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Electric cars are not the same as they were only a few years ago with much higher initial costs it was difficult to see the advantages over an ICE alternative. Thankfully over the past few years, the tables have turned.

Fast forward a few years and every category of cars have strong electric models. Petrol models just don’t stack up against their electric alternatives now either with running costs and resale value. This makes electric cars a very attractive option for anyone looking for a reliable family car that is also incredibly cost-effective. But which are best suited to the trials of busy family life? Let's find out with our top five picks for family life.

<p>Volkswagen ID.3</p>

Volkswagen ID.3

#1 - Volkswagen ID.3

As the first car released as part of Volkswagen’s intelligent design collection, the ID.3 did not disappoint. Each part of the ID.3 has been specifically designed to impress. Unlike many other electric cars, the ID.3 was designed to be only an electric car. No conversion from a petrol variant.

Without a doubt, this hatchback brings class-leading function, style, and innovation. There are two variants to choose from; that differ by battery capacity with 58kWh and 77kWh variations. This means depending on your choice you will have a range of 260 or 336 miles. More than enough for the daily school run, shopping and the odd weekend away.

Safety is always going to be a core point of any family car and this VW doesn’t disappoint. It achieved the full five stars from the Euro NCAP crash test. This should offer peace of mind in your new car.

Full Volkswagen ID.3 review

<p>Nissan Leaf</p>

Nissan Leaf

#2 - Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf was one of the first EVs on British roads and has kept pace with modern electric cars with its refresh in 2018. This has ensured that the Leaf remains a very attractive option for a family EV.

There are several factors that make the Leaf a great family car. From the 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system to the broad array of driver safety assistance systems to keep you safe. This is also reflected in Euro NCAP’s rating with the Leaf achieving the full five stars.

Euro NCAP is not alone with their opinion of this hatchback with over a dozen awards to its name.

Don’t think it's just for those who travel short distances. While it was designed as a city car the Leaf can still perform well on motorways. A generous range of 168-miles WLTP makes it perfect for more than just the school run or a trip to the shops.

Full Nissan Leaf review

<p>Volvo XC40</p>

Volvo XC40

#3 - Volvo XC40 Recharge

Next up we have the Volvo XC40 Recharge for those looking for something a little more robust. This SUV is one of the highest spec on the market today. Carefully crafted to rival petrol variations, the XC40 puts standard SUVs on notice.

You may wonder how such a large electric-powered vehicle can keep up with ICE alternatives. However, this SUV is bursting with power. Flying from 0-60mph in a meer 4.7 seconds the XC40 will be at home on motorways.

As you’d expect with a car of this size storage space is not a concern. It boasts 413 litres of boot space and an extra 31-litres thanks to the ‘frunk’ under the bonnet.

You’ll easily fit five adults into the car. It also features Isofix compatibility in the rear seats along with an impressive array of airbags. It's no wonder the XC40 achieved the full five stars from the Euro NCAP.

<p>Volkswagen e-Golf</p>

Volkswagen e-Golf

#4 - Volkswagen e-Golf

The Volkswagen e-Golf pairs the iconic visual appeal of the Golf with modern electric innovation. With a generous range of 186-miles and rapid charging from 10 to 80% in under 40 minutes, this hatchback is a serious option for anyone looking for a reliable car.

A key benefit of the e-Golf is how economical it is to run. Costing around a third of the price of the petrol/diesel variants makes it worth the higher initial purchase cost.

It also benefits from a spacious interior and more boot space than you’d expect with 341-litres. More than enough for most adventures.

Full Volkswagen e-Golf review

<p>Renault Zoe</p>

Renault Zoe

#5 Renault Zoe

The Renault Zoe brings over seven years of experience honing the perfect EV for city dwellers. This has resulted in one of the most well-known EVs on the market today. Offering a smooth responsive driving experience it's no surprise the Zoe is so popular.

This hatchback combines a sleek modern exterior with a practical and simple interior packed with experience-enhancing features. The latest Zoe includes a 10-inch infotainment screen and seatbelt reminders and speed assist technology.

Storage space is also quite generous with a 338-litre capacity. A clear 10% more than you will get from the Renault Clio. This is thanks to the battery being positioned under the seat.

This hatchback also achieved the full five stars on the Euro NCAP putting the safety of your family first.

Full Renault Zoe review