How to Choose the Best Electric SUV for You

Couple hugs outside their electric SUV

Some of the most popular electric cars on the market are sedans and hatchbacks, but if you need more cargo space, or just want a roomier vehicle, you may be better off with a crossover SUV or a compact SUV.

The starting price for an electric SUV is going to be higher than a conventional one, but when you factor in tax credits and fuel economy, buying an electric car can be a better deal in the long run.

With that in mind, we’ve come up with this list of the best electric SUVs available now, as well as new models coming out in 2022.

How to Choose the Best Electric SUV

Before you start window shopping, it’s important to know what you’re looking for in an electric vehicle. Some of the key features in an electric SUV are similar to what you’d look for in any SUV, such as roomy seating, practicality, and styling.

But with an electric car, you’ll also have other considerations, such as its driving range and the length of the warranty on its battery pack.

These days, the typical range of an electric SUV is between 200 and 300 miles, which is likely enough to cover a week of daily commutes and errands, and then some.

But if you plan to travel off-road or into remote areas, you’ll want to choose an EV on the higher end of the spectrum, with fast charging capabilities so you can top it up at roadside charging stations.

Meanwhile, if your goal is to reduce your emissions and save on fuel costs, then you’ll want to keep an eye on your vehicle’s MPGe (miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent) Standard SUVs are notorious gas-guzzlers, but electric SUVs can have a fuel efficiency rating of well over 100 MPGe.

Finally, most new EVs come with an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty on the battery pack, but some manufacturers may cover more types of battery degradation than others, so keep that in mind when estimating your long-term ownership expenses. 

The Best Electric SUVs from Most Expensive to Cheapest

From midsize SUVs to compact utility vehicles, here are our picks for the best electric SUVs for model years 2021 and 2022:

5. 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

Best Electric SUV: Ford Mustang Mach-E

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E makes our list due to its combination of practicality and style. This crossover SUV comes in four different trims, starting at $42,895 and maxing out at $59,900 for the Mach-E GT edition.

Since the Mach-E is eligible for the full $7,500 tax credit, some drivers can purchase it for as low as $35,395, depending on your personal tax situation.

The most affordable trim level, Select, has an EPA-estimated range of 230 miles, while the mid-range trims can get you 300-305 miles on a full charge.

The Mach-E also has plenty of cargo space, with up to 60 cubic feet when the back seats are folded down.

Plus, it will be one of the first cars to include Ford’s BlueCruise system, which offers a hands-free driving mode in some driving situations.

Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP): $42,895

Passengers: 5

Cargo space: 29 cubic feet, 60 cubic feet with seats folded

4. 2022 Volkswagen ID.4

Best Electric SUV: Volkswagen ID.4

The Volkswagen ID.4 will be produced in Chattanooga, Tennessee, making it a big step forward from the Volkswagen ID.3, which was never released in the United States. Drivers can reserve their ID.4 now and track its delivery status.

The ID.4 has an MSRP of $39,995 and is eligible for the federal income tax credit. It’s also available for lease, with monthly payments of $379 for 36 months.

The ID.4 promises 260 miles of range and a charging speed of 62 miles per 10 minutes at a DC charging station, making it among the top performers on our list. It has room for five passengers and a maximum of 64.2 cubic feet of cargo space when the seats are down.

MSRP: $39,995

Passengers: 5

Cargo space: 30.3 cubic feet, 64.2 cubic feet with seats folded

3. 2021 Kia Niro EV

Best Electric SUV: Kia Niro EV

The 2021 Kia Niro EV starts at under $40,000, with an EPA-estimated driving range of 239 miles. Drivers can add up to 100 miles in 40 minutes using a DC fast charger.

The Niro has a 10.25-inch touchscreen and comes with the Kia Access smartphone app, so you can schedule charging times, start your car remotely, and more. Plus, it’s compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

You’ll also get safety features such as forward collision-avoidance and blind-spot collision warning, making this one of the safest electric cars on the market.

Some drivers may want to hold out for the 2022 EV6, which is smaller than the Niro (it’s a CUV, or compact utility vehicle) but offers better range and performance.

MSRP: $39,090

Passengers: 5 seats

Cargo space: 18.5 cubic feet, 53 cubic feet with seats folded

2. 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric

Hyundai Kona EV

The 2022 Kona Electric entered production in 2021, joining the Hyundai Ioniq 5 as one of the automaker’s best electric vehicles. Similar in size to the Niro, the Kona is $2,000 cheaper, with a starting MSRP of $37,390.

The Kona gets 258 miles of range on a fully charged battery, and can be charged in 7.5 hours using a Level 2 home charging station, or in 54 minutes using DC power.

As for the interior, you’ll get a total of 45.8 cubic feet of cargo space when the seats are folded down, and 41.5 inches of legroom for passengers in the front seat.

Other features include a 7-inch infotainment screen (with an optional upgrade to 10.3 inches) and a six-speaker sound system.

MSRP: $37,390

Passengers: 5

Cargo space: 19.2 cubic feet, 45.8 cubic feet with seats folded

1. 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV

Chevrolet Bolt EUV

The Chevy Bolt has long been a favorite among drivers looking for a sporty EV at an affordable price — but its hatchback design was too small for some drivers.

With the 2022 Bolt EUV, or what GM calls an “electric utility vehicle,” Chevy is taking on the challenge of delivering a larger vehicle at a similar price point.

The Bolt EUV is expected to launch with a starting price of $33,000 and will offer the Super Cruise driver assistance technology for hands-free driving on some roads.

The Bolt EUV has an EPA-estimated range of 247 miles and can go from 0 to 60 mph in less than 7 seconds. It also has multiple driving modes, including one-pedal driving and sport mode for more responsive handling.

MSRP: $33,000 

Passengers: 5

Cargo space: 16.3 cubic feet, 56.9 cubic feet with seats folded

Best Electric SUV Alternatives

Electric SUVs come in more styles than ever, but they aren’t right for everyone. For families who need room for more than five passengers, you may be better off with an electric minivan like the upcoming Volkswagen ID Buzz.

And for drivers who need more cargo space or towing capacity, there are several new electric pickup trucks to choose from like the Ford F-150 Lightning.

Best Hybrid SUVs

Other options include hybrids and plug-in hybrids, which give you the power of an electric motor and an internal combustion engine to reduce your range anxiety while still getting better fuel efficiency than a conventional vehicle.

For example, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid offers a hybrid powertrain that can provide 219 horsepower and comes standard with electric all-wheel drive (e-AWD).

It gets an estimated 40 mpg, not as fuel-efficient as a fully electric vehicle, but still better than a conventional car.

The Ford Escape Hybrid is another popular hybrid model that comes in both hybrid and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) versions. The PHEV gets an all-electric range of 37 miles, and an estimated 102 MPGe when used in both electric and gas mode.

New hybrids also tend to be cheaper than their fully electric counterparts, while still offering the lower maintenance costs of a hybrid system.

 

Best Luxury SUVs

Finally, there are luxury SUVs and luxury hybrids like the Porsche Taycan and Jaguar I-PACE, which we haven’t included on this list because their pricing puts them on the higher end of the spectrum and out of reach of many buyers.

Tesla nearly made the cut with the Tesla Model Y, which joins the Tesla Model X and Tesla Model 3 to round out its lineup of mid-size sedans and crossovers. With its third-row seat, it’s the only electric SUV to fit seven passengers.

Other runners-up include the Audi e-tron, which also comes in sportback model, and the Volvo XC60 T8 Polestar.

Of course, you don’t have to buy a new EV outright, and it may be more economical to look for an EV lease deal or buy a used electric car. You can use this tool to compare electric cars near you and find the most affordable insurance options.

Take Good Care of Your Electric SUV

Man washes white car with sponge

Whichever new car you choose, be sure to take good care of it by keeping it clean and charging it regularly. By installing a home charging station instead of relying on DC fast chargers, you can extend your EV’s battery lifespan significantly.

If your battery does break down, you’ll be covered by an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty, which comes standard with all new electric vehicles sold in the U.S.

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