Best electric family cars 2021

  • Our top 10 list of the best electric cars for families on sale now
  • Covers family-friendly EV versions of regular cars, estates and SUVs
  • If you're switching to electric there’s a family car to suit you

The times, they are a-changing. We’re guessing most readers will have only owned petrol or diesel cars prior to this point but it doesn’t take a genius to work out which way the winds are blowing. Internal combustion engines (ICE) are on the out, battery electric vehicles (BEV) are on the in – which means buyers have got a bit of thinking to do. And that includes buyers of family cars as there is now already a huge array of electric family car choice.

Just like their petrol and diesel equivalents, the best electric family cars come in a wide variety of different shapes and sizes. In our top 10 suggestions here we’ve got examples of hatchbacks, SUVs and estate cars, and a good selection of different sizes and prices to suit different family car budgets, too.

All of them represent great value for the electric tech you get in exchange, deliver smooth performance and offer the convenience of an automatic-transmission driving experience. And though running an electric car requires some forward thinking – charging takes longer than refuelling, for instance, and you won’t go as far on full batteries as you will on a full tank of diesel – we believe each of these will still serve you and your family very well.

Our list of the best family electric cars:

1. Skoda Enyaq iV

2. Volkswagen ID.3

3. Volvo XC40 Recharge Electric

4. Tesla Model 3

5. Kia Soul EV

6. MG 5 EV

7. Citroen e-C4

8. Renault Zoe

9. BMW i3

10. Peugeot e-2008

Top 10 best electric family cars

1. Skoda Enyaq iV

Best electric family car for all-round capability

Best electric family cars: Skoda Enyaq iV

Skoda’s first purpose-built BEV uses the same underlying technology as other dedicated electric vehicles in the Volkswagen Group, but being a Skoda, the Enyaq iV has pulled off an exceptional blend of value, useful functionality and space – having lots of room for five people and a huge boot.

As a result, it’s very much a top choice when it comes to the new breed of electric family cars. The SUV form factor is bang on trend, it’s modern but not overly so inside, and offers a driving range of up to 331 miles per charge, making it easier to use than many of the other vehicles on this list.

Price new: from £32,010*
Claimed driving range: 256-331 miles
Boot space: 585-1,710 litres
Lease this car: from £412 per month

>> Read our main Skoda Enyaq iV review

>> Find a Skoda Enyaq for sale near you

2. Volkswagen ID.3

Best electric family car for futuristic brilliance

Best electric family cars: Volkswagen ID.3

Volkswagen likes to say the ID.3 represents the third era of the company. The first VW Group product of any kind to be built on the exclusively electric MEB platform, it’s had some teething troubles with software, and not everyone will like the futuristic treatment of the interior.

But for us, the ID.3 is exactly what an electric car should be right now – forward-looking, fun to drive, fast if you need it to be, and capable of decent driving distances as well. This Golf-sized hatchback has plenty of room for a regular family and looks great, too. We like it a lot.

Price new: from £29,635*
Claimed driving range: 216-340 miles
Boot space: 385-1,267 litres
Lease this car: from £298 per month

>> Read our main Volkswagen ID.3 review

>> Find a Volkswagen ID.3 for sale near you

3. Volvo XC40 Recharge

Best electric family car for built-in booster seats

Best electric family cars: Volvo XC40 Recharge Electric

The electric version of the Volvo XC40 is available with built-in booster seats that – depending on the size of your children – save you having to clump about with additional child seats. This is reason alone for considering it one of the best electric family cars on sale.

Being a Volvo, the electric XC40 Recharge is also safe, beautifully designed, beautifully built and spacious. Because electric drive was considered right from the outset, you don’t even lose much boot space – in fact you gain more of it in the front where the engine used to be. Not cheap, mind.

Price new: from £49,950*
Claimed driving range: 256-259 miles
Boot space: 452-1,328 litres + 31 litres in the frunk
Lease this car: from £663 per month

>> Read our main Volvo XC40 Recharge review

>> Find a Volvo XC40 Recharge for sale near you

4. Tesla Model 3

Best electric family car for performance and brand

Best electric family cars: Tesla Model 3

If you’re considering an electric car you will surely have thought about a Tesla. The Model 3 is probably the one best sized for most families, though the Model X SUV offers massive amounts of space and seven seats if you need – and can afford – them.

Issues here include the non-hatchback boot access, some dodgy trimming in places and a slight reputation for reliability flakiness. However, the Model 3 offers huge performance, long driving ranges, and access to what is still the best charging network. Many love the simple interior, too.

Price new: from £40,990*
Claimed driving range: 278-360 miles
Boot space: 425 litres (front and rear spaces combined)
Lease this car: from £417 per month

>> Read our main Tesla Model 3 review

>> Find a Tesla Model 3 for sale near you

5. Kia Soul EV

Best electric family car for distinctive style

Best electric family cars: Kia Soul EV

Kia also makes the e-Niro, which is another all-round excellent electric car, while sister brand Hyundai has a few worth considering as well, including the Kona and Ioniq 5 – point being that they underlining technology is very good, and there are other choices if you don’t like the Soul’s appearance.

And the appearance is, let’s face it, one of the major reasons for considering the Soul. It’s a box on wheels – meaning lots of space for the family – but it carries itself with real style. Solid 280-mile driving range and it’s good fun, too, though the boot won’t be big enough for some fams.

Price new: from £34,945*
Claimed driving range: 280 miles
Boot space: 315-1,339 litres
Lease this car: from per month

>> Read our main Kia Soul review

>> Find a Kia Soul for sale near you

6. MG 5 EV

Best family electric car if you want a great value estate

Best electric family cars: MG 5 EV

If it’s a big boot you’re after, the MG 5 EV could be the solution – it’s the only electric vehicle on this list that comes in a traditional estate car body. That means a minimum of 464 litres of bootspace; not quite as much as the incredible Skoda Enyaq, but the MG 5 is priced from under £28k. Bargain.

MG is very much a budget brand these days, but its electric vehicles in particular provide plenty of proper value. They come with seven-year warranties, are currently available on 0% finance (with £0 deposit) and are well-equipped, too. The MG ZS EV is worth a look as well, if you prefer an SUV.

Price new: from £27,595*
Claimed driving range: 214-250 miles
Boot space: 464-1,456 litres
Lease this car: from £234 per month

>> Read our main MG 5 EV review

>> Find an MG 5 EV for sale near you

7. Citroen e-C4

Best family electric car for comfort

Best electric family cars: Citroen e-C4

Citroen has long been a paragon of comfortable cars, and the e-C4 electric SUV is a fine return to this form. It rides so much better than many rivals, making it ideal for bumpy urban roads on the school run and long-distance motorway trips. Meanwhile, the coupe roofline gives it plenty of style points.

You might worry that the roof eats into passenger space, but that’s not the case here. What you should consider carefully, however, is the real-world range, which in our experience with a long-term test car is no more than around 150 miles. It’s also a poor choice if you like a sporty drive.

Price new: from £33,395*
Claimed driving range: 217 miles
Boot space: 380-1,250 litres
Lease this car: from £274 per month

>> Read our main Citroen e-C4 review

>> Find a Citroen e-C4 for sale near you

8. Renault Zoe E-Tech

Best small electric family car

Best electric family cars: Renault Zoe

There are other small electric cars that might be sexier – the Fiat 500 Electric, for example – but the Renault Zoe manages to be commendably compact but still pack in a set of rear doors for easy back-seat access and produce an impressive 245-mile claimed driving range at its very best.

Add a five-year warranty and keen pricing, especially if you want to pay monthly, and this makes it a very attractive electric solution for a small family runabout. Renault is also one of the pioneering electric car brands, so it has plenty of experience and a proven track record. A very pragmatic choice.

Price new: from £30,095*
Claimed driving range: 238-245 miles
Boot space: 338-1,225 litres
Lease this car: from £213 per month

>> Read our main Renault Zoe review review

>> Find a Renault Zoe for sale near you

9. BMW i3

Best electric family car for sheer purpose-built class

Best electric family cars: BMW i3

The BMW i3 is unusual in that it’s actually pretty old but still looks like it comes from the future. A purpose-built electric vehicle from the ground up, it doesn’t just look exotic on the outside – it’s also funky as ultra-modern hotel on the inside and assembled from supercar-grade carbonfibre.

No other family-sized electric car is this forward-thinking in its design or construction even now, while the narrow body and punchy performance makes the i3 a joy around town; there is still a generous amount of space inside. A small boot, modest range and firm ride are the downsides.

Price new: from £22,805*
Claimed driving range: 173-190 miles
Boot space: 260-1,100 litres
Lease this car: from £320 per month

>> Read our main BMW i3 review

>> Find a BMW i3 for sale near you

10. Peugeot e-2008

Best family electric car if you want a small SUV

Best electric family cars: Peugeot e-2008

The e-2008 uses similar technology to the Citroen e-C4, but with a longer roofline it’s a more spacious and practical package for passengers. At the same time, Peugeot has successfully repositioned itself as a more premium brand, and the quality and design of the interior reflects this.

Not everyone will get on with the tiny, squared-off steering wheel and the potentially compromised driving position – both steadfast Peugeot signatures now. But the firm gives EV buyers the same trim level choices as ICE customers, and this is an unintimidating first step into electric vehicle ownership.

Price new: from £33,230*
Claimed driving range: 191-206 miles
Boot space: 434-1,467 litres (front and rear spaces combined)
Lease this car: from £312 per month

>> Read our main Peugeot e-2008 review

>> Find a Peugeot e-2008 for sale near you

*All prices quoted are correct at the time of writing and include VAT and manufacturer on-the-road (OTR) costs, but do not include any discount available from the UK government Plug-in Car Grant (PICG)

Verdict

This is top 10 selection of the best electric family cars currently on sale, and if none of the above suit we’ve pointed you in the direction of some alternatives in many of the entries above as well. What’s more, not only do we have guides to best examples of other types of electric car listed below, there are also new electric cars going on sale all the time.

With an increasing number of car makers now putting a date on when they will stop selling internal combustion engines the writing really is on the wall for petrol and diesel. And while battery electric vehicle technology will continue to improve in the coming years, we feel the above family cars really do represent viable alternatives right now.

So don’t be afraid. Electric vehicles are here to stay, and for many buyers there is no reason not to start considering the switch now.

Also read:

>> Our main best electric cars landing page

>> Best cheap electric cars

>> Best electric SUVs

>> Best small electric cars

>> Best electric vans