If you’re a frequent urban commuter and you’re considering switching to an electric car to avoid ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) fines, there are several important factors to keep in mind. Your choice may depend on the need for extra passenger space, specific luggage capacity, or ease of parking and maneuverability. Here’s our selection of the best all-around electric city cars to help you make an informed decision.
1. Fiat 500e
The Fiat 500, a beloved city car, now offers an electric version with two options: a 118bhp and a 95bhp motor, with a £3,000 price difference between them. The 24kWh battery provides 118 miles of range, while the 42kWh extends it to 200 miles. Opt for the larger battery for faster charging at 85kW. It accommodates three passengers and offers 185 litres of cargo space. Prices start at £28,195.
2. Vauxhall Corsa Electric
The Vauxhall Corsa Electric comes in two powertrain options: a 134bhp motor with a 51kWh battery for up to 222 miles of range or a 154bhp model with the same battery, offering up to 246 miles on a single charge. Prices range from £32,445 to £38,585, with different trim levels available.
3. Peugeot e-208
The Peugeot e-208 maintains the aesthetics of its ICE counterpart but features a 134bhp motor powered by a 50kWh battery, offering a range of 225 miles and supporting 100kW charging. It comfortably seats four passengers, and the boot provides 311 litres of storage. Prices start at £31,745, with a new model featuring a 51kWh battery offering up to 248 miles of range on the horizon.
4. Jeep Avenger
Despite its Jeep branding, the Avenger is a compact option, measuring under 4.1m in length and around 1.7m in width. It offers a 248-mile range, fast charging in just 24 minutes from 20-80 percent at 100kWh, and a 156bhp motor. Rear parking sensors come standard, and it has a 355-litre boot. Prices start at £35,700.
5. Dacia Spring
Set to arrive in 2024, the Dacia Spring is marketed as Europe’s most affordable electric car, priced below £20,000. It currently features a 44bhp electric motor and a 26.8kWh battery for a 143-mile range. With its compact dimensions (3.7m long), it’s an ideal city car with 300 litres of boot space (doubling when seats are folded flat).
6. Mini Electric
The Mini Electric, with a length of 3.8m and 181bhp, offers a claimed range of 145 miles. It features quick charging via a 50kW rapid charger in just 36 minutes. The boot has 211 litres of space, expandable to 731 litres by folding the seats. Available in three versions, prices start from £32,550.
7. BYD Dolphin
The BYD Dolphin offers a 248-mile range, fast charging in 24 minutes, and a 156bhp motor. Despite its Jeep-like appearance, it’s compact, with a length of 4.2m and a width of 1.7m. Rear parking sensors come standard, and it offers 355 litres of boot space. Prices start at £25,490.
8. Mazda MX-30
The Mazda MX-30 features a low roofline and a 4.4m SUV-like footprint. With a 124-mile range, it’s perfect for city driving. Prices start at £31,250, with front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera included. The boot provides 366 litres of usable space, expanding to 1,171 with the seats folded.
9. Renault Zoe
The Renault Zoe is a popular choice, priced at £29,995, with 239 miles of range. It’s compact at 4m long and 1.7m wide, seating four passengers. It comes with park assist, active emergency braking, keyless entry, reverse parking camera, and lane-keep assist. The boot offers 338 litres of space, expanding to 1,225 litres with the seats folded.
10. Honda E
The Honda E stands out with its unique design and lounge-like interior. Available in the range-topping Advance model for £37,395, it boasts 152bhp and a range of nearly 140 miles. Parking is a breeze with Honda’s Parking Pilot and multi-view camera system, perfect for tight city streets.
11. Smart #1
Although it’s a crossover, the Smart #1 is compact, measuring around 4.2m in length and 1.8m in width. It offers a spacious interior similar to that of the Mercedes E Class. It features a 62kWh battery for a 273-mile range and a 264bhp rear-wheel-drive motor. There are three versions to choose from: Pro+, Premium, and Brabus, all supporting 150kW charging. The boot capacity starts at 273 litres and expands to 986 litres with the seats folded. Prices start from £35,950.
12. Hyundai Ioniq 5
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 offers three options: Premium, Ultimate, and Namsan Edition, with choices of two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. Battery options include a 58kWh version with a 238-mile range or a 77kWh version with a 282-mile range. It includes impressive tech features like LED lighting, blind-spot assist, parking distance warning, and rear-view monitoring. The car measures 4.6m in length and just under 1.9m in width, providing ample interior space. The boot offers 527 litres of storage, expanding to 1,587 litres with the seats folded. Prices start at £43,445.
13. Volkswagen ID 3
Volkswagen updated the ID 3 with a sleeker front end and new bumper designs. It offers two battery options: a 58kWh version for 266 miles of range (Pro) or a 77kWh version for 347 miles of range (Pro S). The ID 3 has light steering for city navigation, a small turning circle, and comfortable 18 or 19-inch alloy wheels. Prices start from £37,115.
14. Citroën Ami
The Citroën Ami may have a top speed of only 28mph and 8bhp, but it’s designed to complement your existing transportation. As a quadricycle, it’s incredibly easy to maneuver in city traffic, measuring just 2.4m in length and 1.39m in width. You can choose from various color and sticker configurations, including the Cargo variant, which removes the passenger seat to create a 140kg load area. There isn’t a traditional boot, but there’s a small area in front of the passenger seat suitable for a backpack. Prices start from just £7,695.
15. BMW i3
While BMW no longer offers the i3 as a new car, it’s an attractive option in the used market, with prices starting at just £8,000. It features a four-seater layout with a 170bhp motor and a claimed 100-mile range (80 miles in real-world city driving). For range anxiety, you can opt for the range extender, which includes a small 647cc scooter-derived engine, extending the range to 186 miles.
16. Smart EQ ForTwo
The Smart EQ ForTwo combines compact city car convenience with a zero-emission powertrain. Prices start from £23,375, offering a 17.6kWh battery with approximately 60 miles of range. It provides room for a passenger and has a 260-litre boot. Despite its small size, it includes rear parking aids, a reversing camera, and an acoustic presence detector that generates a sound outside the vehicle to warn pedestrians of your presence.
17. Ora Funkycat
New to the British EV market, Ora offers the stylish Funkycat EV, which competes with the Volkswagen ID 3 in terms of size. It boasts a 193-mile range, taking it beyond city limits when needed. The car offers 228 litres of boot space, and a 171bhp single motor drives the front wheels. The suspension handles city road bumps well, and it features a single-pedal driving mode for convenience in traffic. Prices start from £31,995.
18. Kia Soul EV
The Kia Soul EV, facelifted in 2020, features attention-grabbing aesthetics and practical city car dimensions (4.1m length, 1.8m width). It’s available in two trims: the 39.2kWh Urban and the 64.8kWh Explore, priced from £32,845 to £39,045. The entry-level model offers a 171-mile range, while the top-tier version extends that to 280 miles. Power increases from 134 to 201bhp. The boot space is decent at 315 litres, and both variants support up to 100kW charging.
19. Citroen DS3 E-tense
The Citroen DS3 E-tense, despite being a crossover, remains city-friendly with a length of 4.1m and width of 1.8m. It offers a 248-mile range with a 155bhp motor and a 350-litre boot. Entry-level models don’t include a rear-view camera but do come with rear parking sensors. Prices start from £37,200.
20. Nissan Leaf
The Nissan Leaf is a great entry point into electric city car ownership. Measuring 4.4m in length and around 1.8m in width, it offers a generous 435-litre boot and a 148bhp motor. The entry-level ‘Shiro’ version starts from £28,495, providing a 39kWh battery and a 168-mile range. It also includes features like 50kW fast charging, rear-cross traffic alert, blind spot detection, a rear-view camera, 360-degree camera, and moving object detection.
These electric city cars cater to various preferences and budgets, ensuring you’ll find the perfect fit for your urban commuting needs.