Best used EVs: get an electric car without paying full price

Electric cars are all the rage, and for good reason. They’re super-responsive, brimming with high-tech, and better for the environment. But they’re still relatively new, and new ones are still relatively expensive. As a result, you may be wondering how you can get your hands on a used EV.

  • Tesla Model 3
  • Kia Soul EV
  • Nissan Leaf
  • BMW i3
  • Chevrolet Bolt EV
  • Volkswagen e-Golf

But buying a used EV can be a little daunting. After all, given how quickly electric cars are improving, you might want to make sure you’re really getting an EV that will last more than a year or two. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on the best used EVs.

Tesla Model 3

A Tesla Model 3 electric car.

The Tesla Model 3 is an excellent choice for a used EV due to its durability and long-lasting performance. Over time, the Model 3 has proven to retain its value better than most other EVs on the market, thanks to the longevity of its battery and electric powertrain. Tesla’s batteries are known to degrade slowly (while some others can degrade quicker), with many Model 3 owners reporting that they maintain a high percentage of their original capacity even after years of use. This means that potential buyers can expect a used Model 3 to still provide considerable driving range and reliability, making it a sound investment.

Another reason the Tesla Model 3 is a great option as a used EV is the continuous software updates provided by Tesla. These over-the-air updates ensure that even older Model 3 vehicles can benefit from the latest features, bug fixes, and performance enhancements. This means that a used Model 3 can still offer a cutting-edge driving experience, comparable to newer models. And, as the Model 3 has been in production since 2017, there is a growing supply of used vehicles available on the market, giving buyers a range of options in terms of price, configuration, and mileage.

Kia Soul EV

Kia Soul EV

The Kia Soul EV has emerged as another appealing option for those considering a used EV, thanks to its practical design and solid performance. Its distinctive boxy shape not only provides a unique appearance, but also translates to ample interior space for both passengers and cargo. This makes the Soul EV an excellent choice for families or individuals looking for a versatile and roomy electric vehicle.

The Soul EV is equipped with a range of convenience and safety technologies, such as an infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a rearview camera, and various driver-assistance features. These features enhance the driving experience and make the car feel more modern, even if it is a few years old.

Nissan Leaf

Stephen Edelstein/Digital Trends

The Nissan Leaf is an attractive option for those seeking a used EV because of its affordability and accessibility. As one of the first mass-produced EVs, the Leaf has had time to develop a robust used market with numerous options. Its reliable electric powertrain provides a respectable driving range that has improved over the years, making it suitable for daily commutes and city driving.

The Leaf also benefits from a user-friendly design and a range of standard features, including various driver-assistance technologies. These features enhance the driving experience and provide a sense of modernity, even in older models. The Nissan Leaf’s combination of affordability, practicality, and technological features makes it an excellent choice for those looking to enter the used EV market.

BMW i3

2019 BMW i3s review
Stephen Edelstein/Digital Trends

Thanks to its distinctive design and premium features, the BMW i3 stands out as a compelling option for those considering a used EV. With its lightweight carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic construction and efficient electric powertrain, the i3 offers a unique driving experience. Its agility and responsiveness make it easy to drive in urban environments, while its range of 150 miles or more is suitable for daily commuting and other around-town driving.

The i3 boasts a modern, upscale interior featuring sustainable materials and advanced technology. Its infotainment system and driver-assistance features provide a sense of luxury, even in older models.

Chevrolet Bolt EV

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV
Andrew Hard/Digital Trends

The Chevrolet Bolt EV is an appealing choice for those in the market for a used EV, thanks to its impressive range and practical design. The Bolt’s electric powertrain delivers a driving range that competes with more expensive EVs, making it an attractive option for those with range concerns who are also looking for something that’s budget-friendly.

The Bolt EV also offers a roomy interior, making it suitable for families and individuals alike. The car is equipped with an intuitive infotainment system and various driver-assistance features, ensuring a pleasant and modern driving experience. Overall, the Chevrolet Bolt EV provides an excellent balance of affordability, range, and functionality for those looking to purchase a used electric vehicle.

Volkswagen e-Golf

The Volkswagen e-Golf stands out as a practical option for those exploring the used EV market thanks to its familiar and functional design. Built on the platform of the popular Golf hatchback, the e-Golf offers a comfortable driving experience with the added benefits of electric propulsion. Its range is suitable for daily commuting and city driving, making it an accessible choice for a wide range of buyers.

Inside, the e-Golf features a well-designed cabin and a user-friendly infotainment system, offering seamless integration of technology and comfort. Driver-assistance features further enhance the driving experience and contribute to its appeal as a used EV. With its recognizable design and dependable performance, the Volkswagen e-Golf is an excellent option for those seeking a practical and stylish used electric vehicle.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Pros and cons of buying a used electric car

  • How do electric cars work? EV motors and batteries explained

  • Tesla’s electric cars get second price bump in a month

  • 2022 Chevy Bolt EV and Bolt EUV: More electric cars to love

  • The best electric cars