Best electric SUVs 2021

Published: 04 January 2021

► Our guide to the best electric SUVs in 2021
► Crossover EVs and battery 4x4s
► Which is best for your needs?

The great British public loves SUVs - and is gradually switching on to the idea of electric cars, too, so it's no wonder that electric SUVs are leading the UK's drive to cleaner vehicles.

Battery-powered crossovers, SUVs and 4x4s are the fastest growing type of electric vehicle (EV) and there are now plenty to choose from, with something for all budgets and needs. Manufacturers love them, because the taller bodyshell can more easily accommodate the bulky batteries required and their typically higher purchase price also helps offset the cost of those pricey energy cells.

Electric cars: further reading

Best electric SUVs: our guide to the best of 2021

An SUV or crossover is a great choice for families needing space to carry kids' clobber and the detritus of family life. They're higher off the ground, too, for a raised seating position and a great view out. Downsides? They're lumbering, huge, heavy and space-inefficient, according to their detractors.

Are there any electric SUVs? Yes there are! Here's a technical cutaway of the Jaguar i-Pace

The problem is, punters just love 'em. Are there electric SUVs you can buy today? You bet. Here are the best picks on sale today, according to CAR magazine. Either read on down our list, or hop to the cars you're interested in our shortcuts below:

  1. Audi e-Tron
  2. Hyundai Kona Electric
  3. Jaguar i-Pace
  4. Kia e-Niro
  5. MG ZS EV
  6. Mercedes-Benz EQC
  7. Tesla Model X
  8. All the future and upcoming electric SUVs

Audi e-Tron: from £71,560 

Audi e-Tron: best electric SUVs

The first full series-production electric car from Audi is a triumph: you get the usual Ingolstadt quality and driving manners, all wrapped up in a very practical SUV bodystyle that's akin to an Audi Q5 crossover. Performance is rapid, range decent and it just all feels so normal. One neat touch we really liked: a charging port on each of the front wings, allowing you to charge this Jaguar i-Pace rival from either side. A range of 248 miles is claimed for Audi's electric SUV and, despite weighing in at 2490kg, the e-Tron is no slouch: it can accelerate from 0-62mph in as little as 5.7sec. It's a great all-rounder, albeit pricey.
Read our Audi E-Tron review
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Mercedes-Benz EQC: from £65,720

Mercedes-Benz EQC electric SUV

The EQC is the first car in Mercedes' new EV-only 'EQ' range and, while not exactly innovative, it's an unquestionably capable SUV. It has a range of 259 miles, features twin motors for all-wheel drive, can sprint from 0-62mph in 5.1sec and is loaded with technology; the electric Mercedes SUV also offers seating for five and a large boot – as you'd hope, considering its size and hefty 2425kg kerbweight. The EQC's a finely polished and thought-through affair, too, which makes it easier and less stressful to live with. Consequently, it might be ideal for buyers who are a little worried about making the switch from a straightforward petrol or diesel SUV.
Read our full Mercedes-Benz EQC review
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Jaguar i-Pace: from £64,495

Jaguar i-Pace: best electric SUVs

Jaguar's first all-electric car, dubbed the i-Pace, is a tremendously slick affair – and one that's a tempting alternative to established rivals such as the Tesla Model X. This cutting-edge car steers, stops and goes like a Jaguar should – and there's space aplenty, too, thanks to efficient packaging and that flat floor. Twin motors serve up a mighty 395bhp and 513lb ft, as well as all-wheel drive, and the electric Jaguar SUV is capable of 0-62mph in just 4.8sec. Refrain from deploying that punch, though, and you could eke 298 miles out of the battery, according to Jaguar. In our experience, that's a bit rich; you'll struggle to get much more than 200 out of a single charge, but that's sufficient for many drivers' daily needs... The i-Pace is one of our favourite cars on sale today and we're living with one in 2020 as a long-term test.
Read our full Jaguar i-Pace review
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Tesla Model X: from £87,190

Tesla Model X: a seven-seater, practical electric car

Need space for seven? A swanky Tesla badge? And all the modernity and clever-clogs tech the brand has become famous for? Step this way: the Model X is half crossover, half MPV, but all Tesla electric car. Famous for its cleverly hinged gullwing rear doors that open even in the tightest of car park spaces, the interior is roomy for five in the first two rows and the rearmost third-row pair of seats are fine for kids on short journeys. It is pricey though, costing from £87k in the UK for a Model X Long Range (the faster Performance model retails at a head-spinning £101,390).
Read our full Tesla Model X review
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Kia e-Niro: from £34,995

Kia electric SUV: the e-Niro 64kwh First Edition

The electric Niro is a great example of the new breed of electric cars arriving in 2020: it's a right-sized package and ticks lots of boxes. It's an SUV shape, which the market is demanding, while its range is a claimed 282 miles – giving it the legs that motorists want for reassurance. Its UK price is £34,995 after the government grant – putting it in the sweet spot of accessibility for more motorists. You even get a seven-year warranty, which should allay any concerns about long-term reliability. The only problem? It's so good, that the UK allocation has sold out and you'll have to join a long waiting list for the Kia electric SUV...
Read our Kia e-Niro review
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Hyundai Kona Electric: from £29,900

Hyundai Kona Electric SUV

The Hyundai Kona Electric is arguably one of the most versatile and accessible EVs on sale in 2020. It's affordably priced, for starters, and two distinct versions are offered – a 134bhp model with a 39kWh battery, or a 204bhp version with a higher-capacity 64kWh battery. In base form, the Kona can travel up to 180 miles on a single charge and sprint from 0-62mph in a perfectly sensible 9.7sec. Go for the more expensive model, though, and the range leaps to 279 miles while the 0-62mph time drops to 7.6sec. It's not a fun car to drive but it is very practical, with that crossover bodystyle swallowing bodies and bags with nonchalant ease. The Hyundai electric SUV costs a whisker under £30,000 to buy one in the UK (after the government subsidy).
Read our full Hyundai Kona Electric review
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MG ZS EV all-electric SUV

If the high cost of the posher electric cars above puts you off, worry not – prices are starting to tumble. Case in point: MG has just launched its first all-electric car, the ZS EV, and the first 1000 customers benefited from an introductory price of £21,495. Now that offer has expired, the price – inclusive of the government grant – is a still-reasonable (comparatively speaking) £25,495. This is no sluggish, short-range affair with limited practicality, either; the ZS EV can accelerate from 0-62mph in 8.5sec, cover 163 miles on a single charge and accommodate the needs of most families thanks to its vast boot and large cabin.
Read our full review of the MG ZS electric SUV
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Future electric SUVs: upcoming crossover EVs coming soon

As we mentioned, there are more and more electric SUVs coming to showrooms near you in the coming months. Most manufacturers are developing e-SUVs, so look out for these models arriving soon - from mainstream and premium brands alike:

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We'll be sure to update this article frequently in the coming weeks, so it stays up to date with the latest information, specs and prices. In the meantime, click on the links below to find out more about electric SUV ownership.

Further electric car reading

The best electric cars on sale today

How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

The fastest electric cars

Your guide to electric car batteries

Longest-range EVs

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet