Top 10 best electric SUVs 2021
These cars combine style and practicality with low running costs, so they're really popular. These are the top 10 best electric SUVs to buy in the UK for 2021
There’s no lack of choice when it comes to the electric SUVs in 2021. From the affordable MG ZS EV, to the exciting Ford Mustang Mach-E and highly anticipated Tesla Model Y, these zero-emissions family haulers bring together a desirable set of attributes: fashionable styling, practicality and low running costs.
Company-car drivers will also enjoy electric SUVs' rock-bottom Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) rates, while those who frequently drive into London will appreciate their exemption from the Congestion Charge. The variety of electric SUVs on the market is also constantly expanding. Both Subaru and Toyota are launching their own ones next year, while Kia’s upcoming flagship will be a zero-emissions seven-seater and a pure-electric Range Rover will be arriving in 2024.
In the meantime, we’ve put together a list of the best electric SUVs you can buy right now. You can also read about the best electric family cars and best four-wheel-drive electric cars – and don't forget to follow DrivingElectric on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube for the very latest.
Audi Q4 e-tron
The Audi Q4 e-tron uses the same powertrain as the Volkswagen ID.4 and Skoda Enyaq iV, so it has an impressive range of up to 316 miles and 125kW charging. This also means it’s Audi’s most affordable electric car at the moment, and it makes a great family car because it’s spacious inside and comfortable to drive.
The Q4 e-tron’s interior is as upmarket as you’d expect from an Audi, and it’s more user-friendly than the ID.4’s cabin as well, without losing out on the amount of technology available. There’s lots of rear leg and headroom, even for adults, and a big boot.
The Audi isn’t as good value as the VW or Skoda, but if you want something a bit more upmarket, it’s still a good option. Read our full review here and check out our head-to-head twin test between the Audi Q4 e-tron and the Tesla Model Y.
The iX is the premium German brand's flagship electric model. Thanks to the dual-motor setups in both versions that are currently available, you get all-wheel-drive and impressive performance. It’s also great to drive for a car of this size, and can cover up to 381 miles on a full charge.
The centrepiece of the iX’s cabin is the slim instrument panel, which incorporates a 14.9-inch curved display screen and 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, and both displays are crisp and responsive to use. Inside, the iX overall feels light and airy, plus there's room for adults in the back and a 500-litre boot. Read our full review here.
Ford Mustang Mach-E
Ford dipped its toe in the electric market some time back with the Focus Electric, but the Mustang Mach-E is its first proper effort at a purpose-built electric car: designed to take on Tesla and beat it at its own game. It drives well enough to justify the Mustang badge, but at the same time it's no hardcore sports car: it's large and practical enough to fulfil the family SUV brief with ease.
A variety of models are offered, with driving ranges from 249 to 379 miles, either rear or four-wheel drive and significant rapid-charging capability. A high-performance GT model is available, too. In the meantime, read our full Mustang Mach-E review and check out our head-to-head comparison between the Mach-E and the Tesla Model 3.
Hyundai Kona Electric
The Kona Electric moved the mainstream electric-car market on in a big way. With a range of 280 miles from the larger 64kWh battery model, there’s as much range as in some petrol superminis, so the Kona Electric is genuinely useable not just as a day-to-day electric car, but for longer journeys, too.
There’s practicality, plenty of on-board technology thanks to a strong infotainment system that boasts the latest connectivity, good refinement and a comfortable ride, so the Kona Electric is a great all-rounder. We ran a Kona Electric long-term to really get a feel for it. It doesn't have genuine off-road capability, but the looks are there and few will take the Kona Electric off-road. Read our full review here.
Electric SUVs don’t come much better than this. When it arrived, the I-Pace immediately shot to the top of its class, and it's easy to see why. The Jaguar offers a range of nearly 300 miles, with performance to rival some much sportier machinery (395bhp and a 0-62mph time of 4.5 seconds proves as much) and the practicality that any family SUV buyer is looking for.
Key to this package is the clever body that sandwiches the battery in the floor, so while it's heavy, the weight is low down, so the I-Pace handles sweetly and rides smoothly. It also doesn’t hamper practicality, as there’s lots of space inside and the 638-litre boot will swallow almost anything a family can throw at it. Charging is fast, too, with 50kW rapid charging capability giving an 80% top-up in 85 minutes. Read our full review here.
Pound for pound, the Kia e-Niro is one of the best electric cars ever made. And the reason is simple: it combines long-range electric driving with a relatively affordable price tag that significantly undercuts the premium cars on this list, like the Tesla Model X and the Jaguar I-Pace.
With a 64kWh battery, the e-Niro returns 282 miles of range on paper, and it will take a rapid charge of up to 100kW for a 0-80% top-up time of an hour and 15 minutes. Better still is the fact that the e-Niro is very good to drive, as well as being practical and comfortable for a family of five. Read our full review here.
Mercedes' first electric SUV was the impressive but expensive EQC; this more recently introduced EQA makes driving a zero-emissions model with the three-pointed star on the nose a little more affordable. While the EQC shared some components with the GLC combustion-engined model, the EQA is closely related to the GLA.
But despite sharing some DNA with a petrol and diesel-powered SUV, it's still a very accomplished electric effort, with a fantastic, up-to-date interior and a very smooth and quiet driving experience for all occupants. It's practical, too, and the range has recently expanded to offer more powerful four-wheel-drive versions as well as the entry-level EQA 250 Sport. Read our full review here.
MG ZS EV
Since it launched in 2019, the MG ZS EV has offered many a very affordable route into zero-emissions motoring. For 2022, MG gave it a facelift, updating its styling and introducing a new Long Range version, with a range of up to 273 miles.
The starting price remains well under £30,000 and there’s lots of interior space, too, along with a 470-litre boot that should make the ZS EV ideal for most families. The refresh also brought a new digital driver’s display behind the steering wheel, and a 10.1-inch central touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Read of our full review of the new MG ZS EV here.
Skoda Enyaq iV
Skoda is renowned for producing great-value and well though-out family cars with petrol and diesel engines; this is its first effort to do the same with electric power. And it's a very good one. Using the VW Group's dedicated MEB electric-car architecture means there's an enormous amount of interior space for both passengers and luggage, not to mention great all-round visibility through those big windows.
Technology-wise, you can choose from two different battery sizes: the Enyaq iV 60 and the Enyaq iV 80. They deliver 256 and 333 miles of driving range respectively, as well as decent rapid-charging capability to get you topped up quickly on a longer journey. There are also a variety of interior 'themes' to choose from, with sustainable materials employed to give a unique feel to the cabin. Read our full review here.
Tesla Model Y
The Model Y is the small electric SUV many people have been waiting for. Based on the Model 3 saloon, the mid-size SUV boasts a spacious cabin, slick infotainment system and boatloads of practicality thanks to a 117-litre ‘frunk’ under the bonnet and a whopping 854 litres of boot space as well.
Plus, performance is still staggering, thanks to dual-motor setups in both the Long Range and Performance models that are currently available. Prices start from just over £50,000, but one of the major benefits of Tesla ownership is access to the brand’s extensive Supercharger network. Use one of its latest V3 Superchargers, and you can top up the Model Y's battery from 0-80% in just 36 minutes. Read our full review of the Tesla Model Y here.
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