Two of the biggest automotive trends of the last decade are converging for the new decade: electric vehicles and compact SUVs. Nearly every major manufacturer has an electrification strategy in place, but consumers are looking for more practical, parkable, family-friendly SUVs.
The Tesla Model X was the first pure electric SUV out of the gate in 2016, but 2019 saw a handful of choices added to the list, mostly with luxury-level price tags. There are more on the way, including the Tesla Model Y and the Ford Mustang Mach-E, which despite its name is indeed an SUV.
But if you’re looking for a vehicle that plugs in and has plenty of space for people and their stuff, here are the best all-electric SUVs.
These SUVs are available in the dozen or so states that have adopted California’s emissions laws; you’ll need to check availability at dealerships in other states.
Best Electric SUV: Jaguar I-Pace
Why Should You Buy This? It sits in the middle of the Venn diagram showing luxury, price, and performance.
Who Is It For? Buyers who are cross-shopping other luxury SUVs, electric or not, would do well to test drive an i-Pace.
How Much Will It Cost? $69,500+
How Far Will It Go? 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, the Jaguar i-Pace. It was introduced in 2019 and 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 i-Pace has a range of 246 miles and a 0-60 mph 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 the least expensive among luxury brand electric SUVs.
Best Luxury Electric SUV: Audi E-Tron
Why Should You Buy This? Audi has long been known for advanced technology, and it brings that philosophy to this EV.
Who Is It For? Fans of German precision and luxury will love the E-Tron’s engineering.
How Much Will It Cost? $74,800
How Far Will It Go? 204 miles
The Audi E-Tron was finally introduced, after making several auto show appearances as a prototype, in 2019. The wait paid off, as it gave Audi time to develop a 10-minute fast charge time, making it road-trip ready. Its air suspension has five settings, including one that makes the E-Tron capable of some light offroading tasks.
The interior has the mix of technology and luxury that Audi aficionados adore, with the Virtual Cockpit screen and two touch screens. Acceleration is quick but not unusual for an electric vehicle, at 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds.
Best Electric SUV for Range: Tesla Model X
Why Should You Buy This? If you drive long distances on major highways, this is your best bet.
Who Is It For? This SUV was built for Tesla fans who can afford the steep price tag.
How Much Will It Cost? $82,000+
How Far Will It Go? 328 miles
In 2016, the Tesla Model X was introduced as the world’s first all-electric SUV, and it made a splash with its gullwing rear doors. Other manufacturers are struggling to clear the bar the Model X set with 328 miles of range and a 0-60 time of 2.7 seconds. You can also recharge 115 miles in 15 minutes using Tesla’s Supercharger network, which should alleviate any lingering symptoms of range anxiety.
While the 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 luxury SUV, though it’s range is over 100 miles less.
Best Affordable Electric SUV: Hyundai Kona EV
Why Should You Buy This? It’s one of the most affordable and useful electric SUVs available.
Who Is It For? Climate-conscious families on a budget will feel good about saving the Earth without feeling bad about grinding Cheerios into the carpet.
How Much Will It Cost? $36,990
How Far Will It Go? 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 all-electric vehicles does not suffer that same problem. Even an affordable electric SUV like the Hyundai Kona can do 0-60 mph in 6.4 seconds, thanks to the instant torque available from the motor.
The affordability and usability of the Kona EV earned it the title of 2019 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year. Yet affordable doesn’t mean dumbed-down. The Kona has all the advanced safety features you’ll find in luxury brands, thanks to its SmartSense suite.
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