THERE are two scenarios all drivers play out in their mind when it comes to cars: the car you’d drive if you won the lottery, and more importantly, your next car.  

For many, lottery money dream cars are unattainable – from classic cars such as the 1985 Ferrari Testarossa Monospecchio from Miami Vice (the TV show that defined the MTV generation) - to modern dream cars such as James Bond’s mind-bendingly attractive Aston Martin Valhalla from the forthcoming film No Time to Die. 

But the sad reality is that stunning looks typically sit at the premium-end of the cost spectrum. And that’s a shame, as we all want to turn heads when we’re pulling into our driveways (go on, admit it). 

But there’s a quiet revolution happening. The latest breed of electric cars are now at the very sharpest edge of the design scales, fuelled in part by manufacturer desire to be at the very forefront of electrification.  

If you’re looking for fresh and exciting automotive design, then the electric car sector is the most exciting place to be right now.   

From funky hatchbacks to larger all-electric SUVs, here are our top affordable electric cars that demonstrate how manufacturer design teams have been charged up by the electric revolution. And without a single mention of the word ‘futuristic’. 


1. Hyundai IONIQ 5 

The IONIQ has never been number one in the style stakes. However, that’s definitely not the case with the new IONIQ 5. Hyundai’s design team has opted for clean lines and minimalist structures. Take the unique ‘clamshell hood’, for example, which spans the entire width of the car. Hyundai says this minimises panel gaps for a clean, high-tech look. Ultimately, it’s just a bonnet, but details like this make the IONIQ 5 an undoubtedly impressive car. European pre-orders for the ‘Project 45’ launch edition were three times over-subscribed in the first 24 hours, making the prospect of securing the IONIQ 5 at launch as about the same as netting a PlayStation 5. 


2. Honda e 

This supermini is a perfect example of the ‘less is more’ design philosophy. If Apple was to make an electric car (and the rumours suggest that’s on the cards) then we’re pretty sure this is what it might look like. The Honda e is an example of perfectly balanced design – like the retro feel of the front and rear lights that manage to evoke a contemporary feel with a minimalist aesthetic that feels utterly contemporary. Surprisingly for production cars, it’s very close to the concept version and arguably better looking. And no wonder. According to lead designer Kohei Hitomi, they started with the production car and then later created the concept.  


3. Cupra Born 

Announced as the ‘El Born’ and originally intended to launch under the SEAT brand, this gorgeous all-electric hot hatch will wear SEAT’s new sporting brand badge Cupra when it launches later this year. Built on the same underpinnings as the Volkswagen ID.3, the Born manages to look significantly more exciting with a compact silhouette and angular lines, featuring wheels which are pushed out to the edges of the vehicle’s frame to give the Born an unashamedly sporty stance. The Born is Cupra’s first all-electric car and it’s no surprise that this Iberian stunner has us drooling. Pass the bib, please. 


4. Skoda Enyaq 

If only the buying public would just get over themselves when it comes to the Skoda brand. If Skoda sported a different badge, drivers would be falling over themselves to drive any number of models from the brand’s current line-up. But perceptions could be about to change with the rather tasty looking Enyaq. Carrying over Skoda’s angular design language, the Enyaq adds some flourish with an array of eye-pleasing details, such as the ‘crystal grille’ option that features an array of illuminated LED bars. Skoda says the exterior design is “emotive, powerful and dynamic”. We think it’s brilliantly eye-catching. 


5. Nissan Ariya 

Nissan is no stranger to taking risks when it comes to design. The Juke and the all-electric LEAF are perfect examples of the brand’s bold take on quirky looks. However, both cars are a bit Marmite in terms of looks – you either love ‘em or you hate ‘em. Due in late 2021, the all-electric Ariya pulls off the nifty trick of offering edgy design while still looking refined enough to avoid polarising opinion. Another model that’s managed to stay relatively close to its concept roots, the Ariya’s sleek, sloping roofline, beautifully sculpted scoops and edges, high haunches and bold front styling deftly rides the line between subtle and bold. No easy task, but the result was well worth the effort. 


6. Vauxhall Mokka E 

The old Mokka was a decent car, if a little ‘meh’. But the second-generation Mokka changes all that. With a bold, modern, sculpted design, the Mokka E features Vauxhall’s futuristic ‘Vizor’ front-end which Vauxhall is billing as the future face of its all forthcoming models. The Mokka E’s clean, angular, and attractive styling gives it a real sense of poise and purpose.  As is standard for SUVs, there’s a higher roofline, yet the styling suggests a stance that’s lower and wider than it actually is. It certainly stands apart from rivals such as the Kia e-Niro and Hyundai Kona. In fact, it’s not a million miles away from the Volvo XC40. Volvo good looks in a Vauxhall? We’ll have some of that please! 


7. Peugeot e-208 

The e-208 stands head and shoulders above direct rivals such as the Corsa E and Renault Zoe which look mundane by comparison. With aggressive styling at the front - featuring Peugeot’s signature Lion’s claw headlights, fang-shaped running lights and colour-matched grille - to the shapely light cluster that extends across the width of the rear, it’s just an all-round stunning package. Peugeot initially envisaged the e-208 making up 10% of all 208 sales, but its good looks resulted in the car netting over a quarter of all pre-orders and going on to bag ‘What Car? Electric Car of the Year’ and ‘European Car of the Year’ plaudits. The 208 has also heralded a larger brand transformation as Peugeot has updated its logo with a much-improved shield design which harkens back to Peugeot’s rather natty sixties look. 

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