Best electric cars for 2019
By Martin Pratt
Article 14 of 16
The best electric cars are every bit as good as their petrol or diesel rivals, with enough range for most everyday journeys. Discover the best electric cars.
Electric cars have finally come of age, offering virtually all the functionality and practicality of traditional petrol- and diesel-engined cars, while delivering zero exhaust emissions and the potential for very low day-to-day running costs.
As demand increases, more manufacturers are offering all-electric models, spanning car-classes large and small, both mainstream and premium. At one end of the scale is the Renault Zoe, Nissan Leaf, VW e-Up and e-Golf. At the other, the likes of the BMW i3 and i8, and Tesla Model S and X.
But are these cars good enough to be the best electric cars? The ones below are – electric cars that have aced the same tests as their conventional petrol- or diesel-powered rivals, yet can be recharged from a plug socket for a fraction of the price of a tank of fuel.
The best new electric cars
The zero-emissions models that have performed well in our tests, available new.
Best new electric cars
This premium manufacturer’s first attempt at an electric hatchback is impressive. It has decent range and performance, and an upmarket feel. It’s also nippy, with a tight turning circle, and is a treat to drive in town. A range extender hybrid version was originally available for those who regularly travel further afield, though all new models are battery electric only.
This zero-emissions city car is surprisingly nippy, and as easy to drive as the combustion version, too. It also has the same generous front passenger space and high quality finish. There are some big differences, though - it's eerily quiet and acceleration is instantaneous.
This model is one of the few compact crossovers available as a battery EV. It has a good driving range and is absolutely effortless to drive. Furthermore, boot space hasn’t been affected in the transformation into a zero-emissions car, though it wasn’t much to write home about in the first place.
The greatest compliment we can pay this zero-emissions model is that it's very much like the regular combustion model to drive (aside from a lack of noise). It doesn't sacrifice much space to fit in the new tech, either - it's a well-deserved Best Buy.
The best used electric cars
Save money without the risk of buying a car that will let you down, with our used electric car recommendations.
Best used electric cars
A battery electric car that doesn't compromise on luxury. It may be the frumpy hatchback in its maker’s range, but it's got most of the luxury trappings of more expensive models. The silent electric drivetrain only improves the tranquillity. It's a deserved Which? Best Buy.
Performance is strong, with power coming in instantly, but this can make the car feel a little unsettled and it's less sharp to drive than a conventional petrol model. It’s also got a smaller boot, thanks to the battery packs under the floor. Elsewhere, however, it’s near identical to the combustion version, and that’s no bad thing at all.
Electric power suits the stop-start driving that city cars get subjected to. This was one of the earliest zero-emissions hatchbacks available. As such, it has a limited range compared to the latest models and charging takes an age, but its silent running and potential for very low running costs could prove very appealing if it fits your motoring life.
The electric cars to avoid
Save yourself from range anxiety and the potential for big bills by steering clear of these models.
Electric cars to avoid
This was one of the earliest available modern battery electric cars. As such, it had a very limited driving range and was compromised in terms of daily usability thanks to a small boot and restricted visibility. It was only available via a battery leasing agreement, too.
An electric car pioneer, this model was designed to excel in the city. Its narrow body and nippy electric motor make it easy to drive, though it has serious driving range and practicality shortfalls. Euro NCAP’s crash safety test revealed concerns over its occupant protection in front-end collisions over 40mph.
Electric ranges at a glance
Here are all the ranges from all electric cars we've tested so far. This is a Which? member exclusive, so log in to see which cars can do the most miles between charges:
From how much an electric car costs to run (and how you can cut this cost), to what you need to know about different charging points. We tell you all you need to know about how to charge an electric car.
We test cars more thoroughly than anyone else
Our tests go further than those carried out by other organisations, and because Which? is independent and doesn't accept advertising or freebies, you can trust our reviews to give you the full, honest and impartial truth about every car we test.
Every car we review is subjected to more than 100 individual tests in a lab, on a test track, and on real roads – and we really clock up the miles, driving around 500 miles in every car we test.
Testing in controlled lab conditions means the results we collect are directly comparable between different cars, helping us determine exactly which models are better and why, and helping you find the perfect car for your needs
And so you know which cars are likely to prove reliable for years to come, we also gather feedback from thousands of UK car owners through the Which? Car Survey, using it to generate detailed reliability ratings for the cars we test.
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