Top 9 Electric Cars For City Driving

​Cars and cities don’t always go hand in hand but choosing an electric car can help to avoid the pitfalls of driving around a city. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the best electric city cars and share with you our top 9.

As well as contributing to better air quality, making cities a healthier place to live, there are important cost benefits to running an EV in town. The current exemption from vehicle excise duty and congestion charges are among the significant savings to be made for those who choose to drive an electric car in the city.

As for public charging points, the UK now has over 42,000 charge point connectors in over 15,500 locations – in other words, there are more public charging points than petrol stations. In London alone, there are around 6,000 charging points, including over 500 rapid charge points.

EVs are a great solution to hectic city driving. When you’re navigating the congested roads of a busy city, a small electric car can make the experience an awful lot easier. Nippy acceleration, pin-sharp handling and no gears to change mean you’ll find driving around in traffic a lot less tiring or stressful.

1. Fiat 500e

Fiat-500e-LaPrima

Voted WhatCar’s Best Small Electric Car for the City in 2022, it’s clear the FIAT 500e was made to be driven around town. It’s extremely easy to drive with light steering and a tight turning circle but, best of all, the FIAT is great fun to drive. All versions of the 500e have a huge array of technology to help you, too, with 10.25” touchscreen, standard cruise control and rear parking sensors fitted as standard.

Key Features of La Prima trim

 

  • Panoramic sunroof
  • 360 degree parking sensors
  • Eco-leather upholstery

What elmo thinks

 

This new FIAT 500e is an all-round brilliant electric city car. Stylish and compact, the FIAT 500e offers a very usable real-world range making it one of the most attractive small electric city cars on the market. You’ll be able to make the most of that range with the built-in low-energy Sherpa mode as well.

Top spec ‘La Prima’ also comes with a host of other high-tech features that make this small electric car one of the best on sale: Adaptive Cruise Control with lane centering and traffic jam assist, blindspot warning and a reversing camera.

Pros

 

  • Compact, excellent for cities
  • Smooth and silent drive with one-pedal driving
  • Easy to use infotainment system

Cons

 

  • Less backseat legroom
  • Other city cars of similar money are bigger inside

Average Price and Range

 

  • 145 real-world miles
  • From £449 / month for Icon, £499/month for La Prima

2. MINI Electric Cooper S

A Mini Electric in a car park

With endless customisation options and that classic MINI styling, the Electric Cooper S is one of the best city small electric cars out there. What makes the MINI Electric unique is its driving characteristics – no other city car can match it for out-and-out fun. It’s also far more luxurious than you might think and is by far the quickest of its rivals in this list, too.

 

Key Features of Level 2 trim

 

  • MINI Navigation with 8.8” touchscreen
  • City collision mitigation & speed limit info
  • Heated seats

    What elmo thinks

    The MINI is unmistakably a cool car. It looks great, drives well and is well equipped. The steering is precise and the ride is sporty, while remaining refined. If you like driving, you’ll love a MINI. The range is not as good as others, like the FIAT 500e or Renault ZOE however, but its smaller battery means it’s quick to charge.

     

    Pros

     

    • Excellent handling
    • Stylish and luxurious interior
    • Lots of customisation available

    Cons

     

    • Expensive for a small car
    • Range is not as good as others in this class

    Average Price and Range

     

    • 115 real-world miles
    • From £539 / month for Level 2

    3. Honda e

    Honda e

    ​If standing out from the crowd is your thing, or you’re all about the latest technology, the Honda e has got to be top of your list. There’s no other city electric car out there that catches the eye like this one, with its retro inspired ‘cutesy’ looks. And it’s full of great technology geared for the city, too, all crammed into one of the smallest electric cars currently on sale. 

     

    Key Features

     

    • Dual 12.3” touchscreens & camera wing-mirrors
    • Honda parking pilot
    • 3 pin plug & HDMI port by the backseats

    What elmo thinks

    Living with a Honda e in the city is as easy as driving can get. It’s got a tighter turning circle than a London taxi, with blind spot and cross traffic monitoring on the Advance trim too. Plus, the Honda has you covered when it comes to parking around town as well, as it’ll basically park itself. Oh, and you can plug a games console into it through the HDMI port, if you fancy setting up your own multi-storey car-park-come-gaming station.

     

    Pros

     

    • Unique looks
    • Excellent turning circle & city driving features
    • Loads of cool technology onboard

    Cons

     

    • The tech is expensive
    • Range is poor compared to similarly priced cars

    Average Price and Range

     

    • 105 real-world miles
    • From £529 / month for Advance

    4. Vauxhall Corsa-e

    Vauxhall Corsa-e driving on road

    Featuring advanced Emergency Braking, the Vauxhall Corsa-e is equipped with multiple safety features that make it the ideal city car. You’ll also benefit from Lane Assist which monitors the road, smart steering which alerts you when drifting and Lane Departure Warning to keep you in check if you veer out of lane.

    Key Features

     

    • 7″ colour infotainment system with Apply CarPlay & Android Auto
    • 175 mile real world range
    • Panoramic rear-view camera on Griffin trim

    What elmo thinks

    Easy on the eye with a basic but functional interior, the Corsa-e is the perfect ‘all-rounder’. It packs a decent 175 miles real-world range and doesn’t compromise safety features such as a driver drowsiness alert system, emergency brake assist and panoramic rearview cameras to help you park in those tight spaces. As city electric cars go, this is one of the best.

     

    Pros

     

    • Practical five-door body
    • Good real world range
    • Well equipped, quiet and responsive

    Cons

     

    • Firmer drive over rough surfaces
    • Isn’t as exciting as some of its rivals

    Average Price and Range

     

    • 175 real-world miles
    • From £489 / month

    5. Renault ZOE

    Renault ZOE 2022 Lifestyle Image

    The Renault ZOE is small in size with large windows, making it easy to drive through traffic. There’s also the option for rear parking sensors and a reversing camera, as well as a self-parking system that steers into bay and parallel spaces. It’s a well equipped, comfortable electric city car with the ability to handle longer journeys at higher speeds too.

    Key Features

     

    • Excellent range for anxiety free driving
    • Top ‘R135 GT Line’ model with all the fancy kit
    • Rapid charging up to 50kW

    What elmo thinks

    A five-door hatchback with a real-world range of 190 miles and the iconic ZOE look. For hatchback drivers looking to make the switch to an electric car, the ZOE is, in our opinion, the absolute winner in its category and offers unbeatable value for range, performance and spec. Our GT Line+ version has the rapid charge option so you can gain over 140 miles in under an hour, too.

     

    Pros

     

    • Quiet, relaxing drive
    • Good interior space
    • Very comfortable and refined for such a small car

    Cons

     

    • Lack of driver seat height adjustability
    • Other small cars charge faster

    Average Price and Range

     

    • 193 real world miles
    • From £379 / month

    6. BMW i3

    BMW-i3

    ​The i3 is BMWs smallest electric car. Being short and narrow with tiny overhangs, it’s easy to manoeuvre through tight city streets and has large windows allowing for great visibility.

     

    Key Features

     

    • BMW Connected Drive (e.g. real-time traffic information)
    • Front heated seats
    • Rear parking sensors

    What elmo thinks

     

    As iconic as the Nissan Leaf and Renault ZOE, but designed to be desirable. It’s practical too, with split opening doors meaning access to the rear is great – very handy for the young families living in the city out there. Known for its funky looks and impressive performance, the i3 is an experience to be enjoyed.

     

    Pros

     

    • Really interesting design
    • Easy to drive and park with great visibility all round
    • Spacious, luxurious feeling interior

    Cons

     

    • Shorter range
    • Less storage space than others in this field

    Average Price and Range

     

    • 146 real world miles
    • From £569 / month

    7. Kia e-Niro

    Kia e-Niro

    The Kia e-Niro is a great city option for those that need plenty of space for both passengers and storage. Remaining compact, this is an ideal family car and is seriously well equipped, even on the lower spec models. No wonder it’s favoured by eco-conscious taxi drivers worldwide!

     

    Key Features of 4 trim

     

    • Electric sliding sunroof
    • Heated front seats
    • 8 speaker JBL sound system on 4 variant

    What elmo thinks

    The Kia e-Niro comes with quite the reputation. All wrapped up in the body of a pretty stylish compact SUV, you can give a lift to a car full of 6-footers without too much discomfort and get five suitcases in the boot. It’s also remarkably well-equipped with all the gadgets you’d expect from a mid-range modern car. Spritely around town, it’ll also cope very well on faster roads, too. If you’ll be venturing out of the city often, the Long Range variant is one to take very seriously.

     

    Pros

     

    • High standard spec across the range
    • Brilliant infotainment system
    • Long Range version has excellent range

    Cons

     

    • Firmer ride than rivals
    • Brand not as desirable as others for similar money

    Average Price and Range

     

    • 230 real world miles (Long Range)
    • From £629 / month (Long Range)

    8. Volkswagen ID.3

    Volkswagen id.3 blue skies with kite

    The Volkswagen ID.3 makes city driving simple with instant, punchy acceleration. There’s also the option to switch to B mode to further increase the rate at which it regenerates energy when easing off the accelerator.

     

    Key Features

     

    • Added safety features including driver alert system
    • Excellent cruise control for a comfortable driving experience
    • Keyless entry

    What elmo thinks

    The ID.3 offers a comfortable, consistent city driving experience paired with a sleek, minimalist design. The ‘1st Edition’ boasts an innovative interior that remains practical, as well as a usable real-world range and fast charging capability. With a 10-inch infotainment system, city emergency braking system and lots of storage space, this EV is a great choice for all city drivers.

     

    Pros

     

    • Good range with responsive motor
    • Very refined and relaxing to drive
    • Storage space is plentiful

    Cons

     

    • Slightly fiddly infotainment system
    • Other, smaller cars have more tech onboard

    Average Price and Range

     

    • 215 real world miles
    • From £559 / month

    9. Audi e-tron

    An Audi e-tron with a city in the background

    Yes, we know the Audi e-tron isn’t a ‘city small’ electric car, but it’s a great option with instant thrust and great tech to help city drivers who crave a high driving position and more space. Parking in tight spaces is made easy with a 360-degree camera and Audi’s air suspension on the S Line model means those pesky potholes and speed bumps in town are nothing to fear.​

     

    Key Features

     

    • Large 605-litre boot
    • Audi’s outstanding Quattro all-wheel drive
    • Cruise contro

    What elmo thinks

    The refinement, luxury, and practicality that we’ve come to expect from Audi, only this time electric. The Audi e-tron puts comfort at its heart, with plenty of space for all the family (and their luggage). With this Audi, you can travel in style in the city, or indeed beyond, without compromising on comfort or space. If a family electric SUV for the city is what you’re after, the e-tron is where to start.

     

    Pros

     

    • Spacious but easy to drive
    • Impressive technology
    • Great range

    Cons

     

    • Much more expensive than others in this list
    • Size might be too big for some

    Average Price and Range

     

    • 224 real world miles (for 55 S Line model)
    • From £1,299 / month (for 55 S Line model)

    Those are some of the top city electric cars you can get at the moment! 

    Want to try one? Find out what electric cars you could get on subscription with delivery in as little as a week.

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