10 of the most engaging EVs to drive in 2023

Chose the right electric car and it’s anything but dull. Here are some of the best…

Petrolheads have a fairly long list of gripes when it comes to electric cars, and lack of dynamism tends to be fairly high up.

Grudgingly, they will accept that many family EVs are quicker off the line than most hot hatches, but they take a lot of convincing that a zero emissions vehicle can be as entertaining to drive as an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) car.

It’s certainly true that electric cars can’t match the sensual treats of a petrol car, because there’s no noise, no smells and no manual gearboxes in the silent, single-speed world of EVs.

However, as the electric vehicles below demonstrate, some manufacturers have produced cars that don’t just boast instant torque, they’ve also cracked the driving dynamics, thanks to clever engineering, electronics and keeping the centre of gravity as low as possible by placing the battery packs underneath the car between the axles.

The prices below are correct as of April 2023. EV ranges quoted use official WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure) figures achieved in a laboratory. Real world ranges will vary.

So, here are 10 of the most engaging EVs on the market, in no particular order…

Here's our pick of the most engaging electric cars you can buy
Kia EV6
Kia EV6
From £45,245

Verdict

8
2022 European Car of the Year and a fantastic drive
It's no surprise that Kia's futuristic five-door fastback was crowned 2022 European Car of the Year. Refined, spacious, practical and packed with tech, it's available with rear or all-wheel drive and is surprisingly agile, despite its size. There's one battery size (77.4kWh), power output ranges from 226-321bhp and the fastest version sprints from 0-62mph in just 5.2 seconds. Wait for the upcoming EV6 GT and it can hit 0-62mph in 3.5 seconds. The EV6 will charge from 10-80% in just 18 minutes via an ultra rapid 350kW public chargepoint. Oh, and just like all Kia cars, it comes with a tempting seven-year warranty
Read our review of the Kia EV6
BMW i4 (7)
BMW i4
From £49,995

Verdict

9
BMW driving experience in an all-electric package
The i4 Gran Coupe is a seriously impressive performance saloon - everything you'd expect from a BMW and much more. Available with rear or all-wheel drive, it has a range of up to 365 miles and is blisteringly fast (0-62mph in 3.9 seconds). Depending on the model chosen, power ranges from 335-536bhp. The i4 handles superbly and feels totally planted – it’s also loaded with tech and the build quality is top-notch. Apart from the limited rear passenger footwell space, it's hard to fault. A rapid public charger boosts the i4's 81kWh battery from 0 to 80% in just 34 minutes.
Read our review of the BMW i4
Jaguar I-Pace
Jaguar I-Pace
From £69,995

Verdict

8
Blends comfort, practicality and genuine off-road capability
Winner of the World Car of the Year, World Car Design and World Green Car treble of titles in 2019 (a first), the Jaguar I-Pace is a superb all-rounder. Blending comfort, practicality and genuine off-road capability, it’s also remarkably sorted, allowing you tackle challenging corners with grip and confidence. Featuring a 90kWh battery pack and dual-motor powertrain, it develops 395bhp, which Jaguar claims is good enough for a 0-60mph time of 4.5 seconds. If you have a wallpoint at home it will charge overnight, otherwise a 100kW rapid connection will add up to 78 miles of range in 15 minutes.
Read our review of the Jaguar I-Pace
MINI Electric (6)
MINI Electric
From £32,550

Verdict

8
Go-kart handling in an affordable package
The engineers at MINI have succeeded in producing a pure electric version of the retro cool hatch that retains the agility and go-kart thrills of its combustion-engined ancestors. It's a huge amount on fun, especially on the twisty bits, and the build quality is excellent. The MINI Electric’s electric motor puts out a punchy 184bhp, which translates into a 0-62mph time of 7.3 seconds, though it feels faster. However, with a 33kWh battery and an official range of 143 miles (closer to 100 miles in real world driving), it's very much an urban runabout. Plug it into a 50kW public chargepoint and it can get from 0% to 80% capacity in 40 minutes. A proper pocket rocket.
Read our review of the MINI Electric
Porsche Taycan (4)
Porsche Taycan
From £79,200

Verdict

9
Porsche kerb appeal, superb dynamics and versatility
The remarkable Taycan embodies everything we’ve come to expect from Porsche – cutting-edge tech, kerb appeal, sublime driving dynamics and excellent build quality. Winner of both the World Luxury Car and World Performance Car of the Year categories at the 2020 World Car of the Year Awards, it's arguably the best EV in the world. What's more, the Taycan is more versatile than ever because the four-door saloon has been joined by the estate-like Sport Turismo and more rugged Cross Turismo body styles. There are two battery sizes (79kWh and 93kWh) and - for the record - the fastest version (Turbo S) can deliver an equivalent of 751bhp and complete the 0-62mph sprint in a staggering 2.8 seconds.
Read our review of the Porsche Taycan
Polestar 2 (3)
Polestar 2
From £44,950

Verdict

9
Practical and fun to drive with great build quality
This stunning five-door fastback from Volvo's all-electric sister brand, Polestar, has been a huge success for good reason. Not only does it ooze kerb appeal outside and Scandi chic inside, it's a winning blend of performance, cutting-edge technology and superb driving dynamics. Choose from standard range, long range (single motor, rear-wheel drive)) or long range (dual motor, AWD) versions, the fastest of which delivers a 0-60mph time of 4.5 seconds. There are two sizes of battery (69kWh and 78kWh), producing between 228-402bhp. Find a rapid 150kW charger and 0-80% should take about 40 minutes.
Read our review of the Polestar 2
2020 Honda e
Honda e
From £37,395

Verdict

7
Nippy city car that's easy to drive and cute
It's easy to dismiss the Honda e as just a cute EV. The reality is that this retro-styled zero emissions city car is a game-changer. Unashamedly aimed at urban buyers, it has a modest 137-mile range, yet it can be charged from the low battery warning indicator to 80% in just 31 minutes using a 50kW public charger, or overnight at home. It's nippy, easy to drive and manoeuvre (it has a turning circle of just 4.3 metres). The Honda e may not have the go-kart driving appeal of a MINI Electric, but we'd be amazed if it doesn't put a smile on your face during your test drive. The futuristic interior is stunning and it's surprisingly spacious too. Battery size is 35.5 kWh and it puts out between 134-152bhp, which is good for a 0-62mph sprint time of 8.3 seconds.
Read our review of the Honda e
Mercedes Benz EQS
Mercedes-Benz EQS
From £105,610

Verdict

9
Huge range and luxurious build, but still a dynamic drive
It's a little late to the EV party, but the big Mercedes-Benz EQS executive fastback has been well worth the wait. It’s got serious kerb appeal and is one of the world's most aerodynamic cars. Luxurious, swift and spacious, it's a futuristic treat and a supreme cruiser. But here's the thing, it also handles surprisingly well, despite its bulk. The EQS 450+ rear-wheel drive model we tested has a 107.8kWh lithium-ion battery and produces 329bhp with a 0-62mph time of 6.2 seconds. Find a 200kW charger and it will top-up from 10-80% in as little as 31 minutes.
Read our review of the Mercedes-Benz EQS
Genesis GV60 (10)
Genesis GV60
From £53,905

Verdict

8
Refined and swift luxury fastback
A new premium brand for the UK, Genesis is to Hyundai what Lexus is to Toyota. Sharing the same platform as two of the best EVs - the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 - the GV60 is a class act. Its looks may be divisive, but there's no argument when it comes to the sheer dynamism of the package. There are three versions (Premium, Sport and Sport Plus) and all come with a 77.4kWh battery. Sport Plus has an electric motor on each axle for all-wheel drive and is the quickest with a 0-62mph time of just 4.0 seconds. Sport also gets two motors and all-wheel drive, while Premium is rear-wheel drive only with a single motor at the back. Power on tap ranges from 225-483bhp. There’s ultra-fast 350kW charging too, so if you find a connection that fast, it can go from 10–80% in just 18 minutes.
Read our review of the Genesis GV60
Ford Mustang Mach-E
Ford Mustang Mach-E
From £50,830

Verdict

8
A spirited driving experience with plenty of practicality
Ford’s first fully-fledged electric vehicle is available with rear or all-wheel drive and two different battery sizes (75Wh and 98kWh), delivering 265-480bhp and a range of up to 379 miles. The fastest version is the GT with a 0-62mph time of 3.7 seconds. Practical, good looking and well equipped, it offers a spirited driving experience and body lean is well controlled in trickier corners - just as you'd expect from a Fast Ford. Find a rapid 150kW public charger and it will deliver around 73 miles in just 10 mins. A great EV debut from the Blue Oval - more please.
Read our review of the Ford Mustang Mach-E
MG4 EV (5)
MG4 EV
From £26,995

Verdict

8
Agile, lively and affordable, with a long warranty
This affordable, boldly-styled hatchback is available with two different battery sizes and range is up to 281 miles. Both battery units power a rear-mounted electric motor, producing 168bhp with the smaller battery or 200bhp with the larger one. The 51kW Standard Range accelerates from 0-62mph in 7.7 seconds, while the 64kWh Long Range unit is a tad slower, taking 7.9 seconds to reach 62mph. The big surprise is that the MG4 offers a genuinely dynamic drive. It stays flat and planted when it's hustled through more challenging corners, helped by a low centre of gravity from the batteries mounted far down in the chassis and 50:50 weight distribution. It feels agile and lively, and there's even fun to be had with the rear-wheel drive set-up.
Read our review of the MG4 EV
Driving an electric car: what you need to know
Is driving an electric car different?

Yes, driving an electric car is different from driving a traditional ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) car in several ways. Electric cars have instant torque, with all the torque of the motor available from a standstill, which means that they can accelerate faster than ICE cars. Because electric cars generally have a single gear, their top speed is often lower than an ICE equivalent as the gearing is weighted to faster acceleration within the normal driving range. Some EVs use a two-speed gearbox to get around this.

Electric cars also use regenerative braking. When you take your foot off the accelerator, the car slows down and uses the energy generated by the braking to recharge the battery. This can feel different from the coasting that occurs in ICE cars.

Electric cars are usually heavier than their ICE equivalents. This means that body roll is often more apparent when pushing hard into corners. This can be mitigated with the use of firmer suspension but this can have a knock-on effect for passenger comfort. The extra weight usually means longer stopping distances from the same speed as an ICE equivalent, too, so you'll need to adapt your driving to take this into account.

 

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