Top 12 Best Electric Cars in 2019
When talking about the best electric cars, you’ll rarely finish the discussion without the word ‘Tesla’ popping up mid conversation.
Yes we all love Tesla and there’s no doubting the quality of their cars, but many people don’t realise there are now plenty of incredible (and often more affordable) Tesla alternatives on the market.
We’ve created this guide to cover all the best electric cars to buy in 2019, including a couple of the best new Tesla models for good measure.
The best electric cars are reviewed below:
- Jaguar I-Pace
- Hyundai Kona Electric
- Kia e-Niro
- Mercedes EQC
- BMW i3
- Tesla Model 3
- Volkswagen e-Golf
- Audi E-Tron Quattro
- Renault Zoe
- Tesla Model X
- Nissan Leaf
- Hyundai Ionic
1. Jaguar I-PACE
The recent release of Jaguar’s brand new electric ‘I-PACE’ model has taken the industry by storm. It’s being hyped as the best of a new breed of uncompromising electric vehicles which not only takes on its fossil fuel predecessor, but outperforms it.
One of the first electric SUVs, it not only trumps the original F-PACE which it supersedes, but it’s also in strong competition with Tesla’s Model X (also a stand-out electric SUV). The I-PACE is hands down the strongest Tesla alternative on the market.
The Tesla Model X will set you back a minimum of £79,000, whereas the Jag I-PACE starts at just £63,000. But how does it actually stand up to the Tesla?
Very well it seems. Auto Express have suggested the I-PACE can transform the Jaguar brand – this is high praise indeed…
But considering the car’s luxury feel, spacious interior and futuristic additional features (there’s a setting that allows you to replace the absence of engine noise) we feel comments like this are well deserved. Not only that, but it has a top speed of 125 mph. It’s no slouch.
To conclude, it’s the first electric car to really take on the Model X and survive on all fronts. If you are going down the electric SUV route, it’s an important vehicle to consider.
Price: starts at £58,500 (with Government grant) or £63,000 (without)
Distance on a full charge: 298 miles
- Impressive top speed
- Plush exterior
- Spacious interior
- A bumpy ride at low speeds
2. Hyundai Kona Electric
In early 2018, the Hyundai Kona Electric became known as something of a game changer in the auto industry.
Some industry experts called it the first of a ‘second generation’ of electric cars, combining excellent range with a low cost.
This thing will do 300 miles on one charge. That’s impressive. Before its release, you had to pay upwards of £60,000 to own a new car that will go that far before needing a re-juice.
The Hyundai Kona Electric starts at around £30,000 – at just half the price of the Jaguar iPace, you can see why they’re calling it a game changer!
Range aside, at a weight of 1.7 tonnes, it’s a bit heavy and not the most practical car – and it doesn’t feel quite as fast as many other slicker EVs.
But it’s got all the features you’d want in 2019 – including a charging pad with higher-end models. The handling isn’t the best but it’s comfortable, and with 300 miles of range for £30,000 it’s generally hard to quibble!
This one should definitely be on your short list.
Price range: from £25,000
Distance on a full charge: 200-300 miles
- Futuristic looks
- Excellent value
- Incredibly high mileage for the price
- Poor ride, mediocre handling and it’s heavy
- Less spacious and more impractical that the iPace and Tesla Model X
- Expensive to service and insure
3. Kia e-Niro
The new fully-electric Kia e-Niro has the potential to completely change the electric car market in the same way as the Hyundai Kona Electric has. In fact the Kia E-Niro shares many components with its Hyundai compatriot. For example its motors and batteries are identical.
Kia claims it will do an impressive official range of 282 miles between charges and all that at a price that’s around half the cost of many of its rivals… £32.995 to be exact.
In real world driving conditions the Kia managed 253 miles in one charge – a staggering result. That’s further than a Tesla Model S, and double the VW e-Golf (which is in the same price bracket).
The ride is impressive. You’ll get a smooth, easy drive with plenty of punch from the 201bhp electric motor. Handling will never be quite as good as a petrol or diesel equivalent (mainly because of the heavy electric motor) but this electric Kia handles more than well enough around corners and in town.
So what is the difference between this and the Hyundai Kona? Well for a start the handling is slightly better (even though Kia is slightly heavier).
The interior of the Kia is slightly higher quality than the Kona too and you’ll get a better driving position. There’s also more space in the back seats.
For the price it’s very hard to argue that the Kia E-Niro shouldn’t be on your wishlist. The downside is that at the time of writing (March 2019), the Kia E-Niro isn’t actually available on the market to buy. Though we can expect to see it on roads towards the end of the year. A winner.
Price range: starts at £32.995 (depending on spec/ finance choice)
Distance on a full charge: claimed 282 miles, real world 253 miles!
- Bargain price!
- 7 year Kia warranty
- Incredible range!
- Average performance, average handling
- Heavy car
4. Mercedes EQC
The Mercedes EQC is the first in an all-electric range coming from Mercedes in 2019. It’s a totally bespoke, built-for-purpose electric vehicle – not a re-boot of an existing model.
The EQC should be able to get you a whopping 280 miles on a full charge and the battery can be charged from flat to 80% full in just 40 minutes.
It has two electric motors (for both sets of wheels) and will do 0-60 in just 5.2 seconds.
As well as being speedy, it’s worth noting that this is a super-luxurious model, as you’d expect from Mercedes. It has ‘metallic textiles’ and inside it looks like something straight out of a futuristic sci-fi film.
Not surprisingly, it is not cheap. It’s likely to cost you from around £55,000 to £75,000 with added specs, trims and other options.
It’s more expensive than the Hyundai Kona Electric of course, but given you get two crystal-clear Mercedes ‘infotainment screens’ and speech recognition software built-in, it’s probably more than worth it to feel like you’re living in the future. It’s amazing to look at too. Bonus.
Price range: from £55,000
Distance on a full charge: 250-300 miles
- Luxury exterior and interior
- Spacious (thanks to being an SUV-style vehicle)
- 2 x electric engines for speed and performance
- There may be limited stock in early 2019
5. BMW i3
If any electric car can credibly described as a ‘Tesla killer’ it would be this one. Top Gear named it the best small premium EV you can buy and you can see why. Its stunning looks never fail to impress.
The i3 has been around for more than four years now, yet still manages to look forward thinking. You’ll get to 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds and reach a top speed just shy of 100mph (93mph to be precise).
There are various models available, some with more oomph under the hood and others with more range.
With the new and improved i3S (Sport Edition) due out soon, the i3 has to be top of the pile of the best electric cars.
Price range: £30,925 – £46,595
Distance on a full charge: 80 – 125 miles
- Build quality
- Futuristic looks
- Expensive to service and insure
- Poor low speed ride
6. Tesla Model 3
The Tesla model 3 is the electric car everyone is talking about. Stunning, futuristic and reasonably priced, this electric is a smaller, cheaper (half the price) version of the Model X (which we’ve also reviewed here).
It is a vital part of the Tesla’s master plan to provide and sell an ecosystem of sustainable products – but there’s a small spanner in the works. They won’t be widely available in the UK and Europe until at least mid-2019. That’s a lot of waiting around…
That being said, there are still a fair few to buy on the market (whether new or used) and Tesla recently announced a successful ramp up in production. Not only that, but in October 2018, Elon Musk also suggested a newer, cheaper Model 3 may be just round the corner.
All in all, there may be more available to purchase in 2019 than some auto pessimists suggested earlier in the year, so those waiting lists could be shorter than at first thought.
But whatever the supply situation, the auto press has been singing the Model 3’s praises since it was first announced.
This thing is quick, it’ll do 0-62mph in just 4.4 seconds while the more expensive P100D version does it in an amazing 2.7 seconds and it drives much better than many of its rivals. Not only that, but it drives up to 350 miles on a single charge which thumps many of its power-hungry rivals.
It’s also full of cutting edge tech, you start the thing with a credit card you ‘wave around’ for a start! Another benefit to owning a Tesla is the potential for autonomous driving. An ‘autopilot’ option will give you all the cameras you’ll need in the future for some slick, autonomous functions. It may not be the cheapest or the most unique, but it’s still the one to beat for futuristic tech.
Price range: £30,000 – £38,000 [TBC]
Distance on a full charge: 300-350 miles
- You’ll impress your friends!
- Full of tech (it’s a Tesla after all)
- Very quick
- There could be a lengthy waiting list
- May draw unwanted attention
- Elon Musk may not be to everyone’s taste
7. Volkswagen e-Golf
The historic e-Golf was the first ever VW Golf to drop the internal combustion engine and go 100% electric. If you have ever driven a petrol or diesel Golf you’ll know how solid, dependable and fun-to-drive they are.
The electric version doesn’t differ from a regular Golf too much, other than the fact it’s got a 24.2kW lithium ion battery between the axles. Going electric gives you speedier acceleration, but generally a lower top speed (87mph for this Golf).
All the internal goodies are top notch, as we’ve come to expect from the Volkswagen Golf range. A sturdy mid-range electric winner!
Price range: £17,570 – £34,095
Distance on a full charge: 100 – 118 miles
- Comfortable ride and handling
- Cheaper to run than the BMW i3
- High month PCP payments
- Slightly dreary interior
8. Audi E-Tron Quattro
The Audi E-Tron Quatro (not officially on the market until early ‘ish’ 2019) is without doubt an electric car you should have on your radar. It’s Audi’s flagship electric SUV, taking on the Jaguar I-PACE and Tesla’s Model X.
Its 248-mile real-world range means it comes in at a little under the Model X’s roughly 300 mile range but with a charging time of less than 30 minutes on 150kW you won’t need to stop long to go further.
The E-Tron will manage 0-62mph in under 6 seconds and has a top speed of 124mph, like many electrics it’s extremely nippy off the mark – especially for an SUV of this size and weight.
It also comes with a “Range Mode” which will allow you to reduce the electricity consumption and travel further by taking power away from things like the air conditioning (not required much outside of summer in the UK).
- Be an owner of the first ever Audi electric
- Audi build quality
- Full of tech
- Good range
- Not released until Jan 2019
- Not fully tested and reviewed yet
9. Renault Zoe
We’ve chosen to look at the Renault Zoe electric car as they start at just £14,245 (with a Government grant) making it the cheapest EV on the market in the UK. The only downside to that low initial cost is the slightly odd fact that you have to lease the battery at an additional cost.
You can buy the car outright (Zoe i model) but it’ll set you back more upfront. The benefit to a lease however is that Renault will replace the battery free of charge if the range drops below 75% of what it was when bought new. Quite an attractive offer with anyone familiar with owning an old mobile phone.
The Zoe has the biggest driving range of any sub 30K EV so if range is a worry, the Zoe could be for you.
Price range: £14,245 – £31,215 (depending on spec/ finance choice)
Distance on a full charge: 96 (basic) – 178 miles (top of the range)
- Very low running costs
- Battery replacement guarantee
- Great range
- Average performance, poor brake feel
- Battery lease agreement may put off some
- Dull interior
10. Tesla Model X
The Tesla Model X is one of Elon Musk’s most successfully adopted electric cars yet. It was designed to crush the opposition in the SUV/ MPV markets and during its three-or-so-year-reign it did a pretty good job.
It’s been around since December 2015. Back then there were basically no rivals in the market, but now we have direct competitors like the Jaguar i-Pace, Audi E-Tron Quattro and even Tesla’s own Model 3.
So how does the Model X stand up now? Well, the new 100D version sill packs a punch! For a start, the falcon wing doors will always give it a wow factor and for that alone, it feels like something out of Back to the Future (available to buy in the present)…
It’s super-quiet to drive, like most electrics and has HUGE punch on the acceleration front – reaching 0-60mph in a blistering 5.2 seconds.
For a car that weighs 200kg, it’s seriously impressive. Again, all new Tesla’s come equipped with Tesla Autopilot (one of the best driving assistance packages on the market). Thinking about stopping distance? Tesla has you covered by locking in automation to slow you down if required. It can also change lanes for you. Still a contender then…
The only (and perhaps the only) downside is the price…
Price range: from £79,000
Distance on a full charge: 250 – 350 miles
- Impressive falcon doors
- Smooth drive
- Great range
- High cost
- Doors can be awkward
11. 2018 Nissan Leaf
WhatCar? Have named the Nissan Leaf their Electric Car of the Year for 2018 and it’s hard to argue with them.
Now in it’s second generation, the original Leaf was launched back in 2010 – making it the world’s first mass-market EV model.
There have been many improvements made since the first generation edition. The new massive battery range sits at a proven 168 miles and the engine produces much more power at 150bhp.
Price: £21,990 (Including Government grant)
Distance on a full charge: between 168 – 235 miles (top of the range)
- Cheap to own
- Very quiet and smooth drive
- Boxy design is a bit over-used and boring
- Not many options beyond the standard spec
- Awkward driving position
12. 2018 Hyundai Ioniq
Hyundai may not have been the first brand that popped into your head when thinking about electric cars, but they should be considered. The Ioniq is key to Hyundai’s plan to produce a range of 22 green cars as soon as 2020.
This model is also available as a petrol/ electric and plug-in petrol electric hybrids, but it’s the fully electric model we’re focused on here.
This car has a modest maximum range of 174 miles and a super-smooth feel and ride, but it can be a bumpy drive when dealing with rough roads.
Price: £28,995 (Including Government grant)
Distance on a full charge: between 168 – 235 miles (top of the range)
- Plush exterior and interior
- Low running costs
- Options on specs are limiting
- A bumpy ride on less-smooth roads
- No ultra fast charging
Want to know more about electric cars or other AFVs?
If you would like to learn more about electric cars, we can highly recommend reading our definitive guide to electric cars. In this comprehensive article, we cover charging, Government grants, battery range, costs and more! It’s well worth a read.
Not ready to make the full switch to electric? Read our guide to the best hybrid cars.
Worried about diesel? Try our guide to buying or selling a diesel car.
Just want an SUV? Check out the best SUVs on the UK market.
Maybe a small car? Read our guide to the best small cars to buy in the UK.
Or a car with great MPG? Try our best cars for MPG guide.
A family car? Try this best family car guide.
Or an estate? Compare the best estate cars.