiar. That's because it's a spin-off from Volvo. So you'll see Volvo's influence in a lot of the design and tech. It's polished, sophisticated and modern all in one. Case in point, I love the rimless side mirrors.

    The Polestar 2's performance is outstanding. Talk about instant torque (acceleration). It puts a smile on your face.  

    This model is equipped with the Performance Pack which includes amazing 20” 4-Y Spoke Black Polished Forged Alloy Wheels and yellow brake calipers. It also includes a panoramic roof made of tinted, laminated glass with a projected Polestar symbol. and an amazing 13-speaker Harman Kardon Premium Sound system. A heat pump is available on the Performance Pack.

    The interior features a large tablet-style touchscreen where you control almost everything including the e-pedal function.  Notably, the Polestar is the first vehicle with a built-in Android Auto operating system.

    Note, Polestar will not offer a leather interior in 2022 as it will be replaced with a sustainable material. Something else to keep in mind is that back doors are on the slimmer side.

    Volvo is well-known for its safety so it follows the Polestar has a long list of driver assistance features, including a speed limiter function as well as semi autonomous Pilot Assist.

    THE NUMBERS:

    • Horsepower: 408 
    • Torque: 487 lb.-ft.
    • Range: 249 miles
    • 0 to 60: 4.5 seconds
    • MPGE combined: 104-108
    • Towing: 2,000 pounds
    • Level 2 Charge Time: 8 hours home wallbox.
    • DC-Fast Charging Time:  35 minutes
    • MSRP: Starts from $49,900, as equipped: $68,600.

    2021 VW ID.4 Pro S AWD

    2021-vw-id4-carpro-tms

    The VW ID.4 launched as a rear-wheel drive only model. Now, VW's added available AWD which is great news because it provides a more powerful option than the 201-horsepower model. The new AWD equipped ID.4 Pro delivers 295-hp. Both models share 229 lb.-ft or torque and I'd like to see that number be higher to get more instant acceleration.

    This model's Dust Blue Metallic hue looks great with its two-toned roof.  Inside, Lunar Gray leatherette seats are well designed. A highlight in the cabin is VW's new Discover Pro Max  infotainment display. It's responsive, the graphic are amazing and it is super user-friendly. Other terrific features include  a panoramic fixed-glass roof,  and great ambient interior lighting system. I also love where the wireless charger is located in the console, basically you slide it into a compartment underneath the cupholders.

    This ID.4 Pro S comes standard with VW's IQ.DRIVE driver assistance suite that includes semi-autonomous driving tech.

    THE NUMBERS:

    • Horsepower:  295  
    • Torque: 229 lb.-ft. 
    • Range: 245 miles  (New for 2022:  Up to 280 on the ID.4 Pro RWD)
    • MPGE combined: 95 
    • 0 to 60: ID.4  5.4 seconds, (ID.4 AWD Pro)
    • Towing Capacity:  Up to 2,700 pounds. 
    • Level 2 (240V) Charge Time: As little as seven and a half hours 
    • DC-Fast Charging Time: Estimated 70 miles in about 10 minutes. 
    • MSRP:  Starts from 41,230, as equipped $50,870. ⁠ 

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