Best electric cars 2023
Sales of electric cars are booming, and no wonder: the best are quiet, cheap to run and smooth to drive. But which are the brightest sparks – and which are the loose connections?...
Electric cars have now entered the mainstream, accounting for 16.6% of new car sales in the UK last year. What's more, their rise is only going to accelerate as rules are introduced to limit the kind of vehicles allowed into major cities and we get closer to the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel models.
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 top 10 and reveal the ones to avoid. If any of the models on the list take your fancy, just click on the relevant link to find out more or see how much of a discount you could get by using our free New Car Buying service.
MG's latest electric car is staggering value for money – particularly in entry-level SE trim. Don’t think that by going for the cheapest choice you’ll be left lacking in kit, though; luxuries such as adaptive cruise control and rear parking sensors come as standard.
Elsewhere, the MG 4 EV impresses with a competitive range of up to 218 miles between charges with the cheapest 50.8kWh battery. The more expensive 61.7kWh models, meanwhile, can travel up to 281 miles between charges according to official figures.
Some rivals are quieter, more polished to drive and have smarter interiors than the MG, but then they cost thousands more to buy.
- Incredibly well priced
- Competitive range between charges
- Long warranty
- Some interior materials disappoint
- Slightly unsettled ride
- Infotainment system is fiddly
The BMW i4 is fast, with some versions able to reach 60mph from a standing start in just 3.8sec. It’s also comfortable on long journeys, and extremely hushed at high speeds.
Factor in a decent range of up to 367 miles between charges, a great infotainment system that’s easy to get along with, as well as its plush interior and it's a compelling alternative to a Tesla Model 3.
However, it’s worth bearing in mind that the Model 3 comes with a significantly better-charging network – important if you cover a lot of motorway miles. Plus, whether you’re buying outright or on a finance deal, the i4 will cost you more than most rivals.
- Brilliant performance
- Impressive official range
- Class-leading infotainment
- Relatively expensive to buy outright
- M50 not as sharp as Tesla Model 3 Performance
- BMW lacks Tesla’s world-beating charging infrastructure
With the Skoda Enyaq, you're getting an electric SUV that’s practical, smart inside and well equipped. In fact, even entry level models come with luxuries including dual-zone climate control, 19in alloy wheels and cruise control.
Perhaps most impressive of all, though, is the value it offers . The ‘60’ version is priced in line with smaller alternatives, including the Kia Niro EV. And don’t think that bargain price means you’ll be short-changed on range; 60 models can officially take you up to 256-miles between charges.
The Enyaq also one of the best-riding cars for the money, especially on faster roads. It's good to drive, too; its steering is light and precise, so you can place the car exactly where you want it.
- Well priced
- Extremely practical
- Comfortable and easy to drive
- So-so performance by electric car standards
- A Volkswagen ID.3 is more fun to drive
- Infotainment isn’t as responsive as rival systems
Hyundai's Ioniq 5 combines standout looks with a good range. Entry level versions can take you up to 238 miles between charges according to official figures, while higher-end models offer up to 285 miles.
When you do need to plug in, the Ioniq 5 supports the same fast-charging as its sister car, the Kia EV6, so a 10-80% top-up can take as little as 20 minutes.
The Ioniq 5 offers plenty of space inside, with enough legroom for six-foot passengers to stretch out, even if they’re sitting behind a lofty driver. The boot, meanwhile, managed to fit seven carry-on suitcases in our tests. Our only real gripe is that the ride, while comfy most of the time, could be better controlled.
- Very quiet on the move – as long as you avoid 20in alloys
- Super-fast charging speeds
- Enormously spacious interior
- Not as quiet as the Genesis GV60 at a cruise
- Not as sharp to drive as the EV6
- Interior quality could be better
If you're looking for all the usual electric car benefits but want something that's also absolutely thrilling to drive, the Porsche Taycan is the car for you.
Even entry level models come with 322bhp, while range-topping Turbo versions offer up to 751bhp – enough for a 0-62mph sprint time of just 2.8sec. Don’t worry about range, either; all versions of the Taycan should be capable of taking you 200 miles between charges in real-world conditions.
The Taycan is wonderfully classy inside, too, and surprisingly practical, particularly if you go for the estate-like Cross Turismo version. So, while the Taycan certainly isn't cheap, it's worth every penny.
- Incredible point-to-point pace
- More spacious rear seats than in the coupé
- Wonderful interior quality
- You'll want to add a fair few options
- Range isn’t spectacular
- Non-electric rivals have bigger boots
The Kia EV6 is an even better electric car than the closely related Hyundai Ioniq 5, because it's more enjoyable to drive and slightly classier inside.
At the same time, like the Ioniq 5, it offers a long official range of up to 328 miles between charges (although you’re more likely to see up to 270 miles in real-world conditions), as well as rapid charging for the ability to charge up very quickly.
Just bear in mind that cheaper rear-wheel drive EV6s make more financial sense than the faster, four-wheel drive models, even though the latter can cover the 0-62mph sprint in just 5.0sec. There’s also a range-topping EV6 GT model with 577bhp.
- Long range
- Fast-charging capability
- Long warranty
- Loads of rear legroom
- Shallow boot
- Not exactly cheap
- Slightly firm ride
Aside from some styling details and the fact the combustion engine has been replaced with an electric motor, the iX3 is essentially a BMW X3 – and that's a good thing.
It means you're getting a practical and classy SUV with the best infotainment system around. Indeed, BMW’s iDrive setup, with its rotary controller, is far easier to get along with than the purely touch-based setups of some rivals.
Speaking of rivals, the iX3 steers and handles better than most of them, while also providing a comfortable ride. Zero emissions and a long range between charges are merely very welcome bonuses.
- Longer range than most direct rivals
- Great infotainment system
- Comparatively well priced
- Not as fast as rivals
- Audi E-tron is quieter
- Tesla Model 3 has a longer range and faster charging
Don't let the fact that you might not of heard of the Genesis brand put you off.
You see, Genesis is part of the same group as Hyundai and Kia, and the GV60 is a sister model to the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6. Amazingly, though, it manages to be classier than both inside, with most surfaces covered in high-quality materials, and comes with a more intuitive infotainment system.
Being based on the Ioniq 5 and EV6 gives the GV60 the same electric car advantages as those models, too, namely a long range and the ability to charge its batteries super-quickly – provided you’re using the most powerful charging points.
- Wonderful interior
- Extremely quiet on the move
- Great infotainment system
- Boot isn't huge
- Rear space is average
- Optional cameras not as good as traditional door mirrors
Few cars received as much hype before their launch as the Tesla Model 3, and even fewer can match what it offers in reality.
The American brand’s smallest car is great to drive, packed full of tech, fast (ridiculously so in Performance guise) and surprisingly practical. In fact, you might be surprised at how much luggage you can get into its boot.
Factor in that it’s also competitively priced against rivals, and buying one gets you access to the brand’s ultra-fast and convenient Supercharger network, and it’s easy to recommend. In fact, only one electric car can beat it.
- Savage acceleration – particularly in the Performance version
- Long range between charges
- Surprisingly practical
- Fast charging via Tesla's prolific Supercharger network
- Rivals are quieter on the move
- Handling not as entertaining as the best petrol-powered rivals
- Some may find the ride a touch firm
There’s so much affection for the retro design of the ID Buzz that Volkswagen could easily have penny-pinched on the engineering and still sold as many as it could make.
Instead, the German brand has clearly thrown everything at the car, and this has resulted in something that combines the practicality of an MPV with the comfort and refinement of a premium SUV and the low running costs of an electric vehicle.
The ID Buzz is good to drive and endlessly spacious, while strong resale values mean it you'll get a good chunk of your money back when you come to sell it.
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- Pleasant to drive with a comfortable ride
- Hugely practical
- Strong resale values
- Not available as a seven-seater - yet
- Fiddly air-con controls and infotainment
- Efficiency could be better
And the electric car to avoid...
The E-Tense is quieter and more comfortable than conventionally powered DS 3 Crossbacks. However, similarly priced electric rivals can travel farther between charges, are better to drive and provide more space. Read our review
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