Expert Insights

Top-Rated Electric Cars

Dave Nichols
July 8, 2023
Electric car buyers love the technology, performance, and efficiency that their vehicles offer. But some vehicles truly stand out. Here are the most satisfying electric vehicles to own, according to market research firm J.D. Power.
Charging Electric Car

Electric Car Buyers Love Their Cars

J.D. Power, the well-known American customer insights company, recently conducted its second-annual consumer satisfaction survey focused on electric vehicles. Its 2022 Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Ownership Study surveyed over 8,000 owners of 2016-2022 model-year battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. Overall, it found that making the electric vehicle “leap of faith” proved highly satisfactory for the majority of electric vehicle owners, and that the drivers with the highest level of satisfaction would not go back to gasoline-powered cars.

Many customers have concerns during the purchase consideration process regarding such aspects as battery range and vehicle charging. However, J.D. Power found that once someone had purchased a BEV, they get hooked. What keeps first-time owners coming back to buy another electric car is the compelling experience with the safety and technology features, lower service and maintenance costs, and driving enjoyment.

The overall score of a vehicle included measures of satisfaction in both premium and mass market segments; today, we are focusing on the mainstream vehicles that most of us can afford and buy. The 2022 study was been expanded to include 10 factors, up from seven in 2021, and touched on: accuracy of stated battery range; availability of public charging stations; battery range; cost of ownership; driving enjoyment; ease of charging at home; interior and exterior styling (new in 2022); safety and technology features (new); service experience (new); and vehicle quality and reliability.

Charging station for electric cars

Today's Top-Rated Electric Cars

Here are J.D. Power’s five top-rated electric vehicles for 2022 based on customer satisfaction. They’re all solid choices for families and a great gateway into electric driving. We’ll touch on the top luxury choices in a separate article.

Hyundai Kona EV front view exterior

‍Hyundai Kona EV

Fourth Place (tie) | Hyundai Kona EV, 692 Points

Hyundai calls the Kona “an SUV for the city,” but what it really is, if you set the plastic body cladding aside, is a versatile, compact hatchback that is perfect for growing families. Everything that makes the Kona a great all-round city car is only amplified in its electric form. With an EPA-estimated range of 258 miles and a starting MSRP of $34,000 (before the $7,500 federal tax credit) it’s a very appealing and affordable package with a surprising amount of capability.

2022 Volkswagen ID.4

Volkswagen ID.4

Fourth Place (tie) | Volkswagen ID.4, 692 Points

The Volkswagen ID.4 isn’t the brand’s first all-electric car – that honor goes to the humble e-Golf – but it’s definitely its first well-rounded electric car, with a range that lets it stray beyond commuting duties. A versatile, roomy SUV, it packs a huge amount of space into a footprint not much bigger than the compact Tiguan, and its interior is well-built and futuristic-looking, with touch panels everywhere. All-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive models are available, the latter offering an EPA-estimated range of 280 miles. Pricing is attractive too, with starting MSRP in the low forties before federal, local, and regional incentives.

2022 Nissan LEAF

Nissan Leaf

Third Place | Nissan Leaf, 708 Points

The original electric car is still one of the best, according to J.D. Power. While the Leaf may not be the fanciest or flashiest of electric vehicles, it is a solid and very affordable package, with MSRP starting under $30,000 ($32,400 for the Plus model, which has a larger battery and 226 miles of EPA-estimated range). A full suite of advanced driver assistance features is standard, and the interior is remarkably spacious given the compact exterior. The Leaf also gets high marks for the simplicity and ease of use of its electronics, which can often be a source of frustration for new EV owners.

2022 Ford Mustang Mach-e

Ford Mustang Mach-E

Second Place | Ford Mustang Mach-E, 741 Points

Introduced in 2021, the Mustang Mach-E has rocketed to near the top of the rankings with its combination of sporty design features, awesome performance, impressive practicality, and its excellent infotainment system. The Mustang moniker is appropriate, as despite having five doors and a huge interior, this crossover is fun to drive, sporty, and extremely quick. More impressive than the performance is how mature it feels – it rides well, is very quiet, and is very well made. Multiple trim levels are available, with your choice of rear- or all-wheel drive, and an EPA-estimated range of up to 303 miles. You’ll pay close to $50,000 MSRP for a well-equipped Mach-E before incentives, but the price brings you space and a package that feels more like a luxury vehicle.

Kia Niro side profile

Kia Niro

First Place | Kia Niro EV, 744 Points

In the top spot for this survey of top-rated EVs we find the Kia Niro. The Niro is sometimes overlooked because of its conservative appearance, but clearly, its owners love it. It’s not hard to see why: with a long wheelbase and a tall cabin, it offers a huge amount of space in a package that’s easy to maneuver in the city, but offers excellent comfort on longer trips. It is also very efficient: the all-electric Niro EV is powered by a 64.8-kWh battery and 201-horsepower electric motor yet delivers up to 253 miles of range according to EPA estimates. Upscale touches abound inside, and the interior of the Niro EV is composed of animal-free textiles. You’ll find available dual 10.25-inch screens for the instrument cluster and infotainment, and there’s adjustable ambient mood lighting in a variety of color combinations. Plus, if you aren’t yet ready to go full EV, Niro remains the only vehicle on the market available with three different electrified propulsion options – a green car for every need and circumstance.

For a closer look at these electric cars and more, visit our GreenCars Buyer's Guide.