Best electric family cars 2021
These are our favourite electric family cars on the market, from hatchbacks to SUVs
It wasn't too long ago that electric cars were only really for the wealthy, as manufacturers focused their efforts on luxury cars that were way beyond the price range of a normal family. Yet in 2021 the best electric family cars are affordable, practical and have a useful amount of range. They can save you plenty on fuel, too.
To help you decide which is the best electric family car for you, we've put together a list of our favourite models. These cars are all affordable to buy, lease or finance, yet also have plenty of space inside, enough range and a good amount of equipment. You should have no trouble jumping out of a normal family car into one of thee, provided you can charge up regularly.
There's a growing choice in the market when it comes to body styles, and we've included some SUVs and hatchbacks as these are the most popular kinds of electric car. All of the cars on this list are fully electric, with no petrol or diesel engine at all. This means they're quiet, easy to drive and can cost very little to run. Read on for our picks of the best electric family cars for 2021...
The Citroen C4 has transformed into a half-SUV, half-hatchback crossover and the e-C4 version is a great family car. It's roomy inside, comfortable to drive and the electric range of 217 miles is decent, too.
It uses a 50kWh battery and 134bhp electric motor, which results in a 0-62mph time of 9.7 seconds. It's hardly fast, but the e-C4 is really punchy from low speed and is relaxed and quiet on the move. It can also charge from 0 to 80% in 30 minutes at a rapid charge point. Read our Citroen e-C4 review here.
Hyundai Ioniq Electric
The Ioniq Electric was Hyundai's first proper electric car, and its 38.3kWh battery offers 193 miles of range (in post-facelift models – the earlier cars from 2016 has a little less). From a 50kW charger, the Ioniq will charge to 80% capacity in an hour.
The 134bhp electric motor is punchy and delivers decent performance and efficiency – it's similar to the one on the Kona. Inside, the Ioniq Electric features a 10.25-inch touchscreen with lots of features and there's lots of space for passengers. It's a little drab inside but it works well for those who don't mind the looks. Read our Hyundai Ioniq Electric review here.
Hyundai Kona Electric
Fashionable, affordable and with a long range, the Kona Electric is a great electric-car choice for families that’s fantastic value for money. The longest range of 280 miles is only available from the higher-spec versions, which get a 64kWh battery.
Charging 10-80% at 100kW takes 44 minutes. There’s a smaller 39kWh battery in the less expensive versions that provides a range of 189 miles. Both are good to drive, with punchy performance and quiet running around town. We were impressed with the efficiency it returned when we tested one long-term, too. Read our Hyundai Kona Electric review here.
Great value, with mega range and plenty of family-friendly space, the Kia e-Niro ticks a lot of boxes. The official range is 282 miles for the 64kWh model, which is excellent for an affordable family car. An electric motor powers the front wheels in both models, though the 39kWh model is less powerful and has a lesser 180 miles of range.
Both will take around an hour to charge from 0 to 80% from a 50kW public charger. It shares its powertrain with Hyundai's Kona and Ioniq model (above), so it's efficient and the claimed range is accurate in our experience. It's practical and easy to drive, so it's one of the best value EVs around. Read our Kia e-Niro review here.
Kia Soul EV
Funky, high-tech and practical, the Soul EV is a compelling family choice that shares its powertrain with the Kia e-Niro and Hyundai Kona Electric. It looks great and stands out, yet is still practical and affordable. It's cheaper than the e-Niro, though the Soul is slightly smaller.
It still offers more space than a typical hatchback, though. Its 64kWh battery powers a sprightly 201bhp electric motor, giving it strong, punchy performance. Kia says the Soul EV’s range is 280 miles. With 100kW charging capability, it'll get up to an 80% charge in under 45 minutes when plugged into a rapid charger. Read our Kia Soul EV review here.
MG 5 SW EV
MG's latest model, the 5, is available as a pure-electric car and like all of its models, is pretty cheap to buy yet comes with all the modern kit you need. It uses a 52.5kWh battery for a range of 214 miles, which is pretty good considering it's a spacious family car with a big boot. It can charge from 10-80 per cent in 50 minutes at public charge point.
Okay, the MG 5 isn't particularly plush inside, nor does it have much appeal for keen drivers or even those wanting lots of comfort, but it's such good value and so practical inside that it's still worthy of a recommendation for the most pragmatic buyers. Read our MG 5 SW EV review here.
MG ZS EV
MG has been going through a renaissance under Chinese ownership and its ZS EV is one of the cheapest ways to get into an uncompromising electric car. It's the cheapest EV of its size, and this SUV is pretty practical for the money. If you can overlook its lacklustre driving experience, the ZS EV is a sensible choice.
Its 44.5kWh battery gives a range of 163 miles and, with 50kW charging capability, you can add 100 miles of range in just 30 minutes. Acceleration isn’t breathtaking, but 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds is good enough. The interior is drab and it's not all that comfortable, but the MG is all about value for money. Read our MG ZS EV review here.
The Leaf is the world’s best-selling electric car, thanks to a combination of its well pitched price, practicality and real-world range. There are two models available. The standard car achieves 168 miles from its 40kWh battery, while the Leaf e+ ups that to 239 miles from a 62kWh pack.
With rapid-charging capability, it’s possible to go from 10-80% charge in just 35 minutes in the e+ model. One of the Leaf’s neat features is its 'E-Pedal': when you put it in this mode, you can drive the car using just one pedal: as soon as you lift your foot off the accelerator pedal the car automatically slows. It's a practical car and good to drive, too. Read our Nissan Leaf review here.
The Peugeot e-2008 uses the same electric powertrain as the e-208 hatchback, yet it's an SUV, so it's bigger and more practical for families. It's also bigger than the old petrol and diesel 2008, with a larger boot, more interior space and loads of technology.
A 50kWh battery provides power to a 134bhp motor, giving an official range of 206 miles, which is a bit less than rivals like the Kia e-Niro and Hyundai Kona Electric. Still, with 100kW rapid-charging capability, a 20 to 80% top-up takes just 20 minutes. Read our Peugeot e-2008 review here.
The Volkswagen ID.3 has been described as the equivalent of the VW Golf for the electric generation. It's certainly a great all-rounder like the Golf, and brings decent range, enjoyable driving dynamics, comfort and practicality at an affordable price.
There are several versions, ranging from 260 to 336 miles of range depending on battery size. Rapid charging at 100kW means you can top them up in about half an hour (10-80%), so the ID.3 is worth considering for those doing the occasional long trip. We're not convinced that interior is as high quality as it ought to be, but the ID.3 is really appealing in the most important areas for electric-car buyers. Read our VW ID.3 review here.
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