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The best electric SUVs

Crossovers and SUVs outsell sedans by a wide margin, and electric cars are slowly but surely merging into the mainstream, so the electric crossover segment is expected to grow exponentially in the 2020s. Nearly every automaker wants to plant its stake in it, but some of the more forward-thinking ones are already in it.

If you can’t wait for the dozen-plus models on the way, here are the best ones available in 2020, including the Audi E-Tron, which offers more range for a lower price but doesn’t lose any of its luxury.

Best electric SUV: Audi E-Tron

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Why you should buy this: Audi has long been known for advanced technology, and it brings that philosophy to this electric vehicle (EV).

Who it’s for: Fans of German precision and luxury will love the E-Tron’s engineering.

Price before incentives: $65,900+

Driving range: 222 miles

Recently updated with a lower price and more range, the E-Tron is an excellent SUV that happens to be electric. Quick-charging technology makes it road trip-ready, and going electric means there’s more space for people and gear inside. Its air suspension has five settings, including one that makes it capable of some light off-roading tasks.

The interior of the Audi E-Tron has the mix of technology and luxury that Audi aficionados adore, with the Virtual Cockpit screen and two touchscreens. Acceleration is quick but not unusual for an EV, at zero to 60mph in 5.5 seconds.

Read our Audi E-Tron first drive review

Best luxury electric SUV: Jaguar I-Pace

Jaguar I-Pace
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Why you should buy this: It sits in the middle of the Venn diagram showing luxury, price, and performance.

Who it’s for: Buyers who are cross-shopping other luxury SUVs, electric or not, would do well to test drive an I-Pace.

Price before incentives: $69,850+

Driving range: 246 miles

While many manufacturers are electrifying cars that are already in their lineups, Jaguar chose to create an all-new model for its first all-electric vehicle. Introduced in 2018, the I-Pace won the World Car of the Year award, along with World Car Design and Green Car awards, right out of the gate. It was also our top car of 2019.

The Jaguar I-Pace has a range of 246 miles and a zero to 60mph time of 4.5 seconds, which are both second only to its most famous rival, the Tesla Model X. Fast charging adds 62 miles in 15 minutes, which isn’t as quick as its high-end competition. But the I-Pace’s base price makes it one of the least expensive luxury SUVs.

Read our Jaguar I-Pace review

Best electric SUV for range: Tesla Model X

Tesla

Why you should buy this: If you drive long distances on major highways, this is your best bet.

Who it’s for: This SUV was built for Tesla fans who can afford the steep price tag.

Price before incentives: $79,990+ (federal incentives no longer available)

Driving range: 371 miles

Introduced in 2016, the Tesla Model X made a splash with its trick falcon doors (when they worked as advertised, at least). Four years later, the firm’s rivals are still struggling to clear the bar the Model X sets with 371 miles of range.

While the Tesla Model X owns the field for performance, it falls behind competitors for fit and finish while having the highest price tag of any electric SUV out there. That’s why the Audi E-Tron is a better choice overall.

Read our full Tesla Model X review

Best affordable electric SUV: Hyundai Kona Electric

Hyundai Kona Electric live
Ronan Glon/Digital Trends

Why you should buy this: It’s one of the most affordable and useful electric SUVs available.

Who it’s for: Parents who won’t feel bad about grinding Cheerios into the carpet.

Price before incentives: $37,190

Driving range: 258 miles

When hybrid cars started hitting the streets 20 years ago, their pokey performance turned a lot of potential buyers off. The new generation of EVs does not suffer that same problem. Even a relatively affordable electric SUV like the Hyundai Kona can do zero to 60mph in 6.4 seconds, thanks to the instant torque available from the motor.

The affordability and usability of the Hyundai Kona Electric earned it the title of 2019 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year. Affordable is a relative term, though. It carries a base price of $37,190 before incentives are factored in, meaning it’s nearly twice as expensive as the standard, gasoline-powered Kona, which starts at $20,400.

Jeep is launching its first two electric SUVs in the U.S. in 2024
Rendering of the Jeep Recon electric SUV.

Jeep will launch four electric SUVs for North America and Europe by the end of 2025, with at least two coming to the U.S., the automaker confirmed Thursday. While Jeep has some plug-in hybrids in its lineup, these will be the brand's first all-electric models.

The first of these models to launch will be the Jeep Recon, which is scheduled to start production in 2024, with reservations opening in early 2023. While it won't be fully revealed until next year, Jeep confirmed the Recon will have a "one-touch power top, removable doors, and glass," similar to the current Jeep Wrangler. While it doesn't replace the Wrangler, it's definitely inspired by the iconic off-roader, Jim Morrison, head of the Jeep brand in North America, said during a presentation of the electrification plan.

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BMW shows off an electric car with color-changing paint at CES 2022
A color-changing BMW iX electric SUV.

From engine sounds to seat massagers, modern cars let drivers personalize almost everything. At CES 2022, BMW is taking that idea a step further with a concept version of its iX electric SUV that sports color-changing paint.

The effect relies on E Ink, the same electronic paper technology used in e-readers. Millions of microcapsules approximately the diameter of a human hair are embedded in an exterior wrap made from laser-cut electronic paper segments, according to BMW. They contain negatively charged white pigments and positively charged black pigments. Activating an electric field causes different amounts of each pigment to collect on the surface, shifting the color between black, white, and gray with the press of a button.

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2023 BMW iX M60 is electric, spacious, and surprisingly quick
A 2023 BMW iX M60.

BMW's performance-obsessed M division is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2022. It kicked off its birthday celebration by unveiling the 2023 iX M60, an evolution of the electric iX that stands out with stunningly quick acceleration, a usable driving range, and a subtle design.

It takes a well-trained eye to tell the M60 model apart from the standard iX, which was introduced in 2020. Look closely and you'll notice blue brake calipers hidden behind version-specific aerodynamic wheels and a handful of M logos scattered across the exterior. The wings, vents, and generally muscular-looking design cues we're used to seeing on BMW's M models are nowhere to be found, and that's intentional.

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