2023 Nissan Leaf ($28,895)
The 2023 Nissan Leaf is a compact electric hatchback that's one of the most affordable and practical choices in its segment. The Leaf offers up to 212 miles of EV range, which is plenty for commuters, and Nissan includes a range of standard safety and technology features to make every drive more comfortable. Top rivals are sportier to drive and more modern. The Nissan LEAF is a 5-seater vehicle that comes in 2 trim levels. The most popular style is the SV PLUS, which starts at $36,895 and comes with an Electric engine and Front Wheel Drive. This LEAF is estimated to deliver 121 MPGe in the city and 98 MPGe on the highway.
2. 2022 Mini Cooper SE Hardtop ($30,750)
Those willing to accept the Mini Cooper SE's limited driving range will find plenty to like about this two-door hatchback. Notably, the front-drive 181-hp Cooper SE is a joy to drive, as it shares its dynamic DNA with its gas-powered kin.
Much like the Mazda MX-30, though, the Mini's affordable starting sum of $30,750 strikes us as rather costly for a vehicle with such limited long-distance legs. Nonetheless, we wouldn't fault anyone who has the means to own a Cooper SE as a second or third car for use around town.
Even better, Mini may soon offer the Cooper SE's electric powertrain in convertible guise. The British brand has shown a concept version of the electric drop-top; however, the car's production-ready vibe leads us to believe there's a strong chance a convertible Mini Cooper SE may arrive as soon as the 2023 or 2024 model year.
3. Mazda MX-30 ($34,695)
Mazda’s first full EV sold in the U.S., the MX-30, went on sale in California in October, with national rollout in the works “over the coming years,” the automaker said. An SUV-like hatchback, it sports a coupe-like roof design with rear-hinged half doors and a minimalist interior. Inside, environmentally friendly materials include cork in the center console, animal-free upholstery, and recycled plastic bottle fibers for the door trim. The electric motor makes 144 hp and 200 pounds-feet of torque, and draws power from a 35.5-kWh battery driving the front wheels; AWD isn’t offered.
2022 Hyundai Kona Electric ($34,000)
The 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric is a fully electric subcompact SUV that offers excellent value and a sneaky fun driving experience. Like the regular gas-powered Kona, the Electric boasts nimble feel around turns and quick steering. Plus, its electric motor makes it downright quick — just step on it and go. As for value, the Kona Electric presents a more budget-friendly way to go electric than many of the larger electric vehicles on the market.
MINI Electric ($34,225)
The next car on this list is British-made. The 2022 Mini Electric SE Hardtop 2 Door is the second cheapest electric car in the U.S. Prices start at USD 34,225 (excluding USD 850 destination and handling), and a potential federal tax credit of $7,500 benefit is available on the EV.
The electric hatch has a 32.6 kWh battery pack that offers an EPA-estimated range of 114 miles. The fast charging can top up the battery to 80% in 36 minutes at 50 kW. The AC home charging can fill the battery in 4 hours. The electric motor powers the front wheels and produces 135 kW (181 hp) and 199 lb-ft (270 Nm). A 0-60 mph sprint is achieved in just 6.9 seconds.
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