One of the things enthusiasts bellyache about the most is electrification. The noisiest complainers say that EVs will suck the fun out of driving and can’t possibly be as engaging as a roaring gas engine. It’s undoubtedly true that the noises EVs make are not always as visceral and thrilling, but it’s also true that electrification has ushered in a new era of performance that gas vehicles simply cannot match.
We’ve gathered a list of EVs that don’t suck to drive. We all know by now about Tesla and its Plaid models, which absolutely set the quarter-mile ablaze with their amazing acceleration figures. The vehicles on this list don’t come from Tesla. Nor does the list include some highly anticipated performance EVs that will soon hit the market, such as the new 2024 Porsche Macan. This selection may be a bit short on range compared to tamer models, but at the same time, it’s hard to ignore their specs and even harder to ignore the sensation that a full-throttle electric powertrain delivers. Let’s dive in to see five new EVs that make driving fun.
Porsche’s gas-powered vehicles are among the most exciting on the road, so it’s not surprising to see the automaker’s first electric effort as a home run. The Taycan is available in a staggering number of configurations, ranging from the 375-horsepower base model to the massively powerful Turbo S models with up to 750 horsepower in temporary boost mode. Classic Porsche styling and high-end tech round out the package, making the Taycan one of the most desirable EVs today.
That said, the Taycan’s almost $91,000 starting price puts it out of reach for a majority of car buyers, and the prices keep steadily rising along with the performance. It also trades range for performance, as the least powerful variant is the most efficient, returning 242 miles with the extended-range battery. The car can take advantage of fast charging, however, and can recover up to 80 percent of its battery capacity in just over 22 minutes.
Kia EV6 GT
How about a Kia that can out-accelerate many supercars, especially from a few years ago? The EV6 GT comes with two electric motors with a combined 576 horsepower and 545 pound-feet of torque. Its 0-60 mph time lands at just 3.4 seconds, and the EV offers a top speed of 161 mph, making it one serious Korean EV. At the same time, it features the standout styling of the standard model, which gives it a striking curb presence and a futuristic look that is unique among EVs.
The common refrain with performance EVs is that they exchange driving range for speed, and that’s the case with the EV6. That means that while the base EV6 returns 310 miles of range, the EV6 GT delivers just 206 miles. Other tradeoffs come with the price, where the EV6 is more expensive than many in its class, and with the cargo hold, as the SUV lacks some of the utility of its competitors.
The Mercedes-AMG EQE sedan brings a futuristic interior, sleek styling, and mind-boggling performance – for a price. It comes standard with two electric motors making 617 horsepower and 701 pound-feet of torque. The available AMG Dynamic Plus package drives output to 677 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. Mercedes promises a 0-60 mph time of around 3.2 seconds for cars equipped with the Dynamic Plus pack and just 3.4 seconds for others.
Of course, like the others on this list, the AMG-massaged EQE does have some downsides. Its range reaches just 225 miles, making it a tough sell at its six-figure price point. It’s also short on rear headroom, where the car’s dramatically sloping roof cuts into cabin space. However, despite these somewhat minor complaints, the EQE delivers a thrilling driving experience and a luxurious ride quality.
The Genesis GV60 is a gorgeously designed SUV with a high-end tech, plush interior, and a somewhat reasonable price. It’s available with two powertrain choices, ranging in output from 314 horsepower to 429 horsepower. Either provides more than enough grunt to make the GV60 an engaging driving companion. The SUV also has a temporary boost mode that bumps output on the top powertrain to 483 horsepower. With that feature on tap, the GV60 can run to 60 mph from a standstill in around four seconds. It’s also more than capable on bendy roads, offering responsive handling with less body roll than expected.
Unfortunately, we’re again talking about driving range deficiencies, as the GV60 returns just 235 miles in its most potent form. The entry-level model has 248 miles, which is still just okay for the segment. Rear visibility isn’t the best, and the GV60’s cabin isn’t quite as nice as its price tag suggests, but it’s still a fantastic EV with plenty to like.
BMW may have gone off the rails with styling in recent years, but it’s mainly on the mark with performance. That also applies to its electrified vehicles, and the new i4 is an excellent example of the automaker’s blend of performance and efficiency. The M50 variant has the performance to match its name, bringing 536 horsepower and 586 pounds of torque. With all-wheel drive on tap, the car can reach 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds. BMW gave the i4 M50 fantastic driving dynamics and engaging handling that hide its extra weight, and the car maintains a comfortable ride quality in most situations.
The i4 M50 returns up to 269 miles of range, better than most on this list but still short of cars from top players like Tesla. It’s also a bit short on rear-seat space, as its sleek exterior shape cuts into interior space for taller people. The upside is that cargo space is generous, and the hatchback design makes it easy to load large items.
The number of driver-friendly EVs is growing, and there are still plenty of fantastic hybrids and plug-in hybrids if full electrification isn’t your thing. While it’s true that many EVs are significantly more expensive than their gas-powered counterparts, it’s also true that dealers aren’t selling electric vehicles as quickly as gas models, so there are some great deals to be had for buyers willing to do the homework.