Top Gear List Its Top Picks For Hybrid And Electric Cars

SEP 6 2015 BY MARK KANE 31

Better Idea To Purchase Something Like The Vauxhall Ampera For UK Officials?

Vauxhall Ampera

Top Gear released its list of the top plug-in electric cars available in the UK.

Among six models, two are from BMW – i3 and i8. Germany is represented also by Volkswagen e-Golf.

There is also Vauxhall Ampera (British version of Opel Ampera, which is the European version of Chevrolet Volt). We can’t understand why there is no Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, which is the most popular plug-in in the UK.

Top Gear didn’t forget about the Nissan LEAF or Tesla Model S P85D.

  • BMW i3

    Price: £34,130
    Specs: 170bhp, 184lb ft, 0-62mph 7.9secs, VMax 93mph, 470mpg, CO2 13g/km
    The first all-electric BMW available to the masses. BMW-y drive, clever interior, and the option of a tiny motorbike engine to extend the range. It’s brilliant.

  • BMW i8

    Price: £104,540
    Specs: 372bhp, 421lb ft, 0-62mph 4.4secs, VMax 155mph, 113mpg, CO2 49g/km
    A hybrid that can also go toe-to-toe with a Porsche 911? That’ll be the stunning i8. Stunning design, amazing powertrain and just so intoxicating to live with. The future’s here.

  • 2015 VW e-Golf

    VW e-Golf

    Vauxhall Ampera (no longer offered)

    Price: £34,995
    Specs: 150bhp, 272lb ft, 0-62mph 8.7secs, VMax 99mph, 235mpg, CO2 27g/km
    The best of both worlds? Petrol-electric range extender solves traditional EV limitations and offers emissions-free motoring around town. Pricey, mind.

  • Volkswagen e-Golf

    Price: £30,845
    Specs: 115bhp, 199lb ft, 0-62mph 10.4secs, VMax 87mph, NAmpg, CO2 0g/km
    Looks like a Golf, feels like a Golf, drives like a Golf. Only more silently and with a bit of range anxiety. Electricity takes a step into the mainstream.

  • Nissan LEAF

    Nissan LEAF

    Nissan LEAF

    Price: £26,490
    Specs: 109bhp, 206lb ft, 0-62mph 11.9secs, VMax 90mph, NAmpg, CO2 NA g/km
    All-electric hatch proves the era of battery-only motoring is getting closer, but limited range means this won’t be your only family car… yet.

  • Tesla Model S P85D

    Price: £87,835 (before £5000 UK government plug-in vehicle subsidy)
    Specs: 762bhp, 740lb ft, 0-62mph in 2.8 seconds, Vmax 155mph, n/a mpg, 0g/km CO2, 295-mile range
    Now available with a power upgrade from 682bhp to 762bhp, the most amazing thing about the all-wheel drive Model S isn’t its hypercar acceleration. It’s that, thanks to a growing quick-charger network and respectable range, this is the world’s most versatile everyday EV. And look, Ludicrous Mode!

Tesla Model S Dual Motor Deliveries Underway In Europe

Tesla Model S Dual Motor Deliveries Underway In Europe

Source: Top Gear

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31 Comments on "Top Gear List Its Top Picks For Hybrid And Electric Cars"

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How can they pick cars that only has got 4 stars in EuroNcap?


Eh, the i3 got 4 stars because of pedestrian safety and safety assist. Who gives a toss about that, honestly?

The pedestrian.


Let me rephrase; who gives a toss about pedestrian safety rating when car shopping?

I have to admit the pedestrian safety rating is a bit meaningless. I think if you hit a person at 40 mph in a 5 star car or a 1 star car the result is the same. What would probably be more meaningful is if the stopping distance had a stronger weighting.

My feeling is that in most accidents you will get to the brakes before impact, if those brakes could take 10 mph off your speed before impact rather than 5 mph that would be much better than another 6 air bags.

How about putting airbags on the bumpers of the car in the front. And if the computer sees a man then it triggers the air bags.

Good luck writing a computer program which can reliably differentiate between “a man” (or rather, “a person”) and “not a person”, based only on images from a video camera (or lidar) on the car.

Pedestrian safety ratings are not intended for measuring the outcome when you plow into someone while doing 40 MPH.

It’s for when you hit someone in a parking lot while doing 15 MPH, or for when you’re driving through a residential area doing 25 MPH and a person pops out from behind a van.

Well, in those cases, cars aren’t designed to save those who have suicide tendencies…

The stopping distance of the BMW i3 on wet roads is very long. It has very poor grip due to the narrow tiers. This is deadly. do an emergency braking test from 60 mph as part of their review.

BMW i3 – 109 feet (4 Star EU)
Tesla model S – 108 feet (5 star EU)
Nissan Maxima – 122 feet (?)
Mitsubishi Outlander – 124 feet (5 star EU)
Silverado Crew Cab 2WD – 128 feet (5 star, US)

In short the i3 will stop in a shorter distance than most other vehicles. Especially the “safe” SUV land boat types.

If we want to reduce the number of fatalities related to cars (which I am absolutely 100% in favor of) then we should stop selling massive, inefficient, filthy, SUV’s and look to move people into smaller, more efficient, cleaner, more compact cars. Preferably electric ones.


The numbers you have are on dry surface not wet.

I’m not sure that’s right, I think the stopping distances will all go up proportionally by the same amount, unless there is much better water clearing on one of the vehicles tires. I would feel safer slamming on the brakes in a BMW than in most bands of car. The tires on the i3 look out of proportion but I have seen footage of i3’s on a wet race track they did just fine. There are plenty of reasons not to buy an i3 but safety, or lack of it, seems far fetched.

That’s correct. The i3 actually scored higher than the Tesla Model S for driver and passenger protection. The 4 star rating was mainly due to low score for pedestrian safety and because the rear seats didn’t have a seat belt warning light on the dash. If it had the rear seat seatbelt warning, and the speed limit indicator wasn’t included in an optional tech package (It has to be standard to be counted) then it would have received 5 stars. However for the most important feature – occupant crash protection, it scored very high.

Hi Tom,

As an i3 owner can you comment on the stopping ability of the i3 on a wet road?



Safety is a good thing but it is not the only thing. Especially in countries like Britain that have high levels of pollution. The world Heath organisation estimate 30,000 Brits die a year from pollution. That means you are more than 10x as likely to die from the stuff falling out the exhaust than in a road accident of any sort. A rating of 4/5 is still acceptable.

It shows that Top Gear has lost the plot. To include the Volt/Ampera when it is no longer available and to exclude the Outlander PHEV when it is the best selling PHEV in the UK is madness.


Must the Camry (the top selling car in the U.S.) necessarily be on a list of Best Cars in the U.S.?

top selling != best product

Glad to see top gear being a bit more positive but it is still stabbing away with the odd none sense comment.

The nissan leaf is our only car we are a family of 4.

You don’t get out much do you?

No more or less than when I had a car with 450 km range, we use our car every day and do over 15,000 km in a year. Our longest trip is to Philip Island which is just over 100 km and we can charge at the holiday house. So really the leaf works just fine for us. There are countless study’s that show we are not that strange. I like a bit more range but really it’s not essential for us.

Sorry, i didn’t mean to be rude, only funny. My inly mode of transportation was bicycle- but that didn’t hamper my mileage in the U.S. or I Europe. In many ways I wish we in the U.S. were more bicycle friendly in terms of infrastructures. Now that EVs are in the present- economic factors are what will influence the majority of Americans. The electric range will increase as technology improves. Any of these cars listed are great, presently hybrids are the link from ICE to EVs.

Hi KR, no offence taken – I have 2 kids under 6 and my nearest relative lives more than 10,000 miles away….. I really don’t get out much.


Hey it’s not easy with all the new electrics and changes almost every week. They didn’t even have time to include the Tesla P90D Ludicrous.
What about the KIA SOUL EV, FORD Focus EV both with 20 year life batteries.
Hybrids and even plugin hybrids are so last century. Why drag all that extra stuff to burn gas on longer trips.

I like the discussion below the original article at Top Gear, where averyone is mad, where the heck is Tesla. And now you see it’s been added as #6. LOL!

While Top Gear is at it, no petrol or diesel powered car should ever get a top pick rating.

There should be points allotted for saving the planet and all the petrol and diesel dinosaurs should sink to the bottom where they belong.

AFAIK, the Ampera was withdrawn in the UK over a year ago… Seems disingenuous for Top Gear to include it (and they don’t even mention that little fact).

Renault Zoe
5 seats
5 doors
100 mile range
Fast charging
Great interior options (though occasional crappy build)
5 star NCAP

Great little motor, not worth a mention?