The safest electric cars

Fancy a car that's good for the environment and good for you in a crash? Here are some of the safest electric cars tested by Euro NCAP

Sam Naylor
Jul 27, 2022

The world is changing fast, and part of that is the shift to electric cars. The most modern electric vehicles (EVs) are capable of working as your everyday car and have enough range to take you to work and back all week without needing to be charged constantly, plus they’re great to drive and really quiet.

This means that more and more people are choosing electric cars as family transport. For peace of mind with your family onboard, meanwhile, you'll want to choose a safe model - and you’ve come to the right place, as we’ve picked out eight of the safest EVs you can get.

The cars below aren't just the safest electric cars, but also some of the best. We’ll go into more detail on each model below to help you decide which is best for you, but it’s safe to say there isn’t a bad choice on this list, which also includes smaller and larger cars, so there’s something for everyone.

We can tell which are the safest cars thanks to an organisation called Euro NCAP. Experts there work hard to test new cars as they come out, putting them through rigorous crash tests from multiple angles and rating them on how much protection they offer in an impact, along with how much assistance they provide to the driver via electronic aids.

Euro NCAP has four categories: adult protection, child protection, pedestrian protection and safety assist. The first two measure how safe a car is for the occupants inside in a crash, pedestrian protection measures the impact of hitting a person in the road and the final section is all about how much safety kit comes as standard to help prevent a crash in the first place.

Once all the tests are complete a star rating out of five is applied to each car. Not all the scores are directly comparable as the test changes year to year. Read on to find out more about the safest electric cars on sale.

1. Volkswagen ID.4

Safest electric car for families

Adult protection 93% Child protection 89% Pedestrian protection 76% Safety assist 85%
Used deals from £43,791
Monthly finance from £719*

The Volkswagen ID.4 is one of the newest electric cars around and that means it’s right up to date with the latest safety kit - it scored highly for that and did well in the adult and child categories in its Euro NCAP test.

With a range of around 300 miles on a single charge when fitted with the 77kWh battery, the ID.4 is part of a new generation of EVs that offers proper everyday usability as well as long-distance driving capability. It can be charged up rapidly at public car chargers so even long trips on the motorway are possible, though most owners who can charge overnight at home are likely to do that.

The ID.4 is also roomy, practical and has a pleasant interior with lots of modern touches. There’s room for adults in the back seats and it’s comfortable to drive. It’s a great all-round family car and is packed with tech including a useful touchscreen media system with sat-nav, smartphone connectivity and online services.

VOLKSWAGEN ID.4 BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Skoda Enyaq iV

Safest electric car for adventures

Adult protection 94% Child protection 89% Pedestrian protection 71% Safety assist 82%
Used deals from £39,900
Monthly finance from £617*

The Skoda Enyaq iV has Euro NCAP scores that are very close to those of the VW ID.4 above, and that’s because these cars are very closely related under the skin. They share the same mechanical parts including the electric motors and batteries, so it’s understandable that these siblings do similarly well in crash tests.

The Enyaq iV also has a range of around 300 miles with the largest battery pack, and it’s just as good a family car as the ID.4. We reckon it makes more sense for people who love to go on adventures as a family, since there’s more space inside. It’s not by a huge amount but the Skoda will be more accommodating for bikes or sports equipment.

It’s really comfortable and good to drive, plus the electric motor means it’s ultra-quiet in traffic and quick off the line when you press the accelerator. The interior is more interesting to look at than the Volkswagen’s, though it has pretty much all the same kit inside including sat-nav and a digital display in place of traditional dials.

READ MORE ABOUT THE SKODA ENYAQ

3. Polestar 2

Safest electric car for luxury

Adult protection 93% Child protection 89% Pedestrian protection 80% Safety assist 86%
Used deals Limited stock

The Polestar 2 is a car you might not have heard of before now, because the brand is really new. The 2 is its first electric car (the 1 was a plug-in hybrid and very expensive) but it’s not starting from scratch, as Polestar shares technology with Volvo.

Volvo is known for being a very safe brand overall and that translates into the Polestar range as well. High scores in every category mean that the Polestar 2 is one of the safest cars around, let alone electric cars - in particular, it scored well for adult protection and safety assist.

The Polestar 2 is really comfortable and luxurious, though it has plenty of room for the family too. It has a high-quality interior, a comfortable driving experience, loads of modern tech (including an Android-based media system) and lots of performance from its punchy electric motor.

4. Volkswagen ID.3

Safest electric car for commuting

Adult protection 87% Child protection 89% Pedestrian protection 71% Safety assist 88%
Used deals from £33,499
Monthly finance from £556*

The Volkswagen ID.3 is closely related to the ID.4 - in fact you could say it’s like a smaller hatchback version of the ID.4 SUV. They use the same mechanical parts and batteries, plus the safety kit they offer is very similar as well, resulting in a high safety score for both cars, especially in the safety assist category.

The ID.3 is our pick if you want a car to commute to work in most of the time, that still has lots of room for the family at the weekend. The ID.4 is roomier, but the ID.3 is more enjoyable to drive because it’s a bit smaller and easier to manoeuvre in city traffic.

Its long range of roughly 300 miles with the largest battery pack means longer trips are very much possible, especially thanks to rapid charging at public charge points. It has strong performance, quiet running and lots of onboard tech. The interior is a little plain but it looks modern and is pleasant to spend time in.

VOLKSWAGEN ID.3 BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Honda e

Safest electric car for cities

Adult protection 76% Child protection 82% Pedestrian protection 62% Safety assist 65%
Used deals from £27,500
Monthly finance from £481*

The Honda e grabs a spot on this list because it’s a small city car with a strong record for child safety. It’s not the safest car on this list in overall terms, but small cars are usually not rated as highly as larger models overall. We wanted to include it because if you need a small electric city car, the Honda e is the safest choice.

It’s a little expensive, and a range of about 130 miles per charge isn’t very useful for long trips but the Honda e’s high-quality interior, enjoyable driving experience, high-tech equipment and comfortable, quiet running mean it’s a great little car. It’s easy to park and looks very stylish.

The Honda e isn’t the roomiest choice and the back seats are quite tight, but if you’re just looking for a car to commute to work in with very low running costs, this could be a good option. Your other choice might be the Mazda MX-30 below, though that car is a bit bigger.

READ MORE ABOUT THE HONDA E

6. Mazda MX-30

Safest electric car for short trips

Adult protection 91% Child protection 87% Pedestrian protection 68% Safety assist 73%
Used deals from £23,250
Monthly finance from £327*

The Mazda MX-30 is the Japanese brand’s first electric car and it’s great in many ways, but flawed in some others. Safety is one of the car’s strongest points, though - it scored really well in its Euro NCAP crash tests, and comes with lots of standard safety kit.

The MX-30 has a short range of only 150 miles on a single charge, so it’s a little expensive, but like the Honda e above, it makes up for that with a fantastic interior full of high-quality materials and an interesting design, and a brilliant driving experience, as it’s both comfortable and fun to drive.

Add in the smart looks and quirky appeal - it has rear-hinged back doors, which might be fun or frustrating depending on your viewpoint - and you have a really appealing, if slightly flawed, small electric car. It’s quite big and could be roomier inside, but the MX-30 stands out from the crowd.

MAZDA MX-30 BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Tesla Model 3

Safest electric car for long trips

Adult protection 96% Child protection 86% Pedestrian protection 74% Safety assist 94%
Used deals from £38,980
Monthly finance from £600*

The current Tesla range was tested under older Euro NCAP criteria, but when it was tested the Model 3 was one of the safest cars on sale - so it’s still a very safe car now. Impressive scores in the adult protection and safety assist categories were its strong point, but it was a top scorer in the other categories as well.

The Model 3 is a brilliant all-round car, with an impressive range making it suitable for long trips - with the Tesla charging network meaning that you can charge up easily at motorway service stations and many other locations - a roomy interior, loads of technology and astounding performance.

Even the basic versions are incredibly fast in a straight line and the tuned-up top-spec Performance model will outperform supercars and is fun to drive as well. The Model 3 suffers slightly from build quality issues but it’s still one of the best electric cars you can buy as well as one of the safest.

8. Tesla Model X

Safest electric car for large families

Adult protection 98% Child protection 81% Pedestrian protection 72% Safety assist 94%
Used deals from £55,200
Monthly finance from £823*

If the Tesla Model 3 is too small for you, consider the Model X. It’s a huge, massively spacious seven-seater SUV and it scored an incredible 98% in its adult protection category. Safety assist was another highly-scored category for the Model X and it’s an incredibly safe car overall.

It might not be the easiest to drive - it was designed in the US and that’s clear when you try to drive on a narrow UK high street, as it’s rather big and some parking spaces are simply too tight. Rear passengers won’t have trouble, though, thanks to the dramatic upwards-opening rear doors.

The Model X is huge and heavy but the powerful motors mean that it’s an incredibly quick car, just like all the models in the Tesla range. The interior is modern, minimalist and roomy, plus there’s loads of technology housed in the huge touchscreen media system on the dashboard.

TESLA MODEL X BUYERS' GUIDE

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.

 

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