Best EVs under $50,000

Just a few years ago, your choices for electric vehicles were quite limited, and many were prohibitively expensive. With many automakers accelerating toward full electrification of their fleets, the options have multiplied, and prices have become a bit more reasonable. They’ve also gotten quite good to drive, with more range and faster charging to boot. There are finally enough affordable EVs on the market that we can narrow them down to a list of favorites, so we’ve done just that.

Below are the best EVs you can currently buy for less that $50,000. All prices include destination, which in some cases enough to disqualify an otherwise great vehicle (we’re looking at you, Polestar 2).

Hyundai Ioniq 5

Hyundai Ioniq 5

Base price: $43,175

The Ioniq 5 is an amazing EV. It looks stupendous, features great electric car tech, has tons of utility and is even pretty fun to drive. There are three versions available for under $50,000 including the base SE Standard Range (with 220 miles of range), the $47,225 SE RWD with more horsepower and an impressive 303 miles of range, and the more upscale SEL RWD ($49,775). But you’ll have to skip all the all-wheel-drive offerings to stay under $50,000. While the base trims don’t come with all the creature comforts available, Hyundai is still kind enough to include enough content that you don’t really feel like you’re missing out on some great, important tech. All of Hyundai and Kia’s E-GMP models (which include the next two cars on this list) can take advantage of 350-kW DC fast chargers, keeping charging stops as brief as possible.

Read our full review of the Ioniq 5.


Kia EV6

Base price: $43,975

The Kia EV6 does so many things right from a mechanical and tech perspective. It’s the complete package and highly competitive in the EV space. Meanwhile, its eye-turning design alone might be enough to sell you. Mechanically similar to the Hyundai Ioniq 5, it also offers great range — up to 310 miles with rear-wheel drive. Like the Ioniq 5, adding all-wheel drive will still put you just above $50,000 including destination, but we love the rear-drive dynamics of the EV6.

Read our full review of the Kia EV6.


Hyundai Ioniq 6

Base price: $38,650

The Ioniq 6 is the best of the Hyundai/Kia E-GMP platform vehicles to drive, and its aerodynamic shape makes it super efficient. The base SE Standard Range costs less than $40,000 and offers 240 miles of range. The longer-range SE RWD, with its bigger battery, provides a bladder-busting 361 miles on a single charge, at a price of just $43,600. You can upgrade to AWD for $3,500, and still get 316 miles of range. If you want more amenities, the SEL RWD and AWD still start under $50,000. The sedan body style means you give up utility versus the Ioniq 5, but the benefits will be worth it for some.

Read our full review of the Hyundai Ioniq 6.


Ford Mustang Mach-E

Base price: $41,890

Ford puts its best foot forward with the Mach-E, combining the idea of a Mustang with the significance of an electric car. It’s capable, interesting and it’s a crossover. And that last part is because crossovers sell, plus they’re practical. For less than $50,000, you can get all-wheel drive, or a rear-wheel drive version equipped with Ford’s BlueCruise hands-free highway driving technology. Also, the Mach-E benefits from a sizable front trunk (frunk) under the hood for extra storage.

Read our full review of the Mustang Mach-E.


Tesla Model 3 Highland

Tesla Model 3

Base price: $40,380

The Model 3 presents quite the value. The base RWD model starts just over $40,000, and offers 272 miles of driving range. Even more impressive, the Model 3 Long Range costs $49,130, gets all-wheel drive, provides 341 miles of range and has a 0-60 time of just 4.2 seconds. Yes, it has some quirks, including too many vehicle functions residing exclusively in infotainment menus, but the Model 3’s idiosyncrasies are easy to forgive based on those figures above, and they’re things you can quickly get used to or possibly even appreciate. No wonder this EV is so popular.

Read our full review of the Tesla Model 3.


Nissan Ariya

Base price: $44,555

The Ariya builds on Nissan’s EV expertise gained from building the Leaf for well over a decade now. It has a gorgeous interior, drives like a luxury vehicle with surprising performance from the dual-motor model and is generally priced in line with its competition. For less than $50,000, you’ve got some options. The base model has rear-wheel drive and offers a humble 216 miles of range, but you can get all-wheel drive (and 205 miles of range), or rear-wheel drive with a more respectful 304 miles of range and stay within budget.

Read our full review of the Nissan Ariya.

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