They’re roomy, with great visibility, loads of comfort and often loads of presence on the road, so it’s not hard to understand why Sports Utility Vehicles – SUVs – have become the car of choice for so many people.
They’re also the car of choice for many carmakers who are looking to electrify their range and deliver cleaner, greener vehicles. Because of their size – and often increased weight – conventional petrol and diesel SUVs are often less fuel efficient than traditional family saloons.
By electrifying an SUV’s powertrain, manufacturers can still provide the size and style of car that has proved so popular, but can also dramatically slash the impact those cars have on the environment.
In fact, SUVs can make the perfect electric vehicle because their size and height means that manufacturers can often squeeze in more battery cells, which in turn can generate greater range and better overall performance.
Because of their popularity, electric SUVs are already available in a range of price points, from the entry-level MG ZS EV through to highly desirable premium models like the Audi e-Tron and Tesla Model X.
Here are 5 of our favourite electric SUVs, all of which can be leased right now by visiting our Electric Car deals.
The e-Tron was Audi’s first entry into the electric market and it quickly became one of the most desirable SUVs full stop. It’s quick, with good range – close to 250 miles on a charge from the largest battery – and is just as beautifully put together as any Audi.
You can get the e-Tron in two power outputs: the standard model comes with a 71kWh battery that delivers 308bhp and a top-spec 95kWh unit that packs a real punch with 402bhp.
If you prefer a three-pointed star to four rings on your front grille then Mercedes’ EQC is the equally impressive answer to Audi’s E-Tron.
Like every Mercedes, the EQC offers that tempting blend of effortless, stress-free travel but the performance to surprise when you call upon it. The EQC can hit 62mph from standstill in just 5.1 seconds and comes with some incredible technology including the mindblowing MBUX multimedia system that features both gesture control and intelligent voice activation to operate everything from the music to climate control. Just tell the EQC that you feel cold and it will pop the heating on for you. Danke schoen!
Despite the might of the German car brands, it was actually Britain’s Jaguar that delivered the first real rival to Tesla. And somewhat surprisingly it didn’t come in the form of a typical luxurious Jaguar saloon, but as a performance-oriented SUV – the I-Pace.
And what a surprise it was in more ways than one. From the outset the I-Pace proved itself to be the most dynamically capable car in the electric SUV category. It’s a joy to drive: poised and engaging with immense performance from its twin motors that produce 395bhp. When they’re both flat out the I-Pace can charge from 0-62mph in just 4.8 seconds yet it can also deliver 292 miles of range when driven with less haste...
Tesla Model X
With its eye-catching gullwing rear doors – great for tight parking spaces – and amazing glass roof that gives incredible visibility, the Model X is Tesla’s unique play on the SUV category. It’s also the only electric SUV that currently offers seven seats – with two third-row seats that can squeeze in a couple more kids when you’re heading back from a party or kickabout in the park.
Like all Teslas, the Model X comes with more technology than you could ever wish for. It’s also one of the most ludicrously high-performance cars on the planet. Yes, it’s an SUV that will – when the fully-specced up ‘Plaid’ version arrives in 2022 – deliver an extraordinary 1020 horsepower. Yes, you did read that right… It’s got enough power to hit 60mph in just 2.5 seconds. Whether the kids in the rear seats will appreciate that is another question…
Hyundai Kona Electric
If a 1000-horsepower Tesla isn’t what you need, then the Hyundai Kona Electric might be the perfect electric SUV to bring you back down to Earth… Hugely popular – and rightly so – the Kona can deliver superb 301-mile range in 64kWh battery guise and is just one of the easiest and most practical small, family SUVs you could wish for. It’s got a great interior and there’s a proper list of safety technology available from adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance and autonomous emergency braking to blindspot monitoring and road sign recognition.