Electric vehicles

Mainstream electric cars are either battery- or hydrogen-powered, offering a driving range of anywhere from about 60 miles to 200-plus. They tend to be small but practical cars, many with hatchback bodies.
2020 Tesla Model 3
1
Top Rated vehicle
Introduced in 2017

Tesla Model 3

MSRP
$37,990 - $54,990
Edmunds Rating
8.4 out of 10
kWh / 100 mi.
30
2020 Kia Niro EV
2
Introduced in 2019

Kia Niro EV

MSRP
$39,090 - $44,590
Edmunds Rating
8.3 out of 10
kWh / 100 mi.
30
2021 Volkswagen ID.4
3
Introduced in 2021

Volkswagen ID.4

MSRP
$39,995 - $48,175
Edmunds Rating
8.2 out of 10
kWh / 100 mi.
35


Luxury electric cars

Luxury electric cars tend to cost a lot more than mainstream models, but you get a lot more, too, typically including sports-car acceleration and the latest interior tech.
1
Introduced in 2020

Porsche Taycan 4S

MSRP
$79,900 - $185,000
Edmunds Rating
8.2 out of 10
kWh / 100 mi.
42
2
Introduced in 2017

Tesla Model 3 Performance

MSRP
$37,990 - $54,990
Edmunds Rating
8.1 out of 10
kWh / 100 mi.
30
3
Introduced in 2012

Tesla Model S Performance

MSRP
$79,990 - $139,990
Edmunds Rating
8.1 out of 10
kWh / 100 mi.
Not available


Luxury electric SUVs

Given the popularity of luxury SUVs, it's no surprise that luxury electric SUVs are on the rise. Versatile interior space, cutting-edge technology and impressive power are par for the course.

RankVehicleAdditional Information
1
Introduced in 2021

Ford Mustang Mach-E

The Mustang Mach-E is Ford's first electric vehicle built from the ground up, and they knocked it out of the park. From an engaging driving experience to a comfortable interior brimming with technology, the Mustang Mach-E is simply the most well-rounded luxury EV on sale today.
MSRP
$43895 - $59300
Edmunds Rating
8.3 out of 10
Combined MPG
Not available
RankVehicleAdditional Information
2
Introduced in 2019

Audi e-tron

Among the small but growing class of electric vehicles, the Audi e-tron has a lot going for it. This is a legitimately luxurious and spacious five-passenger SUV just happens to be powered by electricity.
MSRP
$65900 - $79100
Edmunds Rating
8.2 out of 10
Combined MPG
Not available
RankVehicleAdditional Information
3
Introduced in 2020

Tesla Model Y

The Model Y is a stylish and roomy electric SUV with strong appeal. In Performance trim, it's also extremely quick and dynamic but the optional sport suspension and large wheels make for a relatively uncomfortable ride. The Y also lags the rest of the industry when it comes to smartphone integration.
MSRP
$39990 - $60990
Edmunds Rating
8.1 out of 10
Combined MPG
111 - 125



Edmunds' experts test 200 vehicles per year on our test track. We also test them using a 115-mile real-world test loop of city streets, freeways and winding canyons. The data we gather results in our ratings. They’re based on 30-plus scores that cover performance, comfort, interior, technology, utility and value.



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Video reviews

[MUSIC PLAYING] CARLOS LAGO: Hey. Carlos Lago with Edmunds here. It's been one year of ownership with our Tesla Model Y Performance performance. What's it been like? Do we still like it? Would we still recommend it? How many drag races has it won? And what's in store next? We're going to talk about all that in this video. Before we do, give us a like, comment, and we also appreciate a subscription if you enjoy this kind of content. Also check out some of the links below to learn more about our long term test program. Also visit edmunds.com/sellmycar to get an instant cash offer on your car. As a quick reminder, we preordered this Model Y Performance in March 2019. It has a starting price of $61,000. Now that price includes destination, but not incentives and rebates because those change depending on where you live. As for options, we check the boxes for the no cost performance upgrade, thus, the performance "Performance" name, red paint, and full self-driving capability, which at the time cost five grand. That brought the as tested price of this car to $68,700 thereabouts. Now Tesla continuously changes prices, range, specs, feature availability, and so on for all of its vehicles. Today's Model Y Performance at the time of this recording costs a little bit less in terms of base price. But the price of full self driving capability has doubled. If we were to build this exact same car today, it would cost about $72,000. So what's it been like? It's been fine. Compared to other Teslas we've owned previously, this one has spent considerably less time at the service department undergoing repairs, in fact no time at all. So that's good. But that doesn't mean it's been problem free either. We'll talk about that later. To answer the big question, though, do we still like it? Would we recommend it? The answer is a not very helpful, it depends. Let's start with the good. This thing is so goddamn quick. For evidence, just check our growing repository of drag race videos. So far, it's a kill list includes a Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, a BMW X3M, a Mercedes Benz GLC 63 S AMG, a Porsche Taycan, and even our own Ford Shelby GT500. Kind of incredible, right? What's more impressive is some of those cars are certainly quicker than the Model Y at the test track. So what happened? Well, those cars when they are quicker, it's only when you get the variables right, when the temperature's right, when the surface is right, when the driver skill is right, when the launch control is right. Then you can extract all that additional performance. The Tesla doesn't need any of that. All you do is hit the go pedal and you go. And that's what happens in the real world. That shows up in drag races and that's fun, sure. But it also makes for better power on a freeway onramp, more control when you need to make a pass on a two lane road, or when you need to squeeze in traffic somewhere. It gives you more tools and the ability to do that. And it doesn't require any special drive modes or launch control or anything. And it actually can also kind of be a problem if you have impulse control issues. But it isn't just the performance. As we called out earlier when we first reviewed this, this is basically a Model 3 that has more interior space and more cargo volume. And that makes it a more functional family vehicle. But beyond that functionality in space, there's also the endless doodads, and features, and entertainment in this display screen that's fun for the whole family, whether it's the whoopee cushion, the sketch pad, the video game emulator, or even the digital audio workstation. [MUSIC PLAYING] Smooth jazz. This stuff's a lot of fun to mess with when you're waiting for the charge to finish, or when you're waiting for, I don't know, your camera crew to finish setting up a shot. Why does it take so long? Romance mode. The biggest advantage though of Tesla ownership continues to be access to the supercharge network, which to date remains the easiest and most consistent charging solution you'll find when you're driving long distances. We've tested a number of EVs that rely on third party charging networks for the same duty that the supercharger serves. And often, we found these chargers are difficult to locate in unfamiliar areas. The biggest headache you'll find at a supercharger network is waiting for an open plug on a busy holiday. So what didn't we like? Well, these 21 inch wheels and the suspension they rode in on, I was admittedly soft on the ride quality when we first bought and reviewed this car. But after 9,000 miles, ride quality continues to be the biggest complaint our team has with our Model Y performance. Are we whining? Maybe a little bit. But here's the thing. These 21 inch wheels are heavy. And they create big impacts over bumpy roads. How big? Well, our test team manager Jonathan found out as he was driving over a bumpy road while coincidentally rolling up the windows. The bumps were enough to actually trigger the anti-pinch built into the windows so they don't crush your fingers when they're being rolled up. That's how big the impacts are. Now you might expect that kind of ride quality with a high performance vehicle of some kind. But I don't with a luxury compact SUV. In fact, I don't even expect that ride quality with sports cars anymore because I swear, our long term Corvette rides better than this. What else? Well, then there's all of Tesla's missing promises that continue to grow in terms of list like full self-driving capability. Its reactions to what's happening around it, at least what it perceives happening around it, are so different than what I would do and what is actually happening. It's an option we paid five grand for and now costs 10 grand if you remember. And it doesn't exist yet. Doesn't work. Tesla continues to roll out updates and features that are always in beta. Currently in beta. Navigate on autopilot, also in beta. And summon is also in beta. Navigate on autopilot for example attempts to take control of the vehicle while you're on the freeway managing speed and where you're at in the lane. And lane changes as well. There's traffic and stop sign recognition that will slow you down when it senses a stoplight or a red light. The problem is none of this stuff works. In my hands at least, I frequently have to intervene on the steering wheel because the car has difficulty tracking lanes in a smooth way. Or it applies the brakes or slow down unnecessarily without reason. And I can't make sense of it. I live in LA. I drive this car in LA. This isn't the sticks. This is major freeways used by tens of thousands of people every day. If there's any place where it should work, it should probably be here. And it's more confusing because I see a lot of Tesla enthusiasts praise how the car behaves in their hands. And I wish we were having that experience with ours too. And I also see a lot of people using this stuff in a really dangerous way like not sitting in the driver's seat. And I find that scary. Call me a Luddite if you haven't already in the comments below. And if you're a Tesla owner and enthusiast who enjoys these features and they work great for you, that's awesome. I wish we were having the same experience. But I'm happy for you. My concern, though, is for people who are shopping for their first Tesla and considering some of these features and how they work in application. And the answer is sometimes they don't. Tesla clearly says these things are in beta. You have to opt in to use them. They show on their pricing that full self driving capability doesn't really exist yet. The challenge is when you spent $5,000 to $10,000 on that option, you're going to want to play with the features when they show up. You just have to remember, these cars don't drive themselves. They may one day. They don't right now. This is emergent technology that you can't blindly trust. And you shouldn't do stunts with them just for social media clicks. How about recalls? Well, there are two open recalls for the Tesla Model Y. One is for inoperative trailer brake lights and the other is for loose bolts on the front upper control arms. That's right, loose bolts on critical suspension components. Fortunately, neither apply to our car. And that suspension issue seems to apply to only a small number of Model Ys. Also, if you've been watching the news lately, you'll see Tesla has been making some rather eye opening claims about what constitutes where items in its conversations with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the federal agency that oversees recall efforts. That's a topic for another video and definitely worth further research. When it comes to maintenance, well there hasn't really been any because this is an EV. And there's nothing here to maintain. That said, this car hasn't been totally issue free. Small things have cropped up like panel gaps that appear to get worse over time maybe, the back seats have developed quite a rattle, and they're also no longer evenly aligned next to each other. I just noticed too that our passenger fog light appears to have gone into winter hibernation mode. Come on, buddy. Come on out. It's time. I need you for the fog. Let's talk more about these wheels. This is our fault, but these wheels are magnets for curbs. Yeah, drive more carefully and all that. We do when we're in our Corvette. - [INAUDIBLE] flyer this time. Come on. CARLOS LAGO: Or our GT500. Those are special cars. Let's face it. This is a family SUV that does family SUV stuff. It's not going to receive the consistent level of caution that we're going to give to cars that we don't drive as frequently. And that's just the honest truth I take blame for the first damage on these wheels. I thought I dropped a tire just a little bit while driving up a curvy road. And no, I destroyed the tire and put a big chunk in the wheel itself. After 9,000 miles of use and this vehicle going through a lot of hands, these wheels have rash all over the rims. Look, kids. Tire sidewall isn't just good for ride quality. It also protects you from certain embarrassment too. What? It can't be any worse, can it? Maybe I should do my eyebrows next. SPEAKER 2: Carlos, it looks terrible. CARLOS LAGO: [SHUSHING] Last thing about wheels and tires, we did get a flat at one point which gave us the opportunity to interact with Tesla's service department. And that actually went really well. The editor who noticed a flat, the car was at his house. He called the service department. They offered him the ability to tow the Tesla to the service department and they would give him a loaner wheel and tire while they repaired that wheel and tire. Or he could wait the following day for a mobile service department to show up, which he did. Because it was at home. Mobile tire service showed up, patched the wheel, and was gone in a couple hours. And I think it costed like $78. So a really easy process. Has anything else gone wrong? Yes. The screen on our Model Y has died multiple times in the hands of different editors. The people who've had it happen to them just say the screen just slowly fades to black and you lose all functionality. Of course, everything is controlled through this screen. The way you restart it is you pull over, foot on the brake pedal, and hold these two buttons for about 10 seconds. And after a while, the screen comes back to life. You just have the power cycle it much like you do your phone, your Playstation, your Xbox, your router, your modem, your Apple TV, your Roku, your Amazon Fire, your PC, your tablet, your laptop-- Getting back to cars, we've experienced a lot of screen failures with modern cars. As unfortunate as it is to say, it's just a fact of life. As these things grow more capable, and more powerful, and more sophisticated, there just seems to be the higher chance that they're going to restart. One of our biggest frustrations with Tesla I should say is that when this screen dies, when you have to restart it, it takes all the controls with it. There's no physical controls to rely on. You can't control your media, you can't control your air conditioning, your seat heating, your nav. All that's gone. So when that happens, you have to pull over and do that restart. And that can be a major annoyance when you're just trying to commute to work. How have the consumption and range been? Well, the EPA rates the 2020 Tesla Model Y Performance at 30 kilowatt hours per 100 miles and a range of 291 miles. After 9,000 miles, we aren't even close to that average. We're closer to 41 kilowatt hours per 100 miles. Now yes, this Model Y has done way more drag races than your typical long term vehicle. But this higher consumption is something we've also noticed with previous Teslas we've owned like our first Model 3 and our Model X. The best range we've achieved is 263 miles after a full charge. But remember, the advertised range is 291 miles. Also remember that Tesla recommends charging to 90% of the battery. So your max range is actually going to be 10% less than 291, advertised at least. In the real world, it's even worse. Not only that, but the range situation is different from what we see from other EV manufacturers who generally underreport their figures. We know because our EV rating process includes a real world drive loop. You can see the results at the link below. So our one year ownership update is a bit mixed. We love the functionality and the performance. But we don't like the ride quality and those wheels. We love the charging infrastructure and the technology until it stops working. Would we recommend this car? We'd tell you to go look at a Ford Mustang Mach-E first. But there are still attributes about this Model Y that are worth close inspection. As for this particular car, we're probably going to do some more drag races with it and hold on to it until our Cybertruck is ready, which might be this year hopefully. Maybe. Guys? Thanks for watching. As always, leave a comment below if you like this video. And if you don't, go for it too. Also like and subscribe. And visit edmunds.com/sellmycar to get an instant cash offer on your car. [MUSIC PLAYING]

How Reliable Is a 2020 Tesla Model Y After a Year? Long-Term 2020 Tesla Model Y Review

Edmunds took ownership of a 2020 Tesla Model Y Performance last year as part of our long-term test program. Now, one year later, Carlos Lago shares the team's experience after approximately 9,000 miles of use.

FAQ

What are the best electric vehicles on the market?

Our top rated mainstream electric vehicle is the Tesla Model 3 for its excellent range, drivability, and practicality. Buyers looking for something with more performance and premium features should take a look at the undefined, our top-rated luxury EV. And if you're concerned about range anxiety, we recommend the undefined, our top-rated plug-in hybrid, which combines limited all-electric driving with the security of a gas-powered engine. Learn more

What is the top-rated electric vehicle for 2019?

2019 saw the introduction of the Kia Niro EV, which jumped immediately to the top of our EV rankings. A long-range electric car with a roomy and practical cabin, the Niro EV is a good choice for small families. For luxury buyers, the Audi e-tron launched in 2019, providing an all-electric alternative to a two-row luxury SUV. The e-tron tied the Tesla Model 3 for first place in our luxury EV rankings. Learn more

What is the top-rated electric vehicle for 2018?

In 2018 the Tesla Model 3 had little competition in the EV space, offering plenty of range, performance, and technology. For more budget-minded EV buyers, the Chevrolet Bolt delivered zippy acceleration and multi-day range in a commuter friendly package, while the second-generation Nissan Leaf launched with a budget-friendly base model and longer-range Leaf Plus model. Learn more

What are the best used electric vehicles to buy?

Used electric vehicles can be an excellent value because of steeper-than-average devaluation in the first few years. Look for "CPO" or certified pre-owned vehicles if you're shopping for used EVs, and check how long the warranty on the vehicle's battery pack has left (a high-cost item should maintenance be required). Unless you've researched the pros and cons, we recommend against buying an older or higher-mileage used EV, as aging battery technology creates unique challenges. Learn more

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