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Best Small Electric Cars for 2023

The best used and new small electric cars based on a data-driven analysis of each vehicle's reliability, resale value and safety.

The best small electric car is the Tesla Model 3 based on our analysis of 12 million vehicles to assess their reliability, resale value and safety. Its overall rating of 8.7 out of 10 reflects the Model 3’s reliability, value retention and safety scores. A new Tesla Model 3 costs between $40,240 and $53,240 while a used version costs between $31,998 and $54,451. This small electric car can seat up to 5 people and is EPA rated to deliver up to 127 miles per gallon equivalent in mixed city/highway driving.

The Small Electric Car category consists of 15 models priced between $23,800 and $53,240 for new vehicles and between $13,659 and $54,451 for used vehicles. iSeeCars has sufficient vehicle data to rate and rank 5 of these 15 models based on their reliability, value retention and safety scores.

With gas prices soaring and electric vehicles selling better than ever, a lot of car shoppers are considering the leap from traditional internal combustion powertrains to battery packs and electric motors. But does buying an electric car result in a lifeless driving experience and compromised practicality? Are there small, affordable EVs with sufficient driving range to perform more than basic commuting needs, and with fast-charging technology to reduce re-charge times while offering enough rear seat room to serve a family? These are fair questions, particularly given the higher starting price of an EV compared to a traditional new car.

Thankfully, today’s variety of electric vehicles is better than ever, with most new models offering advanced driver-assist technology and infotainment features – like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – plus intuitive touchscreen controls, as standard equipment. The best electric cars include those features along with attractive, sporty styling, 250-plus miles of range, a roomy interior, and a confidence-inspiring warranty. We’ve listed the best small electric vehicles below from a variety of automakers, with newer models like the Honda e, Hyundai Ioniq 5, and Kia EV6 being added as information on them is finalized.

To provide the widest range of buying options we’ve included smaller hatchbacks and crossovers in our list. Shoppers looking to fill basic “around town” needs can focus less on long range models, which tend to cost more, while buyers living in colder climates might zero in on all-wheel drive models. The Mini Cooper is an example of a fairly short-range EV with cool retro styling that can still serve urban dwellers. We’ve ranked these small electric cars based on their iSeeCars quality score, though you can also find their EPA-rated range, along with new and used pricing, below.

If none of these small electric vehicles meet your needs, but you’re still looking for a low- or zero-emissions option, consider our Best Electric SUVs list, with models like the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia Niro EV, Tesla Model Y, and Volkswagen ID.4. Or our Best Luxury Electric SUVs list, with newer premium models like the Audi Q4 e-Tron, Porsche Taycan, and Volvo C40.

Another option for buyers not ready to go fully electric is our Best Hybrid SUVs list, which include plug-in hybrids that can operate in pure electric (zero emissions) mode for varying distances before the engine fires up to keep you rolling.

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With gas prices soaring and electric vehicles selling better than ever, a lot of car shoppers are considering the leap from traditional internal combustion powertrains to battery packs and electric motors. But does buying an electric car result in a lifeless driving experience and compromised practicality? Are there small, affordable EVs with sufficient driving range to perform more than basic commuting needs, and with fast-charging technology to reduce re-charge times while offering enough rear seat room to serve a family? These are fair questions, particularly given the higher starting price of an EV compared to a traditional new car.

Thankfully, today’s variety of electric vehicles is better than ever, with most new models offering advanced driver-assist technology and infotainment features – like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – plus intuitive touchscreen controls, as standard equipment. The best electric cars include those features along with attractive, sporty styling, 250-plus miles of range, a roomy interior, and a confidence-inspiring warranty. We’ve listed the best small electric vehicles below from a variety of automakers, with newer models like the Honda e, Hyundai Ioniq 5, and Kia EV6 being added as information on them is finalized.

To provide the widest range of buying options we’ve included smaller hatchbacks and crossovers in our list. Shoppers looking to fill basic “around town” needs can focus less on long range models, which tend to cost more, while buyers living in colder climates might zero in on all-wheel drive models. The Mini Cooper is an example of a fairly short-range EV with cool retro styling that can still serve urban dwellers. We’ve ranked these small electric cars based on their iSeeCars quality score, though you can also find their EPA-rated range, along with new and used pricing, below.

If none of these small electric vehicles meet your needs, but you’re still looking for a low- or zero-emissions option, consider our Best Electric SUVs list, with models like the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia Niro EV, Tesla Model Y, and Volkswagen ID.4. Or our Best Luxury Electric SUVs list, with newer premium models like the Audi Q4 e-Tron, Porsche Taycan, and Volvo C40.

Another option for buyers not ready to go fully electric is our Best Hybrid SUVs list, which include plug-in hybrids that can operate in pure electric (zero emissions) mode for varying distances before the engine fires up to keep you rolling.

See more
iSEECARS SCORE

iSeeCars Best Car Rankings are calculated based on an analysis of data from over 12 million cars that assesses how long each vehicle lasts and how well it retains its value over time, along with safety data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association

See how we rank these cars
8.7 / 10
  • Reliability 7.2 / 10
  • Value Retention 9.0 / 10
  • Safety 10 / 10
iSEECARS SCORE

iSeeCars Best Car Rankings are calculated based on an analysis of data from over 12 million cars that assesses how long each vehicle lasts and how well it retains its value over time, along with safety data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association

See how we rank these cars
8.1 / 10
  • Reliability 7.6 / 10
  • Value Retention 6.6 / 10
  • Safety 10 / 10
iSEECARS SCORE

iSeeCars Best Car Rankings are calculated based on an analysis of data from over 12 million cars that assesses how long each vehicle lasts and how well it retains its value over time, along with safety data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association

See how we rank these cars
8.0 / 10
  • Reliability 7.1 / 10
  • Value Retention 6.8 / 10
  • Safety 10 / 10
iSEECARS SCORE

iSeeCars Best Car Rankings are calculated based on an analysis of data from over 12 million cars that assesses how long each vehicle lasts and how well it retains its value over time, along with safety data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association

See how we rank these cars
7.6 / 10
  • Reliability 7.9 / 10
  • Value Retention 7.3 / 10
  • Safety Not Available
iSEECARS SCORE

iSeeCars Best Car Rankings are calculated based on an analysis of data from over 12 million cars that assesses how long each vehicle lasts and how well it retains its value over time, along with safety data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association

See how we rank these cars
6.5 / 10
  • Reliability 7.2 / 10
  • Value Retention 5.8 / 10
  • Safety Not Available
iSEECARS SCORE

iSeeCars Best Car Rankings are calculated based on an analysis of data from over 12 million cars that assesses how long each vehicle lasts and how well it retains its value over time, along with safety data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association

See how we rank these cars
Coming soon
  • Reliability Coming soon
  • Value Retention 8.7 / 10
  • Safety 8.0 / 10
iSEECARS SCORE

iSeeCars Best Car Rankings are calculated based on an analysis of data from over 12 million cars that assesses how long each vehicle lasts and how well it retains its value over time, along with safety data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association

See how we rank these cars
Coming soon
  • Reliability Coming soon
  • Value Retention 8.7 / 10
  • Safety Not Available
iSEECARS SCORE

iSeeCars Best Car Rankings are calculated based on an analysis of data from over 12 million cars that assesses how long each vehicle lasts and how well it retains its value over time, along with safety data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association

See how we rank these cars
Coming soon
  • Reliability Coming soon
  • Value Retention 8.7 / 10
  • Safety Not Available
iSEECARS SCORE

iSeeCars Best Car Rankings are calculated based on an analysis of data from over 12 million cars that assesses how long each vehicle lasts and how well it retains its value over time, along with safety data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association

See how we rank these cars
Coming soon
  • Reliability Coming soon
  • Value Retention 7.8 / 10
  • Safety Not Available
iSEECARS SCORE

iSeeCars Best Car Rankings are calculated based on an analysis of data from over 12 million cars that assesses how long each vehicle lasts and how well it retains its value over time, along with safety data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association

See how we rank these cars
Coming soon
  • Reliability Coming soon
  • Value Retention 7.6 / 10
  • Safety Not Available
iSEECARS SCORE

iSeeCars Best Car Rankings are calculated based on an analysis of data from over 12 million cars that assesses how long each vehicle lasts and how well it retains its value over time, along with safety data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association

See how we rank these cars
Coming soon
  • Reliability Coming soon
  • Value Retention 7.6 / 10
  • Safety Not Available
iSEECARS SCORE

iSeeCars Best Car Rankings are calculated based on an analysis of data from over 12 million cars that assesses how long each vehicle lasts and how well it retains its value over time, along with safety data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association

See how we rank these cars
Coming soon
  • Reliability Coming soon
  • Value Retention 7.6 / 10
  • Safety Not Available
iSEECARS SCORE

iSeeCars Best Car Rankings are calculated based on an analysis of data from over 12 million cars that assesses how long each vehicle lasts and how well it retains its value over time, along with safety data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association

See how we rank these cars
Coming soon
  • Reliability Coming soon
  • Value Retention 7.4 / 10
  • Safety Not Available
iSEECARS SCORE

iSeeCars Best Car Rankings are calculated based on an analysis of data from over 12 million cars that assesses how long each vehicle lasts and how well it retains its value over time, along with safety data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association

See how we rank these cars
Coming soon
  • Reliability Coming soon
  • Value Retention 7.2 / 10
  • Safety Not Available
iSEECARS SCORE

iSeeCars Best Car Rankings are calculated based on an analysis of data from over 12 million cars that assesses how long each vehicle lasts and how well it retains its value over time, along with safety data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association

See how we rank these cars
Coming soon
  • Reliability Coming soon
  • Value Retention 6.8 / 10
  • Safety Not Available

How We Rank These Cars

iSeeCars Best Car Rankings are calculated based on the latest research by our data science team and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

We analyze data from over 12 million new and used vehicles in our Longest-Lasting Cars and 5-Year Depreciation Studies, combined with the NHTSA's Safety Ratings to give you an unbiased guide to the best vehicles in each segment.

After being evaluated, vehicles with the highest average scores earn a spot in the iSeeCars Best Car Rankings. (No final score is given to vehicles missing a score in any of the categories, but scores for other categories are still shown.)

Vehicles are scored in three categories:

Reliability | 33.3%

The reliability score represents an analysis of iSeeCars' proprietary research on the longest-lasting vehicles.

Value Retention | 33.3%

The value retention score is based on our data science team's statistical analysis and prediction of 5-year depreciation from MSRP to determine which cars hold their value best, using US Bureau of Labor Statistics data to adjust for inflation.

Safety | 33.3%

The safety score is calculated based on the last five years of crash test ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and incorporates the latest Top Safety Pick information from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).