MG-Rover.org Forums banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,733 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I test drove a Reva G-Wiz today, a tiny tiny electric car. It's so small, you strap one onto each foot.

Well, actually, not quite, but it is tiny: certainly far smaller than a SMART FourTwo.


A pair of G-Wiz'es. You strap one onto each foot

Despite that, it has four seats and can take two adults and two children, or three adults on short journeys.

Maximum speed is 40mph, and although it is best used for pottering around town rather than going anywhere far, it does a good job. It certainly kept up with the traffic around town when I was driving it today - and was small enough to squeeze through gaps that other cars couldn't even contemplate.

Ride was firm but not choppy and the car handled unmade roads with less bouncing around than I expected. Speed humps are best taken carefully though - the tiny wheelbase and the small wheels mean taking speed humps at speed would be not particularly comfortable.

Handling is not wonderful, but is safe. Taking a corner a little too enthusiastically makes the car drift wide. That said, it is a lot of fun to drive and buzzing silently along the road is actually a lot of fun.

Inner-city dual carriageway driving is fine, but I would probably think twice before going out onto the motorways or fast dual carriageways with the G-Wiz. Where it is best is driving around town at speeds of 30-40mph.

I have to say I really enjoyed driving it and was quite impressed with it. I've got a thing about microcars and electric cars, so I was always going to be easily impressed by it, but for a little town car it does things remarkably well.

Turning circle is staggeringly good. I can almost turn the car around on my driveway without using the reverse gear! There is no power steering and bakes are of the good old drum variety front and rear with no servo assistance, but once you're used to that, it really isn't a problem.

Boot space is limited: you either have rear seats or a boot, not both. However, there is a storage compartment under the bonnet as well, so various bags and bits can be put in there. Fold the seats down and you have a fair amount of space for luggage: certainly more than you get in a SMART.

As for overall appearance, you can see it is a low production vehicle, with amateurish over-large rubber door seals spoiling the looks on the outside. The windows slide rather than go up and down, there are various creaks from the plastics and the interior trim is screwed together, but not particularly nicely finished: an hour or so's worth of work to finish everything off properly would make the world of difference.

The car is fully electric with two modes - economy and performance. In performance mode, the car goes well and certainly won't have trouble with the ebb and flow of town traffic. Economy is a little more sedate, but even so I was able to keep up with traffic pulling away from the lights on flat roads in economy mode.

You sit up quite high up in the car. I was suprised to find myself sitting at the same height as the occupants in a Citroen Picasso, and looking down at Fiesta drivers. This height seemed to help: certainly I didn't come across anyone trying to bully me in the same way as you get bullied if you normally drive a small car. It also helped with overall vision - you can easily place the four corners of the car.

The amount of space you have in the car depends on where you have the seats. If you have anyone in the back, you're leg room isn't going to be wonderful, and at 6' tall, I have to have the seat back adjusted back in order to give me enough headroom. If you aren't using the rear seats, you can slide the front seats right back and then you do have a good amount of space - certainly legroom than I find I have in an old-shape Ford Fiesta.

I didn't try getting into the back of the car - I don't think I would have fitted, although a slightly shorter adult did get into the back of the car - without the use of a shoe-horn.

I was very impressed with one option on the car that I had previously dismissed as a gadget: climate controlled seats. The test car had leather seats and today was a warm day, so it wasn't long before my back was getting hot and sticky. Turn on the climate control seats to cool and within a minute I had to turn the system off because I was getting too cold! I've been told that the heating is just as good as well. Apparently, it doesn't make that much of a difference on battery range either, which is good.

Another nice feature is the remote control heater, which allows you to turn the heater or air conditioner on whilst the car is parked up on charge: so when you get into the car it is the right temperature and you haven't used up any precious battery juice. The main heater and air conditioner does use up a considerable amount of juice so this is a nice feature.

There are a fair few cubby holes dotted around, including two cup holders in the front - something I always look for, and the car also comes with DAB radio/CD player which is a definate nice to have.

So: what does it cost? Well, the basic model costs £6999 whilst the luxury model with leather seats, DAB radio/CD player and remote control heater and central locking costs £7799. The only options are air conditioning, climate controlled seats and alloy wheels.

So would I buy one? The short answer is yes I would. In fact, the slightly longer answer is yes I am buying one. For shorter journeys it is absolutely ideal and we don't need two petrol powered cars for what we do as a family.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,977 Posts
An interesting review. Thanks for that Mike.

We both work about two miles from home so at least one electric car could make sense for us.

Trouble is I don't want to give up my ZR (I'd rather swap it for a new TF next year) and I don't know if herself would go for such a funny little car after her Fiesta.

Also I checked on my motoring expenses the other day (thanks to Quicken) and found that our biggest expense is depreciation. Not too surprising really with our comparitively low mileage. The only way round that is to run older cars.

So the big unknow with G-Wiz is how well it will hold it's value. I guess only time will tell.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
9,909 Posts
There was a review of the G-Wiz in the Guardian last week. The paper's editor drives one and he was very complimentary about it as a means of getting around town.

regards

Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,733 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Well depreciation doesn't appear to be too bad - they have a year old car there at the moment for £6999 including one years free servicing. It has leather seats and alloy wheels, but the current price of a new one of that specification is £8200, so that isn't too bad.

The other thing to consider is that this car will go on for a very long time. Electric motors go on for ever and there isn't really a lot else to go wrong.

You may or may not remember the Enfield electric cars of the early 1970s, but most of those cars are still in use today and are going strong as daily transport. Owners are enthusiastic about them and cherished cars can still fetch £2-3000 each, whilst ropey examples go for £6-800. Not bad for a car built in the early to mid 1970s.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,531 Posts
Now why couldn't Reliant (or any other British company for that matter) build something like that? Imagine it with an optional 850cc Reliant engine, now that would be one heck of a city car. Congrats on the purchase Mike, looks like a fun little car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
941 Posts
I've seen quite a few of these things scuttling around central London where I work. Obviously more and more city dwellers are seeing the advantage of a congestion-charge exempt car, and if I lived in town I'd consider one - it might actually work out cheaper in the long run than using public transport for the same journey, plus you have the convenience of personal mobility.

But there are downsides. Presumably you have to plug it in at night to recharge it - how many of those who live in central London, for instance, have off-road parking and/or a garage wired up for leccy? If you don't, do you just trail the cable out of the window?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30,859 Posts
is the battery not something you can take out and stick in your house to charge there? or am i being blonde?

i think they are great in actualy fact id have one, i just dont understand why they look like poo - surely they could get a better design?

or am i being far too image consious too?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
941 Posts
deelunn said:
i think they are great in actualy fact id have one, i just dont understand why they look like poo - surely they could get a better design?

or am i being far too image consious too?
Well, that's the other problem, isn't it? Everything forward of the windscreen is hideous. But with the plastic panels it wouldn't cost much to re-tool to something not quite so offensive to the eyeballs. The styling might actually prevent some people from taking the car seriously - if it had some "I want one NOW" factor, it might be bought for its looks alone.
 

·
Registered
rover_75
Joined
·
462 Posts
Erm no I should imagine the battery weighs a considerable amount!

I would not want to be lifting it regularly.

Pete
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
560 Posts
What is the environmental impact of producing the electricity needed to charge these vehicles up? Eco-car ‘knockers’ often ask that question but I’ve never seen a satisfactorily complete answer. Are they really eco-friendly or are you just pushing the pollution further back down the pipeline?

I’m glad you bought one, but for £7000 spent and still limited to 40mph I’d rather spend £500 on a decent bicycle and the rest on going on a mega holiday.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,531 Posts
The answer to that question really depends on how the electricity is produced, which in a large utility grid with power shipped in from hundreds of different plants around the country, is practically impossible to measure. If the power source is nuclear, solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, etc, than the impact on the environment is probably somewhere near zero.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top