Feature article

Best electric cars of 2023 and 2024

There was a record number of new electric vehicles hitting the road in New Zealand last year.

Last updated: 23 January 2024

There was a record number of new electric vehicles hitting the road in New Zealand last year. Kiwis bought some 21,621 EVs, 38 per cent more than they did the previous year, and more than double what was sold in 2021.

Electrics made up 19 per cent of the new cars sold last year in the passenger market, again a solid rise from the previous year. Also on the rise, the number of EV models available, which now stands at 28 electric cars and 34 SUVs. And of those that were released last year, here are some of the best electric cars in NZ.


The MG4 has won many motoring awards around the world, and is one of New Zealand’s best selling electric cars. This is because it drives well and has few serious drawbacks. For an affordable electric family car, it is amongst the sharpest looking out there.

The interior is remarkably simplistic, in a good way, the infotainment system easy to use. There are quite a few hard plastics inside but it’s generally well made. The boot at 350L is adequate, and well shaped.

Read the full review on Autocar here

There is a good variety of models ranging in price from $46,990 to $63,990, with different specification levels and battery sizes to choose from. For the mid spec 64 model, you can expect a range of between 400 and 450km. Performance is decent and the ride and handling package is amongst the best in the ‘affordable’ electric class.

All models come with the MG Pilot driver assist system (adaptive cruise, switchable lane keeping, AEB, and traffic jam assist) and the MG4 has a five-star crash rating so the new electric platform is sound.

Read the full review on Autocar: the MG4 Excite 51 and Xpower models

View listings on Trade Me Motors: MG4 for sale

Kia EV9

The EV9 is one of the few all electric 7 seater SUVs on the NZ market. The electric seven seater starts at $105,990 for the RWD Light while the top AWD GT Line is $134,990.

The RWD model uses a 76kWh battery, Kia stating a WLTP range figure of up to 443km. Its single motor makes 160kW and 350Nm, and that means it takes 8.3sec to hit 100km/h. The AWD models get a bigger 99.8kWh battery, with range quoted as between 492km and 505km, depending on model. With two motors, total output is 282kW and 700Nm. The AWD model can tow up 2500kg braked.

It’s a big machine, 5.1m long, almost 2m wide and 1.8m tall. The ride is decent and it’s quiet on the go. With two motors powering you on, there’s always plenty of torque available, this feels effortless everywhere. Yet always smooth, the tuning of the power delivery refined.

Read the full review on Autocar here

There’s oodles of room in the second row, a flat floor giving the middle passenger ample space for lower limbs, though the squab is firm there. Access to the back row is grand, the middle seats sliding and tilting quickly and smoothly with just a touch of a button. In the rear, the space is good for kids and while adults do okay for headroom, the second row needs to slide forward to give them a semblance of leg room. On boot space, the EV9 has plenty of that too. The third row sinks into the floor easily when not required, the boot being wide and long, although height is somewhat limited.

Need something more luxurious? Read the Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV review on Autocar

View listings on Trade Me Motors: Kia EV9 for sale

BYD Seal

The Seal is the latest model from BYD, a polished package; comfortable, quick and well specified.

There are three Seals to choose from starting at $62,990 for the Dynamic. This gives you a 61kWh battery, up to 460km of range and 150kW and 310Nm. Following the BYD mantra the Dynamic might be the entry level but it is well specified.

There's a step up to the Premium with an 82kWh battery and a driving range of up to 570km. It's rear-wheel drive too but its motor produces 230kW and 360Nm, and it comes in at $72,990. Then there is the $83,990 Performance which has the same battery but the outputs total 390kW and 670Nm thanks to an additional motor up front.

The styling is slick, and the cabin is one of quality. To drive, the Seal is rather refined, a model of smoothness, which adds to the quality feel of the car. The Performance version is quick too, hitting 100km/h in 3.8sec.

The ride quality is always good, the steering easy and the turning circle okay too.

There’s thoroughly good legroom in the rear, comfortable for a pair of adults. The Seal is great value against the likes of the Hyundai and Kia opposition, and undercuts the entry level Model 3 too, and isn’t seen everywhere like the Tesla is.

View listings on Trade Me Motors: BYD Seal for Sale

Audi Q4

Those looking for a premium electric vehicle would be wise to check out the Audi Q4, it being the most affordable way to get a set of electrified rings in your garage.

The line-up includes the regular Q4, with a more traditional SUV bodystyle, and the Sportback with the racier looking roofline. The Q4 starts at $99,990 for the 40 e-tron Advanced while the dual-motor 50 e-tron quattro S line is $126,990. The Sportback in 40 Advanced guise costs $103,990, while the 50 quattro S line at $130,990.

Q4 is Audi’s take on the MEB electric platform from the VW group. Specs for the 50 quattro equate to an output of 220kW and 460Nm enabling the 0-100km/h sprint to be dusted in 6.2sec. They reckon you’ll get up to 493km of travel thanks to its 82kWh (76.6 net) battery. For comparison’s sake, the single-motor RWD 40 model has 150kW/310Nm and a range of up to 522km (0-100km/h 8.5sec), sharing the same battery pack.

At 4.59m long, this is urban friendly and spacious inside. Those in the back get decent leg room and the boot is quoted at 535L, so plenty for the task.

The steering assistance is light at city pace, and while there are multiple modes of motor regen to choose from, this EV is not complex to drive. The dual motor 50 model has plenty of go, delivering the usual instant surge of torque when required. And isn’t too hungry for volts. Energy consumption tracked in the 18kWh/100km range overall, but more sedate urban roaming requires much less, in the 14-15kWh/100km zone.

Most will like the look of this, abest nd it’s a spacious, easy to drive vehicle, with all the conveniences. The battery size and range are ample for most buyers too.

Read the full review on Autocar: Audi Q4

View listings on Trade Me Motors: Audi Q4 for sale


Kyle Cassidy
Kyle Cassidy
Editor NZ Autocar magazine - autocar.co.nz

Kyle has been reviewing cars since starting at NZ Autocar magazine in 2003 and has been editor since 2009. In that time he’s become an expert on what makes for a good vehicle while also gaining insights into the local automotive industry.