Buying a family car can be tricky; there are dozens of options to choose from, and because they all have their own pros and cons, it can be difficult to know where to start.
In recent years it has become even more complicated with the increased popularity of hybrid and electric cars. These promise to massively reduce your day-to-day running costs and provide a more sustainable option for our planet.
However, this has a price; the average electric car is more expensive than its petrol or diesel counterparts to lease or buy. That’s why it’s even more important to make sure you get the perfect car for you and your family’s lifestyle.
The electric family car market has exploded in recent years and there are now plenty of options to choose from regardless of your budget or requirements. We’ve picked some of our favorite styles that are currently on sale, and explained why they’re all a great choice for your next family outing. If you’re not quite ready for a full EV, why not check out our list of the best hybrid family cars or best hybrid SUVs?
If you’re still with us, read on to see our top 10 best electric family cars.
We know family life can be complicated, so we think the MG ZS EV is the perfect electric car for family buyers. It may not be luxurious, but the MG’s no-nonsense approach to electric driving has its advantages. While it will be difficult to find quality materials in the ZS’s cabin, everything feels durable. Plus, like all MGs, it comes with a fantastic seven-year warranty. This is impressive when you consider that the ZS EV starts at less than £30,000; most electric cars at this price don’t have nearly as much space as the ZS with its 470 liter trunk.
However, don’t think that the ZS drives like the MG sports cars of yesteryear. The steering is incredibly light and the high frame makes the ZS lean quite a bit in the corners. That’s why it seems that the ZS EV was designed to perfect the school career; it stays composed over speed bumps and potholes and the entry-level car’s 200-mile range should be more than adequate for drivers who spend most of their time in the city.
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is one of our favorite electric cars and it is also an ideal choice for families. With an eye-catching design like it just stepped out of an 80s arcade game, the Ioniq 5 is sure to stand out in any school or supermarket parking lot. It’s also more spacious than you’d expect; Despite being a family hatchback, the Hyundai is larger than your typical Volkswagen Golf and has a spacious 527 liter boot – enough for most strollers or multiple suitcases.
Buyers can choose one of two battery sizes for the Ioniq 5; the smaller 55 kWh unit should be enough for most family car buyers, with a range of about 240 miles and access to ultra-fast charging. While the top-of-the-line versions of the Ioniq 5 produce over 300 horsepower, the Ioniq 5 is primarily set up for comfort, but even the entry-level car can provide a lot of fun on a twisty road.
Nissan has a long history of success in the family car market with the best-selling Qashqai crossover; the Ariya takes everything the brand learned from that car and repackages it into a premium EV. You may know Nissan as a mainstream brand, but the Ariya feels undeniably luxurious inside; the trim is sewn together using a traditional Japanese method, and several of the key controls magically light up from behind a wooden panel when the car is turned on.
That’s not to say the Nissan Ariya is a mighty luxury car you’ll be afraid to drive; it is practical enough to use every day. The luggage compartment is generous in size and thanks to the clever sliding center console you can choose to prioritize space in the front or back of the car. Standard 63 kWh cars can travel about 250 miles on a charge, while cars with a larger 87 kWh battery can travel 310 miles before needing to be plugged in.
If practicality is your main concern when looking for an electric family car, look no further than the Skoda Enyaq iV. Based on the Volkswagen ID.4, the Skoda outperforms its premium brother in almost every way and is packed with useful features. Open the standard automated boot lid and you’re greeted with 585 liters of space, making the Enyaq one of the roomiest EVs out there. A flat floor in the rear means three adults can sit side by side in comfort and there are even sun umbrellas hidden in the front doors – just like in a Rolls-Royce.
Skoda offers the Enyaq with a variety of powertrains that may vary in terms of availability given current global production issues. The range starts with the 250-mile iV 60 model, all the way up to the 320+ mile iV 80x. Most Enyaq models are best suited for comfortable highway or city cruising, but Skoda also offers a sportier Enyaq Coupé model in high-performance VRS form if you fancy something a little more appealing.
We loved the first-generation Kia e-Niro; it offered solid range, plenty of space and great value for money. The second generation (now renamed the Kia Niro EV) takes all those positive aspects and adds a much more interesting design and the latest technology. Standard equipment also remains strong, with all cars getting a slick infotainment setup with two screens, rear parking sensors and adaptive cruise control.
The Kia Niro EV is powered by a 201 hp electric motor, coupled with a 64.7 kWh battery. These offer a range of up to 485 miles, with the Niro being able to charge from 10-80% in about 40 minutes when connected to a compatible public fast charger. If you like the looks and technology of this car, but aren’t quite ready for a full EV, Kia also offers the regular Niro in self-charging hybrid and plug-in hybrid guise.
Tesla has become synonymous with electric cars and it’s easy to see why. The Model 3 sedan played an important role in popularizing EVs with family buyers, and the Model Y SUV offers all the benefits of that car in an even more practical package. With a luggage compartment at both the front and rear, there is plenty of room for all of your family’s luggage. The Model Y’s infotainment system is also packed with unique features and games, all of which are perfect for a family car like this.
Even more ridiculous, however, is how the Model Y drives. Tesla offers its smallest SUV in two variants: Long Range and Performance. While the latter can rival sports cars in terms of acceleration, we recommend opting for the cheaper Long Range model as it can cover about 330 miles on a single charge. Tesla owners also have access to the brand’s excellent Supercharger infrastructure, meaning range fears are a thing of the past.
It may look a bit like a spaceship, but the Kia EV6 is actually a practical family car – and a good one, too. The EV6 shares most of its parts with the Hyundai Ioniq 5, but gets a more fashionable crossover body style; despite the sloping roofline, there’s still plenty of headroom, and with a flat floor, rear passengers also have plenty of legroom. Open the futuristic-looking tailgate and you will find 490 liters of luggage space. There is also additional cargo space under the hood, which varies in size depending on whether you opt for a rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicle.
The Kia EV6 not only looks like a spaceship, but it drives like one. Despite its unmistakable two-ton weight, the EV6 is surprisingly agile and can be fun on even the most twisty B-roads. The top model ‘GT’ is the fastest Kia ever and has a monstrous 577 hp; we recommend skipping this and choosing the entry-level rear-wheel drive car, as it still offers solid performance and a range of nearly 330 miles.
Few electric cars offer the flexibility of seven seats; the coveted Tesla Model X starts from over £90,000, while the much more affordable Peugeot e-Rifter is more of a ‘van with windows’ than a family car. The Mercedes EQB sits somewhere in between, offering a spacious, tech-filled interior and chunky SUV styling.
We recommend opting for the entry-level EQB 300 AMG Line, as it gets all-wheel drive, heated leather and Alcantara seats, a rear-view camera and Mercedes’ slick MBUX infotainment system. But whichever model you choose, you can count on a range of around 250 miles and charging speeds of up to 100 kW, giving you a 10-80% charge in just half an hour when plugged into a public fast charger.
The Volkswagen ID.4 is the second model that falls under the new ‘ID’ of the German brand. electrical sub-brand. A more practical version of the sleek ID.5 coupe SUV, the ID.4 is spacious, well-equipped and easy to drive. The 543 liter boot should be more than enough for most families, and there’s plenty of headroom in the back if you’re planning on taking adults (or kids who’ve gone through their growth spurt!) along.
Electric cars may be mechanically simple compared to their petrol and diesel counterparts, but the ID.4 specs are rather intimidating. We’d skip the entry-level Pure and switch to the 77.4 kWh Pro with its 320-mile range. In Life Edition trim, it comes with a kit including 19-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control and a 12-inch touchscreen.
Is it a sedan, a hatchback or an SUV? We don’t know for sure, but what we do know for sure is that the Citroën e-C4 is an affordable electric car for families. The car takes on Citroën’s funky design language, with the signature ‘Airbumps’ along the side – perfect if you have younger children who have a habit of throwing car doors open! The 380-litre boot should be enough for smaller families who don’t need the extra space of a huge SUV, and the long list of standard equipment means there’s no need to pay extra for top-end specs.
The quietness of the electric motor and Citroen’s signature Progressive Hydraulic Cushion suspension make the e-C4 one of the most relaxing cars to drive you can buy. With light steering, the Citroën should be easy to maneuver through tight city streets and a host of safety features such as Lane Departure Warning and Collision Warning should keep you and your family safe. After a full charge, you can expect to travel approximately 215 miles in the e-C4 before needing to reconnect.
Don’t want a traditional sedan or hatchback? Check out our list of the top 10 best electric SUVs
Top 10 Best Electric Family Cars 2022
- MG ZS EV
- Hyundai Ioniq 5
- Nissan Ariya
- Skoda Enyaq iV
- Kia Niro EV
- Tesla Model Y
- Kia EV6
- Mercedes EQBA
- Volkswagen ID.4
- Citroen e-C4