I was going to write an article about the 10 best electric cars, trucks, and SUVs on the market, but then decided I’d limit it to cars, trucks, and SUVs below $70,000 to make it a bit more useful. Then I realized there were barely more than 10 full electric cars on the US market with a starting price below $70,000, and excluding 3 of them seemed cruel and perhaps even too subjective, so I decided to go a different route — I picked my 7 favorites.
Because I do think full electric cars are far better than non-electrics (for several reasons), I feel good saying that the 7 electric vehicles below, if not all 15 electric vehicles on the market, are the best automobiles on the market for less than $70,000. Take your pick based on your own personal preferences, budget, and needs! In my personal opinion and based on my personal preferences, the 7 below are the ones that I think have the best new tech, batteries, range for the money, design, and performance. Surely, there’s room for debate and I’m open to arguments for the ones I didn’t pick. In no particular order, below are what I consider to be the 7 best
electric cars, trucks, and SUVs on the market in 2022.
7 Electric Cars Starting Under $70,000 On US Market
Tesla Model 3
Want a family sedan that drives like the wind, turns like a race car, and has an infotainment system that doubles as a 5-star home theater? Want to make sure you have access to the best, easiest, most reliable superfast charging network in the country? Want the most advanced driver-assist system available in a normal private car (for a hefty price tag)? Want beautiful white vegan leather seats unmatched in comfort to any car seats you’ve ever driven for hours in? Want an EV that gets fun and useful over-the-air updates several times a year?
Unfortunately, whereas the base Model 3 cost about $40,000 when I bought it in 2019, that price has risen to $46,990 (for the RWD version with a range rating of 267 miles). That said, the Model 3 has held its value exceptionally well, so looking at total cost of ownership after 3–5 years could end up making the financial side of things look like a big win. The only problem is: we never really know what the future holds.
See my recent 3-year review of the base Tesla Model 3.
Tesla Model Y
Want a small SUV/crossover that drives like the wind, turns like a race car, and has an infotainment system that doubles as a 5-star home theater? Want to make sure you have access to the best, easiest, most reliable superfast charging network in the country? Want the most advanced driver-assist system available in a normal private car (for a hefty price tag)? Want beautiful white vegan leather seats unmatched in comfort to any car seats you’ve ever driven for hours in? Want an EV that gets fun and useful over-the-air updates several times a year?
The downside of the Model Y, in part due to the enormous amount of demand for this vehicle, is that it has a starting price of $65,990 (just barely making our cutoff). That’s the Long Range trim that comes with 318 miles of EPA-estimated range.
Okay, so you’re skipping the Tesla options. The coolest thing on the market for non-Tesla fans may well be the futuristic Kia EV6. It looks like it is out of a futuristic movie like Robocop or The 5th Element — but in a good way. (Okay, I’m dating myself.) The EV6 is getting rave reviews across the board from auto reviewers, including our own. (Video review coming soon.) It is packed with fun new tech like an augmented reality Head-Up Display (HUD) and dual panoramic screens. It also has up to 310 miles of range, includes a huge amount of space in the boot (trunk), can accelerate from 0–60 mph in 4.6 seconds (Ferrari Roma and the Lamborghini Huracán Evo Spyder RWD), and has a starting MSRP of just $41,400! (Naturally, some of those things may not be available in the $41,400 version — be sure to look at the details of what you want and what’s available in your area.)
One perhaps under-acknowledged pro of the EV6 is that even the lowest cost trim has 310 miles of EPA-estimated range! There are a couple of trims higher up that see that range drop to 274 miles, but I don’t think you can find better range for $41,400 than the 310 miles available with the “Light” trim.
Hyundai IONIQ 5
Let’s be honest — the IONIQ 5 is basically as close to a twin as cousins can get. Hyundai and Kia have a close relationship, and the IONIQ 5 and EV6 share a lot in common. Even the design is very futuristic — just a bit different. You again have the option of a HUD. It’s not quite as quick as the EV6, but it still gets to 62 mph in a rapid 5.2 seconds.
You can get 303 miles of EPA-rated range on a full charge with some trims. The starting MSRP is just $39,950, but note that the cheapest trim has an estimated range of 220 miles (combined city/highway — 249 city/185 highway), whereas the trims with 303 miles (combined) start at $44,000.
Ford F-150 Lightning
If you want a semi-affordable electric pickup truck, well, this is it!
There’s really no competition at this stage at the lower price points the F-150 Lightning starts at. That said, the F-150 Lightning is a wonderful engineering achievement with superb features regardless. It’s hard to imagine that it wouldn’t match up well against any other truck on the market. It has all kinds of useful work or camping features, plugs all over the place, tremendous torque, plenty of range, towing capability, and just enough style to be cool but not too glossy.
You can read or watch our extensive review of the electric pickup truck here: Ford F-150 Lightning — CleanTechnica Review.
Starting price on base “Pro” trim: Just $47,000!
Ford Mustang Mach-E
The Mustang Mach-E was one of the most exciting new entrants to the auto market in recent years, and it’s still an exciting, fun, fresh option if you’re looking for a crossover/SUV. This eye-catching vehicle justifies its iconic Mustang name and builds on it to offer something better, bigger (that’s what people want these days), and more useful than ever before.
The Mach-E has great performance, plenty of cargo space, a good infotainment system, over-the-air updates, good range, and superb design. And the starting price is just $46,895 before any subsidies! (Though, you may have to look around a bit for a dealer who will sell it to you for that price.)
The Mustang Mach-E just narrowly lost out to one other vehicle in the 2021 CleanTechnica Car of the Year award. And that vehicle was the Volkswagen ID.4. It’s actually a bit hard to compare them, since they have quite different designs and thus appeal to different people. The biggest factor with the ID.4 that set it apart, and why we think it could have more impact than most other vehicles on this list, is that it comes in at such a low starting price. Its base MSRP is just $37,495! That was one of the reasons my sister decided to pick the ID.4 over anything else on this list (though, she then ended up upgrading to a higher-cost trim with AWD and more range and features).
The ID.4 has an abundance of cargo space, all the modern tech goodies a normal person could want, and an attractive but not too flashy design. It’s also apparently super comfy and great for dogs.
No matter which vehicle you may end up choosing, we recommend you go test drive any models that interest you. No review can compare to personal experience.
Six more compelling electric cars and crossovers that you may prefer over the above options are as follows:
- Volvo C40 Recharge
- Volvo XC40 Recharge
- Polestar 2
- Genesis GV60
- Chevy Bolt EV
- Chevy Bolt EUV
- Nissan LEAF
- Toyota bZ4X
There are certainly reasons someone might prefer one of those. We’ll explore their pros and cons in a future piece.
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