The 13 best electric cars to buy in 2023

06th January 2023
James Brodie

2022 was a strong year for electric cars, with a number of major players across the car making spectrum introducing landmark EVs designed to set the tone for the path ahead. And in 2023, we can expect similar moves to be made by others, while those already out of the starting blocks look to consolidate and add to their new line-ups. 

Some manufacturers have new sub-brands ready to be populated with new nameplates, others have old favourites that will soon appear with plug sockets - you can expect it all in 2023. For now, here’s our favourite ten to start the year. How different will this list look come new year’s eve, we wonder?


Cupra Born

Rumblings of SEAT being a dead brand with no new cars coming - and no EVs to speak of - are offset by the fact that the Cupra sub-brand is really beginning to pick up a head of steam. The marque has several new models in the pipeline, but its first EV - the Cupra Born - has landed right in the sweet spot of expectations. It does exactly what it says on the tin, as a somewhat sportier, more interesting alternative to the Volkswagen ID.3 it shares many of its components with, including the MEB platform on which it is constructed. Battery options ranging from 58kWh to 77kWh, with a maximum range of 343 miles and ‘hot’ models capable of 0-62mph in 6.6 seconds. 


Polestar 2

Volvo’s electrified sub-brand went in hard with the super exclusive Polestar 1, a six-figure hybrid super coupe with 600PS (441kW) from a petrol-electric powertrain. The Polestar 2 is where the brand really establishes its credentials, though. A ground-up all-electric model, it looks way more stylish than the electrified SUVs peddled by more conservative German rivals and plays its ‘cool Scandinavian design’ card very effectively indeed. It’s fast too, and up there with a Jaguar I-Pace in terms of handling. Familiar enough not to freak people out but sufficiently different to mark you out as an independent thinker, the Polestar 2 is the cool way to make the switch.


Fiat 500

Fiat’s reborn, all-electric 500 has been a smash hit since arrival in 2021, and it’s still one of the top small and affordable electric vehicles on sale today. A 42kWh battery enables a maximum range of 199 miles, while the cute looks are combined with a solid interior laden with some of the Stellantis group’s freshest infotainment technology. It’s fun to drive, too, especially easy to pilot around the tight city streets the 500 nameplate has always taken in its stride. Hot Abarth versions of the petrol-powered 500 have become cult favourites, and this year, the electric 500 will receive the same treatment when the Abarth 500e goes on sale, developing 155PS (114kW) from its electric motor. 


BMW i4

BMW’s slow march to an electric line-up mirroring the internal combustion powered side of the range is gathering pace, and the i4 is a key player in this plan. While we’ve not yet seen an all-electric 3 Series in Europe (there is one for the Chinese market), the i4 more or less plays that role for us, albeit cloaked in the bodywork of the 4 Series Gran Coupe. Prices start from just over £56,000 for the eDrive40 model, which has a single electric motor developing 340PS (250kW) and thanks to a battery 81kWh in capacity, claims an impressive 365 miles of range. And it’s fast, too, with 0-62mph coming up in just 5.7 seconds. Those wanting some M-car like thrills can look into the i4 M50, which boasts a 544PS (400kW) all-wheel-drive setup capable of dispatching 0-62mph in just 3.9 seconds. 


Tesla Model 3

The mainstream car industry has finally woken up to Tesla’s disruptive influence and responded with electric offerings across price points and body styles. The Model 3 should, by the fast-moving pace of things, be yesterday’s news in the EV world but still sets the standard for the ease with which an EV can satisfy the everyday motoring needs of most drivers. Plus a few they didn’t think they didn’t know were necessary, like built-in whoopee cushions. With the standard one offering a 267-mile range, 0-62 in 5.3 seconds it’s already a game changer in family car terms, range over 350 miles and 0-62 in a supercar troubling 3.1 seconds there for the taking in the Performance version. It can even do awesome drifts if you unlock the right mode.


Volvo XC40 Recharge

Volvo is another brand where you can plot your own path from pure internal combustion, into plug-in hybrid and then to full electric all within the same model. In all its guises the XC40 is a stylish offering, playing by the SUV/crossover rules in terms of its stance and looks but with a cool, individualistic streak all of its own. ‘Recharge’ branding covers the plug-in hybrid and pure electric versions, the latter of which offers 408PS (300kW), 0-62mph in just 4.9 seconds and a range of just over 200 miles. Pity it costs more than double what an ICE version does, though.



Is the MG4 the best value EV on sale today? Prices start from £26,995 for the cut-price Volkswagen ID.3 rival in SE form with a 51kWh battery, good for a maximum range of 218 miles. But the real sweet spot of the range is the £29,495 SE Long Range car, with its 64kWh battery good for 281 miles of running. The front mounted electric motor is rated at a surprisingly potent 204PS (150kW) in this version, which makes performance sprightly - 7.7 seconds is needed to hit 62mph. And while under Chinese ownership, MG hasn’t quite lived up to the sporty, dynamic heights of its previous incarnation, the MG4 certainly claws some of that kudos back. It’s good to drive, owing to its accurate and nicely weighted steering, good visibility and solid ride quality. It’s a strong showing. 


Kia EV6

Kia hit the ground running when the EV revolution really kicked off in the mid-2010s. The E-Niro was an absolute smash hit among early adopters, offering real world usable range, relative affordability in a competent if not alluring package. The E-Niro is now the Niro EV, for the model’s second generation. But Kia now offers a bespoke electric car too, in the EV6. This is an altogether different beast, with serious performance, a high-quality, nicely designed interior and aggressive looks. This is a full on executive car and, as we discovered, it’s blooming excellent. This is a fast, fun, comfortable, well-equipped and usable EV with lots of range that doesn’t smack of sacrifice or martyrdom. We could almost call it the definition of post-premium, where the traditional three-box format, ICE powertrain and a German badge are nowhere to be seen. You can get Porsche Taycan rivalling performance too, if you opt for the 577PS (424kW) GT version too. 


Hyundai Ioniq 5

Over at Hyundai, the Ioniq 5 represents Kia’s sister brand’s first effort on the E-GMP platform. While its technical basis is similar, with the same combination of battery and electric motor variants save for the hot GT version (we’ll touch on that shortly), it is an entirely different looking machine. Its boxy, retro-futuristic looks are inspired by Hyundai’s 1974 Pony Coupe concept, and the appearance does well to hide the actual scale of the car, until you approach it and get inside - where you’ll find plenty of space in a modern and minimalist cabin. Soon, you’ll find plenty pace too, given Hyundai’s N division is introducing a hot version, likely pushing the same 577PS of the Kia EV6 GT but with some added N magic, including a simulated gearbox.


Audi E-Tron GT

Audi hasn’t rolled out an e-tron GT line-up quite as expansive as Porsche’s offerings with the Taycan. But, it would be unfair to forget that this is essentially a different take on the same format - it’s even on the same platform as the Porsche - it’s just aimed at a slightly different buyer. The RS E-Tron GT version wears more stylish Audi clothing and a more tactile cabin than its Porsche counterpart. With 600PS (441kW), a clever diff and an outstanding chassis setup, it drives superbly too. This is an EV you can really enjoy driving in the way you would a serious performance car, not just for its speed. Of course, range remains important and we’ve seen 200 miles real world in freezing conditions in the RS. The non RS will deliver much more day-to-day. The only issue? It’s expensive but honestly, as a genuine object of desire, we could almost overlook the cost.


Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo

There are plenty of Taycan models to choose from now, but the Sport Turismo is probably our pick of the bunch over the regular saloon and the jacked-up Cross Turismo version. It’s a somewhat isolated car, given it’s one of only two all-electric estates on sale right now - the other being the somewhat more affordable MG5. As you’d expect of Porsche, a plethora of variants ranging from the base model, through 4S and up to top-spec Turbo variants exist, but our pick of the bunch is the GTS. 598PS (440kW) is more than enough power for a car like this, providing the punch to move family and dog from 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds. 


Ford Mustang Mach-E

Bastardisation of a legacy dripping in petrolhead heroism or a logical reimagination of all ‘Mustang’ stands for in the electric age? The conversation will likely continue for some time yet but Ford’s adoption of the name and styling cues of its famous muscle car for an electric SUV are sure to please mainstream buyers not hung up on a history of V8s and tyre smoke. It certainly sets up a fascinating showdown between Detroit and the new tech of Silicon Valley, the Mach-E seemingly going for Tesla’s jugular in terms of performance, range and attainability. Enough to inspire a ‘Ford Versus Elon’ movie as a sequel to the one against Ferrari some way down the line? We’ll have to wait and see on that one.


Renault Megane E-Tech

We love an unconventional approach to the SUV thing clearly because we’re big fans of the new Renault Megane E-Tech. While the Nissan Ariya with which it shares its CMF-EV platform looks a bit like a Qashqai from two generations ahead, the Megane, like the Ioniq 5, very much disguises its stockiness. It’s got the look of a proper Megane successor, in spite of representing an enormous change for the nameplate. Likewise on the inside, it’s bang up-to-date, but still with a bit of French flair and character. Once again, like in the Kia, an EV doesn’t need to mean style suicide. This is a properly lovely thing inside and out. Stylish, roomy, with long-range (292 miles) capabilities and a clever underpinning, this, along with the Ariya, is one of the first in a wave of new cars to ride on this clever platform, which features ultra-thin batteries and fast charging options. You can also be reassured by Renault’s experience in the EV game, with the still-excellent Zoe now ten years old and going strong.

  • List

  • Polestar

  • Polestar 2

  • BMW

  • Tesla

  • Model 3

  • Volvo

  • XC40

  • MG

  • Ford

  • Mustang Mach-E

  • Renault

  • Megane E-Tech

  • Fiat

  • 500

  • Kia EV6

  • Hyundai

  • Ioniq 5

  • EV

  • Electric Avenue

  • i4

  • Porsche

  • Taycan

  • Audi

  • e-tron GT

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