Currently reading: Top 10 Best electric SUVs 2024
We name the best electric SUVs on sale in the UK today, each with its own area of expertise

Ever since BMW and Porsche proved with the X5 and Cayenne that people like sitting high up in cars that look like off-roaders but drive and feel like luxury cars, there’s been no stopping the rise of SUVs.

As we move towards electric cars, one benefit of SUVs is that their tall ride height and body is ideal for hiding a bulky battery pack in without compromising interior space too much.

Before we go further, let’s set out some ground rules first. What even is an SUV and how are they different from crossovers? Annoyingly, there are no hard and fast rules, so for convenience, we’ll avoid the C-segment hatchbacks, crossovers and SUV-alikes like the Kia Niro EV and Smart #1 here. We deal with those separately in our Best mid-sized electric cars list.

That still leaves a lot of cars, and a £38,970 Skoda Enyaq isn’t exactly comparable with a £153,795 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV, so we’ve categorised them by specific qualities, such as most fun, best range, most comfortable and so on. Here, then, in no particular order, are our favourite electric SUVs.

The best electric SUVs

Kia EV9 – Best for interior space and practicality

Commended: Skoda Enyaq, Tesla Model Y

If you’re looking for an electric SUV rather than a cheaper, more efficient and better-handling saloon or hatchback, it’s probably because you’re after a lot of space. Few do it better than the vast Kia EV9. The Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV beats it for absolute interior volume, but the Benz is even more expensive, and the space it offers isn’t quite as versatile.

The EV9 makes better use of its generous square footage thanks to a larger glass area, seats that tumble and fold more easily, and a front luggage compartment to store the cables. The EV9 isn’t just a void on wheels either.

As with the Kia EV6 and Niro EV, the EV9 is a very well-sorted EV to drive too. Dual-motor versions offer strong performance, though the upcoming single-motor model is likely to be the pick of the range, while steering wheel paddles make the regenerative braking easy to control. The EV9 is very stylish for a seven-seat SUV and offers creditable luxury, efficiency and range.

If you’re looking for something slightly more affordable than the £65,025 EV9, or don’t need seven seats, we’d point you towards the Skoda Enyaq or Tesla Model Y.

Read our Kia EV9 review

Fisker Ocean – Best for Range

Commended: Polestar 3, BMW iX

The SUV shape is far from ideal for aerodynamics, but some manufacturers compensate for the relative lack of efficiency by fitting a huge battery. If you want the electric SUV with the longest range, you’ll want the Fisker Ocean, which is rated for 440 miles in Extreme trim. The cheaper Ultra promises a still-impressive 429 miles. We’ve not been able to do any extensive testing of the Ocean, but those two trims have a standard heat pump, so should hold their range fairly well, even in winter. Their 200kW charging makes it possible to top up the 106kWh battery in a reasonable amount of time.


Read our review

Car review

Czech entry into the fast-growing electric family car class aims for a familiar feel

Back to top

Otherwise, the Ocean is a generally pleasant, practical and fuss-free car that’s easy to drive and comfortable on account of not being preoccupied with misplaced driver appeal. With a price of £50,900 for the Ultra and £57,900 for the Extreme, the Ocean feels like a bit of a bargain compared with the other high-mileage heros here. An even cheaper version is available from £36,900 and can still claim a WLTP range of 288 miles.

To get close to the Fisker’s range, you need to spend big on a Polestar 3 (379 miles) or a BMW iX xDrive50 (382 miles), but they are both very rounded luxury SUVs with a very long range.

Read our Fisker Ocean review

Tesla Model Y – Best for energy efficiency

Commended: Hyundai Ioniq 5/Genesis GV60, Skoda Enyaq/Volkswagen ID 4

Maximising range by throwing a big battery at the problem is all well and good, but a higher-capacity battery also takes longer to charge, and electricity isn’t free, particularly if you’re using rapid chargers. It’s better to find a car that makes the most of a smaller battery by maximising energy efficiency. It’s commonly expressed in miles per kWh (mpkWh), analogous to miles per gallon. Outside the UK and the US, kWh per 100km is more common.

At the moment, the undisputed efficiency champion is Tesla. The single-motor version of the Model Y is rated for 4.0mpkWh and should manage close to that in the real world. The dual-motor Long Range is slightly worse, at 3.7mpkWh, but still very impressive. Of course the lower, and more aerodynamic Tesla Model 3 saloon does even better.

Tesla’s extremely minimalist interior and exterior style isn’t for everyone, and nor is the rather prescriptive driving experience, but there’s no arguing with the Model Y’s fundamental qualities: it’s extremely spacious for its size, good value and quick and can be engaging to drive.

The closely related Model 3 has recently been updated to boost its efficiency even further and improve the comfort and interior ambiance, and those upgrades will eventually make their way to the Model Y as well.

Back to top

If a Tesla doesn’t suit you, the single-motor Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Genesis GV60 (they have identical powertrains) are quite efficient too, as are the Skoda Enyaq and Volkswagen ID 4 (again, shared powertrains), which have recently had a significant efficiency boost.

Read our Tesla Model Y review

Hyundai Ioniq 5 N – Best for driving fun

Commended: BMW iX3, Jaguar I-Pace

SUVs fun to drive? EVs fun to drive? You better believe it. Hyundai made car enthusiasts take notice when its first petrol-powered hot hatchbacks, the Hyundai i20 N and Hyundai i30 N turned out to be excellent right out of the gate. It seems intent on carrying that driver’s car cred into the electric era with the hot version of the Hyundai Ioniq 5.

The Ioniq 5 N goes further than just stiff suspension and bucketloads of power. You do get the latter, but thanks to a stiffened shell, a proper limited-slip differential on the rear axle, adaptive dampers and Hyundai’s engineers having a sense of humour, it’s genuinely entertaining. It loves to rotate on and off the power, and if you so wish, it can emulate a six-speed gearbox and a petrol engine.

Autocar's Matt Prior said in his review: “I think this is a landmark car. The first genuine EV driver’s car. A car we could bring along to Britain's Best Driver’s Car in 2025 and be confident it’ll perform well. Not because it makes brmm noises, but because the tuning is excellent and the engineering feels real.”

If the Ioniq 5 N is a bit too hardcore for you, there are some other options. The BMW iX3 sounds slightly lame on paper because it has only a single motor, but if anything, that helps it handle like a proper BMW. Although it’s flawed as a modern EV, the Jaguar i-Pace remains good fun to drive too.

Read our Hyundai Ioniq 5 N review

Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV – Best for assisted driving

Commended: BMW iX, Skoda Enyaq

But what if you would rather the car took over some of the driving for you? Modern cars, especially luxury models, are stuffed full of assisted driving tech. Some of it is patently unhelpful and will drive you insane if you don’t turn it off, but other features can take the stress out of long and/or boring drives.

Back to top

Mercedes-Benz was the first manufacturer to offer a true adaptive cruise control system back in 1999, and still has arguably the mature system on the market. It’s not easily spooked and will slow down gradually when other cars cut in, rather than jump on the brakes. The automatic steering is smooth, and when traffic comes to a stop, it positions itself in the lane in such a way that lane-splitting motorcyclists and emergency vehicles can pass through. Systems like the lane keep assist and overspeed warning are largely unintrusive and quite easy to turn off.

The adaptive cruise control in the BMW iX is very good as well, and while early versions could be somewhat flaky, the latest Skoda Enyaq’s system works smoothly too. Tesla’s Autopilot may be very advanced in US models, but European-market cars get only a rudimentary version that doesn’t compare with the other options here.

Read our Mercedes EQE SUV review

Genesis Electrified GV70 – Best for user-friendliness

Commended: BMW iX3, Skoda Enyaq

The rise of touchscreens and the explosion in functionality of modern cars means that it’s often inadvisable and potentially impossible to just get in and drive off. With the Genesis GV70, you do need to take some time in the first week or so to set the car up for your preferences, but once set up, it’s about as frustration-free as it gets.

The combination of a wide, responsive and logical touchscreen with a rotary controller and physical buttons means it’s very easy to get on with. Most of this applies to the Genesis GV60 as well, though that car has a slightly smaller screen.

The BMW iX3 uses an older version of BMW’s iDrive, but that means it’s actually easier to use than newer models. It also retains physical climate controls and a row of customisable shortcut buttons. The Skoda Enyaq is more screen intensive, but since its multimedia had a big update in 2024, it’s one of the easier systems to use.

Read our Genesis Electrified GV70 review

Back to top

BMW iX – Best for ride comfort and luxury appeal

Commended: Genesis Electrified GV70, Lexus RZ

BMW continues to use the tagline 'The ultimate driving machine', but as roads become busier and more speed restricted, it appears the definition of ultimate is changing. With its EVs, BMW has been evolving into a bit of a comfort specialist. The BMW i7 won our ultimate luxury car test and the same talent is evident in the taller BMW iX.

The iX has world-class rolling refinement and drivability, instant and effortless performance, and creditable real-world range. Meanwhile, the interior feels much more like a large, ultra-luxurious BMW i3 than the sports saloons we might like to associate with BMW. It’s a much more lounge-like environment, with open spaces, soft shapes and, in some specifications, a selection of unusual but rather appealing materials. Make sure to go for the xDrive50 because the xDrive40 doesn’t get the more expensive car’s air suspension and long range – and those make all the difference.

By comparison, the Mercedes EQS SUV and EQE SUV feel more overtly high-tech, but aren’t quite on the same level of build quality and material lustre. For something similar to the BMW iX for less money, the Genesis GV60 and Electrified GV70 have a very old-school luxury feel inside, and the Lexus RZ is a lovely place to be too (even if it has rather disappointing EV credentials).

Read our BMW iX review

Skoda Enyaq – Best for all-round ability

Commended: Tesla Model Y, Fisker Ocean

What if you want an electric SUV that blends affordability, practicality, range, ease of use and drivability? The Skoda Enyaq is not a superstar in any one area like some of the other cars here, but it is a fantastic all-rounder. When it launched in 2021, it made better use of the Volkswagen MEB platform bones than the VW ID 4 or Audi Q4 E-tron that went before, and it has recently benefited from a round of subtle upgrades that address the few weaknesses it had.

Back to top

The Enyaq 60 is available from £38,970, but we’d go for the 85 Edition, which has a bigger battery giving a 348-mile range, and it has almost all the equipment you need as standard. The refreshed multimedia system has had its bugs ironed out, and is now very easy to get along with. The Enyaq’s short bonnet and square back give it plenty of interior space. Standard adaptive cruise control and paddles for the regenerative braking make it intuitive to drive, as does the chassis, which is balanced and mature, if not especially entertaining.

The Tesla Model Y remains excellent as well, and even though not all Superchargers are Tesla-exclusive, some still are, and Tesla’s route planning tech does a lot to take the stress out of long journeys. We’ve yet to have an extended test of the Fisker Ocean, but early impressions are extremely promising. It appears to be remarkable value, too.

Read our Skoda Enyaq review

Fisker Ocean Sport – Best for value

Commended: Tesla Model Y, Skoda Enyaq

Yes, it’s the Fisker Ocean again – this time the entry-level version with a smaller battery and a single motor. The Sport is priced at £36,900 and typically, that sort of money doesn’t even get you into a Kia Niro EV, but in the case of the Fisker, it nets you a spacious SUV with 288 miles of range and 282bhp. It’s fairly well equipped too, with heated seats and a panoramic roof fitted as standard. As before, the caveat that we’ve not driven it in the UK applies, but on the international launch, we found it spacious, comfortable and fairly easy to use.

If you’d rather go for something more proven, look to the Tesla Model Y. At £44,990, the standard-range, single-motor model doesn’t look spectacularly cheap, but Tesla’s lease deals tend to be very favourable. Otherwise, the entry-level Skoda Enyaq 60 is fairly good value and still has creditable range. We would step up to the £40,585 60 Edition, because the standard 60 is quite stripped out.

Read our Fisker Ocean review

Back to top

Range Rover Electric – Hotly anticipated

It might feel as though there is a new electric SUV being launched every other day, but actually the true standout products are surprisingly few. The coming year promises plenty of new model introductions, however. None more so than JLR’s first electric foray since the Jaguar I-Pace, the Range Rover Electric.

Not a great deal is known about it yet, but prototypes have been spotted and JLR has released some preview images hinting at the new car’s design (think Range Rover with a blanked-off grille). It stands to reason that the electric Range Rover will have an enormous battery to give this big, heavy car meaningful range, and that it will feature dual motors for close to 500bhp and Range Rover-worthy off-road capability. We do know that it will be based on 800V architecture and feature ultra-fast charging.

Meanwhile, Porsche is following up the Porsche Taycan saloon with the new Porsche Macan, which is going EV-only for its second generation. It will be twinned with the Audi Q6 E-Tron on the Volkswagen Group’s new PPE platform, and if the refreshed Taycan is anything to go by, it should have some very impressive specs. At the more affordable(ish) end, Ford is finally ready to launch the Explorer. Based on the Volkswagen Group's MEB platform, it could be a strong contender if Ford manages to inject some of its signature driver appeal.

Illya Verpraet

Illya Verpraet Road Tester Autocar
Title: Road Tester

As part of Autocar’s road test team, Illya drives everything from superminis to supercars, and writes reviews, comparison tests, as well as the odd feature and news story. 

Much of his time is spent wrangling the data logger and wielding the tape measure to gather the data for Autocar’s eight-page road tests, which are the most rigorous in the business thanks to independent performance, fuel consumption and noise figures.

Join the debate

Add a comment…
Kl 22 February 2024

The Ford Mustang Mach-E is only the car in the UK currently authorised for hands-off driving – and it doesn't even get a mention in the "Best for assisted driving" category?