Imagine a world without diesel and gasoline cars. If the recent surge in sales and tech of electric and hybrid cars continues, the world may be fully powered by alternative fuels by 2050. Not only are electric cars great for the planet, they're also great for our wallets; they give us more value for the money by offering huge savings in transportation costs.
Why Choose Electric or Hybrid?
Due to evolving technology, cost and performance has been a challenge of these vehicles in the past. Costs were barriers, too, as many electric and hybrid vehicles were often quite pricey. However, 2020 is the year when most car manufacturers have gained control of these cost and performance issues. Now, newly launched and upcoming models have managed to stand out from the crowd and offer worthwhile experiences to their drivers.
What Are the Best Eco-friendly Vehicles this Year?
Here we look at four all-electric and four hybrid models of SUVs that are a hit among experts and critics alike. In fact, they all deliver better performance than their gasoline counterpart, taking us a step in the future.
2020 Audi e-tron
The e-tron is a stylish all-electric SUV designed to meet the demands of consumers for a reliable luxury vehicle. While the cost is a little higher than most, it still provides a quality driving experience that makes it worth the money. Now, the electric charge range of more than 200 miles is fairly standard. Where the e-tron really shines is its ride comfort, build quality, and incredibly silent engine.
The SUV will be available in three trim levels: Premium Plus, Prestige, and Sportback. The higher trim levels are just a few thousand more than the base level, and they come with goodies like head-up display, massaging front seats, improved leather upholstery, and power-close doors.
Under the Hood
Under the hood is the 95.3-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that combines with the engine to produce 355 hp and almost 414 lbs of torque. The torque is increased to 490 lbs when the transmission goes in the Sport mode. The Prestige and Sportback trim levels are designed to pull up to an impressive 4,000 pounds.
Based on the updated European model, the EPA is estimated to be around 210 miles. Using the standard charger, the car will fully charge in nine hours. Plugging the 150 KW fast charger will build charge for 50 miles in 10 minutes and 160 miles in 30 minutes. The model is expected to get 73 MPGe in the city and 76 MPGe on highways. Audi lovers now have just that much more to love about this brand.
2020 Hyundai Kona Electric
Despite its similarities with the gasoline-driven model, the electric version of the 2020 Hyundai Kona is more stylish and aerodynamic. It is easily distinguished by a different front bumper, grille, and special wheels. Notably, there are plenty of desirable standard features in this vehicle that make it more than competitive with the top of the pack.
Safety is no concern, either. In fact, an active drive safety package and a 150 kW powertrain make it a serious contender for the best lower-priced all-electric SUV vehicle of the year.
Inside, there is enough space for four passengers to sit without feeling cramped. The 19.2 cubic feet of space behind the rear seat is also enough to hold standard cargo and baggage. But space isn't all this beast offers. The center console is upscale and futuristic looking, with a high-tech infotainment system.
Speedy and Eco-Friendly
The 2020 Hyundai Kona is fitted with a 201 hp electric motor that helps it reach 60 mph in only 6.4 secondsâ€”an incredibly impressive feat for an electric SUV. The aggressive regenerative braking is another highlight, which will help Kona achieve 258 miles in a single battery charge. The EPA has also given this SUV a rating of 120 combined MPGe, which is among the best in its class. Those looking to get the most miles on a charge need look no further than this masterpiece.
2020 Jaguar I-PACE
This stylish, high-performance electric SUV offers a streamlined driving experience and a speedy response. For 2020, the I-Pace comes with a slightly longer driving range, a refined ECO driving model, and improved regenerative braking capabilities.
Trims to Love
Just like most other SUVs in its class, there are three trim levels: S, SE, and HSE. While the base model provides climate control, heated front & rear seats, and a futuristic-looking cockpit, there are plenty of options for shoppers to upgrade. Optional features include adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and high-speed automated emergency braking.
Under the Hood
The engines offer an impressive 394 hp and almost 512 pounds of torque. Impressively, the battery pack has a range of 234 miles on a single charge. All Jaguar dealership offers a quick-charge DC battery, which definitely come in handy during long drives in the countryside.
One Fun Ride
In the standard model, the SUV will take 13 hours to charge the battery. Once charged, it's able to offer 80 MPGe inside the city and 72 MPGe on highways. The low center of gravity, agile handling, and smooth acceleration makes the Jaguar I-PACE fun to drive. Overall, those looking for a fun, eco-friendly ride should explore this option.
2020 Kia Niro EV
Packed with standard features, KIA has won the hearts of those who crave a respectable, reliable electric SUV. A spacious cabin, optimized comfort features, good design, and lots of technical innovations make the Kia Niro 2020 a great value for money.
Interior and Features
The standout feature of the 2020 model is the stylish interior equipped with ambient multi-color lighting. The human-machine interface, adjustable driver seats, quality sound system, optional leather seats, and hordes of other features are also available in the newer model. Smart cruise control with Stop and Go is another dynamic addition that only makes this vehicle all the better for those who love creature comforts.
Now, this SUV is offered in EX and EX Premium trims. While there is no particular performance difference, the EX Premium trim level offers additional components, such as LED lights, powered sunroof, 10-way seat adjustment for a comfortable ride, parking-distance warning, mood lighting, heated steering, and other features.
No Expense Spared on Safety
Kia didn't skimp on safety, either. Safety features include a collision-avoidance system, lane-change assist, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping, and lane-following assist.
How's the Motor?
The one area where this Kia is just average is the motor. The 201-hp capable 64 kWh motor is able to produce 293 pounds of torque and an estimated EPA of more than 243 miles. While this performance isn't bad by any means, it also isn't the absolute best in the pack. Still, considering the other creature comforts, safety options, and price, this model is a great bang for the buck. Overall, KIA is a well-equipped SUV that impresses with its style, features, and value.
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
The Toyota RAV4 has impressed experts with its comfortable ride quality, excellent fuel economy, roomy cargo area, and cost. The new 2020 model has an added auto Android smartphone, standard power driver seat on the XLE Hybrid trim, and the fifth-generation tag.
Pricing & Features
As far as pricing goes, the four trim levels (LE, XLE, XSE, and Limited) range from $28,350 to $36,880. This range makes it makes the RAV4 hybrid one of the most affordable hybrids on the market. What will this price tag get you? Plenty of standard features on baseline model, for starters. Other goodies include satellite radio, a power-adjustable driver's seat in the XLE, and a premium JBL sound system in the Limited edition.
Let's take a closer look at the cabin. The inside is roomy, with plenty of room for four passengers. The sensibly-located control panels and solid-build quality are also attractive. Other bonuses include safety features like adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, andâ€”on everything except the base trimâ€”blind-spot monitoring.
Under the Hood
That's not all this hybrid offers, though. The battery-assisted engine generates 219 hp, which is impressive for its class. The dual-electric motor turns the vehicle into an all-wheel-drive suitable for adverse weather conditions. Buyers will also love the combined range of 40 mpg, making it a great all-round hybrid SUV to own in 2020.
2020 Ford Escape Hybrid
Competing with the Toyota RAV4 is the Ford Escape hybrid, which is attractive due to its updated style and interior design. The powertrain options are impressive as buyers can choose from either a sporty version or a more efficient hybrid. The sliding second-row seats additionally offer greater room for passengers and cargo compared to the 2019 model.
In fact, the 2020 model is fully redesigned to compete with other upmarket SUV hybrid models. There is improved power and acceleration in the first model of the fourth-generation Ford Escape. The base output, though, should be fairly similar to the 2019 version. It means that the all-new Ford Escape would generate roughly 181 hp and 190 lb of torque.
For those looking for more power, the available turbocharged 2.0-liter Eco-boost four-cylinder engine offers 250 hp and an increased torque of 280 lb per pound. Despite the lack of speed tests, experts predict that Ford Escape hybrid will be able to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than 6.5 seconds. Drivers will have the options of either a standard hybrid or a plug-in hybrid. All in all, Ford fans can have a lot to love in these Escapes.
2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid
The 2020 Hybrid version of the Ford Explorer has increased passenger and cargo space compared to the 2019 model. Its rear-wheel-drive platform is also better in ride handling, while there are lots of minor tech features that will keep passengers happy. Those who want it can also opt in for a 4WD option. All in all, this sixth-generation Ford is fully redesigned.
Powerful and Speedy
The three-row Ford Explorer is the very image of a muscular vehicle for the family and off-road experience. But speedsters aren't left out, either; the V6 engine are definitely for power-hungry customers. Now, the electric drivetrain is impressive due to a 10-speed automatic transmission that combines with a 35-kilowatt electric motor to offer 318 hp and 322 lbs of torque.
The hybrid version offers 27 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highways. The EPA estimated driving range of 450 mile, which is quite impressive.
Creature Comforts to Spare
Customers will be able to feel the response during power buildup from standard to electric and to sport modes. Lots of creature comforts, such as heated seats, heated steering wheel, and a cushy interior, make it a solid choice for families. Despite the three rows, there is 18.2 cubic feet of space in the rear section. All in all, those who loved the Explorer should love this hybrid option, too.
2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
The redesigned Toyota Highlander also comes with three seats with an amazingly affordable starting price tag. The baseline hybrid model is powered by a four-cylinder engine that's a little less powerful. What it gave up in power, though, it made up for in other ways, such as fuel economy.
Better Than Ever
Among its most prominent features is the price tag, which is slightly less than the 2019 model. Even better is the fact that customers can get all-wheel drive. There are also plenty of driving modes to keep everyone interested. The Sports mode will boost acceleration and speed, while the Eco mode will enhance fuel economy.
Accessories to Spare
A list of accessories includes three-zone climate control, an 8-inch infotainment system, LED headlamps, and proximity key. Safety in this vehicle is respectable, too. The Toyota Safety Sense suite consists of advanced features like automatic front braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, lane centering, and road-sign recognition.
Fuel Efficient, Practical, Affordable
Overall, the standard Toyota Highlander Hybrid model is designed to be less powerful than its predecessor. It is, however, more fuel-efficient, practical, and more affordable. The new model is expected to do 36 mpg combined, a big boost from previous iterations.