Top 10 best small electric SUVs 2024
Small electric SUVs provide low running costs, decent practicality and are more affordable than larger models, so they’re very popular. Here are the best ones for 2024
It’s hard to think of a type of car that sums up the current market better than small electric SUVs. Fashionable high-riding crossovers have been a major hit in recent years, while many buyers are beginning to open their eyes to the many benefits of EVs and making the switch before combustion cars are taken off sale completely in 2035.
Small electric SUVs seem to offer the best of both worlds: clever packaging means they’re more practical than an electric supermini, while their small size and zero-emissions powertrain makes them cheap to run – especially as a company car.
It’s little wonder then that more and more car makers are bringing out models to cater to the growing demand for small-yet-spacious EVs. Picking which one is best for you might seem a little daunting with all these new and existing models available, but you can read on to find out our picks for the best small electric SUV to buy right now. We’ve included 10 great models all at different price points, so there’s bound to be one in here that will work for you.
You can also check out the results of the 2024 DrivingElectric Awards to see other cars that have impressed us over the past year. You can also follow DrivingElectric on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube for the very latest news and reviews as they happen.
1. Hyundai Kona Electric
There are few cars that can do it all, but out of all the small electric SUVs currently on sale, the Hyundai Kona Electric comes the closest. The previous Kona Electric was already one of our favourite EVs, but this new one is much more refined out on the road and we love the new car’s modern, yet ergonomic interior. Entry-level cars represent superb value-for-money – especially given how spacious the Kona is compared with similarly-priced rivals – while top-of-the-range cars are capable of over 300 miles on a charge, meaning you can take the electric Hyundai away on a family holiday without worrying about charging up all the time. There’s even a five-year warranty, so what’s not to like?
2. Kia Niro EV
Another car that improves over an already-polished predecessor, the Kia Niro EV refines the formula further with its striking design, roomy cabin and long list of standard kit. All cars get a twin-screen infotainment system with built-in Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while a 285-mile range and 451-litre boot should make it a hit with family buyers. Light steering and somewhat supple suspension make it a doddle to drive around town, while the Niro EV’s regenerative braking function is more than strong enough for one-pedal driving. It’s just a shame you have to pay extra for a heat pump – a worthwhile extra for gloomy British winters.
3. Volvo EX30
The Volvo EX30 is the IKEA of small electric SUVs, being minimalist, constructed of recycled materials and competitively priced. Some may scorn the EX30’s simplistic design, but we think it gives off a very premium feel, similar to that of the larger and more expensive Tesla Model Y. It also drives pretty well, with powertrains ranging from punchy to preposterously potent for a crossover of this size. Speaking of which, if you can live with the Volvo’s rather cramped interior – a handy guide is engraved into the sides of the boot to help with luggage fitment – we think few small SUVs are as desirable and capable as the EX30. Being a Volvo, it should be incredibly safe, too.
4. MG ZS EV
If you thought electric SUVs were out-of-reach luxury items, you can think again as the MG ZS EV is priced in-line with many electric superminis. If you can overlook the cheap-feeling interior and relatively dull driving experience, there’s an awful lot to like; the electric ZS has a big boot, lots of standard equipment and in Long Range form, a range of over 280 miles. MG offers the ZS EV with a seven-year warranty – matching that of Kia – and as well as being cheap to buy, low insurance groups and decent residuals should make it cheap to run, too.
5. Jeep Avenger
While Jeep has built a reputation over the years for building rough-and-tumble off-roaders, its latest model is a thoroughly modern small electric SUV called the Avenger. Its range of around 250 might not be class-leading, but the Avenger is good to drive nonetheless and is perfect for the city, as well as tight country lanes. Speaking of venturing outside town, the Avenger may be front-wheel-drive – a four-wheel-drive model is due in the future – but several off-road-specific drive modes mean it’s more capable than you might expect. If you live in a rural area but are able to make use of an electric car, Jeep’s first EV could be the perfect choice.
6. BYD Atto 3
BYD made headlines recently with its ultra-affordable Dolphin electric supermini, but the brand’s larger Atto 3 SUV is also worthy of your consideration. Boasting a funky interior outfitted with a rotating screen and guitar string-like door pockets, the Atto 3 is certainly one of the quirkier electric SUVs on sale, but gentle ride and accurate 261-mile range figure make it compelling nonetheless. You may not have heard of BYD before recently, but the brand’s range-wide four-year warranty should inspire confidence. If modern cars don’t really excite you, the off-the-wall Atto 3 may be the one to finally pique your interest.
7. Peugeot E-2008
The Peugeot 2008 has been one of the most popular and enduring small SUVs of the past decade, so it makes a lot of sense that the electric E-2008 would be one of the better options for those looking for a small family EV. As you’ve probably noticed, the E-2008’s striking looks help it stand out from the crowd, but it’s not just skin-deep because the car also has a fantastic interior with plenty of tech, lots of space for the family and a decent boot. Aside from its average 250-mile range our biggest gripe is the seating position, which could be a dealbreaker for some. Regardless, the E-2008 is still capable of a 10-80% charge in half-an-hour and is a great option for those who want to stand out from the crowd.
8. Mercedes EQA
A rival to the larger BMW iX1, the Mercedes EQA is essentially an electric version of the petrol-powered GLA. However, in the transition to becoming zero emissions, Merc’s smallest SUV has become a lot more appealing; it’s fast, cheap to run and a range of up to 348 miles on facelifted models makes the EQA one of the longest-range electric cars on this list. On the inside, buyers can expect premium-feeling materials, swathes of ambient lighting and Mercedes' slick MBUX infotainment system with augmented reality navigation. Similarly-priced rivals are more practical, butthe smooth and refined EQA is an excellent luxury option.
9. Fiat 600e
Do you like the Fiat 500e but feel it's just a bit too impractical? Say hello to its larger sibling, the Fiat 600e. Packing all the smaller 500e’s retro charm and cutesy looks, the 600e shares its parts with the Jeep Avenger and boasts a range of around 250 miles, meaning it's more than capable of completing longer journeys. However, it’s clear from the outset that the Fiat was mainly designed for around-town driving, with ultra-light steering and soft suspension. Stylish and competitively-priced, the 600e is certainly an appealing package – just mind Fiat’s low scoring in our recent Driver Power customer satisfaction surveys.
10. Smart #1
Smart is known for making some of the most compact cars on the road, and the brand’s first SUV has plenty to like about it. Priced very competitively and boasting an interior that feels posh enough to match parent-brand Mercedes, the Smart #1 is also one of the fastest small electric SUVs you can buy – especially in 422bhp Brabus guise, which can do 0-62mph in just 3.9 seconds. It may have a rather fidgety ride and finicky infotainment system, but if you can overlook these flaws, the Smart #1 is a solid choice and usefully small if you have a tight parking space.
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