One Carmaker Dominates This List of Best Used Electric Vehicles
Updated on Jun 1, 2022 · 4 min read
We consulted a list of the top used electric cars to see who’s killing it in the eco-friendly game. The list does not include SUVs, pickup trucks, hybrids or plug-in models.
Overall, the Tesla Model S was voted the best used electric car, with the Tesla Model 3 trailing close behind as the runner-up. And, the Tesla Model X was voted the best electric SUV. If the dream of owning a Tesla was out of your price range, a moderately priced used version may be your chance to own one.
The Tesla Model S
iSeeCars’ scores are out of 10, and the Model S received an overall rating of 8.8, a 9.4 rating for reliability, and an 8.3 score for value retention. New, this slick EV’s price tag starts just under $100,000 but used can be found as low as $57,989.
The electric sedan is considered the flagship in the Tesla line. It’s roomy, offers powerful performance, and is a visual knockout. Over-the-air updates are super convenient, and of course, their famous Autopilot and Full Self-Driving will be at your fingertips.
Its EPA is estimated to be up to 402 miles. Even though the Model S was the automaker’s second car, it's the one that made the biggest splash in the international market. There’s also a bit of an exclusive club for Tesla owners, and you’d be able to join the Tesla “religion.”
Unfortunately, none of the trims offer a spare tire, Android Audio or Apple CarPlay. And for a luxury car, there are few luxury features. According to iSeeCars, “New versions of the Model S focus on hyper-performance and novel interior touches like a yoke-style steering wheel and no wiper controls other than via the touch-screen.”
The Tesla Model 3
MORE: Is a Tesla Worth It?
The Tesla Model 3 received an overall score of 8.7, with less reliability at 7.2 and more value retention at 9.0. This model is the highest-selling EV in the U.S. market by a longshot. The compact sedan is a thrill to drive and features impressive technology.
All-wheel-drive is available in this model, as well as excellent range—up to 353 miles. Like the Model S, there’s no Android Audio or Apple CarPlay and you won’t find an option for a spare tire.
Another common critique is that the interior design materials don’t match the premium pricing. For an electric vehicle in the $50,000 range, some buyers may be disappointed with the inability to choose leather seating surfaces. According to iSeeCars, “There is no head-up display available and no driver information display offered directly ahead of the driver.”
That being said, this model has been known as one of the more attainable Tesla options. The asking price for this used American car starts at around $41,000.
Other highly ranked used electric vehicles
The four-door hatchback Nissan Leaf came in third, with an 8.1 overall score. Given its small size, the car offers an incredible amount of space inside. It’s easy to find nationwide, and the service support from Nissan is widespread and superb.
While older models have limited range, the most recent trims offer up to 226 miles. However, the brand new Leaf includes Nissan ProPilot Assist driver-assist technology, one-pedal driving (e-pedal), and Safety Shield 360 active safety suite. Owners will also be able to get the coveted $7,500 federal income tax incentive.
Coming in at 8.0 is the compact Chevrolet Bolt EV. The hatchback is an IIHS Top Safety Pick and widely available new and used.
The Chevy bolt is fun to drive and performs well on short or long trips. However, it's only available in front-wheel-drive and seat comfort could definitely be improved. Also, through the 2020 model year, common driver-assist technology does not come standard.
You can get the used Hyundai Ioniq Electric for as low as $17,554 with a range of 170 miles. Other finalists include the BMW i3, the MINI Hardtop 2 Door, the Smart EQ Fortwo, the Porsche Taycan, and the Honda Clarity Electric.