One of the advantages of electric cars is their quiet running on the move, with very little noise from their smooth powertrains.
This generally makes them more relaxing to drive than a car with a petrol or diesel engine. Electric power is thus very well suited to a luxury car.
In this article, we pick the best luxury electric cars in 2022, including the Mercedes-Benz EQS, BMW iX and Polestar 2.
Best saloon luxury electric cars
BMW’s decade-long experience with building EVs has led it to launch a wide array of new models over the past couple of years. This version of the prestigious 7 Series saloon will be its electric flagship.
Like the iX electric SUV, its daring looks may be too controversial for some, but the i7 is every bit as luxurious as its 7 Series predecessors. Inside, highlights include the 31.3-inch 8K BMW Theatre Screen, which folds down from the roof. Passengers can also enjoy in-seat audio exciters, built-in touchscreen remote controls in the door panels, plus an automated rear shade system that closes when the system is turned on.
The i7 xDrive60 Excellence develops 544PS and its 105.7kWh battery gives up to 387 miles of range. The i7 xDrive60 M Sport uses the same powertrain, but goes a little less far on a single charge: up to 384 miles. A more powerful range-topping i7 M70 xDrive model arrives in 2023.
Read our BMW i7 review
Genesis Electrified G80
You could be forgiven if you’ve not heard of Korean luxury car maker Genesis. Initially the name of a high-spec Hyundai model and now a standalone brand, the Electrified G80 is the second Genesis EV to be revealed – following the GV60 crossover. A larger GV70 will follow soon.
Whereas both the latter cars are high-riding SUVs, the Electrified G80 is a more traditional saloon. It shares Genesis other cars’ focus on quality and luxury, with an opulent interior that features premium materials such as naturally dyed leather upholstery and recycled forged wood trim.
Beneath its body is an 87.2kWh battery and an all-wheel-drive, dual-motor powertrain with 365PS. That’s good for an official range of 321 miles, and once the battery is empty, 800V fast-charge architecture allows for rapid 0-80 percent top-ups that take 21 minutes on a 350kW charger.
Read our Genesis G80 review.
The family of all-electric models from luxury marque Mercedes-Benz has arrived at breakneck speed. Dubbed ‘EQ’ the EV sub-brand now includes six cars, in saloon, SUV and MPV (people carrier) body styles.
The EQS is a large and luxurious electric saloon with a range of up to 453 miles from its 107.8 kWh lithium-ion battery. Fast-charging technology is standard, and an on-board 200kW DC charger can refill the battery from 10 to 80 percent in 31 minutes.
Drivers can choose from five models, including Luxury and Exclusive Luxury trims. These feature ‘classic’ touches such as man-made leather and microfibre upholstery, walnut wood trim, massage seats and acoustic privacy glass. One of the highlights of Mercedes’ flagship EV is the expensive ‘Hyperscreen’ option, which seamlessly joins three digital displays under a glass panel across the entire dashboard.
Read our Mercedes-Benz EQS review
Just as the Boxster and the Cayenne brought new buyers to Porsche in the 1990s and 2000s, the Taycan is doing the same in the 2020s. While the standard car takes the form of a traditional four-door saloon, it drives like a sports car.
Looking a little like a stretched and more svelte 911, the Taycan is offered in a wide family of trims, from the 408PS entry-level RWD model through to the 761PS Turbo S.
There are also a pair of estate or ‘shooting brake’ variants: the road-hugging Sport Turismo and the more SUV-like Cross Turismo.
What all Taycans share, though, is luxurious electric vehicle comfort and refinement, with interiors that cocoon the driver with lots of premium features, including a digital cockpit. Official combined driving ranges stretch from 222 to 314 miles.
Read our Porsche Taycan review
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Best SUV luxury electric cars
Audi has chosen the ‘e-tron’ badge for all its electric models, but the SUV that is simply badged ‘e-tron’ was its first EV to appear. Initially launched as a traditional five-door SUV, there is now also a sleeker e-tron Sportback version.
With ample room for five people, the e-tron is available in five trims with ascending levels of luxury. Even the base Technik model features 20-inch alloy wheels, air suspension, dual-zone climate control and LED lighting. Inside, there are 10.1- and 8.6-inch digital screens, along with electric and heated seats. Optional equipment includes a premium Bang & Olufsen sound system.
The e-tron has Audi’s quattro four-wheel drive as standard and, with up to 408PS, the big electric SUV is certainly powerful. However, it can still travel up to 252 miles on a single charge, according to the official test.
Read our Audi e-tron review
German manufacturer BMW has been building EVs since 2013, when it launched the i3 city car. Contrasting starkly with that is the latest addition to its electric car family, the iX. Equally radical in style, the large SUV won’t be to everyone’s taste, but it’s certainly distinctive.
Excluding the sporty M60 model, iX buyers can choose between Sport and M Sport versions. As standard, the iX Sport comes with 21-inch alloy wheels and BMW’s new Operating System 8 with navigation. The sharp-looking Curved Display screen incorporates 12.3- and 14.9-inch displays into one unit.
Other luxurious touches include BMW’s Digital Key Plus system, which can unlock and start the car from an iPhone. EV drivers have a choice of iX xDrive40 or iX xDrive50 models, with 326PS and 523PS, and 257 or 380 miles of range respectively.
Read our BMW iX review
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The Genesis GV60 is a smaller electric car than the Electrified G80, but that doesn’t make it any less luxurious. The fanfare that heralded Genesis’ EV ambitions, it is closely related to other Hyundai Motor Group EVs, including the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6.
That’s no bad thing, as those cars feature high-voltage charging technology and long ranges. The GV60 has more upmarket styling inside and out, and comes with options such as digital side mirrors, Nappa leather trim and a Bang & Olufsen audio system.
Offered in 225PS single-motor, rear-wheel-drive and 314PS dual-motor, all-wheel-drive versions, there is even a model available with a 493PS power ‘boost’ for 10 seconds. Official single-charge driving ranges vary from 289-321 miles, while 350kW fast-charging means the 77.4kWh battery can be charged from 10-80 percent in only 18 minutes.
Read our Genesis GV60 review
The I-PACE is both Jaguar’s first electric SUV, and also its first EV. Its relatively low and sleek style is a departure from other SUVs, giving a purposeful and sporty appearance.
A pair of electric motors develop 400PS, which is enough to take the I-PACE from standstill to 62mph in only 4.5 seconds. The 90kWh battery is one of the largest available on any electric vehicle, providing the Jaguar EV a decent range of 292 miles. Standard all-wheel drive means it can venture off-road with little effort, too.
New I-PACE Black models bring more style and luxury to the interior, with ebony leather sports seats and gloss black trim finishers, plus an ebony headlining. Other luxurious interior highlights include a 12.3-inch colour driver’s display, a Meridian audio system and the Pivi Pro infotainment screen with integrated Amazon Alexa.
Read our Jaguar I-PACE review
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Land Rover Range Rover EV
The Range Rover has arguably defined the luxury SUV for more than five decades. This latest fifth-generation model moves even more upmarket – and will come in all-electric guise for the first time.
The EV isn’t quite here yet, but there is already a plug-in hybrid version of the svelte newcomer. This can travel up to 70 miles on electricity alone, thanks to its 38.2kWh battery and 105kW motor. The fully electric Range Rover is due to arrive in 2024.
While its powertrain is still under wraps, it can be guaranteed that the refinement and luxury the Range Rover is celebrated for will be present and correct. Upmarket features on the new model include purification technology to improve air quality inside the cabin, along with active noise cancellation. Every Land Rover will be available with 100 percent electric drive by 2030.
Read our Range Rover review
Born from Volvo, Polestar’s family of electric cars share technology and components with their Swedish relations. The Polestar 2 is a classier alternative to a Tesla Model 3.
A five-door fastback that mixes the loftier ride height of an SUV with the profile of a saloon, the Polestar 2 has a smart appearance. This continues inside with a mix of plush and sustainable materials such as vegan leather. On-board tech includes infotainment with Google functions built-in.
The single-motor 228PS Polestar 2 has a range of 294 miles from its 69kWh lithium-ion battery, while the top-spec dual-motor 402PS version – which can be upgraded to 469PS – has an official range of up to 299 miles from a 78kWh battery. The Polestar 2 with the best range is the single-motor, 78kWh battery version, at 336 miles.
Read our Polestar 2 review
- Electric car charging – how it works and how much it costs
- Make EV charging easier with the RAC home charge point installation service
- RAC Charge Watch – the cost of charging an EV at a public charger
The RAC is leading the way when it comes to supporting drivers in the switch to electric vehicles.
A growing number of our patrol vans have built-in emergency mobile charging systems that can give an out-of-charge electric car enough power to be driven a short distance home or to a working charge point.
Find out more about RAC EV Boost.
Our All-Wheels-Up recovery system allows our patrols to rescue electric cars safely with no need for a flatbed. Find out more about RAC Electric Car Breakdown Cover.
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