Best electric SUVs 2021

Best SUVs 2021

  • Parkers rounds up the best fully electric SUVs
  • We compare six of the most popular small family cars
  • ...and choose our favourite large and premium SUVs

What do you get when you mix the most popular type of car in the UK with what’s likely to be the fuel of the future? Chances are, you end up with one of these electric SUVs.

Electric SUVs offer practicality, low fuelling costs, (near) silent running and you know that when you run one you're doing your bit to cut urban pollution and mitigate against climate change. We've gathered six of the newest small family SUVs and name the one we'd recommend out of a very competitive bunch.

We've also picked our favourite larger SUVs, as well as the premium luxury offerings – a very talented bunch of cars, which promise to deliver performance, luxury and a long battery range. Read on for our take on the electric SUVs you can buy now.

Click the links below to jump straight to the car you’re interested in:

Best electric SUVs


Best electric family SUVs

1. Kia e-Niro 

Best electric SUVs – Kia e-Niro (2021) cornering

Pros:
Build quality and equipment
✅ Unerringly accurate battery indicator

Cons:
Dull interior
Expensive when financed monthly

We tested the 39kWh battery version of the e-Niro, which means you lose the headline-grabbing 282-mile range of the 64kWh model – but with 180 miles claimed, it's still on the pace of this grouping. That aside, it's the most rational EV you can buy today – it's well priced in cash terms, it's roomy and practical, hard-wearing and has one of the best warranties in the business.

Best electric SUVs – Kia e-Niro (2021) interior

It has a well-planned interior featuring all the best Kia technology – so it’s superbly simple to set up and operate, without being intrusive. There’s plenty of space for four in here, with a boot as large as most diesel SUVs can manage. So no compromises there. For drivers, it's not a bad place to spend time – you get light steering, and it's poised and settled on the motorway. And yet, it works well on B-roads, too. Finally, the battery range indicator is highly accurate, giving you the confidence of maximising your range in search of public chargers.

Criticisms? It's hard to get excited by the e-Niro – frighteningly competent as it is – and when driving one, you might find your head turned by any one of its more flamboyant rivals. That's not a lot, is it!

Price new: From £32,845
Price used: £23,835 - £35,535
Claimed battery range:
180 miles
Lease this car: 
From £370 per month
Find a used Kia e-Niro on Parkers here

2. MG ZS EV 

Best electric SUVs – MG ZS EV (2021) front three-quarter view

Pros:
Great value for money
✅ Long warranty

Cons:
Patchy dealer and parts support
There's a facelift model coming

If you're after a good value and unpretentious electric SUV the MG ZS EV is right up your street. It's one of the most affordable electric vehicles on sale today, but the ZS EV makes a very strong case for itself for more than just its (relatively) low cash price – you get lots of equipment, a long seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty and plenty of passenger and luggage room for your money. In fact, it's easily the most rational car MG makes right now.

Best electric SUVs – MG ZS EV (2021) interior

Inside, it's packed with lots of tech, but is let down by an infotainment system that's off the pace, and pretty much just there for show. It also doesn’t offer as much range as the other SUVs on this list – only 163 miles – but the distance to empty indicator was accurate during our testing, which is a big positive. Finally, it's surprisingly good to drive, with long-travel comfortable suspension on the motorway and a good seating position.

Criticisms? The interior falls behind the (more expensive) rivals in terms of quality (but by not as much as you might think), and the handling and ride can get choppy on rougher roads. Overall, a very impressive effort for the money.

Price new: From £28,595
Price used: £15,510 - £21,490
Claimed battery range:
163 miles
Lease this car: From £250 per month
Find a used MG ZS EV on Parkers here

3. Citroen e-C4

Best electric SUVs – Citroen e-C4 (2021) driving

Pros:
Supremely comfortable
Quiet and serene on the move

Cons:
Disappointing battery range
Driving position isn't for everyone

Okay, so the Citroen e-C4 isn't marketed as an SUV, but because of the way that bodystyles are blurring these days, we'd say that it is, given its chunky styling and above average ride height. No matter what it is, we can say that the e-C4 has a number of qualities that allow it to stand out from the SUV crowd. For one, its comfort levels are off the scale compared with rivals here – both in terms of seating and low-speed ride. If that matters to you, then the e-C4 really should be at the top of your shopping list.

Best electric SUVs – Citroen e-C4 (2021) interior

As a family car, it works well, too. Front head and legroom are excellent, with a raft of usefully-sized storage spaces to stow away all of your nicknacks. Accommodation in the rear is excellent, with a well-sized boot to top things off. Performance is acceptable with perky acceleration from rest – but the way in which it conducts itself in near silence is really impressive. The infotainment is good, and we like the combination of touchscreen and physical controls for major functions.

Criticisms? The real world battery range is ho-hum, and although the claimed WLTP range of 217 miles is competitive here, the range indicator is optimistic to the point where it becomes an inconvenience – and that will make planning and taking a long journey a real chore. Other than that, the rear visibility is poor and a driving position doesn't work for all... not a big list of faults.

Price new: From £33,395
Price used: £22,935 - £28,545
Claimed battery range:
217 miles
Lease this car: 
From £250 per month
Find a Citroen e-C4 to buy on Parkers here

4. Vauxhall Mokka-e 

Best electric SUVs – Vauxhall Mokka-e (2021) driving

Pros:
Modern-looking, good to drive
✅ Quiet and refined

Cons:
Tight rear-seat room
Issues with range

The Vauxhall Mokka-e went on sale early in 2021 and looks the freshest of our group. It's super-modern and very different to its namesake predecessor, being almost entirely based on Peugeot/Citroen underpinnings. So it shares the same 136hp motor and 50kWh battery pack that you'll find in the e-2008 and e-C4 above. But Vauxhall engineers have made it drive differently to both, with super-light steering steering, superb motorway refinement and an overall driving experience that's slightly ahead of the Peugeot e-2008.

Best electric SUVs – Vauxhall Mokka-e interior

Inside, the Vauxhall is a bit of a techfest, with a digital black mirror ahead containing the instrument panel infotainment screen. Like its Peugeot/Citroen counterparts, these work very well – both quick and easy to use. Driving position is good, it feels light and responsive on the road, and it's excellent at cushioning urban potholes and rough roads.

Criticisms? The view out of the rear is compromised and the rear head and legroom are lacking. And like the Citroen and Peugeot, the range indicator struggled to keep up with the energy consumption out of town.

Price new: From £33,040
Price used: £23,290 - £31,900
Claimed battery range:
201 miles
Lease this car: 
From £357 per month
Find a used Vauxhall Mokka-e on Parkers here

5. Peugeot e-2008 

Best electric SUVs – Peugeot e-2008 (2021) driving

Pros:
Lots of models, ample personalisation options
✅ Comfortable, roomy, practical

Cons:
Some won't get on with the driving position
Range and range indicator aren't impressive

The Peugeot e-2008 is already proving popular judging by the number we're seeing on the roads. Like the Vauxhall Mokka-e and Citroen e-C4, this is an electric car that's part of a range made up of petrols, diesels and hybrids – the best choice for drivers. It's been on sale since 2020, and unlike many of its rivals, there are several electric versions to choose from, although all are powered by the same 136hp motor and 50kWh battery pack.

Best electric SUVs – Peugeot e-2008 (2021) interior

It may not have as much standard equipment for your money compared with a Kia e-Niro or Hyundai Kona Electric, but the Peugeot’s interior feels much more modern, is trimmed with higher-quality materials and has a more interesting design. It's built around the unusual i-Cockpit, with low-mounted steering wheel, which won't suit everyone – but it's a snug place that encourages spirited driving. On the road, you get a composed motorway ride, but it's less happy on B-roads, with unsettled suspension.

Criticisms? The interior isn't as roomy as the Kia e-Niro and the handling and ride aren't as good as the Citroen e-C4. In our testing, the distance-to-empty proved to be inaccurate, overestimating by more than 20%, making longer journeys a bit of a lottery.

Price new: From £33,230
Price used: £21,775 - £35,855
Claimed battery range:
206 miles
Lease this car: 
From £311 per month
Find a Peugeot e-2008 on Parkers here

6. Mazda MX-30 

Best electric SUVs – Mazda MX-30 (2021) driving

Pros:
Agile and fun to drive
✅ Lots of equipment for your money

Cons:
Poor battery range
Cramped – not really suitable for families

SUVs are supposed to be practical, boxy and biased towards comfort, right? Looks like Mazda didn't receive the memo because the MX-30 is designed with a youthful, sporty three-door profile (albeit with hidden rear doors) and an emphasis on driving fun and steering feel. Think of it as a semi-sporting electric coupe, and you won't go far wrong. That might explain the claimed 124-mile battery range, which makes the MX-30 most seriously aimed at weekend drivers and city dwellers.

Best electric SUVs – Mazda MX-30 (2021) interior

The good news is that the MX-30 is excellent value compared with the other cars here – albeit with a small battery – with a cash price comfortably within the £35,000 cut-off for the government's Plug-in Car Grant. And we can't over-emphasise how good it is to drive – with pin-sharp steering, tight, roll-free handling, and a proper sense of fun. Finally, we really like its exquisite interior, with its combination of high-quality materials and right build quality. It's also, in theory, greener than a big-battery EV as it's lighter.

Criticisms? It's not going to be a great car for families, and although the rear doors are interesting, the small windows leave the rear feeling claustrophobic. That range, too, is frankly not going to cut it for higher-mileage drivers, although its accurate battery range indicator helps mitigate that, somewhat.

Price new: From £28,545
Price used: £22,300 - £29,205
Claimed battery range:
124 miles
Lease this car: 
From £278 per month
Find a Mazda MX-30 on Parkers here

Verdict: what is the best electric family SUV?

All six of these cars have their positive points, but calling a winner from them is surprisingly easy. The Kia e-Niro is practical, spacious, easy to live with and manages its batteries supremely well. Throw in that legendary seven-year warranty, and it's easy to understand why it's up among the bestselling electric cars in the UK.

The MG ZS EV gets an honourable mention here too for its low cash price and affordable monthly payments on finance. But don't think it does well because it's cheap – it's also very capable to drive, manages its battery well, and is roomy and practical.

Despite sharing so many parts under the skin, the Citroen e-C4, Peugeot e-2008 and Vauxhall Mokka-e are all very different on the road – the Citroen gets the nod for being the most comfortable, then comes the Vauxhall for its overall competence and lower cash price, followed by the Peugeot. On the basis of our testing, all three need to sort out their range calculations, though.

Finally the Mazda MX-30. It's a feel-good car that's not really a family SUV at all – if you're primarily driving alone, don't need to carry people, and don't need to go very far, it's a very desirable piece of kit. It's the ideal EV for urban empty nesters.

Best electric SUVs – Kia e-Niro (2021) rear view


Best electric large family SUVs...

1. Skoda Enyaq iV

Best electric SUVs – Skoda Enyaq iV - best electric SUVs

In many ways, this is the state-of the art when it comes to family SUVs. It's roomy, available with two battery capacities (for now) and offers up to 333 miles if you splash out on the more expensive 77kWh version (badged '80', confusingly). The range also kicks in at less than £35,000 allowing it to squeeze in under the cut-off for the government's Plug-in Car Grant.

The Enyaq iV gets a luxurious interior packed with clever features and made from high-quality materials. It shares its technology with the Audi Q4 E-Tron and Volkswagen ID.4, but represents the best overall package of the three, as it's much better value than the Audi and easier to live with than the Volkswagen.

Price new: From £34,495
Price used: £27,925 - £36,850
Claimed batttery range:
333 miles
Lease this car: 
From £409 per month
Find a Skoda Enyaq iV on Parkers here

2. Hyundai Ioniq 5

Best electric SUVs – Hyundai Ioniq 5 (2021) front view

Don't be fooled by its small hatchback styling – this is a full-sized vehicle, up there with the Volkswagen ID.4 in terms of scale. Putting the bold looks aside, the Ioniq 5 is an appealing EV thanks to its simple and friendly interior, the suspension set-up that allows for some driving entertainment, and the very usable driving range.

It's not perfect, but is hugely appealing nevertheless – not least in terms of practicality, space and genuinely innovative features, such as the Blind Spot Monitoring system, which displays a view of the flanks of the car on the dash when you signal a lane change. Overall, it oozes desirability from its pop-out door handles to the matrix-style light clusters.

Price new: From £36,995
Price used: £30,055 - £41,405
Claimed battery range:
296 miles
Lease this car: 
From £395 per month
Find a Hyundai Ioniq 5 on Parkers here

3. Ford Mustang Mach-E

Best electric SUVs – Ford Mustang Mach-e (2021) cornering

Ford’s fully-electric, performance-orientated family SUV is fun to drive and efficient especially in Long Range form. The low-speed ride is disappointingly poor, and steering is weird feeling. But it's great as a large family SUV, offering acres of cabin and boot space.

The range this car can deliver on a full charge is the real show stopper. Anxiety over being able to travel long distances in a single hop is still a roadblock for potential electric car customers, and the ability to cover more than 250 miles without needing to find a plug will be very reassuring indeed.

Price new: From £41,330
Price used: £31,055 - £52,430
Claimed battery range:
from 376 miles (Long Range)
Lease this car: 
From £535 per month
Find a used Ford Mustang Mach-E on Parkers here


Recommended premium electric SUVs...

1. Tesla Model X 

Best electric SUVs – Tesla Model X

The Model X is the ultimate expression of what an electric SUV can be. Like all Teslas it’s loaded with sophisticated technology, such as a huge 17-inch touchscreen in the centre console and numerous hidden ‘Easter Eggs’ meant to make ownership a bit more fun. It also has the added bonus of a real party piece – vertically-opening ‘falcon wing’ doors.

With up to a scarcely believable 402 miles of range on a single charge, it’s the longest-range electric SUV currently on the market, too. It’s not cheap, but as an overall package it’s currently unmatched, especially if you have lots of passengers to carry.

Price new: From £87,245
Lease this car: From £1,129 per month
Find a used Tesla Model X on Parkers here

2. Jaguar I-Pace 

Best electric SUVs – White 2018 Jaguar I-Pace front three-quarter

Low slung and sporty, the I-Pace is styled to be more of a five-door coupe type of SUV than one you'd embark upon an off-roading adventure in. It's comfortable - as per Jaguar's usual standard.

It's rapid and engaging to drive, with a modern interior that's as far from the company's traditional 'gentlemen's club' wood and leather look as it's possible to be. Statistics fans take note: its official range between recharges of 292 miles, with a 0-60mph time of just 4.5 seconds.

Price new: From £64,495
Lease this car: From £835 per month
Find a used Jaguar I-Pace on Parkers here

3. Mercedes-Benz EQC 

Best electric SUVs – Mercedes-Benz EQC

The Mercedes-Benz EQC looks smart and modern and has the same gorgeous interior as the rest of range’s SUVs, with ultra-wide display screens giving a really palatial feeling to the dashboard. Build quality is superb, the included technology works very well indeed, and it’s a thoroughly pleasant place to spend time.

On driving the EQC, two things stand out – refinement and comfort. This car is silent even by EV standards, and the pillowy ride is relaxing. It’s a great way to cover the miles – up to 259 of them on a single charge.

Price new: From £65,720
Lease this car: From £764 per month
Find a used Mercedes-Benz EQC on Parkers here


One to avoid...

DS 3 Crossback E-Tense 

Best electric SUVs – Silver 2020 DS 3 Crossback E-Tense front three-quarter

We like the DS Automobiles recipe of luxury and serenity, but as an overall package it disappoints. Power comes courtesy of a 136hp electric motor shared with various cheaper Peugeots and Citroens. Performance is acceptable, with a 0-62mph of 8.7 seconds, but its claimed range of 206 miles is disappointing especially considering our experience suggests that's nearer 150 in the real world.  

Being a small SUV it doesn't have the roomiest of cabins, especially compared with similarly-priced rivals – but it does have a nice clock. If you fancy this electrical package in something that's more useful and less expensive, you can always opt for the closely related Peugeot e-2008 or smoother-riding Citroen e-C4.

Price new: From £30,990
Lease this car: From £491 per month
Find a used DS 3 Crossback E-Tense on Parkers here


What is an electric SUV?

Nearly every manufacturer has plans for something like this in their product portfolio. It’s easy to see why – consumers can’t get enough of SUVs, and it remains a huge market. People just love that combination of a high seating position, practical interior space and chunky styling – even if they want an electric 4x4, they may never intend to take their cars off road.

Meanwhile, electric mobility is enjoying great interest from across the motoring world. With a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars currently pegged for 2032, solutions will be needed – and electric cars, with no local emissions and benefitting from increasingly green methods of production and electricity generation, seem like the ideal option.

We’re generally big fans of electric cars here at Parkers – they’re great fun to drive and, provided your lifestyle supports them they can give you all the mobility you need, while slashing your fuel bill dramatically. You can read more about electric cars in general at the link below.

Opting for an electric SUV does come with a few compromises compared with a more conventional electric car. They’re usually in range and performance. An SUV is taller, heavier and more blunt than a low-slung saloon or hatchback, so they can’t travel as far on the same amount of electricity. They can often be very bulky indeed, making them tough to park or manoeuvre in tight spaces. They can also be very expensive.

But, if you want an electric SUV, it’s good to know that there currently isn’t a bad one on the market. That could be because there’s presently very few available and they’re all from manufacturers that really know what they’re doing.

Not quite ready to go fully electric? Luckily, there’s also a wealth of exceptionally good hybrid SUVs on sale. These can provide some of the benefits of a fully electric SUV but often at a lower price and without the limitations that an electric drivetrain gives. We've dealt with these in a separate article.

Further reading:

>> Want to know what the best electric SUVs are?

>> Here are the cheapest electric cars to buy now

>> Best electric cars to lease from £300 per month

>> The Parkers guide to the best SUVs

>> Want a hybrid SUV? Here are the best ones...

Best electric SUVs – Charging electric car