The 10 Electric Family Cars We Can’t Wait To Drive This Year
We keep saying that better EVs for families are “coming” and it’s been largely true. For years now the list of electric vehicles that are worthy of replacing the family car keep growing. But mark our words — this year, 2024, will be something of a leap. The cars on the release calendar feature innovations that matter for all kinds of buyers, but especially families. There are also more choices with a broad variety of size, features, and price that make it an excellent year for a new car. Here are 10 of the most exciting cars on the market.
Audi Q6 e-tron
Debuts late 2024
Sign us up for a replacement of the Q5 stalwart crossover from Audi with an electric version instead. But this isn’t simply that — it’s a signal of a more advanced EV with more power-dense battery structure, which basically means more range without more weight or the powering system chewing into the cabin’s roominess. Oh, and this new architecture uses fewer rare-earth metals, too, so it’s a more sustainable way to build EVs.
Chevy Equinox EV
Debuts Q1 2024
GM will begin Equinox EV sales with more expensively trimmed versions starting at $48,995. But mid-year they’ll debut the 1LT entry model that starts at $34,995. It has over 300 miles of range, and while GM has yet to offer precise interior space, it should be pretty roomy and competitive with our past Fatherly Car of the Year Winner, The Volkswagen ID.4. Also, it has clever tech, like Google Built-in (i.e., car as smart speaker), and excellent automated safety features, including pedestrian avoidance.
Hyundai Kona Electric
Debuts Q1 2024
Hyundai’s 2024 Kona gets a tad bit bigger, so it’s a somewhat more roomy compact EV, but the big appeal is a sub-$35,000 electric with 261 miles of range and DC fast charging from 10% to 80% in just 43 minutes. It should also fully recharge at home on a Level 2 charger in about six hours. We also love that the Kona will have some Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) capability — not enough to power your entire household, like a Ford Lightning, but enough to keep on some household lights and your fridge cold during a power outage and plenty to juice all your accessories on your next family car camping trip.
Debuts Q2 2024
Volvo was one of the first automakers to pledge going carbon-free and they’re making good on that promise, too, by producing the $35,000 EX30. It’s roughly equivalent in size to the Hyundai Kona, so it’s ideal for a young family with toddlers and strollers and diapers and carseats to juggle, but not so huge to make a chore to park at the grocery or shuttle through traffic. We expect it to be just slightly Volvo upscale inside, too, because few other carmakers have as refined a design ethos as the Swedish carmaker. Volvo’s promising 10% to 80% fast charging in about 27 minutes and a range as high as 275 miles for the rear-wheel drive version. We know it’ll pack typically high-level standard safety features, including driver monitoring, blind spot detection, and front and rear collision prevention tech.
VW ID. Buzz
Debuts Q3 2024
The ID. Buzz and the ID.4 share the same underpinnings, and we’ve had seat time in the European version of this van — that model only has two rather than three rows. What we can say with some confidence is we expect about 275 miles of range, and the same excellent road manners of the Euro-only ID. Buzz. This is an ideal big-family car, with seating for up to seven, and useful features like fold-down trays for second row-seated groms and a really huge cargo bay. Because it sits on a lower, car-based platform, the ID. Buzz has a very low step-in height and high ceiling, making it massive inside, even though it’s a little shorter than VW’s bulky Atlas. That’s because vans are just more space efficient packages than SUVs. We expected prices to start in the mid-$50k range.
Mini Aceman and Countryman EVs
Debuts Q3 2024
Not everyone needs a big SUV as a family car. Also: We like fun cars! Mini is promising they’ll preserve that in their new line of EVs. That begins with the small-crossover Aceman, which shares a platform with BMW’s smaller crossovers and should be relatively affordable, likely starting under $40,000. Then the Countryman EV hits, probably late in 2024 or early in 2025. This will be a bit larger, and more like a traditional crossover. Both will be five-door hatches with funky-cool cabins and upright stances as well as Mini’s signature “go-kart” handling.
Debuts Q1 2024
The Prologue is a kind of kissing cousin of the Chevy Equinox, as it’s built on GM’s Ultium battery tech. Likely by the time you’re reading this Honda will have debuted at least one concept based on its own in-house EV platform called e:Architecture, but those cars won’t arrive until at least 2026 so in the nearer term the Prologue offers five-passenger capacity (about the size of a Passport inside) and it looks pretty good. Pricing is expected at around $50,000, and because it will be built by GM it should qualify for federal tax credits. We expect front- and AWD versions, and up to 300 miles of range. Honda will put its own stamp on tech and interior materials and we anticipate a shift here, where the carmaker uses their first EV to also introduce new infotainment and design features that’ll carry forward as Honda switches to full electrification.
Hyundai Ioniq 7
Debuts Q4 2024 or early 2025
Like the Ioniq 5 that was on our Best Family Cars list for 2023, the Ioniq 7 should continue some of those design cues — at least based on the original concept. That said, Hyundai’s goal is to make an equivalent three-row electric to match sister brand Kia’s EV9. We figure Hyundai has to target current Palisade customers, and given that you’d expect roughly $50-$60,000 pricing and 300 miles of range. No, don’t figure on the suicide doors of the concept, but we would wager that Hyundai knows the success they have with the Ioniq 5 and 6 and want to keep that momentum rolling, so you should see something less conservative than the Palisade, both inside and out.
Debuts Q3 2024
At just shy of $80,000 the EX90 will be eligible for Federal EV tax credits, but let’s face the fact that if you can afford that price then those incentives aren’t make or break for your buying decision. However, perhaps the idea that the EX90 will seat seven passengers and will come with the highest-tier of safety tech from any car in the company’s history may well sway you. Volvo’s the first manufacturer to include an “eyebrow” at the roofline aimed down the road and it’s packed with sensors to more accurately anticipate hazards beyond the car you’re following — which the carmaker says is necessary to reach a kind of predictive state to reduce possible accidents the driver simply cannot detect or avoid quickly enough. In addition, driver monitoring tech builds an AI model around your personal behavior, so it’s more accurately understanding your normal driving state and when you’ve strayed from it. The EX90 will even be able to take over driving and pull the vehicle over if you’re incapacitated.
Debuts Q1 2024
We think the eSprinter is worth a mention here because, primarily, it’s massive and ideal for anyone who’s dreamt of taking their family off the grid for the summer. How massive? An ID.Buzz will be great for the average car camper, but the eSprinter would allow actual life on the road, because at 488 square feet, it has at least three times the maximum cargo capacity of the VW (That’s larger than a lot of studio apartments!) Measured in dollars-per-square foot, the $71,866 eSprinter is a lot less expensive than some three-row EVs we’ve listed here.
It should qualify for the Federal tax rebate, since it’s made in the U.S. This is also a likely lease vehicle since you might only want to live out of a van for a year and then go back to driving a desk, and leases also qualify for Federal rebates, FYI. But…we don’t know the range yet, though the expectation is something like 250 miles.
You’ll need an upfitter to convert yours to a legit mobile home, and fortunately there are fistfuls of companies that already do this for conventional gas vans — and an electric one won’t need an inverter to run that fridge or space heater or LED lighting while you’re parked outside Yellowstone.