Best cars

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Electric cars just keep improving, with longer ranges and shorter charging times. Here are the best electric cars on sale now

Ioniq 5

Electric cars are still considered as a relatively new concept but they’ve actually been around since the 19th century. Buyers fell out of love with them in favour of petrol and diesel cars, though, and the term ‘electric vehicle’ brought only images of golf buggies and milk floats to mind.

There is an increasing number of electric cars entering the market every year, leading to more and more new car buyers swapping a petrol or diesel car for one powered by a battery pack. They range in size, too, with electric power now available in mainstream superminis to family-sized SUVs and performance saloons. You can buy several small electric models such as the Vauxhall Corsa, Peugeot 208 and the MINI electric which all offer a decent range, as well as luxury and performance models like the Audi e-tron GT, Jaguar I-Pace and Porsche Taycan which would've been unthinkable only a few years ago. In this list, we’ve ranked the best electric cars you can buy today.

Top 10 best small electric cars 2022

These days, most electric cars are capable of travelling more than 100 miles on a single charge – more than 300 miles in some cases – and their recharging time has tumbled. Electric car batteries have also become smaller and lighter, benefiting the packaging, efficiency and handling of these vehicles. The Government expects pure electric cars to account for half of all car sales in the UK car market by 2027, and the number of charging points is increasing. From 2030 onwards, new car buyers will only be able to choose between an electric, hydrogen or plug-in hybrid car.

Electric cars are commonly referred to as battery electric vehicles (BEV), and thanks to their electric motor and battery pack, they produce none of the harmful exhaust emissions of their petrol and diesel-powered counterparts and they offer much lower running costs. Only fully electric cars are exempt from paying the £15 per day London Congestion Charge too. These aren’t the only advantages; the absence of a combustion engine can free up extra space inside and electric cars can accelerate quickly because of the way electric motors deliver their power. The Tesla Model S, for example, remains one of the fastest accelerating cars ever made.

Top 10 cheapest electric cars 2022

However, electric cars don’t yet suit all lifestyles. They cost more to buy than conventional cars of the same type and you have to factor in the extra time to recharge their batteries versus refilling a petrol or diesel car. There’s also the effort of finding a charger if you need one during a journey.

This situation is changing, however, with new charging stations continually emerging. The range of companies and schemes does seem confusing, but our guide to the best chargepoints should take the hassle out of charging during journeys.

Electric cars are getting more desirable very quickly. If you often drive long distances, take a look at our guide to the best hybrid cars, while our list of the best plug-in hybrids may also appeal to town drivers, otherwise keep reading for what we think are the 10 best electric cars on sale right now.

To read more about electric cars, check out our guides to the longest-range electric cars and the top 10 electric SUVs on sale today.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 hatchback review

Best Family Electric Car: Hyundai IONIQ 5
Carbuyer rating

4.5 out of 5

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Hyundai’s history with pure electric cars goes all the way back to 1991 with an electric version of the Sonata saloon. It’s obvious the company has used its 30 years of experience when it comes to the Ioniq 5; it’s one of the best EVs on sale today. A striking mix between retro and futuristic, this new electric Hyundai won’t fail to stand out in the supermarket car park.

With a maximum range of around 300 miles and the capability for super fast 350kW charging, the Ioniq 5 is quick to disperse any niggling range anxiety. Even entry-level models carry a respectable range of around 238 miles, as well as plenty of tech and interior space for passengers. Also, like other Hyundais, the Ioniq 5 comes with a five-year, unlimited-mile warranty for peace of mind. The Ioniq 5 truly sets an electric-car benchmark.

Skoda Enyaq iV SUV review

Skoda Enyaq iV SUV - front 3/4 dynamic
Carbuyer rating

4.5 out of 5

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The Skoda Enyaq iV is, on paper, a cut-price alternative to the Volkswagen ID.4 SUV. However, it’s far from inferior, offering more practicality and better value for money than the VW.  However, in entry-level form, the Skoda has more power and a superior range of over 250 miles compared with the VW’s range of around 213 miles. 

Skoda has packed the Enyaq iV with plenty of its innovative features, such as an umbrella in the door. For the eco-conscious, the interior can be made from recycled plastic bottles or leather that was tanned using olives from sustainable trees. Pair that with plenty of boot capacity and interior space, and this is an impressive electric SUV built for everyday life. For those that want a more stylish SUV, Skoda has announced the new Enyaq Coupe iV, which features a rakish roofline with similar practicality. 

Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback review

Best Small Company Car: Volkswagen ID.3
Carbuyer rating

4.4 out of 5

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If there’s a brand that reassures buyers they’re in safe hands during their transition to electric motoring, it’s VW. The ID.3 replaces the e-Golf, and VW says its new car is as important as the Beetle and Golf. It plans to sell 100,000 annually by the end of 2022 and the ID.3 is the springboard for a whole range of electric Volkswagen ID-branded models. The ID.3 looks like a futuristic Volkswagen Golf but it’s been laid out to offer a similar amount of interior space to a Volkswagen Passat.

Range varies from 205 to 342 miles, depending on the battery size you spec, and the ID.3 feels quick enough to keep pace with a Golf GTI. Inside, material quality seems to have been compromised and some controls might not be where you’d expect them to be, but it’s certainly a futuristic design. We think the ID.3 will prove popular, especially with buyers who can’t quite stretch to the Tesla Model 3.

Volkswagen ID.4 SUV review

VW ID.4 GTX
Carbuyer rating

4.4 out of 5

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Volkswagen succeeded with its first full step into the EV market with the ID.3, and the ID.4 offers that car’s great performance and design in a larger and more fashionable SUV package. All models come as standard with features such as heated front seats, dual-zone climate control and sat-nav. An optional panoramic sunroof and two-tone white interior keep the cabin feeling modern and spacious.

Volkswagen introduced a sporty GTX version of the ID.4 and, while it can’t keep up with the likes of the Tesla Model Y Performance, it does have 298bhp from its two electric motors to get from 0-62mph in 6.2 seconds. If range is more important to you, the Pro Performance spec offers 322 miles, while the entry-level Pure’s 211 miles should be fine for everyday use around town.

Kia e-Niro review

Kia e-Niro
Carbuyer rating

4.4 out of 5

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We’re seriously impressed with the Kia e-Niro because it’s one of the most complete electric cars we’ve driven so far. Its impressive range is merely one reason to like it; it’s also half the price of the posher cars on this list. Under the stricter WLTP test cycle, the e-Niro managed 282 miles between charges, and you should be able to get close to this figure in mixed driving.

The car’s based on one of the Niro hybrid’s top trim levels, so it’s well equipped. Add in a big boot and a long warranty, and the e-Niro is a striking prospect. If you’re looking to embrace the electric revolution, Kia’s first EV is likely to be the one that tempts you away from petrol and diesel power.

Tesla Model 3 saloon review

Tesla Model 3 saloon fron 3/4 cornering
Carbuyer rating

4.4 out of 5

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While the Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X paved the way for long-range, stylish electric cars, the Model 3 aims to provide this in a more mainstream package. Although it’s more expensive than initially expected, its £40,000 starting price makes it a strong rival to conventional powered models. With a 0-62mph time of just 3.2 seconds in Performance guise and a maximum range of around 360 miles in Long Range spec, it’s a completely different proposition to its rivals like the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Jaguar XE.

There are still some questions about supply, build quality and reliability but the performance, technology and luxurious interior will be enough to sway many customers. At the moment, the Model 3 is on its own in terms of pricing - it’s more expensive than most of the electric cars on this list but it undercuts the Jaguar, Audi e-tron and Tesla’s other models.

Kia EV6 hatchback review

2021 Kia EV6
Carbuyer rating

4.4 out of 5

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The Kia EV6 is one of the most futuristic-looking cars on sale due to its sweeping rear light bar and minimalist interior. The car’s seats are made out of recycled materials and the trim feels suitably expensive, matching the car’s £40k+ price tag. The EV6’s hatchback tailgate makes loading and unloading easy, plus rear-wheel-drive cars even benefit from a decent-sized ‘frunk’. This sits where the engine would be in a combustion-engined car and offers more storage.

The entry-level model can do up to 323 miles on a single charge, while the more powerful four-wheel-drive version with more than 300bhp has a range of 314 miles. An even faster, performance model is on the way with 577bhp. However, all versions of the EV6 are capable of up to 350kW charging, so no matter what power output you opt for, you won’t be waiting around too long if you can find one of the most powerful chargers.

Ford Mustang Mach-E SUV review

Ford Mustang Mach-E - front 3/4 dynamic
Carbuyer rating

4.4 out of 5

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It was a brave move to use the Mustang name for Ford’s first foray into the world of purpose-built electric cars. At a glance, this electric SUV shares very little with its iconic namesake, with little more than a faux sloping roofline and synthesised V8 engine rumble in the cabin to tie it into the Mustang line-up. However, the real connection is found when you step behind the wheel because this is one of the best electric SUVs on the market to drive.

The Mach-E is offered in three variants: Standard, Extended Range and GT. Base level models can achieve up to 273 miles on a single charge, while Extended Range cars boost this to 379 miles. Like most performance models, the GT trim sacrifices a bit of the Extended Range model’s range; it offers 310 miles but a 0-60mph time of 3.7 seconds. Thanks to its blistering performance, great tech and practicality, the Mustang Mach-E is a car that suits both the head and heart. 

BMW i4 hatchback review

BMW i4 hatchback
Carbuyer rating

4.4 out of 5

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The BMW i4 offers all of the luxury and performance one expects of a sports saloon in a zero-emissions package. The top-of-the-range i4 M50 is the first electric car to be tinkered with by BMW’s ‘M’ division and provides sports-car-like thrills while remaining practical, thanks to four doors and a hatchback tailgate.

The i4 retains the striking styling of its petrol and diesel-powered cousin, the 4 Series, with the large kidney grille on the nose. However, on the i4, the grille is blocked off and the would-be exhaust pipes are replaced by trim pieces to improve airflow and efficiency. The i4 has a maximum range of 367 miles but expect to pay handsomely for it, since this BMW is far from the most affordable electric car around.

Hyundai Kona Electric review

Hyundai Kona Electric SUV
Carbuyer rating

4.3 out of 5

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The Hyundai Kona is an SUV with attractive styling, but not much else to crow about in standard guise. Plump for electric power though, and suddenly this South Korean-built car becomes a lot more compelling. For starters, no EV rival gets close to the Kona’s fashionable looks at anything like the money. And it’s not just a looker on the outside; the interior has an appealingly high-quality design with a hi-tech feel.

Just as impressively, if you opt for the biggest 64kWh battery, Hyundai reckons you can eke out around 270 miles of driving on a full charge. That’s enough to make ‘range anxiety’ a thing of the past for most users, especially those who can plug in at home every night. If you want to dip into the Kona’s performance, a sub-eight-second 0-62mph time is on the cards, although inert handling means it never feels like a sports car. You’ll quickly dent the range, too, which already drops to around 200 miles with the cheaper 39kWh battery. Most EV drivers won’t care, enjoying the Kona’s smoothness, refinement and practicality instead. The Hyundai Kona Electric has proved so popular that Hyundai can’t keep up with current demand.

Not sure whether hybrid or electric power is right for you? Check out our guide, Hybrid vs plug-in hybrid vs electric cars.

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