The Best New Green Vehicles For 2019
The “greening” of the auto industry continues, with upscale automakers like Jaguar bringing all-electric product to market alongside Audi. Mainstream introductions find an all-new Honda Insight gracing showrooms along with Hyundai’s Kona Electric and Nexo hydrogen fuel cell models rounding out this list of the best new green vehicles for 2019.
Audi E-Tron Quattro
Ingolstadt’s first all-electric crossover SUV, Audi’s E-Tron Quattro slots between the manufacturer’s Q5 and Q7 internal combustion engine-powered entries. Naturally the electric Audi employs all-wheel drive, which it achieves courtesy of electric motors mounted at the front and rear wheels. Drawing electrons from a 95-kWh battery pack, the E-Tron boasts 355 horsepower and 414 lb-ft of torque. In other words, performance will not be an issue. Audi’s spokespeople say you can also expect to see between 250 and 300 miles of range—along with interior accoutrements worthy of the marque’s A8 flagship.
The first hybrid electric vehicle offered in the United States has evolved quite a bit from the two-seat urban runabout we saw back in 1999. Today’s Insight is a five-passenger hybrid sedan with chic accommodations. Propulsion comes from a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine teamed with a pair of electric motors. Total system output is 151 horsepower, 197 lb-ft of torque and 55 miles per gallon (in the city). The 2019 Honda Insight’s feature list includes LED exterior lighting, smart cruise control, lane keep assist and traffic sign recognition.
Hyundai Kona Electric
Promising to be one of the most affordable electric vehicles on offer, the 2019 Hyundai Kona gets 201 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of torque out of a 150-kW electric motor. Fast charging capability comes standard and range is quoted at 250 miles. Features include LED lighting, a touchscreen infotainment system, lane keeping assist, forward collision warning and pedestrian detection.
The replacement for Hyundai’s Tucson fuel-cell model, Nexo boasts a range of 370 miles—compared to its predecessor’s 265. The fuel cell produces 95 kW, while the battery pack is good for storing 40. Available only in select markets initially (yes, Californians, you can have one now), Nexo offers 161 horsepower, 291 ft-lbs of torque, autonomous parking and highway driving assist.
Three years after introducing F-Pace, its first foray into the crossover marketplace; and hot on the heels of the smaller E-Pace offering from last year, Jaguar is introducing the all-electric I-Pace. The claim is for just under 300 miles of range from a pair of 197-horsepower electric motors. The aluminum body minimizes the effort required of the 400 horsepower and 515 lb-ft of torque produced by the all-wheel drive powertrain. Jaguar’s product people are claiming a 4.0-second zero to 60, making the I-Pace one of the best-performing crossovers on offer—period.
Lexus ES 300h
Each new electrified Lexus faces high expectations when it comes to market. To meet them for2019, Toyota’s luxury arm has endowed the ES 300h with newfound dynamic capabilities. Longer, lower and wider, it handles better while continuing to provide exceptional comfort. The 2019 ES 300h gets it motivation from a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor and a nickel hydride battery. (Most hybrids use lithium battery packs). Output is 215 horsepower and 44 miles per gallon.
Toyota Avalon Hybrid
Along with the all-new 2019 Avalon comes a renewed hybrid version of Toyota’s flagship sedan. The powertrain is comprised of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine teamed with a pair of electric motors and a continuously variable automatic transmission. The combination is said to deliver 215 horsepower and 43 miles per gallon—overall. While that number might sound slight when we’re talking contemporary hybrids, keep in mind this is a full-size family sedan bristling with comfort and convenience features.