The 15 best electric family cars for 2023

28th February 2023
Dan Trent

EVs make for excellent family cars. Neat packaging means they’re roomy, home charging gives cheap running costs, and emission-free running exempts them from paying charges like the ULEZ and London Congestion Charge. Thankfully, there are plenty of EVs for you and your family, and you'll find some of the best here.


MG 4 – the worthy underdog

If we're being real, expectations of MG have never been all that lofty. Over the last decade of new-gen MGs being sold in the UK, it's been the proprietor of innoffensive-looking, competitively-priced cars that sometimes punch above their weight and oftentimes present a fairly obvious compromise. Now, as the EV revoltion rolls on, the marque has struck while its competitiors are at their weakest, with the VW ID.3-beating MG 4. This is an all-electric hatchback with style, equipment and capability to properly take on and beat the definitive reinvented VW. Okay, it's not perfect in terms of UI and material quality, but it drives great, is priced fantastically and honestly, next to the frankly rocky ID.3, is a bit of a no-brainer.



Kia EV9 – the stylish newcomer

When Kia came to the UK in 1991 with only the suboptimal Sephia saloon to its name, few could have predicted the great strides it would take in the preceding 32 years. The EV9 feels like a landmark for the company, its first large electric SUV built (and priced) to take on premium rivals. On looks alone, it gets off to a convincing start. The EV9's boxy demeanour displays a ruggedness that should be a template for all SUVs. It also means you get plenty of room for seven people with space left over for luggage. The high-tech-looking interior feels cheap in places, though. Despite its size, the Kia's 95kWh battery offers a range of more than 300 miles with a light right foot (which shouldn’t be an issue because, if driven briskly, the Kia rolls and wallows like a cruiseliner in a storm). 


Volkswagen ID.4 – the all-rounder

The Volkswagen ID.4 isn't a car you'll ever lust over, but if you want sensible, electric-powered family transport, it's one of the best options. Inside, you'll find an abundance of space and an interior that's bright and well-designed, although not wholly devoid of annoyances (like the steering wheel's haptic feedback buttons). The ID.4 was updated for 2024 gaining more range, faster charging and more torque. The ID.4 can now get up to 339 miles between charges, add up to 110 miles in ten minutes of charging, and get from 0-62mph in as little as 5.4 seconds. There are more improvements inside, where you'll find more accurate voice recognition and the option to fit a 480W Harman Kardon stereo.


Skoda Enyaq IV – the value proposition

If the pseudo-futurism of the ID.4 isn’t your bag, or the idea of what sticky fingers could do to the minimalist white interior are giving you palpitations, Skoda’s sensible pants spin off the same MEB foundations is arguably as big a moment for electric cars as any Tesla. OK, it’s perhaps not as fast, glam or high tech. But the Enyaq IV represents the moment a family-sized electric car with sensible range and performance can be considered on equal terms with equivalent models powered by petrol, diesel or hybrid powertrains. And if you’re reaching the end of a PCP or PCH deal on a mid-size SUV you could switch into this without any worries whatsoever. More conventional-looking than the ID.4 but with the same huge interior space and an even bigger boot, the Enyaq IV also ekes out a fraction more range from the same 77kWh and 204PS (150kW) configuration as its VW relative for less money. An all-wheel-drive vRS version going against the GTX version of the ID.4 will also follow. 


Hyundai IONIQ 5 – the cool one

If VW was feeling pretty pleased with itself for creating the MEB platform the satisfaction won’t have lasted long, given how quickly the competition is arriving into the market. In Hyundai’s case having established an impressive foothold with electric versions of existing ICE products like the Kona Electric, the IONIQ 5 demonstrates the advantages of a clean-sheet EV platform by squeezing even more interior space between its three-metre wheelbase (a chunk more than the ID.4 or Enyaq) and pairing that with 300 miles of (official) range in its most efficient powertrain and battery combination. Inside and out it also raises Hyundai’s design game with looks that are just futuristic and distinctive enough without appearing too wacky or outlandish. If not cheap it’s certainly priced competitively for what you get, and comparable with a well-equipped ICE or hybrid model of similar size. 


Nissan Leaf – Mr no-nonsense 

‘Family car’ doesn’t necessarily have to mean electrified SUV or crossover and if the daily commute and/or school run duties can be covered within its 168-mile official range – let’s face it – the vast majority can be – the Nissan Leaf offers a no-nonsense and affordable way to go electric. That it comes based on Nissan’s already extensive experience of building and selling EVs should also give you confidence you’re not inadvertently playing a part in ‘live’ R&D of unproven technology. Sure, there are more glamorous ways to do it but family cars should put function first and the Leaf is packed with tech to take the heat out of parking and other real-world stresses. Priced well within the Government grant threshold that money off makes a significant difference to the cost, and monthly deals make it an affordable finance option, too. If you need more range the Leaf e+ should see you to over 200 miles on a charge. 


Volvo EX30 – faster than a fast thing

The Volvo EX30 sums up the sometimes-crazy world of the EV. Outwardly, it's a sensible family car with a shape – stuck somewhere between a hatchback and a mini SUV – that makes it surprisingly roomy. Based on this, you'd never have guessed it can accelerate from 0-62mph in 3.6 seconds – quicker than a Ferrari F40. It's silly in other areas, too, and, sadly, not for good reasons. The Tesla-style infotainment screen will have you pulling your hair out with many functions buried under layers of sub-menus. It's annoying at best, dangerous at worst and strange coming from a company that gave us the three-point seatbelt and, for safety reasons, limits its cars to a top speed of 112mph.


Volkswagen ID.7 – the sensible one

Saloon cars have been battered left, right and centre by the rise of the SUV, but Volkswagen has shown there’s life in the old dog yet with its ID.7 electric fastback. It has many advantages over electric alternatives, but its improved aerodynamics are arguably the most important, allowing the ID.7 to serve up an attention-grabbing 435 miles between charges (if you go for the rear-wheel drive Pro S with an 86kWh battery). The driving experience could be more engaging, but the ID.7 is quiet and comfortable, and even the basic model wafts from 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds. Inside, you'll find the spartan design and annoying haptic buttons you get in other VWs. It looks modern but lacks the quality feel of a BMW. On the upside, the comfortable seats, impressive rear legroom and large boot make this an excellent family car.

Ford Mustang Mach-E – the new Pony car

Repurposing all-American muscle car ideals into an electric crossover remains a culturally mixed message, reflected in the Mach-E’s slightly odd styling. For those less hung up on the legend of ‘real’ Mustangs that probably won’t be too much of a problem, though, and instead, the sense of fun and distinctive look will be a real attraction. And if everything else got garbled in translation the Mustang’s traditional offering of bang-for-buck has certainly endured, the Mach-E over-delivering on performance, range and the other things that may otherwise count as excuses against going electric. There are various mixes of battery and powertrain but the 294PS (216kW) and 379 miles of the rear-driven Extended Range version are a reasonable return on the chunky asking price.


Tesla Model 3 - the original

Until fairly recently, the Tesla Model 3 has been your go-to choice if you want an electric alternative to the Mercedes C-Class or BMW 3 Series, but now the Germans have their own mid-saloons EVs in the form of the (soon-to-be-revealed) Merc CLA and BMW i4. To fend off the competition, the Model 3 gets an update for 2024 with gently tweaked looks and more kit. The revised exterior is more aerodynamic, stretching maximum range to 420 miles and making the cabin 30 per cent quieter. The fundamentals remain, so you get a minimalist cabin controlled via a (now larger) central infotainment screen. Predictably, the Tesla has loads of performance that feels at odds with the silent way it goes about its business. It's also competitively priced and has Tesla's excellent Supercharger network to fall back on.


Vauxhall Mokka-e – the new wave

Jumping onto the Stellantis life raft may just have rescued this one-time fixture of British motoring life from extinction, the new Mokka introducing a confident new design language and sense of style rarely seen in the brand’s history. Shared foundations with Citroën and Peugeot – the latter’s e-2008 offers much of the same in Gallic clothes – mean the Mokka benefits from these brands’ existing electrified platforms and the battery version looks good, has more than enough range and performance to satisfy most domestic needs and is usefully affordable too. An encouraging return to form and, along with the related Corsa-e, a strong start for Vauxhall’s move into the electrified era.


BMW i4 – the posher one

We described this as "an EV for people who want a BMW, not an EV". This is the one that is going to appeal most to people who want to buy an electric car, but struggle to tear themselves away from the traditional cars they've been buying for years. BMW are pretty much the first of the heritage exec brands to plonk a full EV drivetrain into a standard saloon and it seems to have worked. If you find a Telsa a bit too meme-y and aren't sold on Polestar this could be the one for you.

Kia EV6 – the best one?

Yes, the EV6 has the same platform underneath it as the Ioniq 5, but the body is better and the interior does pretty much everything better than the Ioniq 5. It's also excellent to drive, with a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system and friendly, communicative steering. This is the large EV that you will look at when you walk away and want to jump in for every drive. The tech is also top quality, with fast charging and intuitive kit inside. Plus, the controls for the heated seats make you feel like Captain Jean-Luc Picard. 

Polestar 2 – the stylish one

The Polestar 2 is the most stylish EV on this list, emitting a knowing coolness that other cars can't match, backed up by chunky lines that signal its Volvo heritage. There's more Swedish good sense on the inside. The cabin has a minimalist feel with none of the second-rate plastic quality you might find in an Audi or Volkswagen. It's roomy enough, with a back seat just about big enough for adults and a boot bigger than you'll find in most family hatchbacks. For 2023, the basic Polestar 2 has swapped from front to rear-wheel drive, gets more power and a longer range that now breaks through 400 miles, making it even more attractive than ever. 


Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo – the brilliantly confusing one

Porsche mastered the EV first try with the Taycan. But now its ditched 20 years of destroying the estate with SUVs... to make an SUV. And thankfully it's brilliant. Boot space is decent and thanks to the raised roof there's now more head room in the back for the kids. And, it's a Taycan, so handling and performance are amazing. It will set you back a fair amount though, so don't think it's an EV6 alternative.

  • list

  • Ford

  • Mustang Mach-E

  • Nissan

  • Leaf

  • Volkswagen

  • ID.4

  • Tesla

  • Model 3

  • Jaguar

  • I-Pace

  • Volvo

  • XC40

  • Hyundai

  • Ioniq 5

  • Vauxhall

  • Mokka-e

  • SKoda

  • Enyaq IV

  • Kia

  • EV6

  • BMW

  • i4

  • Porsche

  • Taycan

  • best

  • best cars

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