Which cars have the best hybrid autonomy?

This is the most important exercise of our Supertest: measuring fuel consumption and average distance on a route. Here is the ranking of our results.

Autonomy! Today, when talking about an electric car, this term is on everyone’s lips. But over the years, with the evolution of technologies and the generalization of electric cars, range is, with a few exceptions, a non-issue. This is true for the everyday use of an electric car anyway. On the highway, that’s another story, and we’ll have time to return to it with a full summary.

Meanwhile, the WLTP certification cycle emphasizes exactly this use in the measurement protocol with four action steps. If the standard wants to simulate the behavior of several million drivers, it is always far from reality. This is quite normal, but not very representative. And for a good reason: the values ​​are measured far from the outer limits at fairly low average speeds. To get a little closer to reality, we have developed a rigorous and repeated measurement protocol for each vehicle to achieve hybrid autonomy. Despite all our precautions to correct the conditions, the only variables are the tires fitted to the test cars and the outside temperature. Because, for obvious logistical reasons, it is difficult, if not impossible, to bring several dozen models together for simultaneous measurements over a distance of more than 1000 km. We drove from midnight in the summer to get the lowest temperatures possible, and attacked at sunset around 6pm in the winter to avoid affecting the air conditioning. the impact of traffic on the way we drive.

Recall that our mixed autonomy measurement consists of a 100 km loop in both directions to smooth out the effects of topography (ie 2 x 50 km). At the end of each section, it consists of three equally spaced sections in city, highway and expressway to obtain an average speed suitable for use according to our observations, and the final average is 58 km/h. . For information, the WLTP cycle consists of four phases with a final average speed of 46.6 km/h. To calculate the autonomy, we perform a very simple mathematical formula that relates the total net capacity of the battery to the observed consumption. For greater accuracy, we also compare the evolution of the measurement with the number of kilometers traveled, which is always correct (except for the Nissan Ariya 87).

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Test – Nissan Ariya 87 kWh: consumption, range and performance measured

In this ranking, we will not hesitate to show the average final consumption to fully measure the efficiency of the car. Because the larger the battery, it allows the model to demonstrate attractive autonomy and camouflage its unreasonable appetite in certain cases. Of course, a consumption that should be considered today. Because when the charging network is less patchy and charging times are faster, autonomy will take second place in the collective mind, as with any thermal car where only consumption is decisive.

Best hybrid autonomy: The Nissan Ariya 87 is way ahead of the rest, but…

In the small game of ultimate autonomy, the Nissan Ariya 87 hits the headlines. Because in addition to taking first place, 56 km ahead of the BMW i4 eDrive40, the Japanese SUV is the only one on the list to exceed the WLTP value! This means that either the approval value is pessimistic (which would be surprising when it’s a major selling point), or something is wrong with the fuel economy. As we detailed in our report, it is this second hypothesis that is most likely. According to our numerous observations, the indicated consumption will be deceived by displacement, which will give an average autonomy of about 475 km after countless hours spent with a calculator. Not enough to drop him down the rankings, though. Third on the podium is the Tesla Model Y Performance with 457 km measured that day.

The last of the list is as debatable as the first. And for good reason: the Volkswagen ID.3 was tested in cool temperatures and had winter tires. A combo that makes the average consumption especially bad. So it performs better than Aiways U5, the car with the highest fuel consumption this year. Again, the temperature did little to help him, but it’s hard to imagine him getting past the 330km mark on our estimates. The Peugeot e-208 and Renault Zoé R135, with their small battery, are quite logically at the bottom of the list, but manage to stay above 300 km.

With two notable exceptions, none of the 15 vehicles tested came under the 300km mixed autonomy mark for a relatively daily route. This leaves a worst-case margin of six days to a user traveling 42 km of a French driver in two days without charging solutions. On average, our panel car delivered a range of 381km for a combined cycle consumption of 17.9kW/100km. If we do not observe any regularity in terms of appetite, there is no doubt that at least a 75 kWh battery is needed to think about crossing the 400 km average autonomy bar.

Mixed autonomy
Total autonomy (in km) Combined consumption (kW/100 km)
Nissan Aria 87 534 16.3
BMW i4 eDrive40 478 16.9
Tesla Model Y Performance 457 16.4
Ford Mustang Mach-E ER 455 20.0
Skoda Enyak iV 80 416 18.5
Renault Megane e-Tech EV60 (summer) 385 15.6
Hyundai Ioniq 5 380 19.1
Kia Niro EV (winter tires) 370 17.5
MG ZS EV 364 19.2
MG5 358 15.9
Renault Megane e-Tech EV60 (winter) 335 17.9
Renault Zoe R135 315 16.5
Peugeot e-208 301 15.3
AIWAYS U5 288 21.9
Volkswagen ID.3 (winter/winter tires) 278 20.9

On the other hand, it is also interesting to observe the ranking in terms of consumption, since the references are intertwined. So, almost a good last, the Peugeot e-208 is back on top, presenting itself as the most sober model of the bunch with 15.3kW/100km. Then comes the Renault Mégane e-Tech and MG 5, which were tested in the summer. Small car, small battery, short range, but also low consumption. Again, note the close results of the Nissan Aria (16.3kW/100km), Tesla Model Y Performance (16.4kW/100km) and Renault Zoé R135 (16.5kW/100km) in the same chapter. Also note that the Kia Niro EV averaged 17.5kW/100km during testing, despite winter tires and cool temperatures: we calculated this popular SUV’s extreme consumption from our services. only 10%.

To shine on the table

Therefore, on average, we observed a difference of -16.9% between the observed blended autonomy and the WLTP autonomy, so it has to be divided by 1.20 to get pretty close to the result you can get. But remember that this result is only according to our strict protocol and course, and despite our precautions to be as close to the average reality as possible, you may notice differences in reality.

But what interests us is the amplitude of the observed deviations rather than the average. Specifically for temperatures, we measured the machines between 10 and 24 °C. Our dataset shows a very clear trend, with deviations rising at the same time as ambient temperature. To what extent? The difference averages from -22% around 10°C to -11% above 20°C. An observation confirmed by our double test of the Renault Megane e-Tech: it presented a variation of -21.68% in winter and -10.14% in mid-summer, i.e. a difference of 50 km of mixed autonomy between the two sizes.

In absolute terms, we see an average drop of 77 km between the WLTP range and the actual range we measured. For the reasons we explained above, there are larger gaps, such as Volkswagen ID.3 (-135 km), and smaller ones. Interestingly, it was the two MGs (ZS EV and 5) that showed the tightest gaps, -17.26% for the SUV still measured below 11°C and -5.66% for the MG 5 station wagon (23°C). If the WLTP cycle is meant to be standardized, it makes it very clear that there are differences, which we have already highlighted with our measurements on several plug-in hybrid vehicles.

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