Best electric SUVs 2023
Thanks to big advancements in battery and charging technology, the best electric SUVs are now as usable as they are desirable. Here we count down the top 10 – and reveal the models to avoid...
Electric cars and SUVs are two types of car that are currently in huge demand, so electric SUVs are perhaps the most desirable models of all right now.
It's about more than just fashion, too – the best of the breed are as practical as they are classy, and as good to drive as they are cheap to run. But which models are we talking about, exactly?
Well, below we count down our top 10 electric SUVs, and name the ones we'd avoid. If anything on the list take your fancy, simply click on the relevant link to find out more or see how much you could save by using our free New Car Buying service.
The BMW iX is beautifully appointed inside, mixing the visual appeal of the rival Mercedes EQC with the build quality of the Audi E-tron. The result is an interior which you won’t mind spending lots of time in.
In addition, the iX has more space for your luggage than some other electric SUVs, plus it’s extremely quiet on the move.
Go for the xDrive40 version and you’ll have 321bhp to play with, plus an official range of up to 257 miles between charges – but it’s worth noting that some rivals beat this figure by some margin. The more expensive xDrive5 variant does better, with 284 miles of range, and 516bhp.
- One of the quietest cars we’ve ever tested
- Spacious and luxurious interior
- Great infotainment system
- Air suspension and rear-wheel steering available only on xDrive50
- xDrive40 has a disappointing real-world range
- Teslas have a better charging infrastructure
Kia Niro EV
It may not be the groundbreaking electric car that its predecessor (the Kia e-Niro) was, but the Niro EV is still a fine choice.
Thanks to its efficiency, it’ll go a long way between top-ups, with all versions able to cover up to 285 miles between charges, according to official figures.
You’ll be comfortable while the Niro EV covers that distance, too, thanks to a good amount of interior space, and a ride that does a good job of polishing out the worst lumps and bumps in the road – especially at higher speeds.
It’s just a shame that the Niro EV charges quite slowly compared with most of its rivals.
- Comfortable ride
- Fairly practical
- Strong performance
- Slow charging speed
- Hard interior plastics
- Personalisation offered only on range-topping 4 trim
You might not associate hybrid specialist Toyota with building fully electric cars, and indeed the bZ4X is the first modern electric SUV the brand has made.
Fortunately, it’s good to drive and reasonably priced, and even comes with the reassurance of a 10-year battery warranty – if you take your car to a Toyota dealer for an annual health check.
We think the bZ4X is at its best in front-wheel drive form and in mid-run Motion trim. This gets you useful kit including automatic wipers, a heated driver’s seat and a powered tailgate, plus an official range of up to 317 miles.
- Good to drive by electric SUV standards
- Huge amounts of rear leg room
- 4WD version has impressive off-road performance for an electric vehicle
- Range is average for the class
- Kia EV6 and Tesla Model Y can be charged faster
- No front boot
Tesla Model Y
This Model Y isn't as good as the closely related Tesla Model 3 saloon; its ride can be unsettled and it's quite noisy.
There are still plenty of upsides to driving one, though – not least that every version comes with a long range. Indeed, even entry-level versions can take you up to 267 miles according to official figures, while Long Range models can cover up to 331 miles. Of course, you’re unlikely to achieve those figures in real-world use.
Every Model Y feels fast, too, and driving one gives you access to Tesla’s brilliant Supercharger network, which offers fast and convenient charging when you need to replenish your batteries.
- Rapid acceleration
- Great range between charges
- Tesla’s charging infrastructure
- Unsettled ride
- Noisy for an EV
- A Model 3 is cheaper and better to drive
Audi Q4 e-tron
Audi's Q4 e-tron is temptingly priced for a premium-badged electric SUV, plus it’s a very comfortable and classy choice.
Your family will like it, too, because there’s more head and legroom for taller passengers than you’ll find in some rivals, plus the boot is large enough to carry anything they might wish to bring with them. It managed to swallow seven carry-on suitcases in our tests.
However, if you’re not so worried about the emblem on the nose of your car, we’d urge you to look at the Skoda Enyaq as well; it’s similar in a lot of respects yet should cost you less to buy.
- Comfortable ride at all speeds
- Classy and spacious interior
- Well priced
- So-so performance
- Visibility could be better
- Cheapest versions have a short range
Skoda Enyaq iV
Skoda's first bespoke electric car is practical and good to drive, with a comfortable ride and relaxed handling.
You get a lot of kit for your money, too. Indeed, the cheapest models come with dual-zone climate control, 19in alloy wheels and cruise control.
These ‘60’ versions are well priced, and you’ll pay less for one of them than you would for smaller alternatives such as the Kia Niro EV.
Don’t think a bargain price means bargain materials inside, though. On the contrary, for the money, the Enyaq’s interior feels very good, and everything feels built to last the rough and tumble of family life.
- 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 Ioniq 5
Even though the Hyundai Ioniq 5 finishes behind its sibling cars from Genesis and Kia here, don’t discount it – it's a cracking electric SUV.
Combining standout looks with a good official range of up to 298 miles, the Ioniq 5 also has soft suspension that does a good job of smoothing out bumps around town, and its steering that’s accurate enough to let you place the car with confidence.
Those peaceful cruising manners mean long journeys won’t be a chore, and your family won’t grumble in the back, either; they’ll have lots of space to stretch out, even if they’re tall.
- 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
Speaking of sister cars to the Genesis GV60, one of those is the Kia EV6, which we rate so highly that we made it our overall Car of the Year in 2022.
Even though it doesn’t top this list, the Kia EV6 remains a standout electric SUV, with a fantastic range of up to 328 miles and ultra-fast charging that means you could be topped up and on your way within 20 minutes.
The EV6’s interior feels suitably upmarket and all versions come loaded with kit. That’s impressive on its own, but even more so when you consider that the EV6 is competitively priced – even against rivals which offer shorter ranges.
- 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, you’d be hard pushed to tell the BMW iX3 apart from its combustion-engined BMW X3 sibling.
That’s no bad thing, because it means you’re getting a classy and practical SUV with, among other things, a decent boot and one of the best infotainment systems you’ll find in any new car.
Combine those attributes with a comfortable ride, assured handling and a long range of up to 285 miles between charges, and the iX3 is easy to recommend. And despite having a premium badge on its bonnet, you’ll pay less for the iX3 than you would for some rivals.
- 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
With the GV60, upmarket Korean brand Genesis took the underpinnings of the excellent Kia EV6 and added an extra layer of polish to create something truly special.
The GV60 not only offers a generous range of up to 321 miles and ultra-fast charging (meaning a 10-80% top up could take as little as 20 minutes) but is also extremely refined and has a wonderful interior.
You’ll pay more for the GV60 than you would for the EV6, but you get lots of goodies for your money; for example, all GV60s come with wireless phone charging, dual-zone climate control and adaptive cruise control.
For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here
- 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
And the electric SUV 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
The Mach-E is a well equipped and relatively spacious large electric SUV, but its abrupt ride, so-so build quality and relatively slow maximum charging rate make it impossible to recommend. Read our review
Best new electric cars for £30k
The BMW iX3, Kia EV6 and Porsche Taycan have all earned our maximum five-star rating, but can you still get a great electric car if you don't want to spend big money?
Renault Megane E-Tech long-term test
The latest Renault Megane has gone electric, and its styling is part hatchback and part SUV. But what's it like to live with?