Best electric cars 2020

Electric cars are growing in popularity, and no wonder: the best are quiet, cheap to run and smooth to drive. But which are the bright sparks to consider – and which are the loose connections?...


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What Car? team

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 prevented them selling in greater numbers 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 one to avoid.

10

Seat Mii Electric

What Car? Target Price from

£22,800

RRP from £22,800 to £22,800

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 battery capacity – and therefore range – of some alternatives, but that means its price is lower, and the 111 miles that it managed in our Real Range test is still enough for many people's needs.

Read our review

Pros

  • Competitive pricing
  • Comfortable ride
  • Great in town

Cons

  • Only four seats
  • Rivals go farther
  • Old-school interior
9

Mercedes EQC

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£65,720

RRP from £65,720 to £74,610

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 elsewhere as the very best rivals and its range is some way off the Jaguar I-Pace's.

Read our review

Pros

  • Supremely quiet
  • Comfortable motorway ride
  • Decent infotainment system

Cons

  • Range between charges could be better
  • The Audi e-tron is more practical
  • Jaguar I-Pace is faster and more fun
8

Tesla Model S

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£82,245

RRP from £82,245 to £96,845

Tesla's Model S saloon is as capable as it is desirable, offering staggering performance and an impressive range. It’s practical, too, while almost all of the car’s controls are accessed via a massive 17in touchscreen that's easy to personalise, and updates wirelessly to bring new features as they're rolled out.

Read our review

Pros

  • Staggering performance
  • Impressive range for an electric car
  • Cavernous boot

Cons

  • Mixed interior quality
  • Woeful reliability record
  • Pricey
7

Audi E-tron

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£56,792

RRP from £59,900 to £83,760

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The Audi E-tron doesn’t feel as sporty to drive as the rival Jaguar I-Pace, and it has a shorter range. However, it’s the classier of the two inside and the quieter cruiser. In a first for a production car, buyers can improve the aerodynamics by opting to remove the E-tron’s door mirrors and replace them with cameras that feed into small screens inside.

Read our review

Pros

  • Cosetting ride
  • Very smooth and quiet
  • Spacious and luxurious interior

Cons

  • Rivals have a greater range
  • Expensive to buy
  • Fiddly infotainment system
6

Hyundai Kona Electric

The powerful 64kWh Kona Electric blasts range anxiety out of the water, travelling 259 miles between charges in our hands. It's also reasonably priced and well equipped, although the closely related Kia e-Niro offers more rear space and is better to drive.

Read our review

Pros

  • 250-mile-plus range in real-world driving (64kWh battery)
  • Strong acceleration
  • Even the base model is well equipped

Cons

  • You’re unlikely to get a big discount
  • Rear seat space is limited
  • Doesn’t ride as well as the Kia e-Niro or Peugeot e-208
5

Jaguar I-Pace

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£61,458

RRP from £64,495 to £74,995

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The I-Pace SUV is Jaguar’s first electric car, and can drive for more than 250 miles between charges in real-world conditions. It can also be charged to 80% of capacity in just 90 minutes, and its futuristic interior features two 12.0in screens and another 5.5in screen for climate settings. Add in fun handling, and it's a very appealing option.

Read our review

Pros

  • Big range between charges
  • Entertaining handling
  • Futuristic looks

Cons

  • Expensive to buy
  • Poor rear visibility
  • Road noise
4

Kia e-Niro

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£37,995

RRP from £37,995 to £37,995

The e-Niro is another car that banishes range anxiety, managing 253 miles when we put it to the test. It also offers good practicality, performance, comfort and equipment – and all for a competitive price. In fact, we rate the e-Niro so highly we made it our 2019 Car of the Year.

Read our review

Pros

  • 250-mile-plus range in real-world driving
  • Strong acceleration
  • Very well equipped

Cons

  • A fair bit pricier than an MG ZS EV
  • Charging network isn’t as good as Tesla’s
  • You might wait a while for delivery
3

Renault Zoe

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£26,770

RRP from £29,195 to £33,695

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The Zoe’s main strength is that it feels like a conventional, stylish, nippy small car, and just happens to cost pennies to run. The electric motor has enough shove for the Zoe to lead the charge away from traffic lights, and its interior has room for four to sit in reasonable comfort. Even the boot is larger than you’ll find in many regular small cars; it's easily big enough for a family's weekly shopping.

Read our review

Pros

  • Longer range than similar-priced alternatives
  • Smart interior – particularly on the posher trim levels
  • R135 has punchy acceleration

Cons

  • Rear head room could be better
  • Driving position is flawed
  • No automatic emergency braking
2

Peugeot e-208

As good as the Zoe is, the Peugeot e-208 is even better, with a higher quality interior, more rear head room and extra safety kit. There's no compromise on boot space compared with petrol versions of the 208, either, and you can expect to do almost 200 miles between charges.

Read our review

Pros

  • Eye-catching, classy-feeling interior
  • Decent to drive
  • Well equipped

Cons

  • The Renault Zoe can cover more miles between charges
  • Mushy brake pedal
  • Not the cheapest electric option
1

Tesla Model 3

What Car? Target Price from

£43,545

RRP from £43,545 to £56,545

Few cars received as much hype before their launch as the Model 3, and even fewer can match what it offers in reality. Tesla's most affordable car yet is great to drive, packed full of tech, fast (ridiculously so in Performance guise) and surprisingly practical. Factor in a competitive price, especially given its sheer pace, and it’s not only a great electric car but one of the best executive cars you can buy, too.

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Read our review

Pros

  • Savage acceleration
  • Long range between charges
  • Surprisingly practical
  • Fast charging via Tesla's Supercharger network

Cons

  • Wind and road noise at speed
  • Build quality could be better
  • Handling not as entertaining as petrol rivals
  • Some may find the ride a touch firm

And the electric car to avoid

Smart Fortwo EQ
Smart ForTwo EQ 2020 front tracking LHD

Although the Forfour EQ is relatively cheap to buy, you could get a Renault Zoe for similar money and and the latter offers more space and more than double the range between charges. Read our review

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