When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s how it works

Home / Features / Best electric cars 2024: top EVs reviewed and rated

Best electric cars 2024: top EVs reviewed and rated

The latest crop of battery-powered cars brings performance to the people

The EV revolution is in full swing. Pretty much every big car brand now has at least one fully electric model to tempt buyers away from the petrol pumps and towards zero emissions enlightenment. As well as compact city cars with tight turning circles and even tighter range limitations, there are also gargantuan SUVs powered by silly-sized batteries.

EVs still aren’t cheap, especially if you directly compare battery-smugglers to their petrol or diesel brethren. But the price of lithium-ion packs and electric motor tech is coming down, and those lucky enough to have a garage, driveway or parking space suitable for installing a 7kW domestic charging outlet, will reap the benefits of topping-up batteries overnight. Goodbye spiralling fuel bills, hello cheaper, emissions-free motoring.

The vehicles presented in this guide are a handsome bunch, and proof that EVs are no longer the awkwardly-styled, often cheap-feeling alternatives they used to be. Electrification also neatly lends itself to cutting-edge tech, so most of the models on this list are positively bristling with the latest infotainment offerings.

Our guide to the best electric cars to buy today

Tesla Model 3

Buy from £39,990 // Lease from £485/month

There’s a lot to like about the Tesla Model 3, so little wonder it’s now common sight on roads. You get the big benefit of access to the Tesla Supercharger network, and the price is lower than models like the Tesla Model Y, Tesla Model X and Tesla Model S. If you love the look and feel of the latter, the Tesla Model 3 is like a condensed version.

Tesla seems to have done quite a lot to improve build quality in these newer cars, though that bulbous design look might not be to everyone’s taste.

There are all sorts of add-ons and extras to tailor the car to your requirements – the downside to that is it’ll pump up the price considerably. If you’re happy to make do with the no-frills edition you’ll still get lots of neat tech, around 235 miles range on a charge, solid handling and a very satisfactory level of comfort. If you’ve got budget to play with then bonus Autopilot driver assist is a must, as are the versions with more power.

Stuff Says…

Head for the more potent Model 3 options if you want a real performer but even in its most basic guise it’s easy to see the appeal of this more affordable Tesla.

Tech spec:

Range: Up to 235 miles // Power: 57.5kW (241bhp) // 0-62mph: 6.1 seconds // Top speed: 140mph // Infotainment: 15in touchscreen

Kia EV6 GT

Kia EV6

Buy from £45,275 // Lease from £585/month

The EV6 takes the adventurous Korean design ethos up a notch from even the Hyundai Ioniq 5. The lines are lean, and mean, while the build quality is up there with the best of them.

EV6 is offered in a variety of flavours, namely either a single motor (situated on the rear axle) or dual-motor, all-wheel-drive variant, while all cars receive a 77.4kWh battery pack that sees the official combined range crest the 300-mile mark. All cars are rapid from a standstill, but the dual-motor variants will topple the 0-62mph sprint in 5.4 seconds. But in all honesty, it feels faster. The GT edition promises an awesome 0-62mph time of just 3.5 seconds, and a top speed of 162mph.

Inside there are also lots of tech touches to keep you busy, including twin 12.3-inch touchscreens. The EV6 also has some nice additional trimmings, like the head-up display that gives you all important information right there on your windscreen. Or, you can go mad and blow the budget on the full-fat GT model that comes with silly things, like bucket seats, electronically controlled suspension and a limited slip differential that allows for more control under ‘spirited’ driving conditions.

Stuff Says…

Great looks and an impressive all-round package make the Kia EV6 desirable but the GT edition will likely be your best bet if performance is essential

Tech spec:

Range: Up to 245 miles // Power: 72.5kW (226bhp) // 0-62mph: 7.3 seconds // Top speed: 115mph // Infotainment: 12.3in touchscreen

Polestar 2

Buy from £44,950 // Lease from £449/month

The Polestar 2 is a solid and sensible saloon that delivers soothing, safe vibes in the same way as a Volvo does. However, this brand is building an identity of its own, firstly with the well-received Polestar 1 and now this second edition. The 2 builds nicely on its original incarnation and the looks are dialled in perfectly. It’s angular and purposeful, plus there are lots of toys if you can stretch to the Performance pack.

On the inside there are oodles of features aimed at making life easier, not least of which is the Google-centric touch interface. If you’re used to Google’s day-to-day tools everywhere else, then having that at hand in your shiny new Polestar makes a lot of sense. Add on performance and a driving experience that makes the saloon perky and fun to throw round corners and you’ve got a cool bundle. You’ll want to head for the extended range edition if you’re planning on eating up lots of motorway miles however.

Granted, Tesla gives this a run for its money if you’re comparing prices and performance. Nevertheless, our vote goes to the Polestar as it feels just that wee bit better nailed together. Plus, the looks are rather better too, with the Scandinavian lines looking slightly more serious than Tesla’s Model 3 jelly mould curves.

Stuff Says…

The Polestar 2 sports clean Scandinavian lines and has a quality build that makes it a solid alternative to a Tesla

Tech spec:

Range: Up to 215 miles // Power: 61kW (220bhp) // 0-62mph: 7.4 seconds // Top speed: 99mph // Infotainment: 11in touchscreen

Hyundai Ioniq 5

Buy from £43,445 // Lease from £475/month

Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 is a lot bigger in real life than you expect. It’s like a jumbo-sized saloon, which means that it’s spacious enough, but doesn’t feel like you’re driving a chunky SUV. It’s a clever effect that is just one of many revelations found both on the inside and the outside of this Korean gem. The styling is spot-on, with some neat angles and design flourishes that give the car an intriguing edge.

As you’d expect from a Korean car, the interior is perhaps the more interesting as it’s got a raft of tech and innovative toys to make your drive that little bit more entertaining. The seats are tops, with lots of positioning options and bolsters too. Tired from a long journey? Park up and relax as the Ioniq 5 has been designed to provide you with the ultimate lifestyle experience on-the-go. Trim levels are excellent, plus there are loads of options to explore via the infotainment system.

The driving experience is solid, smooth and dependable. Hyundai’s E-GMP platform is a tailor-made EV solution, so the car feels right in every department. It’s reasonably quick, is easy to charge and comes in an array of colour options that make it stand out from the crowd in an understated way.

Stuff Says…

A deceptively large electric saloon that bristles with tech as well as having distinctive looks that make it stand out from the EV crowd,

Tech spec:

Range: Up to 185 miles // Power: 54kW (301bhp) // 0-60mph: 8.5 seconds // Top speed: 115mph // Infotainment: 12.3in touchscreen

Porsche Taycan

Buy from £86,500 // Lease from £950/month

Porsche has done a cracking job on making the all-electric Taycan every bit as exhilarating as owning one of its other petrol-powered sports models. Think Panamera rather than 911 in size terms mind, but with the same benefit of four doors and a decent amount of boot space. 

There’s an estate-like Sport Turismo version, and a rugged Cross Turismo for those who like a bit of the rough stuff. As you’d expect, just as long as you’ve got the cash, it’s also possible to pick much beefier specifications than the one we’ve started out with here.

No matter which model variant you purchase you’ll also be getting all of the usual German build quality. Exteriors come in a fab range of colour schemes; some more outlandish than others. Interiors, on the other hand, pack in luxury, comfort and practicality with that brilliant Porsche attention to detail. The digital instrument cluster is a delight to use and the voice assistant actually works to great effect. Wowza.

Posing in your Porsche Taycan is one thing, but driving it is where the real fun lies. Head for a Taycan 4S or higher if you want the extra benefit of all-wheel-drive grip. Whatever your model option though, Porsche has really nailed it with this car.

Stuff Says…

The Porsche Taycan makes a lot of sense if you need the size and space of a Panamera, but want dedicated EV performance instead

Tech spec:

Range: Up to 255 miles // Power: 71kW (402bhp) // 0-62mph: 5.4 seconds // Top speed: 143mph // Infotainment: 8.4in touchscreen

Abarth Electric 500e

Abarth Electric 500e

Buy from £34,195 // Lease from £396/month

The hooligan big brother to Fiat’s adorable 500 model gets an all-electric make-over, swapping the 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine for an electric motor and a comparatively tiddly 42kWh battery pack. Perhaps the biggest headline is that Abarth has seen fit to, erm, fit a whopping speaker to the underside that pumps out a surprisingly loud synthetic engine note, which has been mapped to the throttle so you can annoy absolutely everyone in close proximity. It’s all a bit silly and way too complex to turn off.

However, there’s nothing silly about the way this pocket rocket drives, because audible party tricks aside, it’s arguably the most ‘hot hatch’ any EV has come so far. Acceleration is undeniably rapid, but it also darts from corner to corner like an excitable Staffy. Its tiny footprint also means it never feels like too much of a handful, while the position of the cosseting bucket seats is slightly lower and more set up for ‘sporty’ driving than the standard 500, which we like a lot.

The interior is festooned in Alcantara, the seats are firm but supportive, the ride is rock solid and there’s a lot of noise creeping into the cabin at anything above 50mph. The diminutive battery pack also means the estimated range is around 140-miles but we never got anywhere near that during testing. Try 90 miles if you are dashing up the motorway.

A car to replace your trusted family steed this isn’t, but it is hilariously good fun, looks absolutely brilliant in the ‘Poison Blue’ optional paint shade (Acid Green is insanely shouty) and puts a smile on your face every time you get in it. Alas, its natural habitat is decidedly urban, with the odd country lane blast or shorter commutes. And make sure you have somewhere to plug it in, because it requires recharging often.

Stuff Says…

Fun, feisty and as ‘Abarth’ as they come. It’s just a shame about the almost unusable range

Tech spec:

Range: Up to 158 miles Max power: 152bhp Fast charge time 10-80%: 25 minutes Acceleration: 0-62mph in 7 seconds Top speed: up to to 96 mph

Volkswagen ID.4

Buy from £40,145 // Lease from £488/month

If you need more space than, say VW’s ID.3, pick one of the ID.4 models, which are bigger and better when it comes to space and comfort. The base-level ID.4 Pure kicks off the range and delivers respectable performance. However, at the other end of the model range Volkswagen has produced the ID.4 GTX, which delivers a 0-62 time of 6.2 seconds and a top speed of 112mph. It’s a heavy car though, so it’s well planted on the road but not a rocketship.

Of course, that doesn’t matter if you’re looking for comfort and practicality. On the inside there’s a no-nonsense array of fixtures and fittings, while the 10-inch touchscreen packs in plenty of driver aids. The suite of driver aids are a boon and work to great effect via the 5.3-inch instrument display.

Design-wise, the VW ID.4 looks great from all angles, with a contemporary feel that should help future-proof it for a good few years. Just as well too, because the Volkswagen range comes with a premium price tag, especially on the more impressively-specced models. You’ll certainly need to spend more in order to benefit from the best of the tech and comfort options.

Stuff Says…

A step up from the smaller ID.3, the Volkswagen ID.4 is a great crossover option if you’re looking to carry the family in refined comfort with more space to spare

Tech spec:

Range: Up to 213 miles // Power: 55kW (148bhp) // 0-60mph: 10.9 seconds // Top speed: 99mph // Infotainment: 10in touchscreen

BMW i4 M50

BMW i4

Buy from £51,105 // Lease from £623/month

The petrol-powered 3-Series BMW has been a big hit over the years and this is like that, only all electric and, some say, all the better because of it. Granted, there are the interesting new design flourishes that the BMW stylists have inflicted on many of their new models. The grille is perhaps the worst example of the design madness, though trust us, it looks better in real life than in the pictures.

Where the BMW i4 really impresses is in its driveability. There’s plenty of performance on tap, even more so if you plump for the exceedingly potent M50 edition. This is an all-wheel drive monster that gets on down the road like a scalded cat. Only more quietly. It’s rather good through the bends too.

Even in the base edition the BMW i4 leaves it mark, delivering up to 365 miles of range and has the usual excellent fit and finish that we’ve come to expect from the Germans. The interior is particularly worthy of note too, with a great infotainment system plus enough tactile controls that help deliver a decent compromise between touchscreen craziness and good old-fashioned buttons and knobs.

Stuff Says…

The BMW i4 features some distinctive style flourishes, but benefits from all of the usual quality and performance expected from the brand

Tech spec:

Range: Up to 290 miles // Power: 80.7kW (335bhp) // 0-62mph: 5.7 seconds // Top speed: 118mph // Infotainment: 14.9in touchscreen

Volvo C40 Recharge

Buy from £40,855 // Lease from £482/month

Volvo has really upped its game in recent years and has been producing some gorgeous looking models of late. And, when we got to drive the Volvo C40 Recharge a while back we were also impressed to find that trim levels, infotainment systems and indeed performance were all right up there too.

The Volvo C40 Recharge might have SUV dimensions, but it drives a treat in top-end guise, thanks to a 78 kWh battery and twin electric motor driving all four wheels. In a straight line it’s decidedly brisk while it isn’t half bad through the corners either, especially considering its middle-ground dimensions and high up status.

As you’d expect from a Volvo, the C40 Recharge comes with all of the Scandinavian style you’ll ever want. It’s quite sensible and, of course, safe as is the Volvo way. Nothing wrong with any of that. Meanwhile, the range of colours and trim options plus those tempting looks make it a great bet if you’re heading in an SUV direction for your EV. It’s a cool thing.

Stuff Says…

Volvo is seen as a sensible, safe brand but the C40 Recharge packs style and performance to make it a winning SUV option

Tech spec:

Range: Up to 210 miles // Power: 75kW (402bhp) // 0-62mph: 4.7 seconds // Top speed: 112mph // Infotainment: 9in touchscreen

Ford Mustang Mach-E

Buy from £43,830 // Lease from £401/month

Ford’s first electric car is an SUV, even though it takes its name from the hugely successful sports model that continues to prove popular with petrolheads. The Mustang Mach-E is an altogether different proposition because it’s quite big and bulky. There are some design hints of where it’s come from, including distinctive bonnet lines and rear taillights along with Pony badging. Overall, it looks the part, though the limited ground clearance doesn’t make it a useful off-roading SUV option.

However, drive the Mustang Mach-E and you’ll be rewarded with some thrills, even from the rear-wheel-drive base level edition. There’s a fake engine burble that frequently makes you think you’re driving something else entirely. But, thanks to EV power the Mustang Mach-E is sprightly enough, while the GT edition is downright hot. Plump for an extended range model if you’re looking to cover more miles though.

Ford has got its interior ideas right on the money these days and the Mustang Mach-E is another hit in that department too. The seating is big and bulky. Infotainment is sizeable too, especially thanks to the big central touchscreen. Select a suitable drive mode to match your mood and this proves to be a real driver’s car. It’s relatively affordable, spacious, has four doors and a decent boot, making it a family-friendly option if you’re currently being prevented from buying its sporty namesake.

Stuff Says…

A sizeable yet lively SUV that still manages to pack in plenty of fun for the driver even if you pick the base level model

Tech spec:

Range: Up to 215 miles // Power: 76kW (265bhp) // 0-62mph: 6.9 seconds // Top speed: 112mph // Infotainment: 15.5in touchscreen

Mini Cooper Electric 2023 static side

Mini Electric

Buy from £30,000 // Lease from £390/month

Everyone loves a Mini and the all-electric edition retains the original sense of fun provided by this iconic motor, but adds a neat twist as part of the deal. You can, naturally, get the Mini Electric in lots of zingy trim finishes if you want to stand out from the crowd. It’s really comfortable too and a long way from the original all those years ago.

There have been some moans about the lacklustre range of the previous Mini Electric, which was more of a city car than a long-distance leviathan. The new version can reportedly manage 250 miles between top-ups. There’s no quibbling with the drivability because the battery-powered edition performs much like its petrol-powered counterpart. In fact, it might be a tad more fun we think thanks to the on-tap torque from the electric motor.

Add in lots of neat interior tech touches, including plenty of touchscreen shenanigans and you’ve got enough to keep the interest levels up en route. However, the best part is driving it and the Mini Electric provides more than enough corner-hugging thrills to keep most people happy. Just keep your eye on the range as you head on down the road.

Stuff Says…

All the fun of an original petrol Mini but with added vim from the battery power, plus looks that continue to make it a stylish hit. (Rating based on 4th-gen model)

Tech spec:

Range: Up to 115 miles // Power: 28.9kW (181bhp) // 0-62mph: 7.3 seconds // Top speed: 93mph // Infotainment: 8.8in touchscreen

Smart #1

Smart #1

Buy from £35,950 // Lease from £480/month

Do you remember when Smart Cars were titchy two-seaters that could be driven nose-first into an on-street parking space with little worry? Those halcyon days are long gone, replaced by a joint venture between Mercedes-Benz and Chinese automotive giant Geely.

The Smart ‘Hashtag’ 1 (yep, you have to say hashtag) loses some of that exciting future city transport cool in favour of the now ubiquitous SUV/Crossover styling, which means it’s physically quite large and looks a bit like a balloon animal version of a Mini Countryman. Underneath, all versions receive a 62kWh battery pack that sends power to a motor on the rear wheels. The more expensive Premium model manages to eke 273 miles of range from said power source, while the cheaper Pro+ manages 260-miles.

Like so many electric cars on sale, the modern Smart car feels extremely brisk, able to accelerate from 0-62mph in just 6.7 seconds. Like we said, it’s rear-wheel-driven, too, so it’s possible to have the traction control light flashing when approaching a wintry roundabout a little too ‘hot’. Not what we expected from a family-friendly daily driver.

The interior is the majority Mercedes-Benz, so there’s a lot to like about the overall ambience. Hushed mood lighting when the sun sets, a Beats sound system in the Premium models and a large infotainment screen complete with an AI fox taking care of voice commands. It’s also surprisingly roomy inside, with the raised roofline offering plenty of headroom and the panoramic sunroof in our test model letting in lots of natural light. The sparse minimalism inside gives the Smart #1 a whiff of Apple Store about it, which is nice.

Despite the roominess in the rear, boot space is pretty stingy, while the general driving demeanour lacks any sort of soul aside from the silly acceleration. The regen braking has zero feel and is often snatchy at low speeds.

It’s just a relatively non-descript (but nippy) way of getting from A to B, but if that’s all you want from your EV, the fact it has 150kW charging capabilities (a 10 to 80 per cent top-up takes less than 30 minutes), as well as a sizeable range, means it will be more than apt for many.  

Stuff Says…

The electrified crossover segment is increasingly congested these days and while there’s nothing wrong with the Smart #1, we fear it will find it hard to stand out

Tech spec:

Range: Up to 273 miles Max power: Up to 422bhp Fast charge time 10-80%: 30 minutes Acceleration: 0-62mph in 6.7 to 3.9 seconds Top speed: up to to 112 mph

Nissan Ariya

Nissan Ariya

Buy from £39,645 // Lease from £364/month

This spacious and decidedly futuristic SUV was designed to propel Nissan towards the next stage of its EV plans (it will be an all-electric affair by 2030), moving the game on from its best-selling and hugely influential Leaf model with impressive real-world range (up to 329 miles), punchy performance and a modern lounge-like interior design that is leagues above much of the brand’s current ICE lineup.

A global chip shortage meant the Ariya was late to arrive, which explains why some of the infotainment tech already looks a bit dated. The digital maps look decidedly cartoonish and there’s inherent bugs when trying to flick between Apple CarPlay and the DAB radio. Despite its handsome good looks, the tech behind the slender screens is just a bit slow and clunky.

That aside, the interior is a lovely place and Nissan engineers have clearly thought about the average user. There’s a neat motorised storage bin that mechanically extends from the dash at the press of a button, the centre console and armrest slides backwards and forwards, while room in rear is positively cavernous. Optional panoramic sunroofs make it feel even more airy inside.

To drive, the Ariya is naturally sprightly in its most potent 87kWh, 390-odd horsepower variant, but is also perfectly acceptable in the lesser-powered models. It rides fairly firm and the steering lacks any sort of feedback, but it is slightly narrower than similarly-sized rivals, making it easier to place on the road.

All in all, even the cheapest Ariyas come packing some seriously enticing spec, while the entry level 217 bhp and 250 miles of range should be enough for most.

Stuff Says…

A neat and spacious interior, solid spec for the price and easy-going driving demeanour make for a great everyday EV.

Tech spec:

Range: Up to 328 miles Max power: Up to 261bhp Fast charge time 10-80%: 30 minutes Acceleration: 0-62mph in 10.9 to 8.5 seconds Top speed: up to to 111 mph
Profile image of Rob Clymo Rob Clymo


Rob is a freelance motoring journalist, and contributor to Stuff magazine and Stuff.tv

With contributions from

Enable referrer and click cookie to search for eefc48a8bf715c1b 20231024b972d108 [] 2.7.22