Our five favourite eco-friendly used cars
Climate change has been making headlines around the world for years now. So, when it comes to deciding on your next car, it makes sense to consider environmental impact as a factor. The tricky thing is, not everyone can afford a Tesla. There is good news, though. Eco-friendly cars have been in the market long enough that there’s a decent chance you’ll come across a range of electric and hybrid models that are easy on your pocket and on the planet. Here are our favourite five.
The Nissan Leaf is a pioneer of the electric car movement. In fact, it was so ahead of the game with its first iteration in 2010, that Nissan’s already released the Leaf’s second generation. This is great news for drivers looking to get a full electric car without forking out loads of cash, as used models are pretty common – unlike other manufacturers, who are still only a couple of years into their first fully electric models.
The Nissan Leaf is the world’s top-selling electric vehicle, and it’s easy to see why. It’s smooth, quiet and responsive. You can’t go too far wrong with any version, but models from 2013 onwards are more energy efficient during the winter months. And in 2016, it was upgraded from a 24kWh battery to 30kWh, improving its overall performance. Battery range varies depending on a few factors, but if you’re able to charge it overnight, you won’t run into any problems.
Mazda Axela Hybrid-S
Back in 2013, Japanese car manufacturing giants, Mazda and Toyota, collaborated to put a car on the road that had the efficiency of a Prius and the sleek looks and driveability that Mazda is famous for. The Axela Hybrid, also known as the Mazda3 Hybrid, was the result. It’s a top-class car that brings class, excellent fuel efficiency and performance to the table. This petrol-electric hybrid is far more intuitive to drive than a Prius (and far easier on the eyes), with responsive handling and a pleasing degree of power. And now that it’s been around for a few years, you can find used models that are very reasonably priced.
Nissan X-Trail 20X Hybrid
The Nissan X-Trail has always been considered a solid midsize SUV option. It offers drivers all-round performance and comfort, both on the road and off it. Plus, it comes with plenty of boot space. In 2015, Nissan engineered a petrol-electric model – the Nissan X-Trail 20x Hybrid. This iteration was part of Nissan’s goal to cut CO2 emissions, and included a range of planet-friendly updates to its design. It resulted in a vehicle that was fuel efficient while retaining the same seamless, powerful driving experience you can expect from the Nissan X-Trail. And with models up to six years’ old, there’s little doubt you’ll find one that’s easy on your bank account.
Nissan Skyline 350GT Hybrid
The Nissan Skyline 350GT Hybrid is proof that hybrid cars don’t compromise on looks. This classic car offers the luxurious comfort and world-class performance you would expect from the Skyline dynasty, but with fuel efficiency to boot. And with models available from 2014, there are plenty of secondhand vehicles available for anyone who wants raw power, style and sustainability all at a decent price.
Suzuki Swift Hybrid
Okay, so the Suzuki Swift Hybrid is still fairly new. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get it at a great price. In fact, it’s the cheapest new hybrid car in New Zealand. The Swift manages to make its way onto nearly all of our list – and that’s because it ticks so many boxes. With the new hybrid, you can expect all the same features that make the original Swift so popular – its exceptional safety, its responsive handling – but now with incredible fuel efficiency. And take it from us, its trademark zippy performance is so much sweeter knowing how far the fuel is going.
If you’re interested in any of these models – or want something similar – talk to our expert staff or head in to your nearest dealership.
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