Long Term Reviews

Most car reviews are short term. They’re based on a week’s ownership or sometimes even just a few hours with the vehicle. First impressions count, but they’re only part of the story. To get to the heart of a car, it has to be run for several months. The likes and dislikes begin to present themselves. The proof of the pudding is in the eating and the same goes for cars too. An ownership experience offers so much more than a short-term review. At Autovolt, we review as many EVs and hybrids long term as we can. It takes time, but it helps depict a more accurate picture of what life with these cutting-edge vehicles is really like.

Our long termers

Kia Optima PHEV (2017)

Kia Optima PHEV (2017)

Plug-in Hybrids have divided opinion amongst the motoring press, with some stating they’re negatively compromised, while others praise their Jekyll & Hyde persona. They’re complicated machines with two powertrains, but what are they like to live with? We spend three months with the handsome Optima PHEV to find out whether it is fast, frugal, fun or perhaps all three.

Nissan Leaf 30kWh (2016)

Nissan Leaf 30kWh (2016)

The Nissan Leaf is, perhaps, the definitive EV. It’s a great all-rounder and most people’s go-to example of an electric car. We spent 3-months with the 30kWh Tekna-trimmed version to find out what life is like with a Leaf as an everyday tool. As we found out, an electric car is only half the story, as in 2016 infrastructure plays a large proportion of ownership that isn’t always realised.

Latest news about our long termers

Wk10 & 11. Wales and driving sans plug

Wk10 & 11. Wales and driving sans plug

Another week goes by with the Optima PHEV and in many ways, testament to the car is the fact there's precious little to report. The car just keeps on rewarding me with nothing exciting to say. Had this been any lesser car, there might have been mention of the odd...

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Wk9. Motorway EV driving

Wk9. Motorway EV driving

On a particularly cold summer evening, I decided to put the electric range of the Kia Optima PHEV (Optima Prime) to the test. It has always stated 31-miles on the display, although I've managed to eke 32-miles with relative ease after driving carefully and at town...

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Wk8. 1,000 miles, 93.1mpg

Wk8. 1,000 miles, 93.1mpg

I have finally covered 1,000 miles in 'Optima Prime' (Kia Optima PHEV) and I'm impressed. Passing the milestone took a while to reach, partly because I have access to other cars and partly because my daily commute is only 12-miles. Coincidentally, the car had its...

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Wk6 & 7. Beyond electric range

Wk6 & 7. Beyond electric range

Since having Optima Prime on long term test, it’s purpose has been - quite simply - to replace my daily driver. And it has done this remarkably well. To date, I’ve not yet had to visit the petrol forecourt to fill her up, thanks to its highly usable 30-mile range....

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Wk5. A plug-in hybrid comparison

Wk5. A plug-in hybrid comparison

Another week, another improvement in fuel economy for the Kia Optima PHEV ('Optima Prime'). Since the week before, plenty of short trips and warmer weather meant that electric-only mode has been deployed on pretty well every journey I've done in the last week. It's...

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Wk4. Addicted to electric driving

Wk4. Addicted to electric driving

Following the previous week's petrol journeys I was keen this week to improve on fuel consumption. While in most non-plug-in cars (including other non-plug-in hybrids) this would necessitate driving like James May; throttling back at every opportunity and crawling...

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Wk3. Electrifying sound

Wk3. Electrifying sound

One of the many advantages of driving under electric power is enhanced sound. What I mean by this is that as a driver, I'm better able to hear my surroundings. While many still believe electric cars to be silent, the reality is their quieter drive mechanicals make it...

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Wk2. Economy versus weight

Wk2. Economy versus weight

When talking economy, a car's weight is important. The lighter the car, the less energy required to move it. Simple. And so, engineers take great efforts to reduce weight where they can. Of course, it’s always a battle with the accountants who will want to use cheaper...

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Wk1. Optima Prime arrives

Wk1. Optima Prime arrives

I've always loved Transformers. Ever since I was a kid, there was an allure to anything that could perform more than one function. Swiss Army knives, the spork, collander helmets and the like were all satisfying ways to use an item for something else - even better if...

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An Electric Road Trip to Wales

An Electric Road Trip to Wales

It's been a while since my last update and with good reason. I've been out of communication; no mobile phone reception, no Internet. Bliss. I've been treated to a summer trip to Wales by my other half and what better way to get there than electrically. Outbound. We...

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Autovolt is the UK's leading consumer magazine dedicated to electric and hybrid vehicles. We cover electric cars, hybrids, plug-in hybrids, fuel cell vehicles and much more.