Only 4 Electric Cars Were Recommended by Consumer Reports for 2021

There’s been a boom in EV production in the last decade. With all the electric cars available on the market, it’s getting harder to decide which one to choose. Now that there may be some pretty impressive incentives coming our way, more consumers may be shopping in the EV section of the dealership.

Consumer Reports tested several electric cars for 2021, and out of the models on the list on their site, there are only four they recommend. What made those four more appealing than all the others?

The boom of the electric car industry

Ever since the first Tesla hit the market and made a splash, more automakers got on board and developed their own line of electric cars. But, despite the growing number of EVs sitting on the dealership lots, sales were pretty slow. 

In the beginning, people were just too hesitant to pay the high price tags for one, and the concern over how to charge the vehicle when you’re on the road turned many away from them. But, as more charging stations became available and prices started to drop, more people are becoming interested once again. 

Consumers are starting to realize the benefits of saving money on fuel and saving the environment at the same time. With the return of wildlife from the pandemic, people are more aware of the effects gas-powered vehicles have on the environment and how much fewer emissions EVs give off. 

What makes the Chevy Bolt and Tesla’s Model 3 recommended electric cars?

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The Chevy Bolt and the Tesla Model 3 tie with an overall score of 78. Consumer Reports gave the Model 3 an 82 for the road test alone, while the Bolt received a 76 for how well it drove. Out of these two electric cars, the Bolt has the better predicted reliability rating of five out of five. Tesla has experienced a few problems over recent years and has an average reliability rating of three out of five. 

The Chevy Bolt EV runs on an electric motor that generates 200 hp paired with a direct drive transmission. This combination allows it to get an acceleration time of 6.8 seconds for a 0 to 60 mph run. It also manages above-average fuel economy ratings. For city roads, you get around 128 MPGe, while highway traveling gets you around 110 MPGe. 

The Tesla Model 3 has even better EPA ratings. When driving in the city, you can expect around 136 MPGe, and when you get out onto the highway, you’ll get around 123 MPGe. Powering it up is an electric motor that will take you about 250 miles of driving range for the standard version and 322 miles for the Long-Range and Performance models. 

Why CR likes the Hyundai Kona and the Nissan Leaf

The Hyundai Kona and the Nissan Leaf received pretty similar scores in several areas as electric cars. However, Consumer Reports liked the Kona a bit more than the Leaf. They gave the Hyundai Kona an overall score of 74, while the Leaf received a 72. 

When it comes to fuel economy, the Kona gets about 102 MPGe in the city, while it churns out 130 MPGe on the highway. The driving range runs about 258 miles on a single charge. The Leaf doesn’t quite match the Kona. Its city driving achieves around 114 MPGe, which is more than the Hyundai, but when it travels on the highway, it only gets around 94 MPGe. 

The acceleration times for both are close, but again, the Hyundai does better. For the Kona, you can expect it to go from 0 to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds. Nissan’s Leaf drops to 7.0 seconds for the same 0 to 60 mph run. 

When it comes to owner satisfaction, the Leaf impressed its owners with the way it drove. But, when it comes to comfort and value, they rated it pretty low. The Kona excelled in driving experience and comfort, but it also scored low in value. 

The Bolt, Model 3, Kona, and the Leaf are the only electric cars recommended by Consumer Reports. This is despite the boom of EVs coming out onto the market. Will they continue to be in the top four spots for this category when future electric cars roll off production lines? Only time will tell.