2017 RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP RANKING ELECTRIC CARS FOR SALE
The Advantages and Disadvantages of the Top Electric Cars
When consumers are deciding to buy a new car, they now have an increasingly common consideration.
Should they choose one of the electric cars for sale or go for a conventional vehicle? Increasingly, the answer is becoming electronic cars, and while there are many benefits to both the electric cars for sale and hybrids cars, there are also some downsides consumers should be aware of.
Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Electric Cars
Benefits of the best electric cars include:
- There is no need to purchase gas, which according to Auto Trader amounts to a cost of anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 per year for the average American.
- There also tend to be lower maintenance costs associated with the best electric cars, at least in terms of things like oil changes. Electric cars don’t use gas to lubricate the engine, and also elements such as the brakes tend to wear out more slowly.
- While there are expensive options, such as a Tesla electric car, many of the newest top electric cars are actually relatively inexpensive compared to conventional vehicles.
- As well as there being plenty of affordable electric cars, there are many states in the U.S. that provide buyers with tax credits when they purchase electronic cars.
- Of course, in addition to the financial benefits of owning one of the electric cars for sale, you’re also reducing your carbon footprint and living a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
But what about the potential disadvantages of even the best electric cars?
First, it can require some planning and thinking ahead to ensure you don’t run out of power before you can reach a charging station.
Also, most owners of electronic cars do need to install a charging station at their home, which will cost money.
Finally, while you might enjoy fewer maintenance issues with today’s best electric cars, when you do have an issue, such as the need to replace battery packs, it can be very costly.
These benefits and disadvantages need to be carefully weighed before deciding to purchase even the best electric car, and this ranking and review can serve as a good starting point to help consumers outline what’s important to them in the selection process.
AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best Electric Cars
List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that best electric car):
Top 6 Best Electric Cars | Brief Comparison & Ranking
Best Electric Cars
Max. Mile Range on a Charge
114 miles (or up to 180 with range extender)
4.5 hours (with a Level 2 charging station)
121 (city miles)
4 hours with 220V
Ford Focus Electric
3.5 hours at 220V
Kia Soul EV
Tesla Model X
Toyota Prius Prime Plug-in Hybrid
133 miles (640 miles total)
Table: Top 6 Best Electric Cars | Above list is sorted alphabetically
How Do Electric Cars Work?
For many consumers, before they can even start considering the purchase of one of the electric cars for sale, they need an important question answered: how do electric cars work?
First and foremost, of course, electronic cars are powered by electricity. The powering mechanisms of electronic cars will include an electric motor and battery packs that can be recharged. The amount of electricity that goes to the motor is dependent on the action of the driver, such as acceleration.
Image Source: Top Electric Cars
With most of the best electric cars, the battery pack is rechargeable and can be plugged into a home charging system, a quick-charge station located around cities, or by plugging into a household outlet. While the household outlet might be the most convenient option to recharge a car, it also takes the longest, which is why many consumers opt to install a household charging system after purchasing one of the top electric cars.
With hybrids cars, such as the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, which is included on this ranking, if the battery pack no longer has any charge remaining, a gas engine will then be used by the vehicle to generate energy.
When answering the question “how do electric cars work?” it should be noted that they don’t all work the same way, but the above information gives a broad answer as to how electric cars work.
Work on future electric cars is focusing on fuel cell and solar power technology. Another key focus with the development of future electric cars is on a greater mile range per charge.
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Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Electric Cars
BMW i3 Review
On this ranking and review of the top electric cars, we wanted to consider not only some of the cheapest electric car options, but also some of the most expensive top electric cars. While not as expensive as a Tesla electric car, the BMW i3 is one of the more high-end vehicles on this ranking. The BMW i3 is all-electric and is designed to integrate high-level performance, innovation, a sleek design, and of course, efficiency.
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Best Electric Cars
Features and benefits of the BMW i3, one of the top electric cars on this list of the best electric cars for sale, are detailed below.
BMW has been working to make great strides in the production of their two electronic car models, and they are also developing future electric cars. The BMW i3 is their smaller model electric car, and it includes a 114-mile range on a full charge. That represents a 40% increase over their first generation model.
This leader among the top electric cars and small electric cars features a design that’s aerodynamic on the exterior, and it features a smart, technologically-advanced interior.
Uniquely, the BMW company is working not just to offer some of the best electric cars available as well as future electric cars, but they’re also innovators in how they manufacture cars. For example, the BMW i3 is made in a sustainable auto plan that uses 70% less water and 50% less energy. The interior is made from more than 25% renewable and recycled materials.
In terms of charging, according to the BMW company, this leader among the top electric cars can be fully charged in 4.5 hours using a Level 2 charging station. Also, with the DC Combo Fast Charger, drivers can get up to an 80% charge in around 30-40 minutes.
Image Source: BMW
The BMW i3 is one of the best electric cars and is included on this list of the leading electric cars for sale for many reasons, just one of which is the versatility in charging options that can be utilized with this vehicle. For example, as mentioned above, with the DC Combo Fast Charger, owners can get up to an 80% charge in less than an hour.
There are also options for drivers to use BMW Installation Services to install a home charging station easily. The ChargeNow Card comes with these vehicles and provides access to more than 28,000 charging stations in the U.S. With the Range Extender, drivers can increase their total driving range to up to 180 miles.
Drivers may be eligible to receive a tax credit of up to $7,500 when they purchase a BMW i3, and there are available features such as ConnectedDrive Services. This smart navigation system includes the Range Assistant. The Range Assistant lets drivers know their battery charge level and takes it into account with navigation features, displaying the most efficient routes with current charge levels.
It’s one of the top electric cars because of its responsive acceleration as well.
Fiat 500e Review
The 2017 Fiat 500e is certainly one of the small electric cars on this ranking, and it’s best-suited to short distances and city driving, but it is a great option among electric cars for sale if you want something that is incredibly small, handles well, and can navigate in tight areas and parking spots. The MSRP for the 2017 Fiat 500e starts at only $31,800, making it one of the more affordable electric cars for many people.
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of 2017’s Best Electric Cars
Below are key features and details of the Fiat 500e, one of the most affordable electric cars.
It should be noted that the Fiat 500e is currently only available in California and Oregon, but this unique, all-electric car is completely battery-powered, with no tailpipe emissions. It features the classic Italian-inspired design Fiat is known for, and they also worked to create a best electric car in terms of torque, smooth acceleration, and an aerodynamic body style.
This completely electric car features a high-voltage lithium-ion battery pack, a high-power electric-drive motor, and a power inverter module, included to manage power flow. The lithium-ion battery has its own slew of advantages, including its ability to hold a charge. There is no need to discharge the battery completely before recharging, and these batteries can withstand many charge and discharge cycles.
The lithium-ion battery in this pick for cheapest electric car and best electric car is also covered with an 8-year Limited Warranty.
In terms of charging this best electric car, it takes 24 hours at 110V and 4 hours at 220V. It gets 121 city miles and 103 highway miles per full charge.
Image Source: Fiat
Some of the unique features that may be available with this best electric car include:
- The 7-inch Driver Information Digital Cluster Display provides real-time information to the driver with full-color graphics and many customization options. There are audio displays, temperature, fuel economy, trip computer, navigation and compass options, among many others.
- Uconnect 5.0 is an option with a 5-inch, full-color touchscreen. Features include an AM/FM radio, media hub with USB port, Voice Command, Bluetooth Streaming Audio, Voice Text Reply, and more.
- The visual LED charge indicators keep you aware of your power level at all times. There is a charge indicator mounted on the instrument cluster, and also on top of the instrument panel.
- This best electric car features a single-speed gearbox transmission. This helps decrease battery usage and improve efficiency of energy.
- This leader among small electric cars also features the Audible Pedestrian Warning System, which is a warning system that activates when driving or reversing.
- The Electric Vehicle components of this best electric car are covered by a 4-year Limited Warranty, while the lithium-ion battery includes an 8-Year Limited Warranty.
Ford Focus Electric Review
The Ford Focus Electric is another one of the affordable electric cars and small electric cars making this ranking. This car is much like the gas-powered Ford Focus, with a comfortable interior and plenty of amenities. Ford announced the 2017 model of this car would have an EPA-rated driving range of 100 miles, which is an increase over the 2016 range of 76 miles. The price of this car starts at $29,120, and it has seating for five.
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of 2017’s Best Electric Cars
The Ford Focus, included on this ranking of the top electric cars, is described in more detail below.
The Ford Focus Electric is one of the small electric cars on this ranking of the best electric cars for sale. It features a 1-speed automatic transmission and a Permanent Magnet Electric Traction Motor. It has a Combo Connector Charger System Charge Port that can charge on 120V, 240V, and Direct Current, which is the DC Fast Charge.
Also optional when you buy this pick for one of the best electric cars for sale is a 240-volt 30-Amp home charging station.
As mentioned, this pick for one of the top electric cars features a range of 100 miles, and the car is constructed with green principles in mind from start-to-finish. For example, Ford uses soy-foam seat components to reduce petroleum usage, and the company reprocesses rubber to be used in manufacturing of new vehicles.
The Ford Focus, like most of the cars on this ranking of the best electric cars, is completely electric, so it doesn’t use gas or oil, and it offers a driving experience that’s completely free of CO2.
There are some general advantages that come with the purchase of a Ford Focus Electric as a best electric car. For example, vehicle owners may qualify for a federal income tax credit through the Qualified Plug-In Electric Drive Motor Credit program. There are also exemptions from clean-air emissions tests, and many drivers of these electronic cars may be eligible to use HOV lanes even as a single occupant.
Image Source: Ford
In addition to general advantages of choosing one of the electric cars for sale, some of the available perks and advantageous features of the Ford Focus Electric include:
- The standard entertainment system includes SYNC 3 Enhanced Voice Recognition Communications and Entertainment System with an 8-inch LCD Capacitive Touch Screen
- Sony Branded Audio System including 9 speakers
- HD Radio
- Voice-activated Touchscreen Navigation System
- Smart Charging USB Ports
- Intelligent Access with Push-Button Start
- LED Signature exterior lighting
- Hill Start Assist
- Rear Sensing System
- Safety Canopy System
- Height-adjustable front safety belts
Also, drivers of the Ford Focus Electric, a cheapest electric car and one of the top electric cars, can use the MyFord Mobile app to find charging stations and even find where their car is parked.
Kia Soul EV Review
The Kia Soul EV isn’t necessarily the cheapest electric car, but it is comparable in price to most of the affordable electric cars available right now and included on this list. The starting MSRP for this best electric car is $32,250, and it has an EPA estimated mileage range of 93 with a full charge. The Kia Soul EV is a pick for many consumers who don’t necessarily want one of the very small electric cars, and who want something instead with more interior space.
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Best Electric Cars
Features and advantages of the Kia Soul EV, one of the top electric cars, are detailed below.
The Kia Soul EV is unique on this ranking of the top electric cars and affordable electric cars for many reasons, including the versatile charging options. The charge port with the Kia Soul EV allows for three different ways to charge. This includes the standard DC Fast Charging option, charging at home, and charging at a public station.
This best electric car includes a 6.6kW onboard charger that maximizes for faster charging, and this car also features a very dense battery. This battery provides for more energy and a more efficient design, leaving more space for interior space paired with longer driving ranges.
Having the DC Fast Charge option is important because it gives an 80% charge to an empty battery in around 30 minutes.
Also, this best electric car can be charged anywhere there is a 120-volt outlet, for the most convenience.
Finally, there are more than 35,000 240-volt charging outlets around the country, which can be located using UVO eco or an online resource.
Along with flexible, convenient charging options, this best electric car integrates advanced features for comfort and an overall enjoyable driving experience. The interior design of this pick for one of the top electric cars includes a split-folding rear seat for added cargo space, and it’s created from bio-sourced materials. In fact, 19 aspects of the interior of this best electric car are made from bio-base materials, and it has the only UL environmental claim validation in the industry.
With the split-folding rear seats, there is up to 49.5 cubic feet of cargo volume, and there’s a hidden space to stash the 120-volt charging cord.
Tesla Model X Review
The Tesla electric car is one of the most well-known names, and while they’re not necessarily the cheapest electric car option, they certainly are popular and packed with luxury features.
The Tesla Model X is no exception. The MSRP for this particular Tesla electric car starts at $75,200, and it’s one of the fastest and most eco-friendly Tesla electric car options available. The Model X is also practical in its design and features, yet offers exciting and innovative details as well, such as the Falcon Wing doors.
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as a Best Electric Car
The following are specifics of this Tesla electric car, the Tesla Model X.
The Tesla Model X, unlike most of the other names on this ranking of the best electric cars, is actually an SUV. It’s designed with safety, speed, and functionality in mind. It includes all-wheel drive and a 100kWh battery. The battery offers the best mileage range of any of the other top electric cars on this ranking at 295 miles. There is also seating for seven adults as well as ample cargo space, and this Tesla electric car can accelerate from zero to 60 MPH in as fast as 2.9 seconds.
This is really one of the top-of-the-line electric cars for sale, perfect for consumers who want luxury and peace of mind, along with the eco-friendly features of an electric car.
Some of the design features of this Tesla electric car include:
- Falcon Wings not only look great, but they also provide easier access to the second and third-row seating of the car, even when in a tight space. There is only a foot of clearance on the side of the Falcon Wing doors, so passengers can get in the car from the front and rear.
- This Tesla electric car features an expansive panoramic glass windshield that includes solar tinting and no obstruction of views for the ultimate in visibility.
- Drive safety technologies include collision avoidance features and automatic emergency braking.
- The interior of this Tesla electric car includes a medical-grade HEPA filter to clear air before it enters the cabin of the vehicle, and it features three modes, including circulation with outside air, recirculation of interior air, and a bioweapon defense mode that creates positive pressure.
Image Source: Tesla
This Tesla electric car is packed with unique and innovative features and capabilities. Some of these include:
- A Delivery Experience Specialist will visit new owners of this Tesla electric car and show them how to use their Mobile connector for charging, which provides 29 miles of range per hour of charge. There are two outlet adapters included, one of which is for a standard household outlet, and a second adapter for a 240-volt outlet.
- There is also the option with this Tesla electric car to use a Wall Connector that can provide up to twice the amps of a standard outlet.
- The battery is floor mounted, which reduces the risk of rollover.
- As mentioned, this Tesla electric car has three rows of seating, which can comfortably fit seven people, and each is mounted on a single post with independent reclining capability. The third row of seats can be folded to expand cargo area when not in use.
- This Tesla electric car is the first of any electric cars for sale to have a 5,000 pound towing capacity.
- This best electric car includes automatic emergency braking and collision avoidance.
- It also features electric all-wheel drive.
Toyota Prius Prime Plug-In Hybrid Review
Among hybrids cars, the Toyota Prius Prime Plug-In is a standout. At one point, the Prius was really the only mainstream eco-friendly option, and while the competition has increased significantly over recent years, it still remains one of the best electric cars and a leader among hybrids cars. The original Prius was introduced over 15 years ago, but the 2017 version of this best electric car hybrid has a lot to offer. This car is also one of the cheapest electric car options on this ranking, with a starting MSRP of $27,100.
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as a Best Electric Car
Key features of the Prius Prime that led to its ranking as one of the best electric cars and a leader among hybrids cars are detailed below.
The Prius Prime is rated as the most efficient car in its class, with an EPA-estimated 133 MPGe. It’s optimized for innovative offerings and efficiency, and it is constructed with lightweight materials. The EPA-estimated MPG are 54, and as with many of the electric cars for sale, there is a possible tax credit available of up to $4,500. The total EPA-estimated driving range is 640 miles, making this an ideal car for longer trips.
Charging is simple with the Prius Prime; the included charging cable can be plugged into any household outlet. You can also find charging stations, including free locations, which makes it faster to charge this best electric car.
This car is unique compared to the other top electric cars and affordable electric cars included on this ranking since it is a hybrid.
The Prime defaults to electric mode upon starting as long as there is enough battery charge to support it. Then, if the charge drops below a certain level, the Prius Prime will switch into hybrid mode.
The Toyota Prius Prime, a best electric car and also one of the more affordable electric cars is unique in that there are customizable drive modes. Drive modes available with this leader among small electric cars include EV Mode which is the default. This is much like the main operating mode of the previous plug-in Prius. There are also options within each mode for Normal, Eco, and Power settings. These settings alter the response of the accelerator without changing the maximum output.
There are a variety of smart features available with this best electric car, including Prime Apps like the Remote Climate app. Other Prime Apps let users do everything from locating and scheduling a charge to locating their vehicle.
It takes less than 5 ½ hours to get a full charge using a standard outlet at your home, and there are tens of thousands of available ChargePoint stations throughout the country, where drivers can get a full charge from a 240V outlet in just over two hours.
Also available with this best electric car is the Predictive Efficient Drive feature. This smart technology finds the most efficient routes and stopping patterns for drivers, and it also includes regenerative braking that’s activated more quickly to preserve more hybrid battery energy.
Conclusion—Top 6 Best Electric Cars
It seems as if electronic cars are really the future of the automotive industry. Leading car manufacturers including BMW, Toyota, Kia and Ford are all working toward not just marketing their current electric cars for sale, but also on developing future electric cars.
Some of the common features of the best electric cars, including the ones on this list, are:
- Battery efficiency
- Tens of thousands of available nationwide charging station options
- Innovative smart technology
- High-level safety features
- Flexible charging options
These are just a few of the many considerations to keep in mind if you’re searching for the best electric cars. Whether you’re looking for affordable electric cars or something high-end such as the luxury Tesla electric car, there are certainly options available for any budget that are both packed with features and also environmentally-friendly.
AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer: Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info. Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.
AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:
Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.
Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.