Electric cars are becoming more affordable as battery technology improves and also cheaper to research and build. Many automakers have designed “cheaper” electric cars that are more readily available to the common man. One is the Tesla Model 3†
The Model 3 was designed as the BMW 3-Series rival, which offered the same level of performance, comfort and technology. While this was largely true, the 3 Series still beat Tesla in terms of build quality, reliability, and overall standing. This doesn’t mean the Model 3 is a bad car – quite the contrary. With the world getting closer and closer to producing all-electric vehicles, the Model 3 has a lot of competition to keep at bay. Unfortunately for Tesla, many automakers have built cars that are simply better than the Model 3 in several ways, be it in range, performance or usability.
So while the Model 3 is still a great option for anyone looking for an electric car, there are other alternatives available from trusted manufacturers that will get the job done just as well. Here are 5 of the best electric cars and 5 of the best hybrids to buy instead of the Tesla Model 3.
10 Electric – Kia EV6
The Kia EV6 is the Kia version of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 – even though they look nothing alike. The EV6 has a sportier design and is made to look slimmer than the Ioniq 5. Being the same car, the EV6 has much of the same powertrain options as the Hyundai, but with a noticeable difference.
The Kia EV6 features premium GT trim, which boosts the power of the top-of-the-line Hyundai’s 320 hp and 446 lb-ft to a whopping 577 hp and 564 lb-ft of torque. All this in a mostly family-oriented electric crossover hatchback! Rumor has it that the upcoming Hyundai Ioniq 5 N will have the same level of performance.
9 Electric – Polestar 2
The Polestar 2 is the second – and cheaper – car from the Swedish manufacturer. It is based on the platform of the Volvo XC40, but with several modifications to make it stand out as a Polestar. The 2 is available in three different versions: Standard Single, Long Single and Long Dual. The first two versions have a single electric motor on the front axle, producing 230 horsepower and 240 lb-ft.
The top-of-the-line version has an electric motor on each axle, producing a combined 400 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque. The base model has a range of about 290 miles, while the mid-tier trim has 330 miles. Thanks to the additional engine and increased power in the twin engine version, the range is only 499 miles.
8 Electric – BMW i3 Sedan
While the new BMW i3 – now based on the 3-Series sedan rather than a dedicated electric hatchback – is only available in China for now, it will undoubtedly become available around the world. The new i3 is currently only available in eDrive35L trim and produces 280 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque from a single motor mounted on the rear axle.
The only battery option is a 70.3 kWh battery, with a claimed range of approximately 327 miles. As with most BMW electric cars, the i3 retains most of the styling of the internal combustion engine car, save for the blind grille and aerodynamic wheels. Hopefully the i3 will drive just as well as the normal 3 Series.
7 Electric – Ford Mustang Mach-E
Despite the ill-fitting name (chosen purely for marketing purposes), Mustang Mach-E turned out to be quite a good electric car† Available with rear-wheel or four-wheel drive, the Mach-E has a range of approximately 250 to 380 miles, depending on trim level.
The Mustang Mach-E is also available in GT trim, giving it 480 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque (634 lb-ft on the GT Performance Edition). The Mach-E won the EV of the year award from Car and driver, unlike the Tesla Model 3, as it had superior handling and road feel. Even though it’s a big rival, it still has a silly name.
6 Electric – Hyundai Ioniq 5
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is the first car to be launched under the dedicated Ioniq sub-brand and was the first car to be built with Hyundai’s Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). The car is available with rear-wheel or four-wheel drive and has three different battery capacities: 58 kWh, 72.6 kWh and 77.4 kWh.
Power ranges from 170 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque in the base package to 320 hp and 446 lb-ft of torque in the Extra Long Range version. The Ioniq 5 has so far proven itself to be a fantastic electric car and a brilliant Tesla rival. In fact, it has won both the 2022 World Car of the Year and the World Electric Car of the Year 2022 awards.
5 Hybrid – Toyota Camry Hybrid
The Toyota Camry Hybrid is a fantastic car† It is equipped with a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated i4, mated to an electric motor, which produces a combined 208 horsepower. Fuel economy for the Camry Hybrid is 52 MPG, a 30 percent increase over the previous Camry hybrid.
The Camry Hybrid uses an eCVT transmission to seamlessly merge the combustion engine and electric motor. For anyone who thinks the Camry might be a little too cheap, the Lexus ES is the exact same car, just with better styling and a premium interior.
4 Hybrid – VW Golf GTE
The VW Golf GTE is the plug-in hybrid version of the wildly popular GTI and GTD. While the GTI and GTD have 2.0-litre turbo inline-4 engines (turbodiesel for the GTD), the GTE is equipped with a turbocharged 1.4-litre i4, mated to an electric motor and a 13 kWh battery pack. .
The GTE produces the same 241 horsepower as the GTI, but with more torque – all with excellent fuel economy. The GTE is slightly slower to 60 mph than the GTI, thanks to the extra weight of the batteries. In addition, the Golf GTE can travel 37 miles in electric mode, making it perfect for city use.
3 Hybrid – BMW 330e
The BMW 330e was introduced in 2019 and is equipped with the same engine as the normal 320i, but with an added electric motor. This results in 248 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. Although it has slightly less power than the 330i, it achieves a claimed fuel economy of 75 MPGe.
The 3 Series is the best sedan in its class and the addition of the 330e was a major improvement. The 330e still has the same 8-speed automatic transmission as the regular 3-series, unlike many other hybrids that get CVTs. In addition to the great economy, the 330e can travel about 66 miles in electric-only mode.
2 Hybrid – Lexus UX
Like the Volvo XC40, the Lexus UX is a statement in style† Where the Volvo takes the minimalist approach, the Lexus is all about nooks and crannies – and yet it looks stylish. The UX is the smallest crossover/SUV in the Lexus range and is praised for its low center of gravity and body rigidity.
The UX is equipped with a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated inline-4, which produces 143 horsepower on its own. Fortunately, the motor is coupled to an electric motor. Available in the US, the UX250h produced a combined 181 horsepower, which went to the front wheels only or to all four through an eCVT transmission.
1 Hybrid – Volvo XC40 T5 Charging
Volvo has updated its XC40 range with various hybrid Recharge trims – not to be confused with the electric Recharge trims. It’s all a bit confusing. The hybrid models all feature a 1.5-litre turbocharged inline-3 engine mated to an electric motor. There are three hybrid versions: T4, T5 and T5 AWD.
The base T4 makes 210 horsepower, while the T5 makes 260 horsepower and the T5 AWD makes 305 horsepower. The XC40 Recharge is a great car with excellently minimalist Scandinavian styling – much in the Volvo proper way. The XC40 may be a bit on the expensive side, but it’s definitely a car worth the money.
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