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2018 Green Vehicle of the Year: Bolt EV, IONIQ or Niro?

Koreans looking to make dent in American armour By ,

Auto123.com will be crowning winners of the 2018 Auto123.com Awards for best vehicles of the year on November 22 in Toronto. We’ve already unveiled the three finalists in each of the 17 categories; today we look in more detail at the Green Vehicle of the Year finalists.

Chevrolet Bolt EV
The Bolt EV uses a high-performance electric motor that generates 200 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. 0-60 mph (97 km/h) acceleration takes a shade under seven seconds, but what will truly matter to consumers is its range of 383 km (better than any other electric vehicle save the far more expensive Tesla models). With the rear seats down, it can accommodate 1,602 litres worth of cargo. Technology has not been neglected either: the interior features a personalizable 10.2-inch screen, the OnStar system with wireless internet access and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. More details on the Bolt EV.

Hyundai IONIQ
Meet the first vehicle in the world to be offered in hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric versions on one single platform (though the second of these is not yet available in Canada). The 139-hp IONIQ Hybrid uses only 4.1L/100 km, the least of any non-plug-in vehicle on the market. For its part, the IONIQ Electric generates only 118 hp but a sturdy 218 lb-ft of torque, and its range is a decent 200 km. Its energy use rating is 1.7Le/100 km. It also offers occupants an impressively good driving experience, plus the presence of a rear hatch makes the car that much more practical. More details on the IONIQ.

Photo: Hyundai

Kia Niro
Proud owner of its very own platform, the Niro is a small crossover that creates separation from its rivals through its hybrid powertrain. With an output of 139 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque, this hybrid engine will sip as little as 4.5L/100 km in the city, and 4.8L/100 km on the highway. On the other hand, there’s no all-wheel drive on offer. Its 635-litre trunk grows to 1,789 litres when the back seats are down. The driving dynamics offered by the Niro are pretty positive, and, dollar for dollar, the equipment and technologies included are superior to virtually anything else currently available on the market. More details on the Niro.

Photo: Kia