Top 10 best luxury electric cars 2023
From Mercedes to MINI, here are our top picks of the most luxurious zero-emissions motoring options on the market right now...
When electric cars first started to grow in popularity, the market was bookended by functional runarounds – such as the Nissan Leaf and Renault ZOE – and expensive high-end flagships like the Tesla Model S. Things have changed dramatically over the last decade, and as well as more mainstream models, those after the finest EVs money can buy are now spoiled for choice.
Premium makers like BMW and Mercedes already have multiple models on sale, while Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Aston Martin are all working on zero-emission models, too. But the electric era is surely an opportunity for new brands to break the mould; start-up companies like Rivian and Lucid are tailoring their cars for luxury rather than the mass market.
So, while we await the arrival of the fully electric Range Rover, Lucid Air, and Polestar 5, here's our list of the top 10 best luxury electric cars you can buy in 2023, and one particular luxury EV to watch:
Make sure to check out the winners of the 2023 DrivingElectric Awards and our list of the best electric cars on sale in 2023 as well to see what’s impressed us the most over the past year – and don't forget to follow DrivingElectric on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube for the very latest news and reviews.
1. BMW i7
The BMW i7 is the fully electric version of the German brand’s new 7 Series flagship. Instead of building a completely bespoke EV with a sleek profile and aerodynamic trim, BMW has focused on luxury – giving those sitting in the back the space and technology they’re accustomed to. Both legroom and headroom in the rear of the 4.5-metre long limousine is plentiful, while the optional 31-inch 8K Theatre Screen is something even the Mercedes EQS’s Hyperscreen infotainment can’t match.
From launch there is just one model available: the i7 xDrive60, boasting 537bhp and 745Nm of torque, plus dual motors for all-wheel drive. It also comes equipped with a 101.7kWh for a range of up to 388 miles and 195kW rapid charging capabilities. The BMW i7 rides beautifully in town and on the motorway, gliding along in near silence, aside from the sounds created by film score composer Hans Zimmer that change depending on which drive mode you’re in.
2. BMW iX
The BMW iX – like its i7 saloon sibling – puts its polarising looks front and centre. You’ll either love or hate the styling, but there is no arguing against the iX’s luxurious interior and prodigious comfort.
A direct rival to the likes of the Audi Q8 e-tron, Tesla Model X, Mercedes EQE SUV and Polestar 3, the BMW iX offers a huge range, fast charging and plenty of tech highlights inside. It’s spacious, with room for five, and it’ll eat up long motorway journeys thanks to its fantastic refinement.
Three versions of the iX are now available, including the 611bhp M60 with its sub-four-second 0-62mph time. But most people are likely to go for the less potent, but still impressive, xDrive40 or xDrive50 variants. All models get a dual-motor setup for all-wheel drive, but the 50’s whopping 105.2kWh battery (slightly bigger than the i7’s) means it’ll return an official range of 380 miles on a single charge. Beware, however, prices are high; between £70,000 and £120,000 depending on which version you go for.
3. Audi e-tron GT
While SUVs are big business for Audi, the German brand is also known for its saloons, and the e-tron GT is its first zero-emissions four-door model. The low-slung coupe focuses on performance and driver enjoyment, while also packing typical Audi technology and build quality. It can also cover nearly 300 miles on a charge, and topping up from 10-80% can take as little as 21 minutes thanks to its unusual 800-volt technology and maximum charging speed of 270kW.
It has a lot in common with the Porsche Taycan, however the Audi is marginally more relaxing than the Porsche – at least from the front seat. Neither car is particularly spacious for rear-seat occupants however, with head room limited by the sloping roofline.
Overall, the e-tron GT is great to drive, has a fantastic interior, boatloads of technology and is really comfortable, making it undeniably one of the most exciting electric cars on the market right now.
4. Porsche Taycan
Porsche has only released one electric car so far but the Porsche Taycan is one of the very best EVs on sale. Not only is it available in three different body styles – saloon, Sport Turismo estate and more rugged Cross Turismo – there are multiple versions to choose from. The line-up now includes the entry-level rear-wheel drive model – simply badged ‘Taycan’ – plus the four-wheel drive 4S; both perfectly suited to everyday driving. Then there’s the driver-focused GTS, plus the mind-bogglingly quick Turbo and Turbo S. The latter gets 751bhp, with 0-62mph taking an awe-inspiring 2.8 seconds.
As you’d expect from a Porsche, the Taycan’s handling is sublime. As for range, it'll hit between 254 and 301 miles depending on the model. Like its Audi e-tron GT sister car, the Taycan is capable of 270kW rapid charging, although you may struggle to find a public charging point fast enough to take advantage of that. If you do, you can top up the Taycan’s battery from 10-80% in 23 minutes.
5. Audi Q8 e-tron
Originally known as the ‘Audi e-tron’, the German brand’s first electric car has since been renamed the ‘Q8 e-tron’ and is offered in both traditional SUV and coupe-SUV ‘Sportback’ guise. No matter which you choose, the Audi Q8 e-tron boasts a spacious and well appointed interior featuring Audi’s fantastic Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster. While its main rival, the BMW iX, focuses more on driver engagement, the Q8 excels in terms of comfort and refinement, being a perfect long-distance cruiser.
Every version gets a bigger battery than before, which means all-important additional range. There are three powertrain options to choose from, with the mid-spec 55 e-tron quattro providing a range of up to 333 miles. Even the entry-level 50 gets quattro four-wheel-drive, though – thanks to a dual electric motor setup – and with ultra-rapid DC charging capabilities, a 10-80% top-up can be completed in as little as half an hour.
6. Mercedes EQS SUV
The Mercedes EQS SUV uses the same platform and running gear as the luxury limousine, but it’s taller and more spacious than its sleek sister car – a key consideration if you plan on spending much of your time being chauffeured around.
The EQS SUV is significantly heavier and less aerodynamic than the four-door limo, so naturally efficiency and range takes a hit. It still has an official range of 366 miles, however. Every model sold in the UK also comes with all-wheel drive, and 200kW rapid charging capability.
Interior quality is exquisite, especially the leather used for the seats, dashboard and doors. Those seats – all seven of them – are plush and super supportive, with pillow-like headrests and adjustable lumbar support. Infotainment is among the best in the business as well, even without the optional Hyperscreen set-up, and on the move the EQS SUV is extremely comfortable and the level of refinement it boasts is extraordinary. We can say with some confidence that there is no quieter car to travel long distances in.
7. Mercedes EQE
Did you know that you can save around £30k on a Mercedes EQS by opting for its slightly smaller sibling? The Mercedes EQE offers nearly all of the luxury of the EQS, but in a slightly more affordable – yet still undeniably expensive – package. As you’d expect from a Mercedes, the EQE’s interior is lined with sumptuous leather and the latest technology; as standard, the Mercedes EQE gets a similar MBUX infotainment system to that found in the S-Class limousine, but top-spec models get the stunning 56-inch Hyperscreen setup from the EQS – this is also available on base cars for an eye-watering £8,000.
Thanks to its slippery shape, the entry-level EQE 300 and 350 can each manage a fantastic 388 miles on a single charge, putting them amongst the longest-legged electric cars out there. If speed is more important to you than range, the high-performance AMG EQE 53 variant can do 0-62mph in a neck-snapping 3.5 seconds. All versions of the EQE saloon offer boundless levels of comfort, thanks to standard-fit adaptive dampers and optional AIRMATIC air suspension.
8. Genesis Electrified G80
Here’s a bit of a curveball. Remember earlier we mentioned new brands looking to break the mould? Genesis is one of those makers, and the Electrified G80 beats cars like the forthcoming BMW i5 and Audi A6 e-tron to market.
Genesis, Hyundai’s luxury spin-off brand, launched in the UK in 2021 and brought with it a selection of premium EVs with comfort and luxury at the fore. EVs based on combustion-engine platforms are often compromised compared to ‘clean-sheet’ counterparts, but it seems the Electrified G80 is one of the few exceptions. It can charge at up to 240kW and offers a range of 323 miles, on top of the the quality and technology you’d expect from an executive saloon – German or otherwise.
Up to 60mph or so, it’s pretty much silent, with only one-off noises like a slight wiper squeak or the rumble from driving over cats’ eyes infiltrating the cabin. Wind noise is only noticeable at motorway speeds, while the Electrified G80’s top-notch regenerative braking allows for one-pedal driving with ease in most situations. In terms of quality, refinement and technology, the Electrified G80 ticks every box a modern luxury electric car needs to for over £10,000 less than its Mercedes EQE rival.
9. Hyundai Ioniq 6
We’re big fans of what Hyundai is doing in the EV space right now, and the latest Ioniq 6 is another example of how far the brand has come. The inclusion of a Hyundai in a list of luxury cars even a few years ago, would’ve sent shockwaves through the entire automotive industry.
And yet here we are: Hyundai’s electric streamliner is the South Korean brand’s alternative to the BMW i4, Polestar 2 and Tesla Model 3. Not only does it beat the range of all those rivals – capable of up to 338 miles in certain forms – the Ioniq 6 feels serene and relaxing to drive. It’s particularly adept at motorway cruising thanks to a wheelbase on par with that of a BMW 5 Series, which has the added benefit of providing plenty of cabin space – at least in terms of rear leg room.
Speaking of the cabin, the Ioniq 6’s interior is a step up from the already excellent Ioniq 5 hatchback. Fit and finish is mostly superb, and Hyundai’s intuitive infotainment system is stellar. The dashboard is dominated by two 12-inch screens – one central infotainment screen, and another for the driver – while the displays for the digital door mirrors are housed in wings that sweep up from the dash.
10. MINI Electric
It’s not all six-figure saloon cars in our rundown of the very best luxury electric cars. The MINI Electric proves that you can have the high-end quality feel of a supercar or SUV in a compact package – the two-door electric hatchback has a more luxurious cabin than some EVs costing twice as much.
The current MINI Electric will be replaced later in 2023, but its cabin design has aged with real grace and its infotainment system is still excellent. It’ll feel familiar inside to existing MINI owners, and while the range is nothing to write home about, it drives with all the usual zip and zing we’ve become accustomed to in a car with a Cooper S badge on the bootlid.
Rivals include the Fiat 500 and Honda e, but neither manages to strike quite the same balance of familiarity and premium feel. There might not be much space for passengers or luggage in the MINI, but that simply leaves less room for the maker to skimp on the details.
One to watch: Rolls-Royce Spectre
Few car brands are synonymous with luxury like Rolls-Royce, and in 2023 it launched its first-ever electric car: the all-new Spectre. We’ve only driven a prototype thus far, but our initial impressions point towards the first electric ‘Roller’ becoming one of the quietest and most cosseting EVS ever.
The “ultra-luxury electric super coupé”, as Rolls-Royce calls it, produces 577bhp and 900Nm of torque in all and is expected to be capable of around 320 miles on a charge. Opening the Rolls-Royce’s rear-hinged coach doors reveals a four-seat interior and a fully-digital dashboard, as well as all the usual high-end features and customisation options you’d expect from the British brand. Prices are expected to start from over £300,000.
Top 10 best luxury electric cars
- BMW i7
- BMW iX
- Audi e-tron GT
- Porsche Taycan
- Audi Q8 e-tron
- Mercedes EQS SUV
- Mercedes EQE
- Genesis Electrified G80
- Hyundai Ioniq 6
- MINI Electric
One to watch: Rolls-Royce Spectre
Top 10 best small electric SUVs 2023
Has the UK given up on EVs? New government ‘Plan for Drivers’ says no
Electric BMW iX2 is set to take the kidney grille to the next level
We’ve had a ride in the new electric MG Cyberster and it’s NOT what we first thought…
Has the UK given up on EVs? New government ‘Plan for Drivers’ says no