Top Gear's top 20 electric cars
Head this way for a roundup of our favourite everyday EVs
"The 500 is small, but if you don’t need space it could be your only car. That’s because it’ll go far enough on a charge to make motorway trips tenable. Whereas the Honda e or Mini electric would have to be second cars to anyone who ever drives beyond conurbations rather than just within them. It’s not as fun to drive as those are, mind. It’s trying harder to feel normal. With a stylish, recognisable design and a quality feel."Advertisement - Page continues below
“The EQS grasps all the advantages an EV promises – smoothness, peace, effortless performance and clever body packaging – and blends all of the above with everything Mercedes has learned over several decades of building classy plutocrat barges. It’s an exquisite vehicle to cover distance in, to drive or in which to be driven, finished nigh-on perfectly and peppered with attention to detail.”
Volvo XC40 Recharge
"We loved the XC40 from the get-go but had a few reservations about the powertrains. Not any more. In battery-electric guise the XC40’s worthier attributes – the thoughtful packaging, sense of well-being and design – are augmented by a remarkable new turn of speed and handling smarts. Like the Tesla Model 3 (and related Polestar 2), the XC40 makes an almost irresistible case for electrification."Advertisement - Page continues below
"With its second attempt, Peugeot has made the 2008 a properly appealing thing in its own right. It looks way more special than it did before, like it’s been sketched seperately to its base car where the last one resembled a 208 photocopied at 130 per cent. And with the combination of spangly 3D dials and electric power, it feels futuristic without any Back to the Future Part II naffness."
"Sure, it strips away a lot of the interaction we love with gearboxes and engines with individual characters, but it’s rewarding in a new and exciting way. It’s also comfortable, quiet, spacious, well-built… all the things that, if we’re honest, matter day-to-day. The I-Pace won’t be for everyone, but hats off to Jaguar for making a car that steps boldly into the unknown, and still shows those pesky Germans the way."
"The Mini Electric is a very complete little EV. It preserves pretty much everything we like about a standard Mini Cooper S, but it’s more accelerative where it matters, and has zero local emissions. It proves that the hot hatch will have a future as an EV."
"It’s a matter of context. We found ourselves a bit disappointed by the ID.3. It was hyped as a reinvention of the Golf for the new age. But it doesn’t quite satisfy its driver like a well-honed hatch should. Whereas the ID.4 plays against crossovers, and no-one buys a crossover for the driving. Do they? Crossovers are family transit pods. And judged through that lens, the ID.4 is right on target."Advertisement - Page continues below
“We like the Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2, but there's still a vacancy for a really sweet-driving alternative. The i4, especially in RWD spec, is that alternative. It's snug and well-made, while this is a car with the sort of range that should allow almost anyone to do almost any of their road trips. It charges fast, and brisk driving or low temperatures don't harm the range as badly as some EVs. It doesn't look like a spaceship, but lots of people don't want that. Which is why BMW does so well. This is a proper BMW.”
“The EV6 proves that forward-thinking doesn’t need to be entirely wacky. Distinctive yet not likely to immediately fall off a fashion cliff, interesting to drive but not likely to worry a dedicated sports car, the EV6 carves a very different path dynamically to the Hyundai Ioniq 5 with which it shares bones and blood. And that’s no bad thing. But it’s also spacious, quiet and a very capable cruiser. This is a well-judged, rounded, interesting and satisfying car from Kia.”Advertisement - Page continues below
"We love the Polestar 2 because it’s handsome, the build quality will give Audi drivers PTSD, and there’s a real sense of common sense about the car – that it’s been designed to work seamlessly, not to wow you with gimmicks then wind you up further down the line."
Renault Megane E-Tech
“The Megane is a car for people who know and like 'normal' cars. You'll find little of the bare design or eccentricity that mark out the VW ID3 or i3 or Leaf as 'pioneers'. It’s conventionally desirable and has a handsome, well-finished and easy-to-use cabin.”
Ford Mustang Mach-E
"Make up your own mind about the look of the car and what it says about you, but be in no doubt that underneath this is a fundamentally very well executed machine. It treads the fine line between lifestyle and family versatility as deftly as either the Polestar 2 or Jaguar I-Pace, and like them has a bit about it dynamically. Put simply, for an electric car it’s engaging to drive."
Tesla Model Y
“The Model Y is now the poster-car for ‘if you delete the engine, the gearbox, the exhaust and all that fuel tank plumbing, then look how roomy you can make the cabin, look how much storage you can offer in the boot'. Obviously that’s not as sexy as Autopilot or Ludicrous Mode, but it’s going to make this a great car to live with, before you get to the foolproof charging, frugal real-world electrical consumption, and all the other stuff that makes Teslas genius electric all-rounders.”
Skoda Enyaq iV
"Once more Skoda has built a car that could well be a better buy than the equivalent Volkswagen. Won’t know for sure until we test them together in comparable specs, but on first impressions the Enyaq edges the ID.4 on several fronts. It drives just as well as its cousin but has a less annoying, more practical interior and is cheaper to buy."
“BMW will do battery versions of all its mainstream models – as it already has with the Mini Electric and iX3 – but it also wanted to build this all-in electric car as a showcase for its best work on materials, aerodynamics and driver assist. The iX is a big comfy home-on-wheels, and a vast amount of technology has been poured into making sure the driver is soothed while the passengers kick back. It's efficient for a full-size e-SUV. The range is impressive, and it can recharge pretty rapidly too.”
"It’s the Urban EV Concept that became a legend, the legend that became a prototype and the prototype that became the dinkiest, most desirable car since the Suzuki Jimny. It’s the Honda e, Honda’s first mass-market pure-electric car, and we want one."
Audi e-tron GT
"Is it better than a Taycan? It offers a fraction more comfort and space and a smidge less speed, but really the differences are minute. It’ll come down to which brand you prefer and which body you’re drawn to – and on that basis the e-tron GT is in with a shout of ruffling some feathers in Stuttgart."
Hyundai Ioniq 5
“That Hyundai is now confident enough to put a car as bold-looking as the Ioniq 5 on sale is impressive. But the fact this retro XXL hot hatch bodywork conceals one of the most complete family EVs money can buy is downright remarkable. If Hyundai can maintain this momentum behind the upcoming members of the Ioniq family, then the likes of VW’s ID cars and even Mercedes’s EQ clan ought to be extremely worried.”
Tesla Model 3
"The Model 3 was Top Gear’s 2019 saloon of the year, beating the old guard and maintaining its lead of the new EV pretenders. It’s been in production since mid-2017, but even heading into middle age, nothing on the market has yet managed to beat the Model 3 on all fronts. While not without flaws, it is quite simply one of the most interesting, compelling cars in the world right now."
"The Cross Turismo is the most complete fast estate available today. Not the biggest or most practical by a long chalk, but in terms of its breadth of ability and fulfilling the role it sets out for itself, it is brilliant. We’d have it over an Audi RS6 or any Panamera. Only the rowdier E63 could possibly tempt us to the petrol side."
"The Taycan can absolutely entertain on the right road and is a delight to cruise in - a GT with the heart of a sports car. More importantly, it’s a proper Porsche that just happens to run on electricity."