Top 10 best electric cars 2023
Here, we run through our favourite new electric cars that you can buy right now in the UK…
We’re almost spoiled for choice when it comes to electric cars these days. Though we’re hardly complaining as it means there's a plethora of EVs ranging from city cars to funky family minibuses now on showroom floors, and the selection is constantly growing!
Polestar, Kia, BMW, Lexus, Lotus, Peugeot, Rolls-Royce, Maserati and Jeep – to name but a few – all have new electric cars coming out over the next 12 months. But it’s not just EVs that are evolving; the UK’s network of rapid and ultra-rapid electric-car chargers continues to expand, making it easier to live with EVs and cover long distances in them, too.
Electric cars are also more relaxing and easier to drive than their petrol and diesel-powered counterparts thanks to silent powertrains and stunning performance on tap, while zero tailpipe emissions and rock-bottom running costs make EVs extremely appealing to company-car drivers.
So, if you're in the market for a new electric car, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve put together a round-up of the top 10 best electric cars on sale right now in 2023, plus video reviews if you want to take a closer look:
Best electric cars to buy now
Make sure to check out the winners of the 2023 DrivingElectric Awards and our list of the best electric SUVs 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. MG4 EV
Our 2023 Car of the Year and winner of our Best Value Electric Car award for 2023, the MG4 EV is a budget-friendly alternative to the VW ID.3 and Nissan Leaf that represents a major step forward for the recently revitalised brand. The electric family hatchback uses an all-new, EV-specific platform and can currently cover up to 281 miles on a charge – although an Extended Range version capable of nearly 330 miles is arrivng later this year.
It’s also fun to drive, has a spacious cabin, big boot and lengthy standard kit list. Its styling may divide people, but the MG4’s starting price of under £27,000 is undeniably impressive. Simply put, the MG4 EV is one of the best electric cars on sale today, it just also happens to be one of the cheapest.
Read our full MG4 review to find out more.
2. Hyundai Ioniq 5
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is part of the brand’s next generation of electric cars, and it shows the future is bright. The space-age styling is more attention-grabbing than some scissor-doored supercars, but there’s plenty of substance to go with it. The Ioniq 5’s cabin and ride are supremely comfortable, plus it's well priced and offers over 300 miles of range in its most efficient form. Most impressive, though, is the 220kW ultra-rapid charging, meaning that if you find a fast enough point, topping up from 10-80% takes just 18 minutes.
Read our full review to find out more, and check out our triple test of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 against the BMW iX3 and Volvo XC40 Recharge.
3. Skoda Enyaq iV
The Enyaq iV is Skoda’s first dedicated electric car, and undeniably one of the best on sale today. The zero-emissions SUV is an ideal family car, offering boatloads of practicality; a spacious, modern and tech-filled cabin; excellent refinement and a solid real-world driving range of between 246 and 339 miles depending on which model and battery size you go for. It's also competitively priced and gets the brand’s usual ‘Simply Clever’ features like umbrellas hidden in the doors.
Read our full review to find out more.
4. Ora Funky Cat
The Ora Funky Cat was one of the biggest surprises of 2022, in the best way possible. This is a fantastic small electric car, so much so it won our Best Urban Electric Car award for 2023. The Funky Cat is undeniably eye-catching, as well as roomy, good to drive, generously equipped for the price and received a five-star Euro NCAP rating thanks to its plethora of safety features. The flashy First Edition model is the only version you can buy right now, but there are more versions to come, which we can’t wait to get our hands on.
Read our full Ora Funky Cat review to find out more.
5. Renault Megane E-Tech
More than a decade has gone by since the Renault ZOE landed in showrooms, but the French brand’s follow-up was certainly worth the wait. The Renault Megane E-Tech is among the best looking electric cars launched in recent times, while its Google-powered infotainment system is one of the best we’ve ever tested – winning our 2023 Technology Award as a result. The fully electric hatchback is also comfortable, very refined, has a big boot and offers 280 miles of range. If this is a glimpse of Renault’s EVs to come, we have zero complaints.
Read our full Megane E-Tech review to find out more.
6. Kia EV6
Kia has been in the EV game longer than most carmakers, and the EV6 is more than a match for upmarket EV rivals like the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Nissan Ariya and VW ID.5 when it comes to practicality, technology, comfort and handling. There’s even a 577bhp EV6 GT, that can show most supercars a clean set of heels, but this coupe-SUV isn’t just an engaging EV to drive. All models sold in the UK use a 77kWh battery, so the EV6 can cover up to 328 miles on a charge. And when you do need to top up, it can recharge at up to 233kW – faster even than its Hyundai Ioniq 5 sister car.
Read our full review for more, and check out our twin test of the Kia EV6 against the Volkswagen ID.4 GTX here. And don’t forget to watch our review of the ballistic Kia EV6 GT.
7. BMW i4
Fundamentally, the BMW i4 is a zero-emissions take of the German brand’s winning four-door saloon formula that has come to define what we expect from company cars – and the i4 lives up to those expectations. This is a true driver’s EV; the only other electric car that handles as well, or is as engaging as the BMW i4 is the much pricier Porsche Taycan. Coupled with superb refinement and build quality, an excellent infotainment setup and rapid-charging capability mean the i4 is more than a match for the Tesla Model 3 it directly rivals. We expect the entry-level eDrive40 will be the more popular variant with its 365-mile range, but the i4 M50 – BMW’s first-ever electric M performance model no less – does pack quite the punch thanks to all-wheel-drive and 537bhp on tap.
Read our full review to find out more, and check out our triple test of the i4, Tesla Model 3 and BMW i4.
8. Kia Niro EV
The Kia Niro EV takes everything we loved about the old e-Niro and adds a sense of flair that you don’t often see in an electric family car. The Niro EV is a sharp-looking machine, with an intuitive dual-screen infotainment setup and more boot space than any hatchback that tries to go up against it. The range is a healthy 285 miles, while the one-pedal driving capability makes it great around town. Refinement could be better, and its relatively slow rapid charging speeds prevent it from landing higher on this list. But overall the Niro EV picks up exactly where the e-Niro left off and will be an easy EV to live with.
Read our full Niro EV review to find out more.
9. Tesla Model Y
The Tesla Model Y is the latest addition to the pioneering company’s line-up, and the one many had been waiting for. This mid-size electric SUV leads the pack when it comes to rapid-charging technology, practicality and even performance. There’s three versions available to choose from – Standard Range, Long Range and Performance – all of which feature a minimalist yet classy interior and a whopping 15-inch touchscreen. The Model Y boasts a range of up to 331 miles in Long Range form, or over 350 miles according to Tesla, while the Performance version does 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds (that’s faster than some Porsche Taycan models, in case you were wondering). Combine that with over 800 litres of boot space on offer, a spacious cabin and the ability to go from 10-80% charge in just over half-an-hour, you get why it deserves a spot on this list.
Read our full Model Y review to find out more, and check out our twin test of the Tesla Model Y vs the Audi Q4 e-tron here.
10. MG5 EV
The recently refreshed MG5 EV is a great value electric car – not to mention the only mainstream electric estate car you can currently buy. It offers family-car practicality for supermini money, with plenty of space for passengers, luggage and pets.
The MG5’s 250-mile range isn’t bad either, while 87kW rapid charging means you can top up to 80% in a little over half-an-hour from a compatible charger. Part of the facelift for 2023 was an extensive overhaul of the cabin that included a new 10.25-inch touchscreen and the MG’s latest infotainment system. Just like the MG4, you get an impressive amount of equipment for the price and a generous seven-year/80,000-mile warranty.
Read our in-depth MG5 EV review here.
How to choose the best electric car for you: top tips
1. There’s an electric car for everyone now
Electric cars have come a long way since the days when the G-Wiz and Nissan Leaf were the only EVs on the road. In 2023, the choice is immense. At one end of the spectrum, you have budget-minded models like the MG4 EV and Kia Niro EV, as well as compact city cars like Fiat 500, while at the other end are ultra-premium models like the BMW i7 and Mercedes EQS SUV. There's also more than a few high-performance flagships that casually boast close to 1,000bhp power outputs.
One thing they all have in common is a near-silent running gear that can provide zippy performance and – more importantly for some – a relaxing driving experience previously reserved only for the most luxurious cars on the road. With instant torque on tap, no gearchanges to deal with and regenerative braking that can allow for ‘one- pedal’ driving, there’s a lot to like about being between the wheel of an EV.
2. Make sure you can reliably top up your electric car
There’s a lot to like about owning an electric car, however you need to think about how you’re going to keep your zero-emissions pride and joy topped up! It’s not a problem if you have private off-street parking, as installing a home wallbox will allow you to recharge overnight, ready for the next day.
Don’t worry if you’re one of the many people who use on-street parking, as cities like London are now well served by public charging points, so you can get away with not having a charger at home or work. If you do less than 200 or so miles a week, a top-up from a public charging point every few days should be sufficient.
You may need to think twice about switching to electric if your average daily mileage exceeds the range of the car you’re considering. But, thanks to the growing number of rapid-charging points you can find dotted around the UK, particularly at service stations, longer journeys are now a cinch for most electric cars, too.
3. Low running costs make up for higher price tags
One unavoidable downside of switching to electric is the higher starting prices of EVs compared to their combustion-engine counterparts. For example, while the petrol-powered version of the Vauxhall Corsa hatchback starts from just over £18,000, the zero-emissions Corsa Electric is currently priced at nearly £32,000.
But the real savings are to be made in running costs. Electric cars attract just 2% company-car tax, require less frequent servicing and on average cost less to ‘fuel’ than their petrol or diesel equivalents. Plus, all electric cars are zero-rated for VED (road tax) and exempt from the London Congestion Charge zone until 2025, so you’ll avoid those fees for a few more years, too.
4. Consider leasing an electric car
Because electric cars generally sport higher price tags than their petrol-powered counterparts, and because their features and technology are evolving fast right now, leasing may be a better option for some. There are downsides, such as there being no option to own the car at the end of the contract, but electric cars are so popular right now that there are plenty of deals out there, allowing you to get behind the wheel of the latest models for a fixed monthly amount.
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