If you’re thinking about hauling the kids off to school with zero emissions, today’s EVs offer more range, faster charging and greater fuel savings. The best electric cars and SUVs for families are available in a wide range of options to meet your needs, and an even wider range of price points. These are the best electric crossovers and SUVs on sale in 2023, and the ones we’re looking forward to in 2024.
Electric Crossover SUVs for Families
These electric crossover SUVs and full-size SUVs are the highest-rated, most-loved EVs for families today. Spaciousness, pricing, range and charging speeds vary from one electric model to another. We’ve also included NHTSA safety ratings if they’re available. Let us know which EVs you have your eye on!
Tesla Model Y
The Model Y is the best-selling electric vehicle in America, however prices have increased over 20% since 2020. Although it’s known for autonomous driving, the full capability (known as FSD) is a $15,000 package.
Price: $49,990 to $74,990
Range: 279 to 330 miles
Charging (Public fast charger): can add 200 miles in 15 minutes
I can confidently say that the IONIQ 5 is a great family car, and that’s because my wife and I haul our own kiddo around in this segment-bending electric crossover with hot hatch flavors. The IONIQ 5 has won many awards, including Car and Driver’s 2022 EV of the Year. The challenge you’ll encounter is Hyundai’s limited inventory, even in 2023.
Price: $40,925 to $57,400+
Range: 220 to 303 miles
Charging (Public fast charger): Adds 200 miles of range in 20 minutes
The spaceship-styled EV6 is Kia’s version of the Hyundai IONIQ 5, which shares the e-GMP electric powertrain. The Kia EV6 has slightly less passenger and cargo space than the Hyundai, but it’s better range and equally fast charging make it an obvious feature on this list of best electric cars for families.
One thing to bear in mind: most EVs, including the EV6 and IONIQ 5, have a flat floor, meaning that there’s a bit more interior space than it would appear. The best thing you can do is check one out in person!
Price: $43,920 to $61,600+
Range: 274 to 310 miles
Charging (Public fast charger): Adds 200 miles of range in 20 minutes
We have great news for those in search of an affordable and capable EV that qualifies for the federal tax credit. The ID.4 is now made in Tennessee at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant! The newest American-made EV is equipped with decent range, okay charging, and a comfortable interior that’s designed for families. However, don’t expect Tesla-level infotainment. The ID.4 is best for those who are content with the simpler things in life.
Charging speeds are merely okay, but the 2024 model year gets a decent improvement.
Price: $38,790 to $55,000
Range: 208 to 275 miles
Charging (Public fast charger): Adds up to 190 miles of range in 30 minutes
When the e-tron first debuted in 2019, it was ahead of its time. Today, the e-tron remains a solid choice for families with a large interior, acceptable range and average charging capabilities. The premium styling and interior comforts make up for what it might lack. The original larger e-tron has recently been joined by the Q4 e-tron crossover.
Price: $50,995 to $94,000
Range: 218 to 265 miles
Charging (Public fast charger): can add 135 miles in 35 minutes
Where are all of the suburban-sized electric SUVs at? Unfortunately for larger families, large SUVs and minivans are not very aerodynamic, and therefore require larger battery packs to travel the same number of miles. As traditional and startup automakers ramp up their EV production, they’re increasingly left with no choice but to ration their batteries. The vast majority of EV automakers rely on battery manufacturers like Panasonic, LG and CATL to produce the batteries they need for their electric vehicles. If an automaker like Ford has signed supply contracts for X number of batteries, does it make sense for them to make 100,000 compact crossovers, or 20,000 full-size SUVs?
However, it looks like electric full-size SUVs are coming due to popular demand. There are just two quite expensive options now, but others are nearing production soon.
If you’re open to plug-in hybrids, the Chrysler Pacifica PHEV is a great vehicle, if you can find one at a fair price.
Tesla Model X
It’s not cheap, but the Model X is the most popular fully-electric three-row SUV today. With gull-wing doors and a massive glass roof, there’s no hiding the fact that the Tesla Model X is a luxury SUV.
Price: $94,990 to $120,000+
Range: 351 miles
Charging (Public fast charger): can add 200 miles in 15 minutes
This three-row SUV has a starting price nearly $30,000 below the electric competition in this segment. VinFast is building a massive factory to build EVs in North Carolina. There’s a catch: Batteries are sold separately. VinFast offers two battery subscription plans. The VF9 also has a smaller sibling, the VF8.
The Hyundai IONIQ 7 will be Hyundai’s first three-row electric SUV. It will be joined by Kia’s version, the Kia EV9 electric SUV. Both of these should bring somewhat more affordable electric full-size SUVs to the American market. The IONIQ 7 and EV9 remain concept cars for now, with production details to be released this year. Here’s a closer look.
NIO is a Chinese automaker very likely on a path to North American auto sales. With a corporate headquarters already open in California and US-market job postings, it’s all but certain. The NIO ES8 is a three-row electric SUV likely to make an American debut in 2024.
Electric Crossovers That Didn’t Make the List
These EVs are great around town, but not recommended for family road trips.
With disappointing fast-charging capabilities, the bZ4X would be a real hassle on a road trip. The most capable all-wheel drive variant is rated at just 228 miles on a charge. That would be a non-issue if it wasn’t restricted to 100 kW at a DC fast charger. In the real world, the bZ4X and its sibling the Subaru Solterra would require 45 minute to hour-long charging stops every 175 miles or so on the interstate. That’s a lot of waiting around with a family!
The Solterra is the Subaru-branded sibling to the Toyota bZ4X. It’s essentially an electric Crosstrek. While standard all-wheel drive stays true to its Subaru roots, it’s the very slow charging that keeps the Solterra off of our recommendations. How slow does the Solterra charge? Expect about an hour of charging to add 200 miles of range. It could be worth a look if you never hit the highway. Learn more about the Subaru Solterra.
You’re probably starting to see what makes or breaks an EVs suitability for families. Range, safety, interior room and charging speed are all important. If you travel, range and charging speed matter a lot. If you plan to stick around home, you have many more affordable electric vehicles to consider. The Bolt really only fails in one of these categories, but it fails in a big way. The 2023 Chevrolet Bolt has the same 55 kW DC fast charging limitation as the original Bolt did way back in 2017. With 259 miles of range (that’s not bad!), that means you’d be stopping to charge for 45 minutes to an hour every 180 to 200 miles on a road trip. About 90% of EV charging is done at home on average, but the Bolt requires a lot of patience on road trips. We covered the 2023 Chevy Bolt in detail here.
The Leaf was the first mainstream EV to go on sale in North America. It’s been a much-appreciated affordable option since 2011, but Nissan has failed to update the Leaf as competitors entered the scene. A top-of-the-line 2023 Nissan Leaf is rated for 212 miles on a charge, but the peak charging speed is outdated. In a best case scenario, it takes 40 minutes to add 175 miles of range. Plus, the Leaf has an outdated charge port style known as CHAdeMO. You’ll have to haul an adapter around with you to charge in public.
The New EV Tax Credit Helps Some, But Not All
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 eliminated the original EV tax credit and replaced it with a completely revised tax credit. For vehicles that qualify, up to $7,500 in tax credits are available. However, the incentive is based on battery sourcing, which will be determined by the automakers. Income limits restrict buyer eligibility, too. See the full details on qualifying models here.
There’s also a used EV tax credit for the first time, but a price cap of $25,000 eliminates every single family EV on this list. See what does qualify.
December 2022 Update: To the dismay of many on social media (particularly Reddit), VinFast made an unwelcome announcement recently. The good news: The first VinFast EVs will arrive in California by January 2023. In fact, there are 999 VF8 electric SUVs on the way to America. The bad news: VinFast says that these will be “City variants” with just 180 miles of estimated range, according to the company.
Previously, VinFast had advertised to everyone, including reservation holders, that the VF8 had either 249 miles of range for the Eco variant, or 261 miles of range for the Plus variant.
Okay, say you’re fine with 180 miles on a charge, as long as it comes with a significant price discount. You’d be disappointed. VinFast is offering these City variants of the VinFast VF8 at a $3,000 discount. That means that this 2023 electric SUV will still cost either $55,500 or $62,500, with 180 miles of range. Note, that’s the same range as the Nissan LEAF, and is much less than the Chevy Bolt. With this range and at this price point, we can’t recommend the VinFast VF8 City version. Competitors offer more range for the same (or less) money.
Now, on to the original first-look of VinFast EVs:
Just as legacy OEMs are jumping into the EV race, newcomers and startups are set to enter the North American market within the next year or so. Today, a glance at electric vehicle sales numbers finds Tesla dominating with 67% market share, but that figure is slowly falling as the competition heats up. Volkswagen Group, Ford and Korean automakers trail behind, eager to bite into Tesla’s success. Here to spice things up are newcomers like Rivian, Fisker, Lucid and a half-dozen other boutique automakers.
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Overseas, two established EV players are poised to join the fun as well. While Chinese EV success story NIO hasn’t made any commitments, aspiring Vietnamese automaker VinFast is ready to break ground in America. How will this emerging vehicle segment evolve over the next 2-3 years? Whatever happens, it’s looking increasingly likely that VinFast will be a part of the story.
Who Is VinFast?
The 2021 LA Auto Show was all about EVs. No one lingered around the occasional displays of cross-cut engines or propped-open hoods. Yet every electric vehicle booth was packed. One of the many oddities and spectacles at the auto show was VinFast, who (almost) nobody had heard of. It almost sounds like the name of a rebranding online car seller who gets your title to you in less than a month. Founded in 2017, VinFast is the automotive wing of Vingroup, a private Vietnamese conglomerate active in tech, retail, industrial development and service industries. Now worth over $35 billion, Vingroup had humble beginnings as a food processing company working out of Ukraine in the early 1990s.
VinFast first set foot in America in the summer of 2020. That was a pretty horrible time to be launching any kind of business venture, but VinFast stuck with it. With an extensive history and enough capital to get the ball rolling, automotive industry analysts are marveling at the pace of VinFast. At the LA Auto Show, VinFast US CEO Van Anh Nguyen told TechCrunch about their expansion plans. Here’s what the ambitious automaker has in store in just the first half of this decade:
$200 million for building a headquarters and support infrastructure in California
Hiring 1,000 employees in California, including 400 at the new headquarters
Opening 60 sales locations
Opening multiple service centers and mobile service providers
Building a VinFast factory in America by the end of 2024
Two VinFast SUVs launching in the US soon
With this roadmap in mind, it’s no surprise that VinFast is eyeing an IPO into the US stock market. Rumor has it that they’re shooting for a $60 billion valuation.
Batteries Not Included?
When VinFast announced their new 15,000 square-foot headquarters, they also shared some details about future product launches. VinFast followed through on their pledge to officially debut two of its first electric SUVs, the VF 8 and VF 9, at the 2021 LA Auto Show. There’s one aspect in particular that lends so much confidence to VinFast’s growth strategy. Much of their research and development has been focused on streamlining and automating vehicle manufacturing processes. Sound familiar? That’s how a certain American company (starts with a T, ends with an A) overcame the many burdens of production ramp-up. In fact, Tesla was the first American car manufacturer to successfully ramp up automotive production in nearly 100 years. If VinFast has scalable growth in mind, their likelihood of success is far greater than the average EV startup.
VinFast’s approach to EV production isn’t all good news for the consumer. Automotive News recently reported on VinFast’s plan to NOT include a battery pack as part of the standard equipment when the vehicle is purchased. Instead, car buyers will lease a battery pack from VinFast. I guess that’s one way to guarantee a revenue stream!
How Much Is a VinFast Battery Lease?
Renting a battery pack from VinFast won’t be cheap. Unless, of course, you intend to purchase an EV that comes without the usual fuel savings associated with going electric. VinFast Global CEO Le Thi Thu Thuy said the two battery pack options will cost between $100 and $150 PER MONTH. They say the battery leasing model would buffer EV buyers from the risk of degraded battery performance over time. They’ll replace the battery if it falls below 70 percent of its initial charging capacity. The thing is, today’s EVs still retain over 80% of their initial charging capacity with well over 100,000 miles on the odometer. This would have been a reasonable strategy a decade ago, when early battery tech was on shaky, experimental ground. Now, it’s a solution in search of a problem.
Below is the official announcement from VinFast, showing the pricing tiers for the VinFast VF 8 and VF 9. VinFast battery subscription plans range from $110 to $160 per month on the VinFast Fixed Plan, and $35 to $44 per month on the VinFast Flexible plan, which includes just 310 miles of driving per month.
Why would anyone buy a new car knowing they will have to pay an extra $150 every month for the required battery? That would only work if the car itself sells for ridiculously cheap. We’ll see, but I’m skeptical.
Imagine if Apple required you to purchase a battery for the IPhone separately. The behemoth wouldn’t be where they are today with such a critical product miscalculation. Will VinFast SUVs overcome this looming and unnecessary product feature? Or will they reverse course before launching US sales?
VinFast Models in 2022
Enough with the negativity. At the 2021 LA Auto Show, VinFast shared two impressive electric concepts. They intend to bring both to production very soon, and both will be sold in the US market. The VF 8 (formerly dubbed the e35) and VF 9 (formerly e36) are two fully-electric SUVs that feature advanced driver-assistance systems and a suite of smart features. Both VinFast SUVs are designed by Italian design firm Pininfarina, and the result is pleasant to look at.
The smaller VF 8 is advertised for up to 310 miles of range on a charge. Stepping up to the larger VF 9 will get you 301 miles of range with the (rented) standard battery, or buyers can opt for the bigger battery that’s good for 422 miles.
Aside from the range figures and pretty images, not a whole lot is known about these two SUVs. The VinFast website shows an interior with a 15” Tesla-style touchscreen front and center. What they do make clear on the website is that interested buyers are welcome to place a reservation for $200. Reservations placed before April qualify for a $3,000 to $5,000 voucher for their VinFast SUV of choice.
VinFast pricing starts at $41,000 for the crossover-styled VF 8, and $56,000 for the larger VF 9 SUV. Power is impressive, yet nothing to write home about. Check out the full VinFast pricing and spec details below. The automaker does make it abundantly clear that this information is subject to change.
I want VinFast to succeed in their North American expansion. Greater competition among automakers almost always results in savings for the consumer. But batteries not included? $150 every month for something that literally comes with every single other electric vehicle in the world? Come on. I hope VinFast sees the reality of the situation and the expectations of the American buyer.
What do you think? Are you willing to give VinFast a chance, or are they wasting their time with this battery nonsense? How affordable would the car have to be for this sales model to work? Let us know what you think. I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially if you might be willing to give the VinFast ownership experience a try.
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CES 2022 was marked by innovations in the metaverse, NFTs, crypto, and sustainability. But many of the greatest headlines from CES 2022 were in the arena of automotive news. Here are five stories that stood out from automakers that brought their best and brightest.
Sony’s VISION-S Initiative Becomes Sony Mobility
At CES 2020, Sony announced “VISION-S,” an initiative to bring Sony’s tech know-how into the world of mobility. There was a prototype sedan on display, and it was all the rage among automotive and PlayStation enthusiasts. Sony secretly started public road testing in Europe in December of the same year, and has now shared that they were conducting a number of driver experience tests featuring their cutting-edge vehicle technology platform under development.
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Two years after kindling their own automotive rumors, Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida confirmed the establishment of Sony Mobility at CES 2022. During the announcement, Sony unveiled Vision-S 02, an electric crossover prototype, but offered no specific details about pricing or release dates. With the electric vehicle space getting more and more crowded as legacy OEMs and startups alike unveil their EV plans, Sony must be quite confident that they have something special to bring to the table as they launch Sony Mobility. We’ll be following this one closely.
Chevrolet and Cadillac Introduce Electric Concepts, an electric Silverado and More
Arguably the biggest headline out of CES 2022 was the full unveiling of the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV. With up to 400 miles of range, powerful performance and both luxury and work-oriented trims, the 2024 Silverado EV is positioned to fiercely compete with the F-150 Lightning and Rivian R1T. Who knows, maybe the Tesla CyberTruck will be trickling out of Tesla’s Gigafactory by the time the Silverado EV arrives in customer hands starting in 2023.
Electric vehicles are still expensive. Until prices come down, most consumers won’t be considering going electric for their next purchase. That’s why Chevrolet’s announcement of a $30,000 electric Equinox is a big deal for the whole industry. Coming in 2023, the Equinox EV will be based on GM’s highly-efficient and affordable Ultium platform.
Cadillac is slated to become the first GM brand to go all electric by 2030. The 2023 Cadillac Lyriq will be the first electric Cadillac to arrive at dealerships later this year, and it’s one beautiful luxury crossover. However, it turns out the Cadillac has even more ambitious plans on the table.
At CES, Cadillac introduced the funky and far-out InnerSpace concept. The InnerSpace ‘design experience,’ as Cadillac puts it, is the latest addition to their Halo Concept Portfolio. The InnerSpace is a two-passenger autonomous electric luxury concept vehicle that features nearly 360-degree panoramic views, massive LED displays with integrated augmented reality, and ‘wellness recovery’ features. It sure is something to think about.
Batteries Not Included: EV Startup VinFast Is Entering the US Market
VinFast has been taking the EV scene by storm. Part of their sudden popularity is probably due to the EV stock craze, but some of the attention is because of the different and controversial approach the Vietnamese startup is taking for power supply. VinFast says it will lease batteries to customers rather than including them as standard equipment. They likely took inspiration from Chinese electric automaker Nio’s success with battery swapping, but at least batteries come with their vehicles.
Also at CES 2022, VinFast shared prototypes of their upcoming electric SUVs, the VF-8 and VF-9. VinFast already began deliveries of its first electric SUV in Vietnam last year. It intends to deliver six EVs to international markets by mid-2023.
At CES, the company shared pricing for two models that are nearing production. The midsized VF 8 SUV will start at $41,000. The three-row VF 9 will start at $56,000. However, there’s a big catch. Those prices are without the battery! We’ll see how North American consumers feel about buying an EV without its most essential component.
Stellantis’ Chrysler Airflow Envisions an All-Electric Future for the Automaker
Talk about ambition! In 2022, Chrysler has zero electric vehicles for sale. In fact, it doesn’t intend to sell any EVs until 2025. No big deal, right? What if I told you that by 2028, Chrysler plans to be 100% electric? As crazy as that sounds, that’s exactly the plan that Stellantis shared with us at CES 2022. From the looks of it, they do have a promising EV in the works.
The 2025 Chrysler Airflow is a sleek electric sedan concept that may be closer to production than it seems. The automaker calls it a technology-forward design optimized for efficiency and driver experience. The Airflow integrates leading-edge drive-system technology with intuitive AI and connected vehicle technology that delivers 350- to 400-mile range. They also say it includes the new “STLA SmartCockpit, powered by STLA Brain, that enables an extension of digital, work and home environments, all in sync to create a personalized experience for every passenger.”
Chrysler also says that the Airflow will include STLA AutoDrive, a Level 3 autonomous driving system. That’s a bold claim considering that even the best driver assistance systems today are Level 2, requiring active monitoring at all times. The upcoming Chrysler EVs will also be upgradable via over-the-air (OTA) software updates.
The Mercedes Vision EQXX Is Engineered for Extreme Efficiency
As of 2022, the best long-range EVs on the market offer 400-500 miles of range on a single charge. Notably, the Lucid Air, Tesla Model S and brand-new Mercedes EQS are capable of going the distance. Now, Mercedes-Benz says it is aiming to bring an electric vehicle with more than 620 miles of range to the market by 2024.
The Vision EQXX concept is “more than just a car, it’s a technology program,” according to Mercedes-Benz Chief Technology Officer Markus Schäfer. The next-generation of Mercedes EVs will feature redesigned battery architecture that includes more silicon to increase energy density without making the battery any larger. If you’re in the market for a long-range luxury Mercedes, the German automaker has big plans for taking electric luxury to new heights.
You may have noticed something about the automotive headlines out of CES 2022: the golden era of EVs appears to be upon us. The roaring ‘20s are turning out to be the whirring ‘20s as electric motors make their way into seemingly every new auto. Whether consumers and infrastructure are ready or not, OEM investments in electrification seem unstoppable at this point. What do you think? Are you excited for what’s to come? Or do you see trouble on the horizon? We’ll keep you up to date as the industry transforms like never before.