Currently reading: Top 10 best electric cars 2024
These are the best EVs on sale in the UK today in our view and each has its own trump card

Electric cars have come a long way over the past few years and improvements across the board mean they're a more viable ownership option than ever before.

But which are the best electric cars you can buy today? Well, some are better at certain things than others, so we’ve organised the cars in this list to highlight exactly what they’re best at.

For example, some electric cars are better at delivering a long range, while others are best for practicality, driver appeal, or value for money.

But don’t panic: whether you’re looking for the most practical EV or one loaded with enough tech to fill a branch of Currys, we’ve got you covered.

Each car on this list has been selected by a judging panel of Autocar journalists for its prowess in a specific area. We will explain what makes a good showing in each class and why each EV we’ve picked deserves its place.

And if you’re still not convinced by any car on this list, check out our comprehensive guide to all the new cars coming in 2024. It’s an especially big year for new electric cars, so you’re sure to find something you’re interested in. 

So here are the best electric cars on sale right now.

The best electric cars

1. Cupra Born


Best for: fun factor

For a couple of years now, Autocar has conducted an annual test of the best-handling, most fun electric cars on sale, and the Cupra Born is the reigning champion, beating rivals such as the MG 4 XPower and Abarth 500e

The Born sits at a compelling nexus of size and usability, weight and power, real-world range and price.

It has enough power to keep you interested but doesn't seem excessive for the road or to compromise its efficiency in quicker motoring. It has an engaging, balanced, rear-driven chassis and some precision and purpose to its body control, but it also includes four usable seats and a decent boot.

The Cupra Born will also cover 220 real-world miles on a charge, which should be enough to get you to and from your favourite road, but it also has the personality and poise to make the trip worthwhile.

There’s a completeness to the Born as a package that makes it the ideal affordable EV for interested drivers to take their first steps into zero-emissions motoring. Perhaps not by chance, it feels more like a Volkswagen Golf GTI for the electric age than anything that Volkswagen itself is making right now.


Read our review

Car review

Cupra’s first EV looks rather like a Volkswagen ID 3. Is the difference in the driving?

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2. Fisker Ocean


Best for: range

Aston Martin designer turned car company founder Henrik Fisker takes a no-nonsense view when it comes to EVs and range: for the time being, you can’t offer too much of it. 

That’s why his new mid-sized SUV, the Fisker Ocean, has a nickel-manganese-cobalt drive battery with 106kWh of usable capacity. That’s almost as much as either Mercedes or BMW provides in their flagship EVs, only Fisker is putting it on the market for half of their cost.

The Ocean’s WLTP claimed lab test range is as much as 440 miles, making it one of the longest-range electric cars on the market.

We’ve tested the Ocean abroad and found that a 400-mile range is achievable in reality on a mixed test route taking in plenty of motorway. That’s the kind of range that might help to change the way we think about EVs and might also open up ownership for those who can’t charge at home.

Some super-expensive EVs may go slightly further, but nothing offers a better combination of usable range and value for money right now than this.

3. Hyundai Ioniq 5


Best for: design appeal

Designing good-looking EVs is difficult. It’s the lesson that many electric cars seem to teach, with their necessarily long wheelbases, short overhangs and high-rising bodies so typically displaced upwards by underfloor battery packs.

So really great-looking EVs demand recognition - particularly when they’re more affordable ones. The Hyundai Ioniq 5 has shown us better than any rival that EVs can be desirable, stylish and still affordable.

Its maker reached for some retro design cool with its look, referencing the Giorgetto Giugiaro-designed 1974 Hyundai Pony Coupé concept, among other inspirations. 

The result is undeniably distinctive and desirable on the road and manages to solve the proportion-related design problems that many EVs face.

The Ioniq 5 is a cool family car that just happens to be electric - and Hyundai has never before built something that you can define in anything like the same terms.

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4. Mercedes-Benz EQS


Best for: on-board technology

It was Tesla that blew the lid off in-car digital technology when it introduced the Model S saloon, but now the world’s oldest car maker has taken the game on in a bid to prove that it can better anything that can be made in Silicon Valley.

When the Mercedes-Benz EQS arrived in 2021, it blooded the Hyperscreen: a wide expanse of touchscreen digital real estate that seemed to occupy the entirety of the dashboard.

In reality, it doesn’t quite do that, but it does bring together a sizeable digital instrument console with a large head-up display, a huge 17.7in infotainment touchscreen and a 12.3in touchscreen in front of the passenger.

The combined effect is pretty dizzying, assuming that you like lots of touchscreen technology in cars (here at Autocar, the jury is still split on that one).

Mercedes isn’t just throwing massive screens at its cars, though. Its latest, third-generation MBUX infotainment software is much easier to navigate than its predecessors were and evidences a user-friendliness that other brands aren’t equalling, making it one of the finest luxury electric cars for sale.

5. Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV


Best for: ride comfort

On-board comfort was a character facet of new cars overlooked for much of the late 20th century, but it's now making something of a resurgence with EVs.

A gentle, absorptive, quiet ride is a dynamic quality that you can enjoy on every journey, and while we just somehow expect EVs to have one because of their wider refinement advantages, we don’t always get it.

So if you want to prioritise a comfortable ride, the Mercedes EQS SUV is the big EV to go for. The high-rise seven-seater rides with almost no perceptible road noise at all and makes lumps and bumps seem to just disappear under its wheels. As far as comfort is concerned, it simply doesn't get much better than this.

For a great-riding EV of a different shape or price point, meanwhile, look to the Hyundai Ioniq 5 or the excellent BMW i7 limousine.

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6. MG 4 EV


Best for: value for money

If you asked the average Brit on the street why they don’t already own an electric car, what response would you get? “Because they cost too much and they don’t go far enough between charges.” Well, think again.

Built in Ningde, China, by SAIC and presented to UK buyers wrapped in the comfort blanket of a brand they know well, the MG 4 offers a choice of 51kWh, 64kWh and 77kWh battery packs.

The smallest of those can be had for a whisker under £27,000 (which now only just about buys the cheapest combustion-engined Volkswagen Golf) and is rated for 218 miles between charges. The biggest, meanwhile, is rated for 323 miles yet still costs less than the cheapest plug-in hybrid Vauxhall Astra.

Value isn’t the only thing the 4 has on its side. It also has a pleasingly well-balanced, rear-driven chassis and driving dynamics that feel much more finely honed than you’d expect.

A roomy four-seat cabin completes a package that only the foolish wouldn’t make time to at least sample.

7. Porsche Taycan


Best for: charging speed, handling

Porsche really stole a march on the rest of the luxury car industry when it introduced the Taycan electric saloon. 

The first Taycan arrived in 2019, and through that time it was a truly standout car for its handling appeal, driver engagement and its DC rapid-charging speed. The best news is there's a new Taycan on the way, which is set to bring a host of updates, including better range, performance and efficiency. 

The Taycan isn’t the lightest EV of its kind - its 92kWh lithium ion drive battery weighs 650kg all on its own.

But Porsche innovated by effectively cutting holes out of the underfloor battery level to enable the driver to sit lower in the car and to therefore lower the whole profile of the vehicle – and so, by delivering a truly low, sporting-feeling driving position and a low centre of gravity, the car’s tactile, enticing handling gets off to a perfect start. 

We would pick a single-motor, rear-wheel-drive model for the purest chassis balance, but between saloons, Sport Turismo shooting brakes, Cross Turismo pseudo-off-roaders and so many hot GTS and Turbo models, there’s an awful lot of choice besides.

Meanwhile, Porsche’s habitual preference for effective cooling delivers 800V charging performance, which the rest of the industry is still catching up with today.

The Taycan is sitting pretty at the top of our real-world rapid-charging performance test chart, with honourable mentions to both the Audi E-tron GT and Hyundai Ioniq 6.

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8. Rolls-Royce Spectre


Best for: Spectre

Charles Rolls noted the potential of electric motors for adoption in luxury cars right at the beginning of the 20th century, but it took the car company he co-founded 120 years to catch up with his embryonic vision.

Now that it has, though, and the super-luxury EV class has its first-ranking member, there can be no debate about which electric car comes first for luxury appeal.

The Rolls-Royce Spectre has wowed us in the UK, South Africa and North America.

We've particularly praised its ride isolation and cushioned body control, even on its huge (23in) alloy wheels, but also the uncommon smoothness of its ‘one-pedal’ driving, its supreme, cocooning quietness and its unexpectedly rewarding steering and handling.

The BMW i7 and Mercedes EQS set a pretty high bar themselves for low noise levels and lavish on-board feel, but for the best of the best where luxury is concerned and the ultimate sense of occasion, Goodwood’s experts still set themselves apart.

9. Tesla Model S Plaid


Best for: Straightline speed

Tesla’s name had to crop up on this list somewhere - but that it’s doing so in this category tells you a great deal about how few prisoners company boss Elon Musk is willing to take in his pursuit of a world-beating reputation for his firm.

In terms of standing-start acceleration, the Tesla Model S Plaid took our timing gear quicker than it had ever been before when we road tested it in August 2023.

With fully 1020bhp and three electric motors doing its grunt work, it needed just 2.4sec to hit 60mph from rest, 4.6sec to hit 100mph and 9.6sec for a standing quarter mile. 

That’s without the advantage of the one-foot roll-out acceleration timing that American car makers typically claim, of course, and it was quicker than the Bugatti Veyron Supersport and Ferrari SF90 Stradale.

And this from a 2.2-tonne mid-sized executive saloon, not some carbonfibre hypercar. It’s a £130,000 saloon, granted, and we have yet to fully test any of the electric hypercars that might actually be quicker.

But for now, if you want to travel quickly (and without any associated carbon emissions, of course), this is the EV you need.

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10. Volkswagen ID Buzz


Best for: practicality

Volkswagen finally got around to rebooting its iconic Type 2 ‘microbus’ with the ID Buzz.

Sized to sit between a big car and a medium-sized van, it’s intended to fit into typical parking bays and to be easy enough to drive and use in everyday traffic. To feel like a regular family car on the outside but provide much more space and versatility inside, basically.

The Buzz offers passenger and cargo space well in advance of even bigger luxury EVs - and the long-wheelbase version adds seven-seat versatility and extra carrying capacity on the top.

Volkswagen's retro design makes the MPV more desirable than any other utility-flavoured EV, and there are four-wheel-drive, camper van and GTX performance versions planned.

The Buzz is a super-practical EV that you will want to own, that's designed for life and that escapes the drawbacks of the usual van conversions.

Matt Saunders

Matt Saunders Autocar
Title: Road test editor

As Autocar’s chief car tester and reviewer, it’s Matt’s job to ensure the quality, objectivity, relevance and rigour of the entirety of Autocar’s reviews output, as well contributing a great many detailed road tests, group tests and drive reviews himself.

Matt has been an Autocar staffer since the autumn of 2003, and has been lucky enough to work alongside some of the magazine’s best-known writers and contributors over that time. He served as staff writer, features editor, assistant editor and digital editor, before joining the road test desk in 2011.

Since then he’s driven, measured, lap-timed, figured, and reported on cars as varied as the Bugatti Veyron, Rolls-Royce PhantomTesla RoadsterAriel Hipercar, Tata Nano, McLaren SennaRenault Twizy and Toyota Mirai. Among his wider personal highlights of the job have been covering Sebastien Loeb’s record-breaking run at Pikes Peak in 2013; doing 190mph on derestricted German autobahn in a Brabus Rocket; and driving McLaren’s legendary ‘XP5’ F1 prototype. His own car is a trusty Mazda CX-5.

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Clarkey 30 March 2024

What a risible article.  

Sonic 29 March 2024
... Aaand right on cue, there is an advertisement on the bottom of this page for the latest VAG car.
Money in Autocars' back pocket, and by pure coincidence, the mediocre VAG Cupra tops Autocars list for best BEV.

No mention of the best selling Model Y, and the rather excellent Model 3 refresh. I wonder why. ;)

Chinnstrap 28 March 2024

I'm no car journo but even I could do better than this.  As others have said to not have the best selling Tesla 3 and Y in here with its long-range and supercharger network is nuts.  Yet you have the barely sold S in left hand drive?  And at number 2 sits Fisker, a car brand which is currently fire selling its stock at half price in the states in a desperate attempt to survive bankruptcy and where the software glitches are so bad that many on the forums suggest the car is not fit for purpose.  I'm assuming this is an old article that's just been reposted, but in any event this is lazy, weak, inaccurate and out of date journalism.  Shocking stuff.

Stockholm Calling 28 March 2024

I'm afraid that this is the standard you can expect if you aren't prepared to pay for your journalism output!  People expect content for nothing these days. Unless you're a subscriber of course.