Best electric cars 2023 UK


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► The best electric cars of 2023
► Our guide to the UK’s top EVs
► Electric car buying advice and more 

The world is changing, and gradually petrol and diesel cars are being pushed out by electric vehicles. Sales of electric cars have now overtaken diesel cars and they now make up around one in seven new vehicles registered in Britain. That’s impressive growth.

Why are more people opting to plug in? Well, there are more EVs on the market in 2023 than ever before – every day seems to bring news of the latest fresh model launch. Their prices are gradually falling: some of the cheapest and best value electric cars represent the potential for serious cost savings. There are models of all shapes and sizes, from electric SUVs to sports cars and you can now get electric estates, too.

Motorists’ nervousness about making the switch is slowly receding, with the longest-range electric cars helping to eliminate range anxiety and question marks over battery lifespan or electric car charging times are slowly being resolved as the technology improves.

Read on for our guide to the best electric cars and EVs of 2023 to help people thinking of going electric. Not everyone will be ready to plug in, but CAR magazine’s journalists have tested every electrified car on sale today and have unbiased, helpful advice in this article to help you make a better decision.

VIDEO: coast-to-coast challenge by Kia EV6 (powered by Shell Recharge)

The best electric cars 2023

Read on for our full list of EVs, or click the links above to jump straight to the cars you’re interested in.

Picking an electric car

The sale of new internal combustion engine (ICE) cars will be banned in the UK from 2030. With increased focus on reducing CO2 emissions, car makers are rushing to produce more EVs – and that means more choice for the consumer.

2022 Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo

What to look for in an EV

Like any fossil-fuel powered car, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) come in all shapes and sizes, and which EV is best for you will depend on a variety of factors – such as your average daily mileage, type of driving you do, where you live and your access to private or public charging points. There’s no point having an electric car if it can’t accommodate your usage, or if the infrastructure isn’t there to support it, after all. 

Want to know which is the best pure electric car for you to consider? We’ve handily split our recommendations into different categories, so browse through our guides below defined by vehicle type:

Alternatively, the page you’re reading now takes body type out of the equation, simply listing our favourite electric cars of 2023.

Parkers’ Best Small Electric Car for 2023.

Fiat 500 e review

Fiat 500 e Lease Deals VIEW OFFER

11. BMW iX (from £69,905)

Whatever you think of that large-nostrilled nose, or that rear overhang, you aren’t going to mistake the BMW iX for any other car. That’s good news for Munich, because BMW has put some serious engineering effort into its new electric SUV. It’s full of tech and performance, from the Integrated Brake system that manages slowing the car via the motors and/or friction – to the 0-62mph time of the XDrivce50 model and its tested 305-mile range. Above everything else, BMW’s new iX is incredibly intriguing. It’s such a dramatic step in its design inside and out for BMW (even by its own recent radical standards) and yet still has plenty of the brand’s DNA sewn into it. An expensive, but spacious and premium SUV.

BMW iX review

10. Mercedes EQS (from £99,995)

2022 Mercedes EQS

As you’d expect from the name, the Mercedes EQS is the electric equivalent of the S-Class. Unlike some EQ-badged cars (think EQA, EQB, EQC and EQV) that share a platform with their internal combustion equivalent, the EQS has a bespoke electric architecture to best package a giant battery for a near 500-mile range and to maximise interior space. Performance and range impress, as does the seriously comfortable ride. This giant hatchback has plenty of room for people and doubles up as a surprisingly effective load lugger, too. Just be careful of all the flashy trims, digital displays and supple leather that make this a seriously opulent tech-fest of an interior. Pricey, too…

9. Skoda Enyaq (from £34,850)Skoda Enyaq review

Skoda Enyaq Lease Deals VIEW OFFER

8. Polestar 2 (from £39,900)

Polestar 2: the Volvo spin-off's first full EV

The Polestar 2 is a cracking addition to the shopping list for mid-sized EV buyers. Hailing from Sweden’s Volvo, Polestar is a relatively new start-up that carries across the Scandi chic design values and quality from its sister brand, but wrapped up in a more progressive, modern vibe. This car ushers in Google’s first Android OS so there are very few buttons (sound familiar, Tesla?) and everything is operated from a touchscreen or by the Hey Google voice assistant. Sensible front-wheel drive models get a choice of two battery sizes with the potent twin-motor coming with the higher-capacity pack only. It’s good to drive with the optional Performance pack, too, looks slick and is very well built. We’ve spent half a year in the Polestar 2 and found we could reliably get a 200-mile trip from the Long Range models without having to recharge.

Polestar 2 review

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7. Renault Megane E-Tech Electric (from £31,000)

2022 Renault Megane E-Tech

We’ve only driven a pre-production version of the reinvented electric Megane so far, but the VW ID.3 should be worried. Available with either 129bhp and a 186-mile range or 215bhp and a more useful 292-mile range, this front-wheel drive hatchback has gained plenty of SUV attitude in its transformation. It’s good to drive and has plenty of room inside, so if the price is as competitive as promised, it’s well worth shortlisting. It netted a win in our sister site Parkers’ 2023 New Car Awards, taking the trophy for the Best Medium Electric Car.

Renault Megane E-Tech review

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6. Tesla Model 3 (from £40,490)

Tesla Model 3 electric car

The Model 3 has cemented itself as the UK’s most popular electric car and for good reason. It might be the least expensive Tesla available but, even in entry-level form, few are likely to be disappointed – as even the base model packs a claimed 305-mile range and the ability to sprint from 0-60mph in just 5.8sec. It even comes with the Autopilot drive assistance system, which takes the edge off long trips and adds to the space-age feel. The Long Range dual-motor version with all-wheel drive and increased range is available; it can cover a claimed 374 miles and serves up a sports car-rivalling 0-60mph time of 4.2sec. The top of the range Performance drops that time to 3.1sec with range tumbling to 340 miles. If you want something a bit more practical, we’d point you in the direction of the larger Model Y, though that does come with some caveats. Take a look at our recent group test, and you’ll see the larger sibling of the model Y lost out to the Kia EV6. 

Tesla Model 3 review

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5. MG 4 EV (from £25,995)

Best Electric Cars - MG 4, orange, front three quarter

MG’s electric cars until now have been good value, dull but worthy things that did nothing for the brand’s image as a purveyor of Chinese knock-offs. The 4, called the Mulan in other markets, is a totally different kettle of fish. It’s all-new, based on a scalable EV platform, with a range that will extend from its current Standard and Long range models to both an Extended range car and a 443bhp, AWD electric hot hatchback. It’s good to drive, the interior’s not too bad, it’s loaded with equipment – yet the entry-level model undercuts a VW ID.3 by ten grand, with finance packages that look insanely tempting. This isn’t just a good cheap electric car, it’s a good electric car full stop – that just happens to be remarkable value.

MG 4 review

4. BMW i4 (from £51,905)

Forget about the BMW i3, i8 or the iX – the BMW i4 is an altogether different approach to electric power. And while it doesn’t outwardly look as innovative as previous cars produced by the BMW i division, it’s easily one of the best electric cars you can buy in the UK today. There are two i4s to choose from: an eDrive40 with rear-wheel drive, 335bhp and a claimed range of 367 miles, or the M40 with 537bhp twin-motor all-wheel drive machine that also happens to be the first ever all-electric M-car for £12k more. Underneath you’ll find the same Gen5 BMW electric drive tech, though here it’s not wrapped in a part carbon construction like the iX. Regardless, you won’t care when behind the wheel; both models of the i4, stab the accelerator and the i4 reacts with the kind of instant thrust that makes you think of computer game. Regardless of which one you choose, there are still so many core BMW traits in here: alert steering, outstanding ride and handling balance, a clean, well-built and user-friendly interior, and plenty of power being just some of them. 

BMW i4 review

3. Kia EV6 (from £40,945)

2022 Kia EV6

Kia’s flagship EV6 is available in single-motor two-wheel drive or twin-motor four-wheel drive flavours. All regular models are capable of 300+ miles according to WLTP testing, while those happy to sacrifice some range for performance might be interested in the hot 577bhp EV6 GT. Even lesser models handle well, with good performance and a comfortable ride. It’s similar in size to the Hyundai Ioniq 5 on which it’s based, meaning plentiful space for passengers to lounge front and rear. There’s a capacious boot, too, making it a perfectly practical choice for families. It’s our sister site Parkers’ Large Electric Car of the Year for 2023, too.

Kia EV6 review

2. Hyundai Ioniq 5 (from £37,420)

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5

Hyundai has really stepped things up with the Ioniq 5, producing an excedingly well-rounded electric car that’s dripping in retro-inspired yet futuristic design touches. We’d skip past the entry-level 58kWh battery on account of its 238 mile range and instead plump for the 72.6kWh pack with twin-motor four-wheel drive. Range jumps to 285 miles and the 5.2 second 0-62mph time is significantly quicker than either single motor model. In this spec it’s fun to drive once you get used to a bit of body roll, something that’s easy to accept given the comfortable ride. 

Hyundai Ioniq 5 review

Hyundai Ioniq 5 Lease Deals VIEW OFFER

1. Porsche Taycan (from £72,850)

Porsche Taycan: one of our best electric cars of 2020

The Porsche Taycan is an incredible technical achievement. It does the things we all enjoy about driving – accelerating, braking, going around corners – with supreme alacrity, and features a massive well of capability largely untapped by normal driving. Porsche offers cheaper, rear-wheel drive variants to sit alongside the toppy Turbo, Turbo S and 4S models. Today, Taycan prices start at £72,850.

Porsche Taycan review

Porsche Taycan Lease Deals VIEW OFFER

Electric cars: more buying advice

Charging times for electric cars are tumbling in the UK

If you intend to use an electric car for longer journeys, make sure your local trunk roads and motorways have the infrastructure to support charging en route or consider an alternative, such as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). These cars mix battery tech and petrol or diesel power to provide a get-out-of-jail-free card for when pure electric range simply isn’t enough.

If you want to know more about the best hybrids on the market, check out our separate explainer here.

The reality is that most electric car owners will rarely have to charge up in public; if you have off-street parking and the ability to charge at home, the latest EVs will manage most of your day-to-day driving needs just by charging your battery pack domestically overnight.

One EV brand in China – Nio – is even pioneering battery-swap stations, where a robot will replace your car’s depleted battery for a fully charged one while in just five minutes. 

Pure electric cars will also save you money every single year because they’re exempt from road tax – for now, at least. Don’t miss our handy guide to how VED car tax favours EVs here – and there’s lots of advice on company car tax in our explainer here.

Electric car prices 2023

EVs might cost more to buy in cash than their petrol or diesel counterparts today, but the gap is narrowing. Vauxhall, Peugeot, and Mini all have models that can run on petrol or electric and comparative prices are pretty similar.

Leasing prices are even more eye-opening. Costs vary wildly depending on the car, but broadly speaking cheap electric cars are the same amount to lease as cheap petrol cars. Renault Zoes and Renault Clios are both in the market for around £200 per month with the same terms.

Our advice? Be sure to do the maths before plugging in. EVs are more expensive to buy up front – but if your usage patterns and energy bills work out, then going electric might be the right choice for you.

Further electric reading

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