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The top 10 electric cars of 2021

Updated: Jul 26, 2021

Sales of electric cars are at an all-time high, accounting for 6.6% of new car sales in 2020. It’s not difficult to see why. The market’s premier vehicles create little noise, are cheaper to run than their petrol and diesel counterparts and provide the most gratifying of drives.


Moreover, their popularity is set to intensify further as legislation passes that limits the usage of the petrol and diesel vehicles within inner city regions.


The main barrier preventing sales in even greater numbers is often what’s known as ‘range anxiety’ - the worry that your shiny new electric car will run out of juice before you’ve got from A to B. However, range anxiety is withering away as many of today’s models can box off more than 200 miles between charges.


So, if you’re in the market for a car powered by electricity, what are the best ones out there?


To help you decide, we present our top 10 electric cars of 2021.


10. Kia Soul EV



RRP from £37,545 to £37,545

Though it may give off Fiat Multipla oddball vibes, the Soul EV isn’t one to discount too readily. There’s a surprising amount of grunt under the bonnet, it boasts an impressively long range and comes equipped with lots of interesting features.


However, those with substantial storage requirements might want to exercise some caution. Because the Soul is compact by SUVs standards, the boot isn’t the biggest out there.


Cons

  • Relatively small boot

  • Twitchy ride

  • Rear seats lack flexibility

Pros

  • Good driving position

  • Impressive driving range

  • Long equipment list

9. Jaguar I-Pace

RRP from £65,195 to £74,395

To say it’s Jaguar’s first ever electric car, the company engineered outstanding range for the I-Pace. Driven sensibly and it can cover 250 miles on a full charge.


Geared more towards thrill-seekers, the I-Pace also delivers all the performance you’d expect from a Jag, offering a sporty drive, with arguably the classiest interior of any Jaguar that’s come before it.


Though there are alternatives to the I-Pace that are cheaper and charge faster, the I-Pace remains a compelling choice.


Pros

  • Long range between charges

  • Sporty handling

  • Comfortable ride

Cons

  • Poor rear visibility

  • Pricier than some alternatives

  • Rivals can charge at faster speeds


8. Renault Zoe


RRP from £29,995 to £34,495

With the basic model coming in at less than £30k, the Zoe is one of the cheapest electric cars you can buy new.


Along with an attractive price tag, the running costs are low, and the Zoe’s range is longer than many of its rivals. If pushed though, we’d have to say the Peugeot e-208 is the better all-rounder.


Pros

  • Longer range than similar-priced rivals

  • Smart interior

  • R135 model has punchy acceleration

Cons

  • Tight rear head room

  • Flawed driving position

  • Automatic emergency braking unavailable on entry-level trim


7. Peugeot e-208

RRP from £29,725 to £32,975

The e-208 just pips the Zoe, courtesy of its higher quality interior, more generous rear head room, and extra safety kit.


Petrol versions of the 208 were famed for their impressive boot size and the e-208 is no different. However, also like the petrol 208, the driving position is not to everybody’s taste.


Pros

  • Classy interior

  • Handles impressively

  • Well equipped

Cons

  • The Zoe covers more miles between charges

  • Spongy brake pedal

  • Not the cheapest

6. Kia e-Niro

RRP from £32,845 to £39,395

The e-Niro is another entry that kicks range anxiety into touch. For standard everyday driving, you can bank on up to 250 miles on a full charge.


As well as practicality, the e-Niro offers capable performance, decent comfort, and enough features to keep dashboard-fiddlers happy.


Pros

  • 250-mile-plus range in real-world driving

  • Quick acceleration

  • Well equipped

Cons

  • Pricier than closet rival the MG ZS EV

  • Charges slowly

  • No Euro NCAP safety rating


5. BMW iX3

RRP from £61,900 to £64,900

Apart from a few styling adjustments and an electric motor sitting where a combustion engine normally would, the iX3 is essentially a BMW X3 – and that's a good thing.


Buyers of the iX3 acquire a head-turning yet practical SUV containing the best infotainment system you’ll find in any electric vehicle. It handles better than its rivals and provides a luxurious, zero emissions ride. In fact, the extended range between charges is merely a cherry on the cake.


Pros

  • Longer range than most rivals

  • Great infotainment system

  • Comparatively well priced

Cons

  • Weaker performance than rivals

  • The E-tron is quieter

  • Tesla Model 3 offers longer range and faster charging


4. Fiat 500

RRP from £13,260 to £29,995

If it’s urban driving you’re looking for, look no further than the new Fiat 500. More compact than its main rivals, it fits into the spaces they have no choice but to abandon.


With a tight turning circle, feather light steering, and superb forward visibility, the 500 is a cinch to manoeuvre as it zips through the bustling city streets. It also offers decent range for those longer drives, and, unlike its rivals, there are convertible models.


Pros

  • Decent range between charges

  • Great for urban driving

  • Competitively priced

Cons

  • Tiny rear seats

  • Noisy on the motorway

  • Rivals can go further on a full charge

3. Porsche Taycan

RRP from £70,745 to £139,221

If you're feeling flush and want an electric car that comes with all the benefits you’d expect, but also want something that gets the adrenaline pumping, then it’s hard to look past the Porsche Taycan.


Despite its beautiful interior and ability to go from zip to 62mph in just over 5 seconds, the Taycan is also surprisingly practical. Yes, it’ll hit your wallet a bit harder than the rest, but you’ll be getting a formidable vehicle in return.


Pros

  • Outstanding performance

  • Capable and fun in corners

  • Wonderful interior quality

Cons

  • Expensive...

  • ...and that’s without the extras

  • Range isn’t great


2. Volkswagen ID.3

RRP from £31,670 to £42,290

Courtesy of its rear-wheel drive, pinpoint steering and joyous handling, the ID.3 is a car lovers’ car.


With abundant room inside, it ticks all the practicality boxes while boasting notable performance and great range.


For buyers who like to keep one eye on the pennies, predicted resale values for the ID.3 are high and it’ll be cheap to run whether you’re a private buyer or looking for a new company car.


Pros

  • Good range

  • Lively performance

  • Handles well

Cons

  • Plain interior quality

  • Charging network weaker than some

  • Infotainment system is basic

1. Tesla Model 3

RRP from £43,490 to £59,990

Few cars attract the kind of pre-launch hype as the Model 3 enjoyed, and there’s good reason for that.


Tesla's most affordable car to date provides an ecstatic drive and is packed full of all the tech you’d expect from a manufacturer directed by a man obsessed with space travel. More practical than you might imagine, the Model 3 also offers insane performance and will have you travelling at 62mph from a standstill in under 4 seconds.


Factor in a starting price of just over £40k with the Ferrari-matching performance, and the Model 3 isn’t just the best all-rounder amongst electric cars in 2021, it’s one of the best cars, period.

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