What electric SUV should you buy in 2024?

Electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers have realised they need to capitalise on booming SUV sales worldwide, and the result is a wide range of models across multiple brands combining battery drivetrains with lifted, practical bodies.

In Australia, there are currently more 30 electric SUVs being sold across 20 brands (not including individual variants), ranging from less than $40,000 drive-away in the case of the MG ZS EV to $233,400 before on-road costs for the BMW iX.

With such a wide range of options across different prices, it can be hard to decide on the best electric SUV.

That’s where the CarExpert team comes in to help. Here’s what we have chosen as the electric SUVs we’d be happy to see in our driveways, and which you might want to put in yours.

Alborz Fallah: Hyundai Ioniq 5 N

If you had asked me this question two weeks ago, I would have probably said a Kia EV6, but having spent last week drag racing hyper and supercars against… a Hyundai and being blown away by the results, I left with this crazy feeling of wanting to buy an Ioniq 5 N.

Having tracked the car at Sydney Motorsport Park and now driven it at speeds getting close to 300 km/h, I can tell you this is not your regular EV, nor is it your regular SUV. It’s the best of both worlds.

It’s basically what BMW’s M division used to make with its previous-previous generation M cars – except it’s faster. The beauty is that it actually handles really well, and the ‘fake’ sounds add so much to the driving experience of an EV that I have become an advocate of fake noise for electric cars.

Once you experience it firsthand and realise that – if you’re going to have an EV – it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with your senses, then having those weird futuristic UFO sounds (I’m looking at you, Porsche) makes no sense.

I would also like to think that I would be pretty keen on the new Porsche Macan EV. I reckon it looks amazing, and if they can get it to perform well, then it’s going to be a winner in the higher end of the market.

MORE: Buy a Hyundai Ioniq 5

Paul Maric: Hyundai Ioniq 5 N

I was ready to just reply with the stock standard Tesla Model Y answer.

But…it really is just an appliance that goes from A to B – it’s unexciting and is kind of the Camry of electric vehicles. Just gets the job done.

I like the Hyundai Ioniq 5, but never really loved it enough as a sporty car in comparison to something like a Model Y Performance or a Model 3 Performance.

My perception on that has totally changed with the Ioniq 5 N. What they’ve done with the package is seriously bonkers.

It has the straight line acceleration – that’s really just the easy part with an EV, though – but it also has all of the bells, whistles and accessories you want for a go-fast electric vehicle, without the constant compromise on ride and day-to-day liveability.

There are battery priming modes, synthetic gear shifts to make it feel like an internal combustion car and even the ability to completely change the torque split on the move.

We also had the chance to put it up against some of the world’s fastest cars last week as part of a new video series we have coming… We did over 100 launches while filming and each and every time it delivered the same consistency on the same scrabbly surface.

It really is a beast of a thing and it has changed my perception on performance EVs…it’s not just a straight line wonder.

MORE: Buy a Hyundai Ioniq 5

Scott Collie: BYD Atto 3 or BMW iX M60

BYD Atto 3

At the affordable end of the market, it’s hard to look past the BYD Atto 3. 

When BYD launched in Australia, we had plenty of questions about its local distributor. We’re now more than 12 months into life with the Atto 3 on local roads, and it’s not as if there’s horror stories out there about service and support… so I’m willing to back the Atto 3. 

It’s affordable to buy, with an interesting interior and generous list of standard equipment, and it drives with plenty of polish. Although the Model Y remains the class leader, the Atto 3 comfortably undercuts it on price – and $14,000 buys you a lot of electricity at fast chargers, let alone on an electric-friendly home power plan. 

MORE: Buy a BYD Atto 3

BMW iX M60

Avert your gaze! It’s the BMW iX! 

When the iX debuted, it quickly became a styling punchline. Then the XM rolled around, and put things into perspective. 

Beyond the way it looks, the iX is just a lovely thing to spend time in. The interior is like an expensive whiskey den on wheels, filled with rich leather and interesting trims, and the technology is top notch now BMW has realised it needs to put frequently-used functions like the seat heating buttons in prominent places on the touchscreen. Who would’ve thought? 

The M60 is devastatingly quick in a straight line, handles like a smaller and lighter car in the corners, and rides like a limousine on rugged roads. 

MORE: Buy a BMW iX

James Wong: Hyundai Ioniq 5 or Porsche Taycan 4S Cross Turismo

Hyundai Ioniq 5

I’d really prefer not to get a Tesla or BYD if I can avoid it – the tech integration and ergonomics just aren’t to my tastes.

For those that can be a little funny with range anxiety, the entry-grade Ioniq 5 with the Extended Range 77.4kWh battery and single-motor RWD offers over 500km of driving range… and there’s an updated model on the way with an even bigger battery and more range.

Even if it forgoes some niceties to hit the $71,00 price point (plus on-road costs), the Ioniq 5 offers an airy, spacious cabin and the more familiar interior layout of other Hyundai-Kia products. The aforementioned update will bring further improvements to design and interior technology.

Hyundai hasn’t scrimped on safety and assistance tech on the base model – though I’d like Highway Driving Assist please – and the retro-inspired looks will make it feel that little bit more special than a Tesla or BYD.

It also offers some of the quickest charging times thanks to its 350kW DC charging capacity… though we’re yet to see any test cars reach that peak.. Still, 230kW speeds is quite a lot more than most competitors.

MORE: Buy a Hyundai Ioniq 5

Porsche Taycan 4S Cross Turismo

If a Subaru Outback identifies as an SUV, then so does this…

Given the SUV tag means I can’t choose my beloved Audi e-tron GT, the crossover-styled Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo on common underpinnings will do me just fine.

The Taycan is a benchmark for performance and engagement in the EV market, and is one of few that can genuinely compete with combustion-engined performance cars. Here, we just add a lifted wagon body with plastic cladding and voilá – the best electric SUV to drive.

I played around with the Porsche Australia configurator and specified one in Paint to Sample Porsche Racing Green with 20-inch Offroad Design wheels and… well… I need a moment. #savethewagons

MORE: Buy a Porsche Taycan

William Stopford: Hyundai Ioniq 5

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is ostensibly an SUV, even though it doesn’t look like one. It’s still my pick, even if – let’s be real – it’s really just a big hatchback.

It mightn’t be as spacious as a Tesla Model Y but it sure looks better with its crisp retro-inspired lines.

The interior is also attractive and full of clever details. It drives well, too, with balanced handling and a smooth ride. It’s not the sportiest EV on the market though… unless you step up to the N.

I’ve driven some powerful, dynamic EVs, all the way up to the likes of the Porsche Taycan and Audi e-tron GT, but the Ioniq 5 N is my favourite EV on the market right now.

The level of adjustability with this car is insane. Want to make this dual-motor 478kW all-wheel drive weapon sound like a petrol-powered car, even from the outside? Push a button and it will. Want to send torque only to the rear wheels? That’s another button. Want to have simulated gear shifts? You guessed it – there’s a button that will make that happen.

If you want to drive it like a quiet, mild-mannered electric commuter car, you can do that.

I came away thoroughly impressed after driving this both on the road and on the track. I want one.

Outside of the Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 5 N, other electric SUVs that stand out to me include the BMW iX1 and Volvo XC40 Recharge under $100,000, and the Kia EV9 over it.

MORE: Buy a Hyundai Ioniq 5

Jack Quick: Tesla Model Y or Genesis Electrified GV70

Tesla Model Y

If I was buying an electric SUV in 2024 I’d be silly to not consider the Tesla Model Y given it was the world’s best-selling car last year. It also just got a minor spec tweak and price cut that makes it even more enticing.

The Model Y continues to be the benchmark for electric SUVs with cavernous interior storage and stellar electric motor efficiency.

My ideal specification of the Model Y would be the Long Range variant with the new Quicksilver exterior paint colour option. I’d also stick with the regular 19-inch Gemini wheels to maximise efficiency and the black interior. I know that may be a bit boring but let me live my fantasy.

Some other notable mainstream electric SUVs I’d say are worth considering include the BYD Atto 3 from a budget standpoint, as well as the Hyundai Kona Electric given it’s now one of the few EVs with a spare tyre.

MORE: Buy a Tesla Model Y

Genesis Electrified GV70

Even though it does have a strange name, if I had an unlimited amount of money to spend on an electric SUV I reckon I’d go for the Genesis Electrified GV70.

This electric version of Genesis’ top-selling model does look very similar to the petrol versions, though under the bonnet there’s a dual-motor all-wheel drive electric powertrain that can send the 2.3-tonne SUV from 0-100km/h in 4.2 seconds.

One of my favourite parts about Genesis vehicles is how special they feel on the inside, which is where you spent the majority of the time. There are so many soft-touch materials and everything feels high-quality.

MORE: Buy a Genesis GV70

Josh Nevett: Hyundai Ioniq 5, Ioniq 5 N

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is an excellent example of how far the Korean manufacturer has come in recent years. All variants share the same retro-cool styling and practical interior space, while there is also plenty of tech across the range.

Base models are reasonably priced too, starting from $65,000 before on-road costs.

I don’t even need an unlimited budget for my top choice, as the Ioniq 5 N borders on attainable at $111,000 plus on-roads.

After just a short time behind the wheel of this N electric sensation, I couldn’t be more impressed. It looks and feels special, not to mention it being blisteringly quick.

I was skeptical about the whole simulated engine and transmission thing, but both elements just made the car far more engaging. Once you’re sick of having fun, Hyundai even makes it easy to draw the curtains on all the theatre. My only gripe is that the dashboard is a little too busy, but that’s easily forgiven.

MORE: Buy a Hyundai Ioniq 5

Jordan Mulach: Hyundai Ioniq 5 N

I wanted to have some kind of original thought, but my colleagues have made it hard to go past the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N – I really can’t think of another electric SUV that presents what I want in the least-compromised packaged.

As soon as the base Ioniq 5 launched, I fell in love with its design. Ignoring its large footprint, it really is a modern Lancia Delta Integrale.

Enter the 5 HF – sorry, 5 N. The temptation to buy one and wrap one in a 1990s-style Martini livery is very, very high indeed.

Unlike my coworkers I’m yet to get behind the wheel of the Ioniq 5 N, but there isn’t a single thing on the spec sheet which turns me off. I was even initially against the synthetic exhaust noise, though having seen videos I’m now convinced it would give me joy every day.

So, who has the winning lotto numbers?

MORE: Buy a Hyundai Ioniq 5

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