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For years, Tesla was the first, last, and sometimes only word in the electric vehicle (EV) conversation. However, with the industry focus shifting, legacy automakers like Chevrolet and MINI are producing their own battery electric vehicles (BEVs). Moreover, U.S. News says the latest crop of legacy electric cars earn the top spots in its list for 2023 instead of a familiar Tesla Model 3 or one of its siblings. Check out some of the best new EVs for the year, like the 2023 Nissan LEAF and Chevrolet Bolt EV. 

What are the best electric cars for 2023, according to U.S. News? 

While a Tesla Model 3 has a lot to offer, these three budget BEVs snagged U.S. News’ highest praises:

  • Chevrolet Bolt EV
  • Nissan LEAF
  • MINI Electric Hardtop

It makes sense; Tesla’s most affordable EV for 2023 starts at around $43,490 for the rear-wheel drive (RWD) Model 3. However, the new 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV starts at $26,500; it’s quite the difference. Moreover, the accessibility of EV prices significantly impacts whether potential owners will go full BEV or opt for a hybrid-electric application. 

What will be the best electric car in 2023?

The 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV secured the top spot in U.S. News’ rankings of electric cars for the model year. Moreover, the Bolt EV is cheaper than competitors like the Nissan LEAF and MINI Electric Hardtop. As a result, the Chevrolet electric car is difficult to top. 

The Bolt EV boasts deceptive spaciousness for its diminutive size, to the tune of 16.6 cubic feet of storage with seating for five. However, folding the rear seats will open up around 57 cubic feet of cargo volume, per TrueCar. Moreover, the Chevrolet model’s claimed 259-mile electric range out-cruises a comparable 2023 Nissan LEAF and its 226-mile limit. 

A light blue Chevrolet Bolt EV shows off its electric car styling and hatchback shape in house's driveway.
2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV | General Motors

Still, the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV’s impressive range isn’t enough to topple the Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive’s 272 miles. If range is one of your chief concerns regarding electric cars, the 13-mile disparity might not be worth the nearly $17,000 difference.  

How much does the 2023 Nissan LEAF cost?

The 2023 Nissan LEAF starts at about $28,040 for the S trim. Bumping up to the longer-range LEAF SV PLUS trim will swell the starting price up to around $36,895, or about $6,000 more than a comparable Bolt EV 2LT. 

A white Nissan LEAF shows off its electric car proportions as it drives down a back road.
Nissan LEAF | Nissan

Still, the 2023 Nissan LEAF is one of the best budget EVs on the market. It took the No. 2 spot in U.S. News’ evaluations of the best electric cars of the year. Also, with 23.6 cubic feet of cargo space, the LEAF is practical enough for shopping and commuter needs. However, Car and Driver gives the Nissan electric car model a paltry 6.5 out of 10 due to its incompatibility with some charging infrastructure and lackluster performance. 

Is the MINI Electric Hardtop one of the best electric cars for 2023? 

The 2023 MINI Electric Hardtop is a form-over-function when it comes to everyday practicality, but it’s still one of the best electric cars of the year. For instance, the eager MINI channels its racing heritage by incorporating spirited handling and smile-inducing acceleration from its 28.9 kWh-battery architecture.

However, the MINI’s style and driving experience come at a cost; the Electric Hardtop has a range of about 114 miles on a single charge. Still, if your commute is short, or you don’t have lofty aspirations of electric car road trips, the MINI Electric Hardtop could add a little flare to your EV ownership experience.


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