With the Biden administration’s push to accelerate the shift to electric vehicles in the U.S., more hybrids and EVs are being produced today than ever before. For the last decade or so, we’ve had a few EVs on the market, like the Chevy Bolt and the Nissan Leaf. With more automakers producing EVs, we’ll be seeing new advancements and innovations along with the new electrified vehicles.
At the same time, we’ll see existing EVs being outmatched by these newcomers. Recently, a slightly newer EV was rated higher by Consumer Reports in their list of the best new hybrids and EVs for the 2022 model year than either the Chevy Bolt or the Nissan Leaf. We have all the details.
The Chevy Bolt and the Nissan Leaf electric vehicles
The Consumer Reports team gave the fully-electric 2022 Chevrolet Bolt an overall score of 62 out of 100. It’s a reasonably-priced EV with a 200-mile range and great advanced technology features. The Bolt offers quick acceleration and agile handling. The cabin is quiet, and the driving position is elevated for good visibility. It got top scores in both fuel efficiency and emissions ratings.
The 2022 Nissan Leaf earned an overall score of 78 from CR. It has an all-electric driving range of 149 on a single charge, but it’s got an attractive price. Like the Bolt, it’s quiet, efficient, and offers very smooth power delivery. It, too, received top scores in emissions and fuel efficiency ratings.
However, neither the Bolt nor the Leaf did better than average when it comes to performance and convenience. While the Bolt got a “Good” predicted owner satisfaction rating, it only had a two out of five on predicted reliability. Meanwhile, the Leaf did well on predicted reliability but only received a three out of five on predicted owner satisfaction.
Consumer Reports loves the 2022 Kia Niro EV
Which EV was at the top of the Consumer Reports list of the best hybrids and EVs? The 2022 Kia Niro EV/Electric.
The Niro EV wowed the Consumer Reports team, which gave it an overall score of 88 out of 100. The versatile hatchback offers a 239-mile all-electric driving range. With an impressive list of comfort and convenience features, it’s user-friendly, spacious, and has a more upscale feel than either the Bolt or the Leaf. Additionally, CR stated that the Niro has a more forgiving ride than Tesla Model 3.
The Kia Niro EV got top marks on emissions, fuel efficiency, and got an 81 out of 100 in the rigorous Consumer Reports road test. It earned a five out of five on predicted reliability and a “Good” rating on predicted owner satisfaction.
Which EV was at the bottom of the list?
Starting with positives, the latest Model X has an all-electric range of 348 miles thanks to a bigger and better battery. It also received top marks for fuel efficiency and emissions and got strong performance scores.
The CR team marked it down for several issues. One glaring problem is a predicted reliability rating of one out of five. The review also noted that it doesn’t offer Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, or a good blind-spot monitoring system. There are concerns about the reliability of its falcon-wing doors, which Consumer Reports says are “fussy” to open and require patience. The website also mentions wind noise and limited visibility too.
CR also found the controls to be distracting. The new yoke steering wheel is “stubby,” and it holds the buttons for controls where there is usually a wand. The driver has to take their attention away from the road to push buttons for high beams, the horn, a turn signal, or wipers.
Their review also explains that the yoke steering wheel poses more problems regarding hand-over-hand turns. One of your hands will be without part of the wheel to grab during the maneuver. Additionally, in some cases, when letting the steering wheel unwind following the turn, the yoke can slip from the driver’s hands entirely.