2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe squares up to Mercedes CLA
When Honda’s Urban EV - now called the Honda e for production - was revealed at the Frankfurt motor show in 2017, it was one of our most-read online stories. Everyone loved its retro, compact styling – so much so that apparently the designers went back to the drawing board to make sure the production car was as close to the concept as possible.
The final car, which adopts a conventional five-door layout rather than the concept’s three-door format, will start to arrive in UK dealers right at the end of the year. Honda’s first electric car in Europe (it already sells an electric Clarity hatchback in Japan and the US) is built on a new dedicated electric vehicle platform and “sets the direction for the technology and design” of the brand's future EVs. The high-tech interior is a radical departure from Honda's more mainstream car lineup, too.
The model is 100mm shorter than the Jazz, at 3895mm long, and has the Honda emblem backlit in blue, previewing a new styling feature for forthcoming EVs from the brand. It's range shows it's clearly a city-focused model, promising around 124 miles from a full charge. The Honda Sports EV concept, a sports car sibling to the e that was unveiled at the Tokyo motor show in 2017 and has similar design cues, hasn't been signed off for production but is under consideration.
The Kia Soul is a firm youth favourite in the US, but things aren’t the same over here. That’s why Kia has taken the bold step of selling the new, third-generation model as purely an electric car in the UK, while Americans get a petrol engine choice too.
The styling of the new model may be evolutionary, but there are big developments under skin, particularly in the new EV powertrain, which is not only considerably more powerful but offers more than double the range of the old Soul EV, at 280 miles. A greater emphasis on in-car tech is aimed at attracting a younger audience, while there’s more space inside, too.
New Kia Soul EV revealed at LA show with more power and range
Just when you thought we had more than enough compact SUVs to choose from, Mercedes comes along with another. The GLB is meant to combine the modernity and small size of the A-Class with the rugged, macho styling of the G-Class off-roader. It effectively sits between the GLA, which is little more than a raised-up A-Class, and the full-size GLC. Alongside a familiar batch of petrol and diesel engine options, Mercedes-AMG is developing the same 35 and 45 AMG-tuned performance variants as the A-Class, too.
2019 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 caught in first spyshots
If Alec Issigonis could invent the Mini today, it would definitely be an electric car. It is the answer to current challenges, as the original Mini was in 1959.” That’s the view of Mini boss Sebastian Mackensen, and while there’s an element of ‘he would say that, wouldn’t he?’, an affordable small electric car certainly fits the ethos of the diminutive original more than some of the recent supersize SUV offshoots. The first proper electric Mini is fresh from its reveal, built on an adapted version of the UKL platform used for the current hatchback, and is three-door only.
Don't be put off by the meagre sounding 124-144 mile range (about the same as the Honda e). Mini is keen to point out that it's enough to take care of the average driver's weekly mileage, while the modest battery pack means it offers the same interior space as the standard Mini. It also means it's affordable, too - at £24,400, it's comparable to a high-end petrol supermini.