Top 10 best mid-sized electric cars 2023

Open gallery Close News by Richard Lane 12 mins read 13 January 2023 Follow @@_rlane_ Share

With the UK’s 2030 ban of new petrol and diesel cars getting ever nearer, the race to deliver affordable and practical family EVs is hotting up.

The task for manufacturers hasn’t been made easy by the supply-chain crisis, the economic downturn and the government’s total scrapping earlier in 2022 of its financial incentives for buyers of new EVs. 

The good news is that there are plenty of usable, five-seat, five-door, electric hatchbacks that shouldn’t break the bank, government grants or otherwise. But which should you pick for an easy transition into EV ownership?

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Even in this segment, there’s plenty of choice: front-driven hatchbacks play off against compact crossover SUVs, compact saloons and even the odd estate car. There are rear-wheel-drive options here too, as well as cars with a dose of driver appeal – although with some of them, that comes only at a price.

Even if you need an EV with a real-world range above 250 miles, with room for several adult passengers and a usable boot, you can now find it here. If you know where to shop, you can actually find most of that for less than £35,000 in 2023. Read on to learn exactly where.

Meanwhile, if it’s a smaller and cheaper supermini EV you’re after, or a larger, more versatile and more luxurious family EV, our related top 10s should summarise our current class favourites.

Best mid-sized electric cars 2023

1. MG 4 EV

Don’t worry, there’s no need to adjust your set: it really is an MG at the top of this list. For years the Chinese brand has been floating around in the bargain basement, offering cars with eye-catchingly low prices, plenty of kit and a decent warranty but hobbled by a lack of dynamic sparkle and the sort of perceived quality that wouldn’t pass muster on most pound-shop purchases. Yet with the all-new MG 4 EV, it has achieved a turnaround in terms of driving dynamics and showroom appeal.

Make no mistake, this is no hot hatch in disguise, but the 4 steers sweetly and its well-developed suspension serves-up a winning blend of agility and comfort. It’s a car that’s genuinely satisfying to drive, scything through a series or corners with poise and panache. Even in top-spec 200bhp guise (there’s also a 168bhp model), the 4 is brisk rather than quick – but then what do you expect from a compact family hatch that weighs an executive saloon-rivalling 1700kg? On the plus side, go for the larger 64kWh battery and you

Other highlights? Well, while the detailing is fussy there’s no doubt the shark-nosed 4 looks distinctive, while its interior is neatly styled and far more upmarket than you would expect. There are couple of cheap-feeling components (the door handles and centre cubby lid), but otherwise it’s a match for the mainstream, plus it’s roomy and practical too.


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Yet the real kicker is the pricing, which starts at £26,995 and tops out at £32,495. To put that in perspective, the cheapest Volkswagen ID 3 (with a shorter range) is £36,990.

2. Kia Niro

Unsurprisingly, Kia hasn’t messed too significantly with a winning formula for the all-new electric Niro. Its predecessor was something of a sales hit, mixing practicality and a decent-value price with a respectable range that wouldn’t have you breaking out in a sweat on longer journeys. Only some frumpy looks and slightly skittish driving dynamics really let it down, so these are the areas that have received the most work.

Called the Niro EV (the old car was the e-Niro), the newcomer certainly looks distinctive, with its aggressively angled LED running lights and optional colour-coded C-pillar treatment. You would struggle to call the pseudo-SUV handsome, but it stands out where its predecessor blended in, so that’s probably job done.

Inside, there’s a touch more space for people and luggage, while the dashboard is more slickly styled and there’s a larger and more intuitive touchscreen infotainment system with all the connectivity you will ever need.

Under the skin there’s the same 64.8kWh battery as before, which gives an ever-so-slightly longer range of 285 miles. The 201bhp front-mounted motor is also carried over, although its response has been tuned to be less aggressive, meaning much of the previous machine’s traction control-testing scrabble has been eliminated.

In all other respects, the Niro EV is calm and capable on the road, handling accurately and with decent composure, but never getting close to engaging or entertaining. Still, the refinement is good and, firm low-speed ride aside, it’s a comfortable and easy-going way to get around.

There’s lots here appeal if you want a spacious, rangey and refined family EV, and buyers of the old car are likely to be forming an orderly queue outside Kia dealers. However, bear in mind that in top-level 4 guise, the Niro EV costs barely any less than the brand’s faster, sleeker and longer-range EV6.

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