Small, nimble, and packed with performance, the choice of small electric lease cars continues to increase. With even the smallest battery packs offering a range in excess of 100 miles and many more that are now capable of delivering more than 200 miles from a single charge, these little machines are the ideal urban runabouts.
What Are The Best Small Electric Cars?
1. Renault Zoe: 245-mile Range
The Renault Zoe was one of the very first electric contenders in the ‘supermini’ ring. First launched in 2012, it has built an army of loyal followers over the last decade.
The first Zoe had a tiny battery and a small range to match it, but as newer models have replaced the pioneering first cars, its updated technology has made it a class leader in maximum range. The new Zoe – sporting a fresh new look – also carries a sizeable 52kWh battery pack, which means it can deliver a whacking 245 miles on its official WLTP test.
It’s one of the best entry-level electric cars on the market, being fun to drive, suitably quick for a city car, and with a good ride and refinement. Check out our full Renault Zoe review for more details on this class-leading EV and why it is one of the best small electric cars available.
2. Peugeot e-208: 217-mile Range
The all-electric version of the Peugeot 208 supermini is one of the best-priced and most visually appealing of all the small electric cars available.
We think it’s one of the best-designed EVs around – both outside and in the cabin – and it’s an impressively refined machine when on the move. Perhaps the best all-rounder in its class?
With a quoted Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) range of up to 217 miles, this Peugeot is a long way ahead of electric cars like the Honda e and MINI Electric when it comes to miles per charge. It’s got a decently roomy cabin and plenty of boot space too – only the Renault Zoe and Vauxhall Corsa-e can match it for overall load-carrying ability and practicality.
It drives well, too, with nicely weighted steering and plenty of acceleration from its all-electric powertrain, making this one of the best small electric cars.
3. Mini Electric: 144-mile Range
It may not have the range or practicality of some of the other rivals in its class, but there’s no doubting the appeal of the MINI Electric.
Britain fell in love with the reimagined MINI when BMW brought it back in 2002. Now, nearly 20 years on, we still have as much affection for the most iconic car ever to be made on these shores.
In 2021, the MINI continues to stay on trend, with the same standout looks and an all-electric motor that has a surprising amount of power – 181bhp – which means this electric car drives and handles just like you expect a nippy little MINI to do.
Its small size means the MINI can’t hold the biggest battery and its punchy power output means you can use up its electricity pretty quickly if you’ve got a heavy right foot, so the MINI’s quoted range is lower than some others at 144 miles.
Find out more about how the EV MINI stacks up against the ICE MINI in our head-to-head.
4. Honda e: 137-mile Range
If Apple made cars – and one day they well might – then we reckon an Apple car would look and feel a lot like the amazing little Honda e.
Even though they’ve become a reality, electric cars are often still cited as machines of the future and in the supermini class, it’s the Honda e that comes closest to matching that claim. Its innovative design makes it feel like something from a sci-fi movie and its interior doesn’t disappoint either, with an incredible screen that runs the full width of the cabin and even cameras for wing mirrors.
The e is available in 134bhp and 152bhp forms, but it has a relatively small battery which means a claimed range of 137 miles.
Its petiteness makes it an absolutely brilliant little city car, with an insanely tight turning circle making navigating city streets as easy as anything.
5. Maxda MX-30: 124-mile Range
Like the Honda e, the new Mazda MX-30 has opted for a small 35kWh battery pack. Mazda says that installing fewer batteries helps keep costs down and that it expects its users to easily work within the quoted 124-mile range.
The MX-30 is a well-thought-out electric car – the ‘mini SUV’ design means you sit nice and high. Even though the cabin is still ‘supermini’ sized it has a distinctive charm to it. There’s plenty of load space to work with, too.
Where the Mazda can really surprise, though, is out on the road. Many superminis are ideally suited to city driving, but the Mazda actually feels like a car that is at home on all roads. Some reviewers have even said it reminds them of Mazda’s brilliant little MX-5 convertible from behind the wheel.
6. Fiat 500 Electric: 199-mile Range
A familiar-looking car, Fiat has retained the characteristics of the modern yet retro 500, with an impressive 42 kWh battery and 199-mile range for a small city car. There is a cheaper version available with a 24 kWh battery capable of 118 miles on a single charge, however, it’s worth splashing out on the extra mileage.
The steering remains light in this vehicle with plenty of grip, making it a distinctive, enjoyable ride. The cabin is decorated with a new 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen as well as slightly more space than its predecessor, giving it a more luxurious feel.
Overall, the Fiat 500 Electric is a fantastic car and offers excellent value for those seeking a reliable yet stylish EV.
7. Volkswagen ID.3: 340-mile Range
The Volkswagen ID.3 is the manufacturer's third biggest launch after the Beetle and Golf, signified in the model’s name. An all-electric family hatchback, this stylish vehicle is the first of many new VW electric vehicles the manufacturer has lined up for us, including a supermini and SUV.
The VW ID.3 comes in three battery sizes:
45 kWh, 216 miles
58kWh, 264 miles
77kWh, 340 miles
The ID.3 is a powerful car and accelerates quickly on the roads, the 201bhp can reach 62mph from stationary in 7.3 seconds. It’s cheap to run and retains its value well, which is why the ID.3 can be compared to the Nissan Leaf and Kia Niro EV in terms of efficiency.
The interior is modern, with a flashy digital dashboard, panoramic sunroof, parking cameras, and coloured trim. You can choose from six different metallic finishes inside the cabin.
8. Vauxhall e-Corsa: 222-mile Range
The Vauxhall e-Corsa is one of the UK's best-selling EVs and uses the 50kWh powertrain from the Peugeot e-208. A nifty ride, the Corsa-e is actually the fastest in the Vauxhall Corsa range, with the 134bhp motor reaching 62mph from standstill in 8 seconds.
Although it is a small car, head and leg room are good with enough space across for all to sit comfortably. The e-Corsa is priced similarly to the Renault Zoe and Peugeot e-208, making it affordable and reliable.
Choose between two trim levels, GS Line and Ultimate. Both have plenty of kit ranging from climate control and 17-inch alloys, however, the Ultimate gets you heated front seats and a touchscreen infotainment screen.
9. Volkswagen e-up!: 159-mile Range
A practical EV fit for purpose, the Volkswagen e-up! has a mile range that exceeds this car’s small frame. Punchy performance and practicality with a small price tag, this vehicle is quick to charge and can reach 80% from almost empty in an hour.
The 82bhp electric motor reaches 62mh in 11.9 seconds after the revised version in 2020. If you're looking for a non-complicated infotainment system that gets the job done, providing navigation and music-streaming apps, you'll get comfortable quickly in this easy-to-function EV.
10. Smart EQ ForFour: 78-mile Range
The EQ Forfour is the latest version of Smart’s 4-seat city car, powered by an 82hp electric motor with a 17.2kWh battery pack. It’s absolutely tiny, significantly shorter than a Volkswagen Up, but this makes it ideal for quick drives in really tight city streets. If your driving rarely tops 30mph in urban areas for short trips, Smart EQ might be everything you need - and it offers surprising room in the cabin too.
These 10 brilliant small electric cars are just some of our favourites from a wide range of EVs that are now available to lease. Check out our latest electric car lease deals today.