Only 1 Electric Car Under $30,000 Is Recommended by Consumer Reports in 2023

Electric cars are the wave of the future — and have significantly increased in popularity. However, a drawback of EVs is they tend to be more expensive than gas-powered ones. Also, since the electric powertrains in EVs are a relatively new technology, there is the risk of reliability issues. However, there’s a notable exception. With its low price, the reliable 2023 Nissan LEAF is the only new electric car under $30,000 that’s recommended by Consumer Reports.

Front angle view of reliable 2023 Nissan LEAF, only electric car under $30,000 recommended by Consumer Reports
2023 Nissan Leaf | Nissan

The 2023 Nissan LEAF compact hatchback earned the recommendation from Consumer Reports. With a starting price of $28,040 MSRP, the LEAF is the only new EV under $30,000 to get the coveted honor.

There are a few other electric cars that cost under $30,000. This includes the 2023 Chevy Bolt EV ($26,500 MSRP), the 2023 Chevy Bolt EUV ($27,800 MSRP), and the 2023 MINI Cooper Electric ($29,900 MSRP). However, none of them are recommended by Consumer Reports. The gas-powered version of the MINI Cooper got the CR seal of approval, though.

Many automotive shoppers make their buying decisions according to CR’s recommendations. The organization has decades of experience evaluating vehicles, so the recommendations carry a great deal of weight. Also, since Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend many electric cars, the honor for the LEAF is especially pertinent.

CR recommendation for Nissan LEAF based on Auto Reliability Survey

Dashboard in 2023 Nissan LEAF, only EV under $30,000 recommended by Consumer Reports due to reliability
2023 Nissan Leaf | Nissan

One of the reasons for the Consumer Reports recommendation for the 2023 Nissan LEAF is its higher reliability compared to other electric cars. While the organization looks at multiple factors for its recommendations, it places a strong emphasis on reliability. An electric car can be strong in other areas, such as acceleration and technologies, but if it’s not reliable, CR typically won’t recommend it. An example of this is the Bolt, which was plagued by fire issues. 

With this in mind, Consumer Reports bases the reliability — and resulting recommendation, on its annual Auto Reliability Survey. For the most recent Auto Reliability Survey, CR received owner surveys for over 300,000 vehicles, including the LEAF. These surveys asked owners to identify various problem areas, such as the engine, brakes, electric systems, leaks, and paint. Compared to other affordable electric cars, the LEAF had fewer issues in these problem areas, so it earned a recommendation.

The LEAF was also recommended for the previous model year. And following the results of the most recent Auto Reliability Survey, the recommendation holds in 2023.

What’s new for the 2023 LEAF?

Related Only 1 Electric Car Is No Longer Recommended by Consumer Reports

Only 1 Electric Car Is No Longer Recommended by Consumer Reports

The 2023 Nissan LEAF has a refreshed exterior design, resulting in a sportier look. At the front end, there’s a new grille, bumper molding, and headlight design with a black inner finisher. Also, the SV PLUS trim has new 5-spoke 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. 

Other changes include updated badges and new black front and rear fascia wind deflectors. Also, the tire deflectors have new shapes too. Additionally, inside the cabin, there is a new start-up video on the instrument panel screen. 

Furthermore, Nissan discontinued the SV, S PLUS, and SL PLUS trims from the previous model year. Now, the 2023 LEAF only offers two trims: S and SV PLUS.

2023 Nissan LEAF: Reliable and affordable Consumer Reports recommended electric car

If you want to get an electric car that’s both affordable and reliable, then check out the 2023 Nissan LEAF. It’s the only new EV for less than $30,000 that’s recommended by Consumer Reports. While the LEAF might lack the excitement and driving range of some of its rivals, it’s a good budget-friendly choice for EV shoppers.