Boot space. When you’re looking at new cars, it’s one of the things you have to think about before making a commitment, and usually the last thing you do. Until the time comes when you need to fit three suitcases and a wheelchair in the boot, most people take a casual glance at their boot space, think to themselves “yeah, that’s probably enough” and carry on merrily about their day. When it comes to size, most boots are big enough for most people. You can easily fit a few bags of shopping in the boot of most cars, and there’s always the back seats if you need more space.
However, it’s certainly not a case of one size fits all. And when it comes to EVs, we’re still finding out just what can be done with the space in the car. Making the changeover to an EV is a great thing, but you need to be sure that it will match up to your lifestyle. Thankfully, the range of EVs has been increasing year on year, and now, as we’re about to show, there are plenty of electric cars that can fit just about anything you need to put in their boot.
Best City Car: Vauxhall Corsa-E
Boot Capacity: 267 litres
When electric cars first started hitting the market, there seemed to be a train of thought among the major manufacturers that miniaturisation was the best route to go down. Volkswagen, Seat, Smart and Honda all seemed to decide that smaller was better. Then Vauxhall came along, looked at the Corsa that they already made, and said “Let’s make it electric.” The Corsa was already a generously proportioned hatchback, and the electric version is no different, having retained the chassis shape from its petrol-powered counterpart. All the batteries have been carefully wedged under the floor, meaning that both passenger space and boot space are uncompromised (although the spare wheel well is now filled with batteries).
All of this adds up to an impressive 267 litres of boot space, nearly 100 more than a Honda E and seven more than a BMW i3. That’s enough room to fit another child in there if you fold them tightly. The Corsa is a proven platform, and while it’s not the most exciting car in the universe it’s certainly one of the most versatile.
Best SUV: Peugeot e2008
Boot Capacity: 434 litres
After being considered something of an afterthought for electric car drivers in previous years, Peugeot has been producing some seriously exciting cars recently, and the e-2008 is no exception. It’s a big beast, weighing in at over 1.5 tonnes in its electric configuration but, like the Corsa, the weight is distributed under the floor, meaning that cabin and internal space isn’t compromised. As an SUV, its larger weight has come with a slight compromise on range, with the e-2008 tapping out at 200 miles before needing a charge. However, in the UK that will get you to most places you’ll need to go.
For driving, the cabin is a lovely place to be, and all but the base model come with Peugeot’s ‘3D cockpit’, which uses a pseudo-holographic system to project the dashboard elements onto a 3D information panel. Basically, the Peugeot e-2008 is a sci-fi car of the future on the inside, and an attractive crossover on the outside. With a boot capacity of up to 434 litres, you could fit either a reasonably large fridge or a fairly small piano in the back, and still have a comfortable drive back home.
Best Saloon: Tesla Model 3
Boot Capacity: 425 litres
Unsurprisingly, the Tesla Model 3 tops the charts for boot capacity and practicality among the electric saloon options available in the UK. Despite being the smallest Tesla on offer, the Model 3 still offers a total of 425 litres of load space, which will easily let you transport most things in your daily life. Storage features also include both front and rear compartments, more than large enough to keep bottles of water and other snacks.
The caveat, of course, is boot height – the slope of the rear windows can affect the practicality of whatever items you want to transport, although lowering the rear seat will increase your versatility. Tesla is premium brand in the EV market, so its cars are more of a luxury model. If you’re planning on shipping around large items of furniture on a regular basis, it probably isn’t ideal, but if you want the ultimate electric car to live with every day, this is the one for you, with enough boot space to fit shopping, suitcases and four-legged friends as needed.
Best Hatchback: BMW i3
Boot Capacity: 260 litres
Marketed as BMW’s technology flagship, the i3 brings everything BMW can do to the forefront and as one of the largest hatchbacks available on the market, the boot capacity starts at 260 litres, stretching to 1,100 litres with the back seats down. Another advantage of the BMW i3 is that unlike most of its competitors, there is no load heavy load lip to deal with when putting items into the boot. This makes it much more practical for everyday use. You also get the benefit of a larger motor and batteries, increasing the range to 153 miles plus and keeping you comfortable while you do so.
Inside, the i3 is dominated by the central display, which contains both the driving instruments and the infotainment touchscreen. BMW launched a new OS in 2021 that has divided opinions, but after a while, you’ll get used to its little quirks and wonder how you did without.
Best MPV: Mercedes-Benz EQV
Boot Capacity: 1,030 litres
We’ll concede that this one feels a bit like cheating. After all, and let’s be honest here, the EQ-V is a van. It’s a van that has been filled with passenger seats, but ultimately, it’s classed as an MPV. At 5 metres long, you’re going to be challenged to find parking spaces, but at the very least you won’t need to make multiple trips for the kids, the pets, and any large items of furniture you want to transport.
The range of the Mercedes EQ-V lags behind some other EVs, with just over 200 miles being the upper limit of its legs on a full charge. However, if you have a lot of people or things you need to move, there really isn’t a better option. In its basic 5 seat interior layout, the boot is a massive 2820 litres, and even with all eight seats in place, you’ll still have 1030 litres to play with.
As electric cars get more prevalent, the range of options we see being released is only going to get better. We’ve picked a few that are spread across the various car segments so you can see just how good the options are when it comes to boot capacity and practicality. Visit our electric leasing page to discover your next EV.