Have you ever thought about buying an electric SUV? Interested in boosting your gas mileage but not in the steep price tag?
If so, consider buying a used electric SUV.
Used electric SUVs are not fundamentally different from other used electric vehicles on the market these days. Most are relatively new, which means that their components (in particular, the batteries) have not worn down significantly since the car was manufactured.
Moreover, in most cases, few substantial modifications have been made across the different model years. This means that a used electric SUV will have most if not all of the whiz-bang special features found in the newest model.
Pros and Cons of Buying a Used Electric SUV
With today’s robust used car market, going green with an EV doesn’t have to give you sticker shock. A few advantages of buying a used EV include.
- Environmental impact: a fully electric SUV produces zero tailpipe emissions. A hybrid will get substantially better gas mileage than a regular gasoline-powered SUV.
- Better Condition: EVs tend to be driven less than their gas-powered counterparts. This plus the fact that their engines have fewer physically moving parts means that a used electric SUV will be in decent condition for its age.
- Value: Because EVs typically lose value faster than comparable gas-powered cars, you can snap up some amazing deals if you keep an eye out for them. For example, a 4-year-old electric SUV can lose 50% of its value and be ripe for a used-car hunter like yourself.
If you’re not quite sold on getting a used electric SUV, the list below might change your mind.
The 5 Best Used Electric SUVs
In this article we’ll be considering both fully electric cars and hybrid cars. As such, we’ll be using MPGe (miles-per-gallon equivalent) for the fully electric cars and regular old MPG for the hybrids.
1. Tesla Model X
The Tesla Model X is, quite simply, THE electric SUV. Source: Car and Driver.
Of course, a Tesla had to take the top spot on this list. After all, their name is virtually synonymous with electric cars. And the Tesla Model X is their premier electric SUV. As a midsize luxury crossover, the Model X is made for people who want a zero-emissions, high-tech marvel. It’s a 5-seater with 2 trim levels. It provides 90 MPGe around town and 89 MPGe on the highway.
Source: Automotive News.
The Model X “represents a whole new way of thinking about what a car actually is,” according to Jeremy Clarkson, an automotive writer and journalist. “Because it’s electric, it’s eerily quiet.” Moreover, “because the battery pack is mounted to the floor, the center of gravity is really low down,” he added. “Because you’ve got one electric motor at the front driving the front wheels and another at the back driving the back wheels, the car feels especially nimble and agile.”
The “Performance” style of the Model X will run you over $100,000 MSRP. Considering this price, buying used is the smart way to go. Since the Model X came out in 2016, there have been regular updates from Tesla. While some of these modifications are more important than others, the crux of the matter is that the Model X has remained essentially the same car throughout. Grab a slightly outdated used model and drive the electric SUV of your dreams at a realistic price.
2. Audi e-tron
As the first fully electric SUV from Audi, expectations for the e-tron (it’s supposed to be written in lowercase) were quite high when it was first announced. And Audi did not disappoint. It is luxurious in every sense of the word. It’s quiet, smooth, serene ride. It’s MPGe figures in the city and on the highway are virtually identical: 74 MPGe city; 73 MPGe highway.
Features include a spacious, top-quality interior, superior driving dynamics, advanced technology and safety features such as a surround-view parking camera system, a rearview camera, parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, front and rear collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian detection.
Really, the only downsides to the Audi e-tron are (1) it’s pricey, and (2) it turns in a relatively low driving range compared to other EVs like a Tesla. The e-tron clocks in at about 200 miles of range, in comparison to the 300–400 of a Tesla Model S, for example.
The original e-tron sports the classic fusion of flair and subtlety that defines Audi vehicles. Source: Wikipedia.
As for the ever-so-critical “new or used?” question, the e-tron has carried over largely unchanged since it was first released to the public in 2019. For this reason, a used model will likely have all the same essential features as a new e-tron.
Now, the e-tron does come in a “Prestige” model with a variety of enhanced features. These include a head-up display, massaging front seats, power door closers, and other similar gizmos. However, these features are all “cherries on top” and hardly essential for a great EV driving experience. Hence, we wholeheartedly recommend picking up a used Audi e-tron and getting that sublime driving experience at a (relatively) grounded price.
3. Hyundai Kona
The Hyundai Kona has been called “surprisingly good” by Motor Trend, which we think is just a tad bit patronizing. Source: Motor Trend.
If you’re thinking “wait, that’s not an EV!” just hold your horses. The most popular model of the Hyundai Kona is currently the EV Ultimate FWD, which comes complete with an electric engine and slick front-wheel drive. It’s an all-around excellent subcompact crossover.
The Kona is a 5-seater with 8 trim levels. This electric SUV is known for its powertrain and can hit 175 HP with a 7-speed clutch. It has 258 miles of battery range, which is excellent for a fully electric SUV. Further, it is estimated to deliver 132 MPGe in the city and 108 MPGe on highways.
Source: Top Gear.
The main potential downside to the Kona Hybrid model is its relatively limited cargo room and tight back seats. Additionally, it has pretty low ground clearance for an SUV, so be careful with it on rough roads.
4. Lexus RX Hybrid
The Lexus RX is known for its seamless power delivery, and its hybrid version is no exception. Source: Edmunds.
The hybrid version of the Lexus RX gets 31 MPG in cities and 28 MPG highway. It seats 5 to 6 and is well known for its classy, upscale interior hidden within a fairly modest exterior.
According to auto enthusiast Kirk Kreifels, the Lexus RX “has been the king of the luxury SUV segment” for the past 2 decades. This Hybrid version is “the most recent iteration of a super refined product.” Unlike a few other SUVs covered here, there have been substantial improvements to the Lexus RX in recent years. Hence, the latest RX Hybrid is well worth picking up if you can grab one used. “The heads-up display is phenomenal in this vehicle,” he added. “Probably the best heads-up display outside the LS 500.”
All in all, the Lexus RX Hybrid is a great choice, just like its traditional gasoline-powered brethren. Just be aware that cargo space is somewhat limited.
5. Acura MDX Hybrid
The Acura MDX Hybrid is, perhaps, a little less luxurious than other SUVs on this list, but it makes up for it with sporty, composed handling and a number of neat features. It seats up to 7 people and comes with some very spiffy leather upholstery and heated, 12-way power-adjustable front seats. The One-Touch Smart Slide comes standard to make folding and sliding the second row of seats a breeze. While there is plenty of legroom and headroom in the first two rows, the back row is a bit tight and best left for kids (you were going to do that anyway, right?).
The MDX Hybrid get an EPA-estimated 26 MPG in cities and 27 MPG on a highway. For an SUV of this size, that’s pretty impressive; doubly so given that the MDX hybrid comes with all-wheel drive. However, it comes up a bit short on gas mileage compared to other SUVs on this list. But hey, you get what you pay for. In terms of cost efficiency, this SUV is an excellent choice, especially for larger families.
Man, that’s class. Source: DriveMag.
Since there have been no substantial changes to the MDX hybrid model since the 2018 model year, this SUV is perfectly fine if bought used. The MDX Hybrid was originally launched in 2017, and any version made then or since will have essentially the same features (some minor tweaks to the infotainment system and the addition of Android Auto appear to be the only modifications). Check out Acura Deals on USNews to find the best deals on a used MDX Hybrid.
Bonus Feature: The Tesla Model Y
The Tesla Model Y has just come out and is already commanding attention. Source: Edmunds.
Now, before we jump into this, know that the Tesla Model Y just came out in 2020. Used models are going to be pretty hard to come by at the moment. But the keywords here are “at the moment.”
Trust us, somewhere out there is a John Q. Moneybags who jumps on the Model Y as soon as it comes out, only to get bored and sell it a few months later. If you keep your eyes peeled, you’ll be able to pick up a used Model Y as soon as one pops up.
The Tesla Model Y unveiled to the world! Subtlety has never been Elon Musk’s strong suit. Source: USA Today.
The Tesla Model Y is a crossover SUV has excellent acceleration and a range of 315 miles. While that’s not quite on par with the Model S and its 400 miles of range, it’s still a highly impressive figure for an electric SUV. The Model Y is a technological masterpiece with semi-autonomous driving capabilities and a smorgasbord of advanced safety features.
It’s a 5-seter with 2 trim levels. Current estimates put it at 129 MPGe for driving in the city and 112 MPGe on the highway.