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Best electric cars 2016 (and the ones to avoid)

Electric cars are growing in popularity, and it's no wonder; they're quiet, cheap to run and smooth to drive. But which are the bright sparks to consider – and which are the loose connections?

Words ByWhat Car? team

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Best electric cars

Electric cars are becoming more mainstream by the day, and this is only going to accelerate as rules are introduced to limit what vehicles are allowed into major cities.

The main thing holding these cars back remains range anxiety – the fear that you won't have enough power to get to where you’re going. This is because they can typically cover only about 150 miles between charges, and it takes much longer to refill a battery than it does a petrol tank. However, this is slowly becoming less of an issue.

Even now, there are luxury electric cars which can cover more than twice the average distance on a single charge. And even if you can't stretch to one of these an electric car can make sense, because they're cheap to run and are ideal for journeys such as the school run, trips to the shops or a short commute.

So, which electric cars should you consider? Here we countdown our favourites and look ahead to the models coming next year.

Top 7 electric cars

7. Volkswagen e-Up

Prive from Β£25,280

The regular VW Up is one of our favourite city cars, and this electric version is just as practical and good to drive; it feels almost entirely uncompromised by its conversion to electric power. Unfortunately, it costs twice as much as the petrol models.

What Car? rating Rated 3 out of 5

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6. Kia Soul EV

Price from Β£29,995

The Soul EV is Kia's first attempt at an electric car, and is actually better to drive than the petrol model. For starters, it feels more eager, thanks to the instant torque from its electric motor. What's more, it's quiet and decent to drive. Problems include a high price and an interior that feels rather cheap.

What Car? rating Rated 4 out of 5

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5. Nissan Leaf

Price from Β£26,180

One of the more affordable electric models on sale, the Leaf is about the same size as a Vauxhall Astra and similarly easy to drive. There are two battery options to choose from: a 24kWh that allows a theoretical range between charges of 124 miles, and a 30kWh that extends this to 155 miles. The latter is only available with the more expensive trims, though.

What Car? rating Rated 4 out of 5

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