2023 will be the year electric vehicle sales surpass the one-million mark in the U.S. To help guide the ever-growing number of in-market EV shoppers, Autotrader, a Cox Automotive company, has named the Best Electric Vehicles of 2023.
The electric vehicle (EV) business is booming, and buyer interest in EVs has increased dramatically this year alone. Electric vehicle sales grew from a share below 1% in 2018 to EVs representing 3.2% of sales in 2021, 5.8% in 2022, and 7.2% in the first quarter of 2023.
“We are in the midst of a sea change in the industry as EV sales become a growing slice of the American automotive pie,” said Brian Moody, executive editor for Autotrader, in a June 22 news release. “More and more shoppers are hungry for new EVs, and automakers are continually developing and introducing new EV models as the demand continues to surge — with no signs of slowing.”
To compile this list, Autotrader’s expert editorial team drove and lived with the 2023 model-year electric cars, asking questions along the way and ultimately contributing their opinions, expertise and ratings to determine the best of the bunch.
Only pure EVs were allowed on the list; there are no hybrids, plug-in hybrids, or hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. All vehicles on the list are from the 2023 model-year and feature a base manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) under $100,000.
In response to inquiries as to why Tesla electric vehicle models did not make the list, Autorader on June 23 released the following statement from executive editor Brian Moody: "While Tesla models were included in our evaluation, they did not receive sufficiently high scores by Autotrader’s expert editorial team to qualify for the top 10. The EV market and consumer demand are both growing rapidly, creating more competition among brands and more vehicle choices for today’s car buyers.”
Vehicles on the list must be generally available to the public in at least 15 states at the time of publication. Below are Autotrader’s electric vehicle choices, listed in alphabetical order by brand. [These vehicles are not ranked 1-10 best].
1. 2023 BMW i4
BMW reboots its EV approach and comes up with a winner: Whatever you thought of BMW’s first run at EV, the i3, it was missing a certain something — it didn’t look or perform like a BMW. The 2023 BMW i4 corrects course with a Gran Coupe that our editors agree looks and drives like a BMW.
Ford’s electric pickup gathers steam in its second year: The F-150 Lightning somehow synthesized decades of pickup truck knowledge with the latest and greatest EV technology and infused thoughtful details and user-friendly features.
South Korea’s luxury brand shows how to elevate the executive EV sedan without breaking the bank: Genesis, Hyundai’s luxury offshoot, rethought the gasoline-powered luxury sedan, the G80, and developed the 2023 Genesis Electrified G80. Precisely as the name hints, the Electrified G80 replaces the G80’s engine with an all-wheel-drive EV powertrain.
An all-new compact luxury EV SUV gets the formula just right: For a company that started with a two-car lineup nearly a decade ago, Genesis has expanded in all the right directions. The 2023 Genesis GV60 is one of the latest additions to the lineup, a compact luxury EV crossover SUV with style, performance, and range.
5. 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5
The 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5 impresses in its second year: Until the Ioniq 6 becomes widely available across the U.S., the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5 compact EV SUV represents the best Hyundai has to offer — and that’s been good enough to land it on our list two years in a row.
6. 2023 Kia EV6
Kia’s take on the near-luxury midsize EV crossover continues to gain acclaim: Since the EV6 was named to the list last year, it has continued to gather awards and great reviews across the automotive landscape. The EV6 again proves Kia is a design-forward company willing to take risks to set its vehicles apart.
7. 2023 Lucid Air
A new manufacturer delivers a surprisingly well-built and beautiful EV: The road to success is littered with failed EV startups, so it’s great to see the 2023 Lucid Air on our Best EVs list. The Air, a midsize sedan, delivers “ingenious engineering, attention to detail, high build quality and a finely developed aesthetic sense,” according to one of our editors.
Nissan adds another branch to its EV tree: Nissan has a solid history in EVs, having promoted the Leaf through two generations of production. Rather than abandoning the entry-level, the 2023 Nissan Ariya builds on the Leaf and enlarges the concept, scale, and range.
9. 2023 Porsche Taycan
Shocking when first unveiled, the 2023 Porsche Taycan is now a fixture in the sport sedan field: With blistering acceleration, impressive handling, and expansive range, the Taycan has even spawned two specialty spinoffs, the Taycan Cross Turismo and Sport Turismo.
10. 2023 Rivian R1T
The 2023 R1T electric pickup truck proves there’s room for a startup in the EV field: Rivian is a startup EV manufacturer hoping to reach maturity with innovative vehicles. The 2023 R1T electric pickup truck, a repeat entry from last year’s list, demonstrates a flair for design and function.
More information: Best Electric Vehicles of 2023 from Autotrader