Welcome to our guide to the best electric cars available today – all driven and reviewed by us.
Like it or not, the demise of the petrol-powered internal combustion engine is taking place before our very eyes. If you’re a dyed-in-the-wool petrolhead that’s depressing enough, but it’s a situation made worse by governments keen to put an end to you buying a regular ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) car altogether. Currently, the UK’s parliamentary party-poopers have banned the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030. Even hybrids are looking at being killed off from 2035.
Grim? Or the beginning of a brave new world of electric cars? Well, if you’ve been sniffing around the EV sector, you’ll know that drivers are actually spoilt for choice already. In fact, manufacturers have developed a diverse range of EVs to suit any kind of driver. There are compact city cars with tight turning circles and even tighter range limitations. At the other end of the model spectrum, it’s possible to buy gargantuan SUVs powered by silly-sized batteries.
Consider how you will charge your EV
Another key point to consider on the EV-buying front is your ability to charge the thing, either slowly but economically at home, or using one of many different companies via their charging points across the country. Either way, it’s central to buying an electric car because let’s be honest, save for Tesla and its currently superior Supercharger network, re-juicing your EV is nowhere near as quick or convenient as refuelling at the petrol pumps currently is.
However, given their ability to serve up lots of instant torque, EVs can be a whole lotta fun, especially those designed with performance in mind. So, inconvenience is outweighed by the entertainment levels provided by an electric car, just as long as you buy the right one to meet your needs. Oh, and you’ll also be responsible for reducing emissions and doing your bit for the planet too.
How we’ve chosen our list of the best electric cars
There are lots of other goodies sandwiched in-between too. And, despite their current high cost it is possible to score a decent deal on a new EV, especially if you plan to lease one. With secondhand car prices higher than ever, and new electric car costs high enough, scouring the leasing options on a shiny EV might be the way forward given how doomed our favourite gas-guzzlers look currently. We’ve added some guide prices below.
To keep things on an even keel in this guide we’ve selected the base model from each manufacturer. This means that specifications are minimum.
If you’ve got more budget then in most cases it’s possible to choose a beefier specification, which should not only boost performance and range, but also secure you a more interesting trim and kit package. However, the downside to that is it’ll also inflate the price tag of your shiny new EV. If you’re looking for additional driving thrills though it’s definitely the way to go.
Our guide to the best electric cars to buy today
Tesla Model 3
Buy from £42,990 // Lease from £550/month
There’s a lot to like about the Tesla Model 3, so little wonder it’s becoming an increasingly common sight on our roads. You get the big benefit of access to the Tesla Supercharger network, which is a major plus in itself. However, the Tesla Model 3 is also cheaper than models like the Tesla Model Y, Tesla Model X and Tesla Model S.
If you love the look and feel of the latter then the Tesla Model 3 is like a condensed version of the Model S. Better yet, it’s decidedly more affordable. Tesla seems to have done quite a lot to improve build quality in these newer cars too, though that bulbous design look might not be to everyone’s taste it has to be said.
Being Tesla though there are all sorts of add-ons and extras so you can tailor the car to suit your requirements. The downside to that is it’ll pump up the price tag considerably. Nevertheless, 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
Range: Up to 235 miles // Power: 57.5kW (241bhp) // 0-62mph: 6.1 seconds // Top speed: 140mph // Infotainment: 15in touchscreen
Ford Mustang Mach-E
Buy from £41,330 // Lease from £500/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
Range: Up to 215 miles // Power: 76kW (265bhp) // 0-62mph: 6.9 seconds // Top speed: 112mph // Infotainment: 15.5in touchscreen
Buy from £39,990 // Lease from £500/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 edition.
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 ‘un 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
Range: Up to 215 miles // Power: 61kW (220bhp) // 0-62mph: 7.4 seconds // Top speed: 99mph // Infotainment: 11in touchscreen
Hyundai Ioniq 5
Buy from £36,995 // 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 new 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
Range: Up to 185 miles // Power: 54kW (301bhp) // 0-60mph: 8.5 seconds // Top speed: 115mph // Infotainment: 12.3in touchscreen
Buy from £40,945 // Lease from £525/month
Another fab looking EV to ponder over is the Kia EV6, which 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. Unsurprisingly, the two cars are built on the same, dedicated E-GMP platform, which means you’re going to be driving a car made specifically for the job.
You can currently get the Kia EV6 in long-range two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive incarnations, although the Korean manufacturer will launch a GT edition in the not-to-distant future. That’s promises to deliver an awesome 0-62mph time of just 3.5 seconds, with a top speed of 162mph. In the meantime, the current EV6 tops out at 115mph, which is along the lines of many similar models and more than adequate.
The exterior is beautifully designed, with some great lines and excellent build quality in evidence. Inside, it’s more of the same and there are also lots of tech touches to keep you busy. Think along the lines of the Ioniq 5 again, especially when it comes to the infotainment systems and twin 12.3-inch touchscreens. The Kia also has some nice additional tech trimmings, like the head-up display that gives you all important information right there on your windscreen.
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
Range: Up to 245 miles // Power: 72.5kW (226bhp) // 0-62mph: 7.3 seconds // Top speed: 115mph // Infotainment: 12.3in touchscreen
Buy from £72,885 // 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.
As you’d expect, just as long as you’ve got the cash, it’s also possible to pick a beefier specification than the one we’ve started out with here. There’s even the latest Porsche Taycan 4S Sport Tourismo to look forward to if a 0-62 time of just 4 seconds hits the spot. That’ll do 155mph too.
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 top-of-the-range Porsche Taycan 4S Cross Turismo 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
Range: Up to 255 miles // Power: 71kW (402bhp) // 0-62mph: 5.4 seconds // Top speed: 143mph // Infotainment: 8.4in touchscreen
Buy from £34,995 // Lease from £450/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
Range: Up to 213 miles // Power: 55kW (148bhp) // 0-60mph: 10.9 seconds // Top speed: 99mph // Infotainment: 10in touchscreen
BMW i4 eDrive40
Buy from £51,905 // Lease from £700/month
The petrol-engine 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 eDrive40 really impresses though 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 400 kW 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 level edition the BMW i4 eDrive40 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
Range: Up to 290 miles // Power: 80.7kW (335bhp) // 0-62mph: 5.7 seconds // Top speed: 118mph // Infotainment: 14.9in touchscreen
Buy from £27,000 // Lease from £350/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 Mini Electric, but this is more of a city car than a long-distance leviathan. So, for what it’s been designed for the Mini Electric feels just right. 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
Range: Up to 115 miles // Power: 28.9kW (181bhp) // 0-62mph: 7.3 seconds // Top speed: 93mph // Infotainment: 8.8in touchscreen
Volvo C40 Recharge
Buy from £57,400 // Lease from £625/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 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
Range: Up to 210 miles // Power: 75kW (402bhp) // 0-62mph: 4.7 seconds // Top speed: 112mph // Infotainment: 9in touchscreen