5 Worst Used Electric Cars You Should Avoid

The electric car market is at its tipping point. With governments looking to ban the production of gas-powered cars by as early as 2030, more car manufacturers are abandoning combustion engines for electric motors.

There’s so much to choose from at the moment and it’s getting harder to know what EV is best, especially if you’re looking to buy a used model. There are plenty of options that you can buy used but first, let’s take a look at the electric cars you should avoid.

Top 5 Used Electric Cars to Avoid

Before diving into this list, it’s worth mentioning that most of these cars aren’t bad. There’s just better out there, especially if you have more leeway in terms of budget.

Smart ForFour EQ

The Smart ForFour EQ is a great option for those looking for a small EV that can run errands and go on short trips. It can be bought as a second family car, alongside a better electric car that offers more range for longer travels. It’s good to note that its size can be impractical for a lot of people.

Its claimed range of just 80 – 99 miles is too short compared to what’s available out there on the market. Other downsides include poor handling and ride quality. However, it drives better than its gas-powered equivalent.

If range is a huge deciding factor for you, avoid the Smart ForFour EQ. It’s not something you’d want to have as your main car. But, it’s cheap, economical, and surprisingly useful for a car its size. It does what it’s supposed to do in its segment.

DS3 Crossback E-Tense

The DS3 Crossback E-Tense can be considered a better EV when compared to the Smart ForFour EQ. However, it does not compete well in the market. At its price, there are better alternatives that offer more range between charges, more space inside, and better ride quality.

The biggest letdown has to be the cramped seats. The rear seats cannot comfortably accommodate three adults sitting side by side. It also takes longer to find the right sitting position. There’s limited headroom and no electrically adjustable seats.

However, the DS3 Crossback E-Tense isn’t all bad. It’s small, comfortable for one or two people, and cheap to run. While not popular among most people, the car’s 191-206 miles of range should serve you quite well when driving around the city.

Mazda MX-30

The Mazda MX-30 finds its way into this list for the same reason as the first two vehicles – it needs much more juice for it to be competitive. It houses a 35.5 kWh battery pack that’s only good for 100 miles of driving range.

It competes against the likes of the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Tesla Model 3 – both of which offer more power, better range, and a perky acceleration that is predominantly missing. The 100-mile range is less than half of what the Kona Electric offers.

It is also a bit slow and takes 8.7 seconds to get from 0 to 60 mph. The rear seating and small cargo space also feel a bit cramped thanks to the sloping roofline at the back. It negatively impacts the headroom which is as disappointing as the legroom.

Overall, the MX-30 is eye-catching and handles quite well. It employs sustainable materials inside made from recycled plastic and breathable fabric to provide a natural and comfortable feel. It’s great for short drives and regional trips but not good enough when out side by side with its competitors.

Changli EVs

Changli is an EV manufacturer based in China that makes tiny and cheap electric vehicles meant to be used as taxis or for personal transportation. They are widely popular due to their price point.

Changlis come with lead-acid batteries, the cheapest plastic you’ll ever see on a car’s dashboard, and a steering wheel that takes time to get used to. They are basic and feature no software for driving or heavy tech in the interior.

The average Changli is the size of a golf cart. Pricing starts at $6,500 in the U.S. The base vehicle offers 20 miles of range on a single charge and has a top speed of 25 mph. The truck version offers 40 miles with the largest battery configuration and a top speed of 35 mph.

You’re most likely not going to do anything more than run around town, do grocery shopping, and take short drives on slow roads with this car. A typical Changli can sit two adults at the front and two children at the back.

What makes it a bad choice to buy used is that you won’t get value for your money. Furthermore, with a small battery and little range, it’s safe to say that not much of the battery’s capacity will remain useful after prolonged use.

In addition, Changli vehicles do not meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and are not legal in many parts of America. This is despite containers of Changlis continuously selling out every month. Many people love the quirkiness of the car.

Mikey G from Electrek says that driving the Grunt and Pak Yak trims is fun and feels like being a kid again. You’re better off buying such a car new rather than used unless of course, the owner hasn’t put too many miles on it.

Chevrolet Bolt

The Chevrolet Bolt is a good electric car. It comes with good range of about 259 miles on a single charge. It gets from 0-60 miles in 7 seconds, offers rapid charging, a fantastic drivetrain, and a motor that performs well.

What makes it one of the used electric cars you should avoid is the lack of effort in its build. The interior boasts cheap plastics, stiff seats that are uncomfortable, a confusing shifter, and a seating position that feels like you’re inside a minivan.

At its price point, you’re better off going for something that doesn’t feel like a $15,000 car. This is especially if you’re considering a Chevy Bolt that’s 2 years old or more. It performs well for a car in its market segment but falls short in everything non-electrical.

For better interior and exterior features, opt for a Kia Niro EV, Tesla Model 3, Hyundai Kona Electric, or a Nissan Leaf. If you get a really good deal for a used Chevy Bolt, go for it. But do some research first to find out how much the alternatives are going for at the moment.

Best Used Electric Cars to Buy in 2022

Now that you know what electric cars you should avoid, here is a list of models that you can consider buying in 2022.

EVRange
Lucid Air Dream Edition R500 miles
Tesla Model 3374 miles
Skoda Enyaq253 miles
VW ID.3263 miles
BMW iX379 miles
Cupra Born263 miles
Audi Q4 E-tron241 miles
Hyundai Ioniq 5         303 miles
Kia EV6328 miles
BMW i3126 miles
MG ZS EV273 miles
MG5 Estate250 miles
Porsche Taycan225 miles
BMW iX3285 miles
BMW i4365 miles
Audi e-tron GT298 miles

Final Thoughts

None of the EVs available on the market today are bad in an outstanding way. The market is still growing and most electric cars haven’t been in use long enough to flag out the really bad ones. Furthermore, most if not all are consistently good and deliver what they promise.

The list we have provided above is bound to change in the coming months as more electric car manufacturers release more EVs into the market. As that happens, we will keep an eye on any upcoming new electric vehicles that you should avoid buying used. In the meantime, let us know if you’ve come across a model that you didn’t like.  

Read more: Electric Cars That Can Power Your House