One third of American drivers are seriously considering going electric as generous tax credits, fuel savings and reduced emissions lure the masses towards EVs. My own household made the switch in early 2022, and we’re never going back to ICE. However, going electric is not as simple as perusing dealer lots. As with any emerging technology, there’s a very wide range of prices, capabilities and reliability ratings in today’s electric car market. And then there’s the challenge of availability. In hopes of adding clarity to the current EV market, the team at CarEdge has created this resource to share what we think are the BEST electric cars, trucks and SUVs in 2023. We’ve also shared what we think are the worst.
Have a bone to pick with our lists? Let us know in the comments, or better yet, join us at the internet’s fastest-growing EV forum, the CarEdge Community.
The Best Electric Cars in 2023
These models are stand-outs for their value. Range, charging speed and available features are given priority over performance in our analysis.
2023 Tesla Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive
Range: 272 miles
Fast charging (adding 200 miles in 20-30 minutes)
Why it’s great: The Tesla Supercharger network makes cross country travel hassle-free. Tesla charges are very reliable, and with 1,500 locations in all 50 states, finding one is rarely an issue.
Plus, the price you see on Tesla’s online configurator is the price you pay (before taxes and required fees, of course). While legacy automakers continue to struggle with out-of-control dealer markups, Tesla and other direct-to-consumer EV makers have the upperhand on pricing.
Why it’s great: The Model Y is the larger, more family-oriented version of the Model 3. Last year, the Model Y overtook the 3 as the best-selling EV in America. Although it is the most expensive model on this list, if you can afford it, the ease of public charging, great range, spacious interior and exhilarating performance all make this the sweet spot for many buyers. Plus, there are no dealer markups.
But wait, there’s more. Both the Model Y and Model 3 are available for delivery soon after placing an order. Tesla wait times are between one and three months as of late 2022. That’s about as good as it gets in today’s EV market.
Should you ever decide to sell, both of these Teslas have amazing resale value.
Fast charging: Add 200 miles of range in 20 minutes
Why it’s great: The 2023 IONIQ 5, Kia EV6, and Genesis GV60 are the first models powered by Hyundai Motor Group’s Electric Global Modular Platform. This is next-gen 800-Volt architecture at (relatively) affordable prices, and that’s awesome.
Plus, the IONIQ 5 is spacious, and looks really cool. Sadly, Hyundai has had a very difficult time scaling up production due to supply chain constraints, so expect to either wait for at least six months, or battle outrageous dealer markups to get your hands on a rare allocation.
Fast charging: Add 200 miles of range in 20 minutes
Why it’s great: Kia’s version of the IONIQ 5 looks completely different, with very similar specs. That’s because both models share the e-GMP platform with great range and even better charging.
The 2023 EV6 has slightly more availability than the IONIQ 5 right now. For the 2023 model year, Kia decided to drop the “Light” base model, kicking the entry-level price all the way up to nearly $50,000.
As always, I recommend everyone take a test drive before dismissing EVs. They’re quiet, efficient and fun. The EV6 would be a great one to take for a spin.
Fast charging: Add 190 miles of range in 28 minutes
Why it’s great: The VW ID.4 is now made in America at Volswagen’s Chattanooga, Tennessee factory. That means it will qualify for the revised EV tax credit (up to $7,500), as long as your VIN confirms that it is an American-made ID.4. I was impressed during my test drive of the ID.4. It rides like a luxury crossover, and has plenty of acceleration when you need it. However, it’s definitely the least sporty of this bunch, but it’s also the least expensive.
Now made in America, there is also a new cheaper option starting at $37,495. However, with public charging infrastructure slow to build out, the expected 208 miles of range is not enough for us to confidently recommend it to anyone but those who expect to stick around urban areas 95% of the time. The ID.4 Pro, on the other hand, is exceptional value with the EV tax credit.
Price: $90,000-120,000 (before markups of up to $100,000)
Range: 329 miles
Why it’s horrible: Where do we start? The Hummer EV costs $100 to charge (because it has a MASSIVE 212 kilowatt-hour battery pack), weighs 9000 pounds (that’s 2x the weight of the typical F-150), and is horrible for the environment. If you’re looking to go green with your EV purchase, this isn’t it. It’s also very expensive, but that’s less surprising these days.
At auction, we’ve seen many Hummer EVs selling for over $200,000. No thanks.
2023 Mazda MX30
Range: 100 miles
Why it’s horrible: If you’re considering the Mazda MX-30, send me an email at justin@CarEdge.com. I’d like to talk you out of it. I have nothing against Mazda as a brand (they make some awesome cars), but I am very against anyone buying an electric car with just 100 miles of range in 2022. Sure, maybe it’s just for around town. Have you thought about resale value? With barely 100 miles on a charge and slow charge times of around one hour, I’m afraid Mazda’s first EV won’t be worth its scrap metal value in a decade.
Other options to consider at this price point? The Nissan LEAF, base Volkswagen ID.4, Chevrolet Bolt, and soon-to-come Chevrolet Equinox EV are all far more capable for under $40,000.
2023 MINI Hardtop
Range: 110 miles
Why it’s horrible: I sure hope CarEdge’s own Ray Shefska forgives me for bashing the electric MINI, but with 110 miles of range and slow charging, I don’t see a single reason why anyone should consider this EV. It’s one of the last ‘compliance cars’ in the EV market.
2024 Cadillac Celesiq
Price: $300,000+ (yes, count those zeroes)
Range: 300+ miles
Why it’s horrible: Would you pay Rolls Royce money for a Cadillacl? GM seems to think you would. I’m all for going all-out on EV design and innovation, but when Cadillacs cost more than houses, I can’t help but shutter. But hey, it will be hand-built.
If you’re in the market for an affordable electric vehicle, you’ve likely already arrived at the realization that ‘affordable’ doesn’t mean cheap in 2022. In fact, our own CarEdge list of the best affordable electric cars features one car (the Tesla Model 3) that now starts just shy of $50,000. Are there any truly cheap electric cars available today? You may be surprised with what we found.
2022 Nissan LEAF
After earlier rumors suggested that the Nissan LEAF was to be discontinued, a Nissan executive recently stated that the LEAF is here to stay. That’s GREAT news for EV affordability.
We must point out that General Motors decided to slash the price of the LEAF’s competitor, the Chevy Bolt, to steal the title of ‘cheapest EV in America.’ More on that below.
Price: Starting at $27,400
Range: 150 to 226 miles, depending on battery size
Charging Speed: Either 50 kW or 100 kW speeds, depending on battery
Tesla is the face of electric cars today, but for years it was the Nissan Leaf at center stage. When Nissan brought the Leaf to market in 2010, it was a short-ranged novelty that somehow began to catch on. With just 73 miles of range on a good day, the first iteration of the Leaf was a bug-eyed appliance good for around town, but not much else.
Over a decade later, and the 2022 Nissan Leaf is a lot better than the first. However, it’s still a budget vehicle, and you get what you pay for. Still, it’s a great entry point into EVs for many. The Leaf now has enough range to make regional travel realistic, but charging speeds have unfortunately remained too slow to make it easy. If you’re eager to get into an electric car for under $30,000, you’ll surely want to check out the 2022 Nissan Leaf.
2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV – The Cheapest Electric Car
Price: Starting at $26,595
Range: 259 miles
Charging Speed: 55 kW speeds (adds 100 miles in 30 minutes of charging)
Tax Credit: The Bolt no longer qualifies for the federal EV tax credit, but state incentives may apply
The 2023 Chevy Bolt is the cheapest electric car today. It is available at dealers nationwide, as long as the mandatory recall fixes have been completed. See who has inventory at CarEdge Car Search: Chevrolet Bolt and Bolt EUV
General Motors has sold over 100,000 Chevrolet Bolt EVs since launching the subcompact crossover in 2016. In 2021, the Bolt gained a new sibling: the larger Bolt EUV. Shortly after the Bolt EUV joined the show, several Bolt battery fires spurred a very urgent recall into action. When all was said and done, battery supplier LG Chem was found to be responsible for the Bolt battery fires, and agreed to pay General Motors $2 billion in damages.
Fast forward to 2022, and most Chevrolet Bolt’s (all for sale) have received new battery packs. The Bolt is a GREAT deal now that it’s fixed. If you’re never in a rush on road trips (or just plan to use the car around town), the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt is worth a look. It charges painfully slow, but hey, it is the cheapest electric car today.
If you check out used Bolts, request official documentation showing that all recall work was completed. The Bolt will be eligible for the new EV tax credit here in the United States, but only after 1/1/2023. See our full guide to EV tax credits for more info.
2022 Hyundai Kona EV
Price: Starting at $34,000
Range: 258 miles
Charging Speed: 100 kW speeds (180 miles added in 47 minutes)
The 2022 Hyundai Kona EV is no Tesla, but it has decent range and room to fit most lifestyles. Plus, it’s really cheap AND still qualifies for the $7,500 federal tax credit.
For just $34,000 before incentives, you can become the owner of the original Hyundai EV. This front-wheel drive subcompact crossover gets 258 miles on the charge, exceptional range for a budget EV. Some owners get over 275 miles on a single charge. The Limited trim, top-of-the-line option comes in at $42,500.
If you plug in at home, charging to 100% from a 240-volt dryer outlet will only take you about 9 hours from 10% state of charge. That will get you a full battery overnight while you’re sleeping. At a fast charger, the Kona is behind the competition. In 47 minutes, the Kona Electric charges from 10% to 80% capacity.
The all-new Hyundai IONIQ 5 has stolen the show with more range, MUCH faster charging, and retro looks, but it starts closer to $45,000 with destination and availability is very limited. For those who are willing to give up a few luxuries, the Hyundai Kona EV is a solid choice.
2022 Kia Niro EV
Price: Starting at $39,990
Range: 239 miles
Charging Speed: 100 kW at a DC fast charger (adds 100 miles of range in about 30 minutes)
The Kia Niro electric version is the sibling to the aforementioned Hyundai Kona EV. Both source their power from a 64 kilowatt-hour battery, which is a tad smaller than more expensive electric cars. The Niro EV can charge at up to 100 kilowatt speeds at a fast charger. At least that’s better than the Nissan LEAF and Chevy Bolt.
The Niro EV’s back seat is slightly more spacious than the Kona’s, so it’s more popular with families and those with large pets. There’s also a plug-in hybrid version. For just a few thousand dollars more, keep in mind that you could check out the base trims of the newer Kia EV6, Hyundai IONIQ 5 and Volkswagen ID.4.
2022 Mini Cooper SE Hardtop Electric
Range: 114 miles
Charging Speed: 50 kW speeds (about 90 miles of range in 36 minutes)
For just over $30,000, you can own an electric Mini. It’s practically a luxury golf cart! Jokes aside, it’s not a bad deal IF you don’t plan to go very far. With 114 miles of EPA-rated range, it’s a zippy way to scoot around town.
Why didn’t I include Mazda’s first fully-electric vehicle on this list? It’s a brand-new model, yet it only gets 100 miles of range on a charge. That, and the fact that it is only sold in California as a regulatory compliance vehicle for now. Come on, Mazda! That’s not enough range to safely make it across Los Angeles!
An electric car under $35,000? Sounds like science fiction, but as you can see, a few can be had for what used to be considered average car prices. Most of these cheap electric cars don’t have the best range, the fastest charging or the need for speed, but they won’t drain the bank like a Tesla will. Let me know which cheap EVs you’re checking out in 2022.
Some parting advice: consider all options, and test drive as many electric vehicles as you can. You’ll be amazed at what’s out there, and even more amazed at what’s to come.
Every year, Consumer Reports sends dozens of car models through half a million miles of track testing and data collection. The non-profit organization buys all of its test cars anonymously from dealers and does not accept free samples from automakers. The Consumer Reports testing regimen includes more than 50 scientific tests on every vehicle it evaluates.
The respected organization combines their findings with survey data from their 6 million subscribers to publish their annual Consumer Reports brand rankings. The pinnacle of the Consumer Reports’ annual rankings is the overall scores tallied for each brand.
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In 2022, Consumer Reports scored 32 automotive brands based on their overall scores in reliability, consumer satisfaction, road testing and safety. This year’s rankings bring surprising changes and a new leader.
Subaru Overtakes Mazda as the Top-Ranked Auto Brand
Subaru climbed two spots to number one in the 2022 Consumer Reports brand rankings. The Japanese automaker known for standard all-wheel drive dethroned Mazda with an overall score of 81. The 2022 Subaru Forester has ranked among Consumer Reports’ top picks for the 9th consecutive year. Fascinatingly, six of the top 10 brands in 2022 are Japanese automakers: Subaru, Mazda, Honda, Lexus, Toyota and Infiniti.
The highest ranking American automakers in 2022 are Buick (72), Chrysler (71), and Dodge (67). Cadillac and Ford just barely passed the test, scoring 63 and 62 overall. Chrysler and Dodge have been known for reliability issues in the past, so it’s great to see them improving. Likewise, BMW’s luxury vehicles have long been known for their maintenance expenses, so to achieve #3 overall is a notable feat.
As more automakers make advanced safety features standard on their models, the weight of Consumer Reports’ safety scoring is separating the winners from the losers.
The Best Car Brands in 2022
With Subaru now number one overall, Mazda falls to second place, followed by BMW, Honda, Lexus, Audi, Porsche, Mini, Toyota, and Infiniti. Here are the overall brand scores from Consumer Reports.
Tesla Slips With Polarizing Steering Wheel
Tesla fell seven spots to #23 in Consumer Reports’ overall brand rankings. In a press release, Consumer Reports cited the so-called ‘yoke’ steering wheel in the refreshed Tesla Model X and Model S as causes for concern and consumer dissatisfaction. Jake Fisher of Consumer Reports told Automotive News that Tesla’s tendency to push the limits is partly to blame. “It dropped more than any other automaker, kind of due to their own decisions,” he said.
Consumer Reports Green Choice Awards Remain Hybrid-Focused
Everyone’s talking EVs, however Toyota’s hybrid powertrains remain the top-rated low-emissions choice at Consumer Reports. As part of their focus on low-emissions transportation, CR included the Green Choice designation for the second year. Toyota (9th overall) leads the Green Choice awards with 11 hybrid and plug-in hybrid models on the list.
What’s particularly interesting about this is the fact that Toyota has yet to release a single fully-electric vehicle. Their first, the 2023 Toyota bZ4X, is due to arrive later this year.
You can access the detailed 2022 Consumer Reports brand rankings with a membership to the non-profit.