Car Buying Tips

Top 5 Best Mainstream EVs to Consider in Canada: 2024

It’s no secret that electric vehicles (EVs) have been gaining interest from Canadians looking for a more efficient way to drive without emitting any fossil fuels. There are plenty of high-end battery-electric luxury cars, trucks, and SUVs priced beyond the government incentive limits or impractical for daily use for a single-car family. But if you’re looking for a practical and affordable EV and don’t know where to start, our panel of more than 20 automotive experts has voted on the best ones to buy in 2024 to help you narrow down your options and kickstart your research. Here are our experts’ top picks for the best mainstream EVs.

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

Following the introductions of its Chevrolet Silverado EV full-size truck and Blazer EV mid-size SUV, the GM brand continues with another battery-electric vehicle debut: the 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV compact SUV.

Although you can still buy a Chevy Equinox with a combustion engine, the battery-electric version shares a dedicated platform with other EVs like the Cadillac Lyriq and the new Honda Prologue. The new Equinox EV is longer and wider than its gasoline-powered namesake but still offers seating for up to five on board.

With a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $48,199* before any available government incentives are applied, the base Equinox EV’s standard battery offers 213 horsepower. In front-wheel drive (FWD) form, it promises 513 kilometres of driving range before needing to be plugged in. An optional powertrain with traction at all four wheels in the form of a second motor attached to the rear axle is available, offering 288 hp and 459 km of range. Add up all of these EV attributes in a vehicle with a spacious cabin, plenty of standard safety tech, and an up-to-the-minute infotainment system, and you can see why our experts recommend the new electric Equinox.

2024 Hyundai Kona Electric

Hyundai is another brand quickly widening its EV lineup. One of its most popular electric models is the Kona small SUV, which was redesigned for 2024.

In addition to its gas-powered versions, Hyundai’s electric subcompact SUV returns with new exterior styling that uses a matrix of pixel lights at the front, similar to Hyundai’s other electric cars, the Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6. With a starting price of $46,399, the 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric is one of the more affordable small electric SUVs.

For 2024, the FWD Kona Electric offers one powertrain. A 201-hp electric motor sends power to the front wheels only. Its 420-km driving range will suit most buyer’s daily driving needs. When you need to charge, Hyundai’s estimated charging time for the battery to go from 10 to 80 per cent capacity with DC fast charging is just over 40 minutes. For hypermilers, the Kona EV’s new i-Pedal feature allows for one-pedal driving, so you can accelerate, decelerate, and even come to a complete stop while only using the accelerator pedal.

The five-passenger Kona is longer overall than the outgoing generation, with a longer wheelbase for more interior room. A new dashboard design combines its central touchscreen infotainment system with built-in navigation, automatic climate control, and heated front seats.

2024 Kia Niro EV

A new generation of Kia Niro arrived just last year. It shares most of its EV hardware with its Hyundai Kona Electric corporate cousin, yet the Kia EV’s lower pricing and unique styling distinguish it enough for our AutoTrader experts to recommend the Niro EV this year. Like the Hyundai, the Niro lineup has multiple powertrain options, but, unlike the Kona, all Niros are electrified either as a mild hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or our expert’s pick, the EV.

As per the Kona Electric, the Niro EV‘s motor sends 201 hp to its front wheels only, which is a generous amount of power for urban driving and keeping up with highway traffic. The small Kia EV also benefits from a regenerative braking system managed via steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters and DC fast charging. At 407 km, the Niro EV’s electric driving range is slightly less than its Hyundai counterpart, but the Kia’s price is also lower, starting at $45,595.

Step inside the 2024 Kia Niro EV, and you’ll find a roomy interior packed with the latest tech features. The dual panoramic screens are evidence of Kia’s commitment to offering advanced technology, even in its lower-priced models. The high-tech look is perfectly balanced with the Niro EV interior’s recycled materials to enhance its sustainability stance. The increased luggage space and passenger room from the previous-generation Niro EV further add to the appeal of this latest generation.

2024 Nissan Leaf

One of the first modern mainstream EVs to arrive in 2010, the Leaf has become well-known with EV buyers. It’s now in its second generation, which debuted in the 2018 model year.

Nissan’s electric hatchback is one of the more affordable new EVs Canadians can buy. The base 2024 Leaf SV starts at $41,748 and gets the standard range battery pack, making a modest 147 hp. For errands around town, school runs, and shorter commutes, the base Leaf has a 240-km range. Moving up to the extended range battery starts at $47,498 in the SV Plus trim. A more potent 214 hp also allows up to 341 km of electric driving range. In addition, the Plus adds a DC fast charger that can recharge the battery up to 80 per cent in 40 minutes or so.

Electric power aside, the Leaf is a practical, five-passenger hatchback with excellent interior space for people and cargo. You may also be surprised that it’s relatively fun to drive. Riding on a dedicated EV platform with the battery on the floor, Nissan has given the FWD Leaf a double treat of a slightly elevated driving position and a low centre of gravity, bringing the benefits of stability and some agility.


2024 Volkswagen ID.4

Now entering its fourth model year, Volkswagen continues to improve the only EV it sells in Canada – the ID.4 – one of the best mainstream EVs our AutoTrader experts think you should consider for 2024.

Focusing on the new-and-improved $52,995 longer-range ID.4 Pro, rear-wheel drive (RWD) versions get 468 km of driving range. The $57,995 all-wheel drive ID.4 Pro gets 423 km. The base, non-Pro ID.4, which starts at $48,495 with RWD, continues with the smaller battery, resulting in no change to its 332-km driving range estimate.

Along with the longer driving ranges, the 2024 ID. 4 Pro trims have also seen a substantial boost in power. The RWD versions have risen from 201 to 282 hp, while the AWD models have gone from 295 to 335 hp.

Inside, the 2024 ID.4 Pro trims have received a much-needed upgrade with a more responsive, updated touchscreen infotainment system. A fixed row of controls, including a home button, has replaced the old touch-sensitive sliders at the bottom of the screen. As before, the VW EV continues to offer ample passenger space for up to five occupants, ensuring a comfortable journey, and the cargo hold – the largest in its class – provides lots of room for storage.

*Manufacturer Suggested Retail Prices and trim availability in Canada as of April 1, 2024.