Still driving an internal combustion vehicle in 2022? If you’re looking to hop on the EV bandwagon, you’re likely spoiled for choice, with most major automakers looking to completely phase out gas guzzlers as early as 2030.

With infrastructure improving and charge times plummeting, there’s never been a better time to buy an electric vehicle. Well-established automakers are now stepping onto a field that was previously dominated by smaller startups looking to bring the noise. We hopped behind the wheel of the latest and greatest EVs to find the best of the bunch.

Our testing methodology included evaluating acceleration, range, charging speed, and interior refinement, to name a few aspects. Where appropriate, this sometimes involved crawling through the mud of upstate New York to scything through paved canyons outside of Malibu, California. We pushed each electric vehicle, and after all that driving, 10 distinguished themselves. Here they are—the best electric vehicles in 2022.


Hyundai Ioniq 5

hyundai ioniq 5 in use
Trevor Raab

Base price: $43,650 | Motor: 2 permanent-magnet synchronous AC | Horsepower: 320 hp | Torque: 446 lb-ft | Range: 256 miles

Hyundai’s all-electric Ioniq 5 SUV is an exceptional vehicle that makes you feel special, too—something that can’t be said about many of the EVs on sale right now. Hyundai says that drivers will be amazed by the range and power. And after driving it, I agree. It’s equal parts comfortable, luxurious, and fast. And with the maximum available tax credit of $7,500, the top-of-the-line Premium trim Hyundai closely undercuts Tesla’s closest offering—$42,500 compared to $42,690 for the base Model 3. (Keep in mind: Teslas still aren’t eligible for the federal tax credit.)

With our Limited-spec Ioniq 5 tester arriving with AWD, it was little surprise that acceleration was one of its strong points. Its 0-60 was just as neck-snapping as any Tesla, but the roll-on hit from 20 mph and up was so impressive that one passenger reacted with “Good googly moogly!” I’ve never heard him say that before and still don’t understand it.

While the Ioniq 5 offers impressive performance, it’s practical for driving in and around town. The accelerator pedal is linear at low speeds, making it easy to smoothly pull away from stoplights—a rarity with EVs. When navigating urban streets, Hyundai’s electric SUV feels docile, but it’s always ready to put you into the back of your seat at any given moment.

The Ioniq is by far one of the best EVs I’ve driven because it does the seemingly impossible: hide its mass during direction changes. Hyundai tuned the chassis and suspension so that the Ioniq 5 is somehow poised in the corners while staying soft and supple over bumps. All that despite the fact that, like all plug-in cars, it has a gargantuan curb weight to deal with—our all-wheel-drive model tipped the scales at just over 4,400 pounds. In my testing, I ran it across some of the lumpiest roads near our office in eastern Pennsylvania, and the compact SUV just ate them up.

With so many EVs on sale today, there are quite a few that appear to be derivatives of one another. That’s why it’s so refreshing to see Hyundai doing its own thing with the Ioniq 5. For a genuinely great automobile that’s priced at $43,650 before incentives, it’s going to be hard to beat. The Korean automaker says its electric SUV is set to go on sale at the end of 2022.

—Matthew Crisara

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Volkswagen ID.4 AWD

volkswagen id 4 awd

Base price: $43,675 | Motor: 2 permanent-magnet synchronous AC | Horsepower: 295 hp | Torque: 339 lb-ft | Range: 249 miles

While EVs are relatively new in the automotive industry, Volkswagen already has over 80 years of experience under its belt building excellent automobiles. In a world where unproven startups are prioritizing the chase for efficiency and performance over user-friendly features, VW built an electric vehicle that aims to be approachable for those making the switch from internal combustion.

Right from the start, Volkswagen’s intentions with the ID.4 AWD are clear. The German automaker’s electric runabout has to accomplish just about everything that an average automobile is capable of, like being easy to drive at low speeds and comfortable.

From the driver’s seat, the ID.4 constantly felt like it was in low-earth orbit, cruising along with ease. Just as with the Ioniq 5 above, the accelerator pedal is very linear at low speeds, allowing for smooth power delivery. While the latest variant isn’t anything special when you toss it into a corner, the balance of torque, comfort, and style on the road reminded me of the current piston-powered grand tourers on the market—BMW’s M8, the Bentley Continental, and the GT from McLaren, among others. Despite the impressive performance figures, these vehicles all provide a very comfortable experience on the road.

Having driven a 2015 GTI daily for the past five years, I know that Volkswagen has the wherewithal to create a comfortable and stylish interior. As there’s no GTI variant of the ID.4—or GTX version for that matter—the seats aren’t wrapped in plaid but remain just as comfortable. Lumbar support was excellent, even for someone of my smaller stature (under 6 feet tall and 140 pounds). Throughout the pre-determined drive route, I never experienced any aches or pains and was able to adjust the seat right where I needed it.


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Toyota bZ4X

front of toyota bz4x
Matthew Crisara

Base price: $42,000 | Motor: Twin AC synchronous motors | Horsepower: 214 hp | Torque: 248 lb-ft | Range: 222 miles

Toyota’s bZ4X was developed alongside Subaru’s all-electric Solterra—both share the same platform. It’s very similar to how both brands designed and built the Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ. I’m pleased to report that the ad hoc nature of both electric vehicles’ (sometimes referred to as “Toyobarus“) development process makes them much stronger packages thanks to the meeting of minds.

An additional $2,080 on top of either the XLE or Limited trim levels will give you a dual-motor setup—one at each axle. On the surface, the increase of only about 14 hp might sound insignificant. However, the end result is much greater than the sum of its parts. The upgraded propulsion system feels much stronger from 0-20 mph. This is no surprise really, as the AWD package shaves nearly a second from the FWD vehicle’s 0-60 time—8.4 for the latter compared to 7.7 for the former. It’s no Tesla killer in terms of straight-line speed, but it has the grunt to put you in the back of your seat on command.

Unfortunately, neither configuration gets any type of one-pedal driving system. Most EVs have regenerative braking that allows the car to slow down significantly when you let off the gas—meaning you can drive without needing to use the brake pedal as much as you would normally. This EV-exclusive driver aid takes some getting used to but makes city driving an absolute breeze. Having said that, it’s not the end of the world that bZ4X goes without it. And better that than overly aggressive regenerative braking, which some EVs do have, lending the ride a jerky quality. The vehicle feels very intuitive to drive, making it an attractive option for anyone looking to merge onto Electric Avenue.


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Polestar 2

polestar 2 electric vehicle
Marc Urbano / Car and Driver

Base price: $49,900 (~$40,000 with incentives) | Motor: 300-kw | Horsepower: 408 hp | Torque: 487 lb-ft | Range: 249 miles

Unlike with most EVs, which are focused on maximum efficiency, Polestar says its latest model seeks to not just stand out in the electric space but also be a fantastic driver’s car. That’s a bold claim for any manufacturer to make, but especially for a hefty EV that tips the scales at 4,658 pounds. Even so, the dual-motor’s agility through the corners immediately took me by surprise.

While most car companies in the EV space are caught up in the perpetual arms race of 0-60 times, the Polestar 2 actually knows what to do when it approaches a turn. Even after I carried a bit too much speed into some of the tighter switchbacks on my drive, the combined stopping power of the regenerative braking system and Brembo brakes allowed for hilarious point-and-squirt driving. The ABS calibration was excellent, letting me stamp on the brake pedal with little electronic interference.

With over 400 hp on tap, the Polestar 2 is plenty fast—able to catapult itself to 60 mph in just 4.45 seconds. Our vehicle was also optioned out with Polestar’s Performance Pack, which aims to improve driving dynamics. If you choose the dual-motor option, an additional $5,000 will give you adjustable Öhlins suspension (front and rear), forged 20-inch alloy wheels, Brembo brakes, Continental Sport Contact 6 tires, and Polestar’s “Swedish Gold” aesthetic details. Trust me, the yellow seatbelt is cool.

It’s refreshing to see Polestar’s commitment to doing its own thing in an industry where direct competition is fierce. Many of the engineers are car enthusiasts like the rest of us—giving them a leg up, knowing what enthusiasts and casual motorists want from an automobile.


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driving bmw ix m60 on mountain road
Trevor Raab

Base price: $108,900 | Motor: Twin current-excited synchronous AC motors | Horsepower: 610 hp | Torque: 811 lb-ft | Range: 288 miles

Hop inside the souped-up IX M60 and you’ll find all of the staple items in an EV interior: a massive infotainment system, a weird steering wheel, and an overall generally funky aesthetic. However, the vehicle’s signature dish is its simulated electric induction noise; a soundtrack designed by world-renowned German film score composer, Hans Zimmer.

It won’t play the theme for Interstellar or Inception when you put your foot down—though both sound excellent through the vehicle’s Bowers & Wilkins sound system. Rather than simulating an engine at work, the car lets out a synthesized hum as you accelerate; I’d compare it to the noises emitted from starfighters within the Star Wars galaxy. Thankfully, these noises can be fully disabled for more professional situations and then fired back up when you’re driving home from work.

Our high praise of the BMW IX M60’s cockpit is not to cover up its equally impressive driving dynamics. With 610 horsepower and 811 lb-ft of torque on tap, I’m happy to report that it has the stopping power and handling to back up its frankly insane propulsion—very impressive with the big ole’ Bimmer tipping the scales at 5,769 pounds. Available from the factory with stiffer front and rear anti-roll bars as well as rear-wheel steering, the tricked-out IX corners surprisingly well for its size. Stopping power is equally impressive with very aggressive regenerative braking when you want it, complemented by high-performance M-Sport calipers and rotors.




Porsche Taycan GTS Sport Turismo

red porsche taycan gts on city street
Courtesy Porsche

Base price: $131,400 | Motor: Twin permanent-magnet synchronous motors | Horsepower: 590 hp | Torque: 626 lb-ft | Range: 235 miles

Last year, we gave the Taycan RWD a PopMech EV Award as one of the best electric vehicles you can buy. A lot of drivers agreed with our assessment—the car has outsold Tesla’s premium models, the Model S and Model X. While that version appealed with its excellent build quality, comfort, practicality and driving manners, this GTS model offers a performance boost that will appeal to the type of driving enthusiasts who Porsche does so well at pleasing.

This is the first Porsche EV with the GTS name, a badge that Porsche uses on models that fold in some of the most popular performance upgrades into a cost-saving package that combines the best of track-day aspirations with everyday driving comfort. In this GTS, Porsche gives you more powerful motors that approach the performance of the Taycan Turbo and Turbo S. In GTS form, the Taycan pumps out 590 hp and 626 lb-ft of torque. With Launch Control activated (another feature you won’t find on the standard Taycan), the car will hit 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and cover a quarter mile in just over 11 ticks of the clock.

In addition to a more powerful motor and launch control, the GTS package includes Porsche’s torque-vectoring-plus system for more agile handling and a sportier tune of the Taycan’s electronically controlled suspension, which reacts to road conditions to reduce body roll and increase comfort. Suede-like Race-Tex fabric adorns the inside and the vehicle’s exterior gets a custom lower fascia and side skirt, as well as a stealthy rear diffuser. Many EVs are known for their near-instant acceleration—this one also has exceptional handling, which we experienced on California’s twisting canyon roads and while dropping into off-camber corners at the state’s famed Willow Springs Raceway.

Both standard and Sport Turismo vehicles have reasonable amounts of interior space; the rear seats are tight for adults, snug for taller passengers but not cramped. Like the RWD we love, the GTS version has exceptional build quality with tight seams and no noticeable rattles on our short-but-not-delicate test drives. And both versions offer a massive panoramic sunroof, which has nine individual segments that you can control to dial in the ideal amount of light or shade. And dialing it in is what the GTS package is about—giving you a number of performance, comfort, and design options that make an already-great EV even more engaging and exciting to drive.

Louis Mazzante



Ford F-150 Lightning

ford f150 lightning
Matthew Crisara

Base price: $41,769 | Motor: Twin fixed magnet AC motors | Horsepower: 426 hp | Torque: 775 lb-ft | Range: 230 miles

Unlike many electric vehicles rolling into dealerships, the F-150 Lightning isn’t based on a completely new and unproven architecture. Rather it keeps largely the same underpinnings as America’s favorite (and best-selling) pickup truck—the F-150. It isn’t much of a surprise that Ford wouldn’t stray too far from the internal-combustion version.

Is the F-150 Lightning fast? Of course it is. Ford gave it all of the ingredients to blow your mind when you put your foot down: all-wheel drive, 426 or 563 horsepower (you get more with the extended-range battery), and 775 lb-ft of torque. This potent collection of numbers are indicative of the design that catapults the F-150 to 60 mph in just 4 seconds—meaning that yes, it’s faster than the 6-second F-150 Raptor.

Even with such neck-snapping acceleration, the go pedal feels very linear, meaning it gets progressively more responsive the farther you put your foot down. This leads to a drive that doesn’t always feel like you’re riding a bull at the rodeo. Around town, the electric F-150 is much more like a Clydesdale (with tons of low-down grunt), but it can still gallop when you need to shoot gaps in the city or merge onto the highway.

After taking a 200-mile highway cruise up to Mahwah, New Jersey, I was thoroughly impressed with Ford’s Blue Cruise semi-autonomous driving system. Unlike other vehicles that will shout at you if you take your hands off the wheel for a split second, Blue Cruise keeps track of your eyes and is therefore more relaxed; when activated, it allows you to take your hands off the wheel—only when it deems it safe to do so.

The F-150 Lightning’s balance of gut-busting propulsion and cutting-edge tech makes it an absolute joy to drive—especially hands-free on the highway with Blue Cruise enabled—and will be approachable for anybody wanting to jump the internal-combustion ship.


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Rivian R1S

rivian r 1 s
Courtesy: Rivian

Base price: $72,500 | Motor: Dual and quad-motor configurations | Horsepower: 600 hp (dual motor) | Torque: 600 lb-ft (dual motor) | Range: 260 miles (dual motor w/ standard battery)

Compared to the company’s R1T electric pickup, Rivian’s R1S brings a third row of seats and a roughly 15-inch shorter wheelbase—making it more convenient for families and more nimble off road. As we discovered during our time driving it at and around the Monticello Motor Club in upstate New York, this SUV trades in just a bit (but not much) of the R1T’s adventure focus for practicality.

I spent most of my road driving time in All Purpose mode, in which the R1S was compliant and smooth, softening bumps and dips in the pavement. I also dabbled in Sport, which added a bit more giddyup and stiffened the independent air suspension for better cornering.

Monticello’s 40-minute off-road loop involved missing tight trees, fording rocky streams, and accelerating up and back down steep hills. It was pouring that day, so the mud added another, slippery element. But the R1S handled it all. The camera system showing the front and sides of the SUV provided valuable views for checking to make sure I was clear of obstacles.

The precise modulation of power to the wheels and one-pedal braking cut down on things I had to think about while driving, too. There were a few times I had to step on the brake, but that regen that kicks in when you let off the accelerator provides ample slowing power, preventing some panic stomps between pedals. The R1S’s 15-inch ground clearance and suspension stiffness in Off-Road Rock Crawl mode helped keep the car above hazards. Though when I did cheese-grate the SUV across some submerged rocks crossing a swollen stream, the aluminum-carbon fiber underbody shield did its job.

The R1S is another example of what could be Rivian’s calling card: accessibility. As with making off-road driving easier, the SUV is like the R1T in how it assuages some of the unease newer EV owners or drivers may have given all that they can see. It’s less hand-holding than empowering. An expensive bit of empowerment, but empowerment nonetheless.

Will Egensteiner

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Nissan Leaf

nissan leaf
Trevor Raab

Base price: $27,800 (as low as $20,300) | Motor: 160-kw AC synchronous | Horsepower: 214 hp | Torque: 250 lb-ft | Range: 226 miles

Despite Tesla’s current domination of the EV marketplace, it’s important to mention that Nissan built the first affordable electric vehicle in 2010–the Leaf. Debuting with a starting MSRP of $32,780—$25,280 with the EV tax credit—it was propelled by a 23-kilowatt-hour battery that promised 100 miles of range. Setting the stage as an affordable electric vehicle that people actually wanted to buy, the Leaf persuaded other automakers to wade further into the EV waters. The question remains if the improvements to the latest model are sufficient to keep up with that ever-growing competition.

With a recent refresh in 2017, the Nissan Leaf received an updated powertrain, offering up 226 miles of range. However, it probably won’t surprise you to hear that the $39,990 base Tesla Model 3’s range of 263 miles is class-leading in this sub-$50,000 price bracket. Other comparable vehicles include the $41,190 Volkswagen ID.4 with 250 miles and the $40,265 Kia Niro with 239 miles.

Modern EVs are often considered the benchmark when it comes to acceleration. Electric motors offer up instant torque at low speed, which generally equates to blistering 0-60 times. However, thanks to the single 160-kW motor driving the front wheels and eco-friendly tires–215/50R17 Michelin Energy Savers–that favor rolling resistance over performance, the Leaf puts down a conservative 0-60 mph at 6.7 seconds.

It truly shines from 30-50 mph, where the zing from the electric motor properly puts you in the back of your seat. Even for someone like me who owns a manual Volkswagen Golf GTI, the Leaf’s punchy mid-range acceleration never failed to put a smile on my face when I merged onto the highway and shot gaps around the city.


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Jaguar I-Pace

jaguar i pace electric vehicle on country road
Trevor Raab

Base price: $71,300 | Motor: Twin permanent-magnet synchronous AC | Horsepower: 394 hp | Torque: 512 lb-ft | Range: 246 miles

Jaguar vehicles have long been associated with refinement, luxury, and comfort. And the I-Pace is no exception. The British automaker’s first foray into electric vehicles was a resounding success in our book—only adding to the brand’s resume of greats. While luxury is the I-Pace’s signature dish, it’s not too shabby when you put your foot down and throw it into a corner.

I found the I-Pace cabin to be simple and elegant without being overbearing. Sitting inside the all-electric automobile reminded me of getting back to the house after a long day at the beach with nothing to do until it’s time for dinner. It’s a place that’s whisper quiet and inviting for you and other passengers. There are no artificial noises to add to the experience because, well, it just doesn’t need them.

Jaguar’s PIVI Pro infotainment system brings all of the important information forward—including physical temperature dials that are super intuitive. In a world of making all things touch-sensitive, this was a blessed relief. The rest of the controls are very similar to what you’d find in any other internal-combustion Jag.

From the driver’s seat, I was pleasantly surprised at how well the vehicle felt on the road. Despite it not being the most powerful car we drove, it certainly felt like it had the most potent propulsion system. With 394 hp and 512 lb-ft of torque, it’s only outclassed by BMW’s IX M60 (610 hp and 811 lb-ft). However, most of the Jag’s perceived acceleration is from the engineer’s calibration of the throttle pedal. Unlike the more powerful Bimmer (which has a much more docile throttle pedal), the I-Pace just feels alive and ready to go—while still being smooth at low speeds.