You Should Have Bought These Two New Cars Last Year, It’s Too Late for These Hatchbacks

  • The Nissan Leaf is the best EV hatchback out there
  • Leaf values have risen 40% over the last year
  • The Mini Cooper’s rise in value has a lot to do with how fun and odd it is

We all know just how crazy the last year has been for the auto market. Buying new cars (and used ones) has become notoriously difficult. It’s a compounding effect of both rabid demand and shrinking new and used inventory. Unfortunately, that means people are getting priced out of some great new metal. That includes cheap EV hatchbacks like the Nissan Leaf, as well as something a little… hotter.

How long does a Nissan Leaf battery last?

The Nissan Leaf, one of the best EV new cars on the market, shot from the front 3/4
The Nissan Leaf is the best cheap EV out there | Nissan

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But, we’ll start with the Leaf. Currently, the Leaf is one of the best cheap EVs on the market. Plus, hatchback practicality helps to set the $27,400 Nissan Leaf apart from the competition. Now, part of the Leaf’s rise in price can be attributed to its recent rise in popularity. Consumers are starting to recognize the merits of the small electric hatchback, and we can’t blame them. Plus, a boost in range from the 2018 model year serves only to bolster the hatch’s popularity.

A study by iSeeCars points out that prices for the Nissan Leaf are among the fastest rising in the new cars segment. On the whole, prices are up a whopping 64% as compared to last year. Prices for EVs like the Tesla Model 3 have only risen in the past several months, and the Nissan Leaf leads the pack in this regard. Put in hard cash, that 64% jump in price comes out to a massive $8,404 increase in price.

The fastest MINI Cooper is also the best one

A 2022 Mini Cooper JCW shot from the 3/4 angle at sunset
The Mini JCW is one of the rowdiest hatches out there | Chase Bierenkoven, MotorBiscuit

Another new car on iSeeCars’ list jumped out at us: the 2022 Mini Cooper. We’ve got a Mini Cooper JCW (that’s John Cooper Works) on test right now, and it’s easy to see why values have shot up by 40%, or an average of $7,136. In its fastest trim, the $33,750 Mini Cooper JCW is laughably fun. It’s also laughably impractical, especially for a hatchback. With the seats down you might be able to get some good cargo in there, but forget fitting more than a large duffel bag in the hatch with them up.

However, that doesn’t really strike me as the point of my Mini JCW loaner car. The rock-hard ride means the Mini is sportier and more planted than the Leaf could ever hope to be. It’s also a hell of a lot louder. Plus, a six-speed manual transmission is always a great way to experience a hatchback. To quote Doug DeMuro, the “quirks and features” of the Mini sets it apart more than the 228 hp turbo four does. The Cooper JCW revels in its weirdness, and we love that.

New cars are appreciating more than ever

A racing green Mini Cooper JCW hatchback shot from the front 3/4 on a seaside cliff

The Mini Cooper and the Nissan Leaf aren’t the only new cars appreciating at a stunning rate. People have been selling Civic Type Rs for six figures of late. And don’t even get us started on the Ford Bronco market. Unfortunately, until the supply of new cars can finally catch up with demand, we expect to see increases in price like the ones above continue.

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