Which electric SUV is best for us?

Family of four wants to trade their diesel SUV in for an electric model, but doesn't know which one will best suit their needs...

Tesla Model X

We’re a family of four: two adults and two children. We currently drive a Land Rover Discovery Sport diesel, which in terms of practicality is perfect for us. The seven seats often come in handy, and the boot is just big enough to allow us to make our regular trip from the UK to Italy; we camp along the way and need it to accommodate a large tent.

However, the time is right to change to an electric car, but we don’t know which will suit us best. The most important thing is that there is no compromise on space. We’d also like a real-world range of 250 miles, because this would match our weekly use.

We’ve driven the Kia e-Niro and liked it a lot, although it doesn’t feel as solid or luxurious as the Discovery Sport and its boot is small. We’ve also considered the Jaguar I-Pace, which isn’t very practical and feels a bit too opulent for a family vehicle. Are there other EVs we should be considering? 

Elena Olivia

What Car? says…

There aren’t many fully electric SUVs with a real-world range of more than 250 miles; the only ones to have exceeded that in our Real Range tests are the Hyundai Ioniq Electric, Jaguar I-Pace and Kia e-Niro. If none of these suits your needs, you might have to settle for a car with a shorter range. 

Audi E-tron front three quarters

The Tesla Model X did 233 miles between charges in our hands, but its range has since been improved. It can be had with seven seats and there’s plenty of luggage space. If you can live with five seats, the Audi E-tron is also worth a look. Its boot isn’t as capacious as the Model X’s, but the cabin is roomy and classy and it has a Real Range of 196 miles. 

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The best electric cars

Electric cars are now entering the mainstream, and their rise is only going to accelerate as rules are introduced to limit the kind of vehicles allowed into major cities.

The main thing that has traditionally held them back is range anxiety – the fear that you won’t have enough juice to get to where you’re going. However, with plenty of models now capable of covering more than 200 miles between charges, this is becoming less of an issue.

So, which electric cars should you consider? Here, we count down our favourites and tell you the ones to avoid. And, remember, if any of them take your fancy, check out our What Car? New Car Buying to see how much we could save you.

10. Tesla Model X

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On paper, Tesla's all-electric family SUV seems to be the dream all-rounder, combining the luxury of a Range Rover Sport with the green credentials of an electric car. In practice, its low running costs and practical interior are hard to fault, and even entry-level versions aren't short on pace, but parts of its interior do feel a little cheap given the price.

Seat Mii Electric 2019 LHD front cornering shot

If you're looking for a small electric car to primarily use in the city, the Mii Electric should definitely be on your shortlist. It might not have the range to match larger electric cars, but that means costs are kept sensible, and we reckon 161 miles on a full charge should still be enough for most buyers. 

Read our full Seat Mii Electric review >>

8. Mercedes EQC

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Mercedes-Benz EQC front three quarters

The EQC is a brilliant choice if you want to maximise the peace and quiet offered by going electric: it really is incredibly hushed on the move. But while it's generally comfortable on motorways, it doesn't ride as well as the very best rivals and its range is someway off the Jaguar I-Pace's.