Updated: Jun 6, 2021
Below are the top three:
The Renault Twizy is great car to commute across London. You don’t need to worry about the comfort and build quality of your car when in a jam because you’ll never be in one because of one factor- its size. At 138.1cm in width it is 65cm less wide than a London Taxi and an even more staggeringly; you could halve the new Cab’s length and you are still 100mm shorter than it. Also, it not only costs very little to buy, costing less than £9000 in 2012 but it is costs little to run. It costs less to fuel, insure, and depreciates slower than petrol and diesel equivalents but best of all you don’t have to worry about paying the congestion charge which not only expensive but takes a long, long … long time to pay. On the downside anywhere outside a city or a town centre it is going to drive you haywire and even if you do stay in the city, you’d better hope you need no more luggage than a small rucksack. And did I forget to mention that it is only available as a used buy?
It may not be as small as the Twizy but the Peugeot E-208 is still smaller than most rivals. But in this car, it doesn’t matter if you’re in a jam or not, as the interior is beyond words exquisite for a hatchback with leather quilted seats in high range models, a digital drivers display where you (unusually) look over the steering wheel where it shows sat nav and everything you would expect from a German saloon, a drive assist setting reading road signs an keeping you in lane and a 7 inch touchscreen with many, many settings which can be upgraded to a huge 10 inch screen to make your cabin even more plush and it does this using a futuristic yet fashionable design. On the other hand, quality isn’t as good as rivals such as the rock-solid polo. On the move it is much faster than the Twizy and likewise doesn’t have to pay the congestion charge and although starting from around £28,000 it will hold onto its value, saving you more.
What happens if you’re not quite ready for electric cars, but you do want a car in keeping with the times. Well, a hybrid might do you well, a Mercedes-Benz A250e saloon. Unlike the A3 sedan or BMW 2 series gran coupe, it is available with hybrid power and will be more fashionable as you drive through a busy city compared to a regular hatchback. It’s 1.3l petrol engine may seem dinky but it is fast sprinting to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds and unlike many other electric cars it doesn’t run out of puff at 80. In fact, it will max out at 149mph. 6 mph shy of a BMW M5. It is even better than the Peugeot E-208 for the interior despite how much I complimented it with 64 colours of ambient lighting and an infotainment system inspired by the S class. It has lots of safety features too which is partly why it won Euro NCAP tests, receiving 5 stars. Due to a saloon’s shape, you may think that it would be less practical than the hatchback, well you are mistaken as it has 45 litres more boot space than the hatchback. However, does all this practicality make it huge for the bust city centres. I’ll use the London Taxi again as an example. No, it is a modest 308mm shorter and a more respectable 240mm less wide. For London road surfaces it picks up bumps rather well and is better than the hatchback at this. Don’t know why, just is. But before you go out and buy a lesser A-class I must point out that unlike the other models it has independent suspension setup which means only one wheel feels the impact. More impressive is that you can have massaging seats; in a car based on a hatchback! However, are you now questioning how much it costs for the congestion charge and how long will I spend paying it. Well, I’m happy to report that this particular variant of the A class is exempt. I can’t think of any better car to cross a city in.