The best new electric SUVs to buy in 2024

Ginny Buckley

3 Jan 2024

Combining an electric car and an SUV might sound as odd as sticking pineapple on a pizza, but you end up with a practical vehicle mixed with the smooth driving and blistering performance of an EV – quite the compelling combination if you think about it.

And the benefits don’t stop there because electric SUVs come with bigger battery packs, giving you a better range for longer trips. Plus, anyone getting one as a company car can take advantage of their lower emissions and pay piffling benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax rates.

We’ve created a list of the 10 best electric SUVs you can buy, considering the price, what they are like to drive, practicality, range and charging speeds. Read on to find the best electric SUV and the one you should avoid.

10. BMW iX

Our pick: xDrive 50 M Sport   Price: £102,755   Range: 341

Yes, the BMW iX is the most expensive on our list, but this behemoth is the most luxurious electric SUV out there.

We’ve driven the xDrive40 and xDrive50 versions of iX, and both are as quiet as a Rolls Royce. However, the xDrive 50 has air suspension, allowing it to waft you and your passengers happily for hundreds of miles at a time, something the former car on standard steel springs can’t manage so convincingly. 

The xDrive50 also adds a four-wheel steer system to make this enormous car feel a little more wieldy on country roads, and it’s especially helpful we found for reversing into tight parking spaces. It also helps that the priciest iX has an extra 200bhp to pin you back in your set when accelerating (0-62mph takes just 4.6 seconds), and a large battery pack offering up to 341 miles of range.

9. Genesis GV60

Our pick: Premium   Price: £53,905   Range: 321 miles

The Genesis GV60 proves you can get close to the refinement of the iX we’ve discussed but for half the price.

But it isn’t half the car because the GV60 has a more advanced 800-volt architecture means you can top up the battery from 10-80% in 16 minutes, or around half the time of the iX. 

That architecture for the GV60 comes from the Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5, with which it shares a platform. We feel the driving experience treads a happy medium between the two, being softer than the EV6, but tauter than the Ioniq 5.

The GV60 has a nicer interior than its siblings. It has high-quality materials and an easier-to-use infotainment system with a rotary dial similar to the iX’s iDrive. It’s also got all the equipment you’d need, along with heated and ventilated electric front seats and a full body massage function for the driver’s side. The latter makes it one of the most comfortable driving positions we’ve experienced in a car, with the latter function particularly helpful in staving off a numb bum.

8. Nissan Ariya

Our pick: 87kWh Advance   Price: £51,895   Range: 329 miles

It’s taken a long time for the follow-up to the Nissan Leaf to arrive, but the new Nissan Ariya is a welcome addition to the electric SUV fray.

We’ve chosen the 87kWh (usable battery) version over the 63kWh version because the premium is worth it for the useful 329 miles of range. That extra range came in handy on a long trip to Scotland we undertook, as did the stable charging curve that enabled us to top up its battery from 10-80% in a reasonably swift 35 minutes.

We found the 20in alloy wheels make impacts with motorway expansion joints and potholes too harsh, so stick with the standard 19in wheels - they also help lessen road noise and keep things relatively hushed. The Ariya’s 239bhp electric motor means it’s nippy enough to make a gap in a busy roundabout safely. The pick of the range if you can afford it is the e4force though, which has more power and a clever four-wheel-drive system.

The best parts of the Ariya are its nicely finished interior, lots of space for six-footers in the front or back, and a reasonably big boot. The wide-opening rear doors are a thoughtful touch for anyone fitting a child seat in the back.

7. Kia Niro EV​​

The Kia Niro EV’s predecessor, the Kia e-Niro, was a trailblazer when it came out, and this latest version continues to be a great all-rounder.

It’s a comfortable car with a supple ride and safe, predictable handling that helps relieve driving stress. You also get handy paddles behind the steering wheel to vary the level of regenerative braking, which we very much appreciate being able to do in an electric car to boost our mile-per-kilowatt-hour figure.

There’s only one power output (201bhp) and one battery size (64.8kWh usable), both of which are plenty for everyone’s needs. We would like it to charge faster but can’t knock the range you get for a relatively small battery. Plus, it’ll handle all your daily family needs with aplomb thanks to lots of space inside, a decent boot, and a handy space under the bonnet to store the charging cables.

6. Smart #1

Our pick: Premium 66kWh   Price: £38,950   Range: 273 miles

It’s incredible that the maker of one of the worst EVs on sale, the Smart Fortwo EQ, can turn around and make something as good as the all-new Smart #1. Call us #surprised.

The standard version (there will be a nutty 422bhp four-wheel drive Brabus high-performance version, too) gets a zippy 268bhp electric motor driving the rear wheels, making this a surprise traffic light Grand Prix weapon. Add plenty of grip, taut suspension and precise steering, and you have an electric SUV which feels alert to drive.

Inside is a well-made interior with lots of passenger space thanks to a long wheelbase. The boot isn’t all that big, but it does have some neat touches, like storage under the floor and bonnet for the charge cables, plus the back seat slides, so you can move it forward and trade some of its ample leg room for luggage capacity.

5. Skoda Enyaq

Our pick: iV 60 Loft   Price: £38,970   Range: 246 miles

The Skoda Enyaq has much in common with the Audi Q4 e-tron and Volkswagen ID.4, but we think it’s the best of the bunch - and not just because it has a free umbrella.

For starters, we’ve found it to be one of the more comfortable riding electric cars out there, plus it handles tidily for a heavy electric car.

The interior has a surprisingly premium feel which compares well even with the pricier Q4 e-tron. The Enyaq trounces it for passenger space, though, so even a tall adult in the back will find plenty of space behind a similarly tall driver. The enormous boot will have no trouble with a family’s holiday luggage.

We’d recommend the recently re-introduced iV 60 model to get the best value because you still get a decent 250-mile range, plus the saving over the 80 probably would pay for a lovely holiday.

4. Hyundai Ioniq 5

Our pick: Premium   Price: £47,940 (+ £990 heat pump)   Range: 315 miles

If the looks of Genesis GV60 aren’t to your liking and you need a bigger boot and rear seat room, then the Hyundai Ioniq 5 will be just the ticket.

Recent updates have altered the suspension of the Ioniq 5 to make it wallow less at speed, and the increased battery size of the long-range version means it can finally mix with the best in this class. 

Behind the boxy exterior styling is a practical EV, providing ample room for adults in the front and lots of head and leg room should you want to stick a six-footer in the back. The boot isn’t the biggest we’ve ever used, but it does the job. You can always utilise the underfloor storage if you need more room because there’s space for the charge cables to live in a cubby under the bonnet.

3. BMW iX3

Our pick: M Sport   Price: £64,165   Range: 285 miles

After a premium electric SUV but can’t quite get around the bold looks of the BMW iX? Don’t worry; you can have the same badge on something far more conservative, the BMW iX3. 

Indeed, we think the iX3 is the better choice for those considering the entry-level xDrive40 iX because you get similar performance, greater EV range, and a significant price-saving.

What’s more, we’ve found the iX3 to feel far more nimble to drive than the bulky iX, plus the iX3 has a more compliant ride than the entry-level xDrive40. 

Inside, the interior of the iX3 is full of dense, classy materials, and oddly for a BMW, it comes with plenty of standard equipment and virtually no options to pick from. It's even practical for a family, losing little interior space over the regular petrol and diesel models despite the EV conversion.

2. Kia EV6

Our pick: GT-Line Price: £49,145 (+ £990 heat pump) Range: 328 miles

The Kia EV6 cements the brand’s positioning as an EV specialist, not only for its excellent range of 328 miles, but because you get the next-generation 800-volt architecture similar to that of the Porsche Taycan and Audi e-tron GT for a fraction of the price.

Such an electric architecture means you stop for a 10-80% top-up and be on your way again in just 18 minutes - or the time it takes for a quick coffee break. We’ve completed numerous long drives in EV6s and found that you can do them just as quickly as a regular petrol or diesel car, dispelling the myth that EVs are inconvenient.

In our experience, the EV6 drives in a sportier manner than its Genesis GV60 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 siblings, and we particularly enjoyed using paddles behind the steering wheel to vary the regenerative braking system to maximise our efficiency.

1. Tesla Model Y

Our pick: Dual Motor Long Range Price: £52,990 Range: 331 miles (351 miles with 19-in wheels)

When we started driving the Tesla Model Y, we saw its potential but found many niggles. But, with each newer version we’ve tried, those concerns have been gradually addressed. Now we’re left with an electric SUV that thoroughly deserves our recommendation.

And it turns out you like it too. According to the latest SMMT registration figures, the Model Y is the seventh best-selling car of 2023, one spot up from the humble Ford Fiesta.

Despite being a highly efficient EV with up to 351 miles of range, it can sprint from 0-62mph in less than five seconds. It’s grippy and engaging to drive, plus you can customise things like the accelerator response, regenerative braking, and even the weight of the steering to find your ideal settings.

People of all sizes have plenty of space inside, and there’s so much luggage capacity either in the boot or under the bonnet. The equipment level is also excellent given the price, and the large central touch screen even comes with games to occupy you whilst charging. There’s even a whoopie cushion sound generator to prank your passengers with.

Despite the toilet humour, this is still a sensible electric car choice. If the range, price, practicality, and performance aren’t enough to convince you, having access to the dedicated Tesla charging network will. We’ve found it to be very reliable and shouldn’t leave you floundering with a recalcitrant charger. It is the cherry on top of the best electric SUV package.

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