Electric Car Awards 2022: Best electric family car
With electrified cars now coming in all shapes and sizes – and available to suit every budget – we’ve named the best models in every class. Here we look at the best electric family car...
Imagine the scene. It’s the first day of the school term and a new kid struts into the room. They have an air about them; they’re good at sports, they’re good looking and they instantly become the popular kid. Even the teachers love them. You can’t help being a tad jealous.
Okay, that’s basically the plot of every high school movie, but in the world of cars, the Cupra Born would be that kid. At launch, it went straight to the top of its class, seizing the Best Small Electric Car prize at our 2022 Car of the Year Awards – no doubt to the chagrin of more established rivals.
It was a thoroughly-deserved win, though, because the Born is a brilliant family car and ticks all the boxes that count. It’s strong on practicality, comfort, range, value for money and even performance.
Size-wise, it’s about the same length as a Volkswagen Golf, and like that car, it offers enough space for two six-footers to sit comfortably up front with a couple of equally tall passengers behind them.
Boot space is similar to that of the (non-plug-in hybrid) Golf, so you’ll never struggle to stow a big shop or carry your whole family’s holiday luggage; we managed to fit in six carry-on suitcases.
The Born is comfier than its sporty looks suggest, too. Despite being lower and firmer than the closely related Volkswagen ID 3, it does a good job of soaking up most lumps and bumps in the road. Larger potholes can cause a bit of a thump, but the same is true with many electric cars because of the heavy batteries they carry.
Talking of batteries, our preferred Born, the 58kWh V2, officially gives you 257 miles of range on a full charge – much more than the Nissan Leaf. And when you need to plug in, the battery can top up at a rate of up to 100kW, allowing it to get from 10-80% in about half an hour (if you have access to a suitably rapid charger).
But what, you might be asking yourself, separates the Born from the ID 3? After all, that car is good at the above things too, and is a previous winner of this award.
Well, for one thing, subtle steering and suspension tweaks make the Born sharper and more fun to drive, albeit at the cost of a marginally firmer ride. It’s nicer inside, too, with smarter materials (including tactile Alcantara) throughout. Plus, it has a better infotainment system, with a bigger touchscreen and a more intuitive operating system.
In mid-range V2 trim, the Born is packed with kit and should hold its value better than the Leaf and ID 3. It really is too cool for school (as the kids probably don’t say these days).
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