Right now, there’s a wealth of great electric cars out there to lease – of all shapes and sizes. Here, our motoring expert and UK Car of the Year judge Matt Robinson chooses his favourites in 6 major categories; and, don’t forget, all-electric vehicles (EVs) leased through Vanarama come with the free installation of a home wallbox charger, plus in some instances there’s also 1 year’s free insurance included too.
Best Electric City Cars
Fiat 500 Electric
Maximum Electric Driving Range: 199 miles Lease From: £238pcm
The car the modernised Fiat 500 should always have been, now it has electric power. Glides effortlessly around city streets, thanks to punchy electric motors and superb suspension settings, and the interior feels top quality. Larger 42kWh battery model can go almost 200 miles on a single charge, which makes this the best urban EV of the lot.
Maximum Electric Driving Range: 137 miles Lease From: £370pcm
Few cars of any size, style or price have as much desirability included as the Honda E. Its interior is positively lounge-like and features an array of 5 digital screens in a wide-strip dashboard, while the exterior design is as appealing as is physically possible on such a small car. Rear-wheel-drive handling also raises the joy factor on this electric commuter.
Maximum Electric Driving Range: 124 miles Lease From: £255pcm
Mazda has always been a company which likes to do things its own way – and so it proves again with the fabulous MX-30. First up, even though it’s a city-prioritised machine, it’s also a crossover, so it stands tall and gives great visibility out to its driver. It also has a ‘right-sized’ battery, which allows for keen handling as it’s not too heavy, and then there are outlandishly brilliant touches like rear-hinged back doors and a cork-lined interior for the full idiosyncrasy factor.
If small and affordable checks your EV boxes, take a look at our list of the cheapest electric cars available to lease.
Best Small Electric Hatchbacks
Maximum Electric Driving Range: 259 miles Lease From: £333pcm
The car which pioneered VW’s all-electric ID sub-brand, the ID.3 is essentially the electric equivalent of a Volkswagen Golf. It has a minimalist and super-clean cabin, which has loads of space all round thanks to clever packaging. Decent battery packs give both a healthy 1-shot driving range of up to 259 miles and also strong performance, and furthermore it looks striking on the outside as well.
Maximum Electric Driving Range: 145 miles Lease From: £294pcm
Could anything be more zeitgeisty than an electric MINI? No, thought not. The MINI Electric doesn’t have a huge battery pack so its outright range is a modest 145 miles, but it’s not designed to go long distances on the motorway – it’s designed to make you look and feel good as you zip about urban streets in zero-emissions silence, something at which it excels. And with a potent 184hp e-motor, the EV model of the MINI is just as good to drive as the petrol version.
Maximum Electric Driving Range: 245 miles Lease From: £283pcm
Normalising electric cars for years, in all regards save for its electric powertrain then the Renault Zoe is a straightforward supermini hatchback – and it’s all the better for it. Decent cabin space, sensible ergonomics and a healthy amount of 1-shot driving range all add up to a solid little all-electric runaround for those who don’t want anything too showy.
Best Small Family EVs
Maximum Electric Driving Range: 273 miles Lease From: £265pcm
Improved immeasurably by a midlife facelift that also saw a much larger 72.6kWh battery pack fitted for a 273-mile maximum range, the MG ZS is everything that’s brilliant about budget motoring when it’s done well. You get lots of equipment as standard, a surprisingly stylish cabin and composed driving manners from this crossover-SUV, all of which – coupled to its notable affordability – means it should suit any family’s needs down to the ground.
Maximum Electric Driving Range: 335 miles Lease From: £447pcm
For a dash of premium class in your family EV, try out the Polestar 2. It comes in 3 main flavours, which are small battery/single motor, large battery/single motor and large battery/dual motors. While the latter is a 408hp rocket, it’s the middle one you want – a 335-mile driving range, one of the best interiors in the entire automotive industry and chiselled Scandinavian exterior styling all add up to a near-irresistible electric car.
Can’t choose between the Polestar 2 and the Tesla Model 3? Check out our guide where we put these top tier EVs head-to-head or our in-depth Polestar 2 review.
Maximum Electric Driving Range: 320 miles Lease From: £359pcm
Building on everything that makes the Volkswagen ID.3 such a good electric hatchback, the ID.4 runs with the theme by transforming itself into a midsized SUV. This means more room in the cabin and in the boot, as well as the capability of having a larger battery pack that can yield as much as 320 miles on a single charge. It’s an incredibly strong all-rounder as a result.
Take a look at our guide to the 10 best family EVs in 2022 for even more electric options.
Best Everyday SUVs
Maximum Electric Driving Range: 331 miles Lease From: £405pcm
Take all the best attributes of the Volkswagen ID.4 and then add Skoda’s unsurpassed reputation for practicality and clever packaging, and you end up with one of the greatest EVs available right now in the form of the Enyaq. It has a vast cabin, it drives with remarkable grace and elan, and yet it functions perfectly well as an everyday family motor. With up to 331 miles possibly on a single charge of the 82kWh battery in the 80 iV model, it’s also one of the longest-range EVs you can get behind the wheel of today.
Hyundai Ioniq 5
Maximum Electric Driving Range: 300 miles Lease From: £406pcm OK, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 looks like a hatchback, but it’s big enough – on the outside and especially within – to stand comparison here. And, indeed, to be considered one of the best EVs you can currently lease. The outstanding Ioniq 5 has retro-inspired styling, complete with pixellated rear lights and some fabulous design creases, all of which hides an interior that looks and feels fantastic. It’ll also easily take 5 adults in comfort, while there’s a big boot at the back. Not only that, but the Ioniq 5 has advanced 800-volt architecture, like a Taycan, so recharging it at its maximum speed takes just 18 minutes for 10-80% charge. You’ll get up to 300 miles from it in a single hit and it’s even relatively affordable to lease – probably why it was voted UK Car of the Year 2022 by a panel of independent judges (including our own web editor for cars!).
Audi Q4 E-Tron
Maximum Electric Driving Range: 316 miles Lease From: £492pcm
Audi’s E-Tron momentum is gathering pace, following the launch of the E-Tron SUV original and then the high-performance and stunning E-Tron GT. So the next EV model the German company gave us was the relatively affordable Q4 E-Tron, which comes with either rear-wheel drive or quattro, and the possibility to go up to 316 miles on a single charge – all mixed in with Audi’s traditional top-notch interior quality and unmatched badge kudos.
Best Luxury SUVs
Maximum Electric Driving Range: 380 miles Lease From: £766pcm
If you can get past its looks, the BMW iX is a remarkable achievement. A ginormous 111.5kWh battery pack on the xDrive50 model blesses it with a huge 380 miles of single-shot driving range, while the interior boasts BMW’s cutting-edge OS 8 infotainment system and some truly futuristic styling flourishes. It also helps that the iX is permeated with BMW’s legendary chassis know-how, so it goes around corners just as well as it accelerates rapidly in a straight line.
Tesla Model X
Maximum Electric Driving Range: 405 miles Lease From: £TBC
Tesla is the company which shook up the traditional motoring manufacturers with its grasp of EV technology and the Model X exemplifies all of the American firm’s distinctive characteristics. So the Model X has show-stopping Falcon Doors which open upwards, while it can also be specified in a bonkers tri-motor ‘Plaid’ version with 1020hp for unbelievable performance! Tesla also claims a giant 405-mile driving figure for the Long Range model, all courtesy of a sizeable 100kWh battery pack.
Ford Mustang Mach-E
Maximum Electric Driving Range: 379 miles Lease From: £602pcm
It was something of a risk for Ford to leverage the iconic Mustang nameplate on what is, when all’s said and done, an electric family SUV, but thankfully the Mach-E avoids any disappointment by being brilliant fun to drive. It’s at its best as a rear-wheel-drive model, where it’s surprisingly playful and agile for such a heavy EV, but get an Extended Range battery too and you’ll get 379 miles in one hit from Ford’s pioneering electric model. For those craving maximum performance, the flagship GT has 487hp and 860Nm, meaning it is good for 0-62mph in a searing 3.7 seconds.
Best Performance EVs
Porsche Taycan Turbo S
Maximum Electric Driving Range: 258 miles Lease From: £1439pcm
The Porsche Taycan is, no arguments, the greatest EV available right now. In terms of the execution of its inherent ‘Porsche-ness’, combined with all the requirements of zero-emission running, it really is a masterpiece of engineering in all of its varied forms. But for the maximum ‘wow’ factor, have a look at the outrageous 761hp Turbo S version, which can run 0-62mph in 2.8 seconds and drives with all the verve of some of Porsche’s finest performance icons of the past. Sure, it’s not cheap, but then unerring brilliance like this never is.
BMW i4 M50
Maximum Electric Driving Range: 319 miles Lease From: £684pcm
A new arrival on the scene, the i4 range is a wonderful blend of the desirability of traditional high-end BMW products with the rare usability of a long-range EV. You can get up to 366 miles out of the rear-wheel-drive eDrive40 version, but for monster performance and still the sort of capability that’ll see up to 319 miles possible on a single charge, the 544hp M50 is the clear winner here.
Tesla Model 3 Performance
Maximum Electric Driving Range: 340 miles Lease From: £601pcm
By EV standards, this thing is ubiquitous, turning out to be the UK’s 2nd-biggest-selling vehicle in 2021 – where it was only beaten by the far cheaper Vauxhall Corsa. And the reason for the Tesla Model 3’s success is its combination of top-end power along with mega driving range – best represented by the Performance flagship, which can still do up to 340 miles to a charge, despite being capable of running 0-62mph in 3.1 seconds. That’s scary fast!