Experts Agree: Only 1 EV Beats the Tesla Model 3 in Reliability

The Tesla Model 3 is one of the most popular EVs. It’s also among the most reliable electric cars. Debuting in 2021, the rival Kia EV6 doesn’t boast the Model 3’s five-year history, but its reliability is already impressing critics and owners. In fact, the 2023 Kia EV6 is the only EV more reliable than the Tesla Model 3, according to Consumer Reports and U.S. News.

Here’s how the EV segment stacks up in terms of reliability

Data for this year’s Consumer Reports reliability survey is in, and the Kia EV6 is the most reliable EV on the market — by a wide margin. The Tesla Model 3 ranks second, followed closely by the Nissan Leaf. In theory, EVs are supposed to be more reliable and require less maintenance than gas-powered cars, and to some degree, that’s true.

However, one advantage gas-powered cars have over EVs like the Model 3 and EV6 is experience. Most EVs are new, and they’re being built on new platforms from the ground up. As with any car built that way, that also means EVs can have many issues. In comparison, gas-powered vehicles tend to ride on older platforms, so automakers have had many years to fix any problems.

The 2023 Kia EV6 beats the Tesla Model 3 in reliability, according to Consumer Reports and U.S. News

Is the 2023 Kia EV6 reliable?
2023 Kia EV6 | Kia America

Despite being such a new vehicle, the Kia EV6 beats the Tesla Model 3 in reliability. Kia’s electric crossover SUV earned a reliability score of 77 out of 100 from U.S. News, while the Model 3 scored 75. The EV6 has a better reliability score for several reasons. One is because the Kia has only one recall in the previous model year, while the Model 3 has seven recalls.

In addition, Kia offers a generous warranty. The EV6 has a five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, while the Model 3 comes with a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty. But the race is closer for battery warranties. The EV6 provides a 10-year/100,000-mile battery warranty, while the Model 3 Long Range offers an eight-year/120,000-mile battery warranty. 

Pros and cons of the 2 most reliable EVs

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Fully Loaded 2023 Kia EV6: Price, Features, and Options

Overall, both EVs are excellent. But they compete in different segments, so they have distinct pros and cons.

For instance, the EV6 is a compact crossover, while the Model 3 is a sedan. So the Kia has a roomier cabin and more cargo space. With the rear seats folded down, the EV6 provides 50.2 cubic feet of cargo space, while the Model 3 tops out at 23 cubic feet. That means the EV6 has twice the Model 3’s cargo capacity.

However, the Tesla Model 3 boasts advantages in performance and range thanks to its smaller size. The cheapest Model 3 trim costs about $47,000 and gets 272 miles of range. The most affordable EV6 model starts at $41,000 but gets only 232 miles. The longest-range option for the Model 3 can go 358 miles on a full charge, while the longest-range EV6 gets 310 miles.