Nov 06, 2023
10 Electric Crossovers That Are Fun To Drive
These are the sportiest electric SUVs that deliver big thrills and zero
These are the sportiest electric SUVs that deliver big thrills and zero emissions.
The electric crossover segment is serving as a flagbearer for the automotive industry's electrification push. The SUV/crossover segment remains red-hot among buyers, and automakers are placing their bets this trend will continue as many manufacturers are using these models to lead their EV efforts. Just 10 years ago, the electric SUV segment was practically nonexistent, while in just the past few years brands like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Genesis offer several options while mainstream manufacturers like Kia, Toyota, Ford, and others have broken into the segment.
While many of these models place a premium on practicality, features, and driving range over pure driving pleasure, there are still a choice of options for those who put driving dynamics near the top of their "wants" list in an all-electric crossover. We’ve compiled the 10 most fun-to-drive EV SUVs and crossovers you can buy today (listed in no particular order) below, and as you’ll see, there is some serious fun to be had even in zero-emissions SUVs that are pragmatic enough for daily driving duties. For the environmentally conscious and practically minded enthusiast, here are the 10 electric crossovers that are the ultimate driving machines (even if only one of them is a BMW).
Related: 10 Electric Crossovers That Offer Long Range
When compared objectively, the Jaguar I-Pace trails the luxury electric crossover segment in many important categories like driving range, charge times, and pragmaticism. But those downsides can be considered worth it for enthusiasts because the I-Pace has all the driving dynamics they demand. The I-Pace delivers a hefty 394 horsepower and 512 pound-feet of torque with its dual-electric motors and all-wheel drive setup. This not only provides sharp acceleration, the I-Pace has the handling prowess to carve corners with aplomb. Its athleticism and composure when pushing is highly commendable, and it allows its buyers to fully take advantage of its ample power — and perhaps forget its downsides versus its less-thrilling-to-drive competition.
Create a list of the "best" electric crossovers on sale today, regardless of the parameters, and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 will land on the list. It is a fantastic all-around crossover that happens to be powered solely by electricity, but its skills are just limited to hauling a family around in an upscale and spacious cabin with a comfortable ride. The most potent of the Ioniq 5 lineup is the Limited model, which delivers an impressive 320 horsepower and 446 pound-feet of torque with an all-wheel drive setup. The Limited Ioniq 5 will zip from a stop to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds. Despite its large footprint and otherwise comfortable ride, the Hyundai is surprisingly nimble around corners. It isn't the most communicative EV crossover, but for all its strong suits, it's still a joy to drive when you take it through its paces.
Related: 10 Hybrid SUVs That Are Perfect For Families
The BMW iX is the German brand's first foray into the luxury EV crossover segment, and it's making a big splash. The iX is powered by dual electric motors delivering, as standard, 516 horsepower, but opt for the M60 version and its output rises to an eye-watering 610 horsepower and 811 pound-feet of torque. Either version can run from 0-60 mph in four seconds, with the M60 managing the feat in just 3.2 ticks. The iX also offers athletic performance when the road goes twisty to complement its ample power. The M60 version is fitted with a performance kit like a double-wishbone front axle, an air suspension, M Sport brakes, and an ARB-X acceleration slip control. Better still, the iX isn't just limited to sporty driving duties. It's sized similarly to the practical BMW X5, and it delivers the refinement and comfort expected of the BMW brand.
The Mustang faithful may not like the ‘Stang name being used on an electric crossover, but even traditionalists are bound to be pleased by the Mach-E's fun-to-drive personality. The pony car Mustang may be more fun on a twisty road, but the Mach-E is far more practical. The most potent version of the Mach-E, the GT and GT Performance versions, crank out 480 horsepower and a max of 634 pound-feet of torque. That will rocket the GT Performance Edition from 0-60 mph in just 3.8 seconds according to Ford. The top-tier Mach-E can also be fitted with magnetic dampers and comes standard with 245/45R20 summer tires. Sure, these GT versions don't offer the same driving range as lesser models, but they’re a hell of a lot more fun to pilot for those miles.
Related: Why Electric Crossovers Are Becoming So Popular
The Genesis GV60 is the Korean luxury automaker's first purpose-built all-electric SUV. In addition to its attention-grabbing design, upmarket cabin, and respectable price, the GV60 serves up driving excitement. The appropriately named Performance model is motivated by dual electric motors dishing out a healthy 429 horsepower. Underscoring its focus on giving enthusiasts what they seek, the GV60 is fitted with a boost mode that increases its power output to 483 ponies in short bursts. Its fairly small footprint also gives the Genesis commendable athleticism, and its underpinnings deliver sporting handling one automotive publication said is in line with the venerable Porsche Macan. In its top guise, the GV60 needs just 3.7 seconds to power from 0-60 mph.
The Kia EV6 shares all the same positive attributes for being a prime choice for a great overall electric crossover with its Ioniq 5 corporate cousin. And those seeking the ultimate performance EV crossover that won't break the bank should look no further than its most powerful version, the EV6 GT. With a starting price of about $60,000 the GT is the bargain hunter's choice for the last word in affordable EV crossover prowess. The EV6 GT pumps out a whopping 576 horsepower and 545 pound-feet of torque from its dual motor, all-wheel drive setup. The Kia will dismiss 0-60 mph in just 3.2 seconds. So, it's not only one of the most practical options on this list, it's also one of the fastest. For good measure, the GT is fitted with a bevy of performance kit like upgraded brakes and a tuned suspension, and there's even a drift mode.
Related: 5 Electric Trucks Worth Buying (And, 5 You Should Stay Away From)
The Tesla Model X Plaid has been garnering headlines for its ridiculous power output and aptly-named Ludicrous Mode since its introduction in 2021. And though several years have gone by and its performance electric crossover segment has grown significantly, the Plaid remains the top choice for overall power and straight-line speed. The Model X Plaid is motivated by three electric motors developing a staggering 1,020 horsepower that will zip from 0-60 mph in just 2.5 seconds. Running the quarter mile requires just 9.9 seconds. The Plaid may not be the most proficient corner carver on this list, and its $111,380 starting price makes it far pricier than other performance EV SUV options, but that could be considered well worth the price for its awesome speed and power.
Following the most expensive model on this list is the cheapest - the $35,000 Hyundai Kona Electric. The electrified subcompact crossover delivers just 201 horsepower, comes exclusively with all-wheel drive, and needs 6.4 seconds to go from 0-60 mph, but the Kona Electric is just about as fun to drive as the traditional Kona. The little Hyundai offers quick steering with respectable feedback, it stays composed in corners thanks to its hot-hatch-like low center of gravity, and its small stature gives it the agility no other model on this list can match. It's far from the fastest electric crossover, but push it to its limits, and it's still a pleasure to pilot.
Related: 10 Things You Won't Believe About Electric Cars Until You Drive One
Those wanting added practicality over the GV60 with the same levels of power and performance should put the Genesis Electrified GV70 on their shortlist. The electric version of the ICE GV70 sports swanky styling throughout is chock-full of desirable features, plenty of top-tier luxe fitments, and respectable pragmaticism. The Electrified GV70 is motivated by dual electric motors and all-wheel drive with up to 483 horsepower on offer. It will scoot from 0-60 mph in just 3.8 seconds and tackle the quarter-mile in 12.3 seconds at 111 mph. The Genesis delivers impressive handling on twisty tarmac, and drivers will be pampered by its luxurious cabin while the electric crossover delivers driving thrills.
Even though many consider this to be an SUV more than a crossover, the Rivian R1S is far from the most agile, sprightly, or corner-blasting model on this list, and that isn't surprising given its underpinnings also serve as the base for the R1T pickup truck. But when it comes to outright power and straight-line speed, the Rivian is tough to beat. And let's face it, most buyers of electric crossovers aren't going to be thrashing their rides through corners nearly as often as they’ll be pulling away from red lights quickly or passing cars with fervor on the highway. The top-tier R1S is fitted with a Quad-Motor powertrain that pumps out an incredible 835 horsepower and 908 pound-feet of torque. The 0-60 mph run is handled in just 3.1 seconds, and almost as impressive, 30-50 mph takes just 1.5 seconds. It may lose its lusters in corners, but putting your foot down hard in the R1S and heading for the horizon is certainly a lot of fun.
Joe Parker is a nationally award-winning journalist and columnist from the Atlanta area. He has served as an automotive journalist for the past four years alongside extensive sports, business, government, and column writing. His favorite modern car feature is ventilated seats to combat the Southeast U.S. climate, and his heel-toe shifting attempts usually end in disappointment.TOPSPEED VIDEO OF THE DAY SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT