Car shopping, 2019
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Rating (0 to 10)NotesStarting priceConfigured priceCharger priceTax creditSeatingRear legroomLengthWidthHeightNHTSA Safety RatingIIHS Safety RatingEPA MPG combinedEPA MPGe combinedAll electricPlug-in hybridAll electric range (miles)Requires premium gasPush button startSeat memoryMirror memoryHeads up displayRear A/C and heat ventsAndroid Auto
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2003 Corolla LE-A previous car we owned, for comparison.---535.4"178.3"66.9"57.7"
4ish stars
Meh25/34-nono-nonononononono
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Subaru Outback9The car we currently own, for comparison.$33k--538.1"189.6"72"66.1"5 starsTop Safety Pick+25/32-nono-nodon't think sono2018 and newer
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Audi e-tron0Expensive. Not great MPGe.$75k-74204
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BMW 530e0Expensive. Not great MPGe. Low all-electric range.297230
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BMW 740e xDrive0Poor mileage.2764
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BMW 745e xDrive0Poor mileage.2256
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BMW i35A little pricey--more than the Tesla Model 3. Not great with rear-facing car seats.$44k$7,500431.9"158.3"69.9"62.9"-113153
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BMW i3s5A little pricey--more than the Tesla Model 3. Not great with rear-facing car seats.$48k$7,500431.9"158.1"70.5"62.8"-113153
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BMW i3 with Range Extender4A little pricey. Not great with rear-facing car seats. Don't really care about range extender, and it adds cost and complication.$48k431.9"158.3"69.9"62.9"31100126
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BMW i3s with Range Extender4A little pricey. Not great with rear-facing car seats.. Don't really care about range extender, and it adds cost and complication.$52k431.9"158.1"70.5"62.8"31100126
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BMW i80Poor mileage.$148k2769
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BYD e60Not great MPGe. Not widely available. Target audience is "fleets." Not a mainstream consumer car company.-72
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Chevrolet Bolt EV6A little ugly. Alex on Autos said driver seat was uncomfortable for him. Worried that it might be too small for a family. Would probably want the "Premier" trim for the better speakers.$37k$33k (possibly as low as), according to TrueCar$600 for a Level 2 charger (e.g. Charge Point Home, also see Juicebox, EVSE, Clipper Creek) + installation cost$3,750 until end of September536.5"164"69.5"62.8"4/5 starsOk. Small, so a little less safe. IIHS said low beam headlights caused excessive glare (for oncoming vehicles, I think).-119no238no
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Chevrolet Volt7All electric range isn't great. Extra complication from gas engine.$34k$37k as configured$3,750 until end of September534.7"180.4"71.2"56.4"42106no53
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Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid2Very long and very wide... but seating for 7!$40k739" / 36.5"203.8"79.6"69.9"308232
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Fiat 500e42 door. Quite small. Not great with rear-facing car seats. Lacks blind spot warnings, front collision warning/autobraking, rear backup autobraking, etc.$33k4142.4"64.1"60.1"Not great. Small. Smooshed driver area.-11284probably
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Ford Fusion Energi Plug-in Hybrid4All electric range is short.$35k538.3"191.8"72.9"58"4210320
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Honda Clarity EV0Only available in California and Oregon. Only available as a lease.-11489
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Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid5All electric range is average. Extra complication from gas engine. Car seat compatibility is ok, but not as good as the other cars on the list.$34k536.2"192.7"73.9"58.2"4211047
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Hyundai Kona Electric3Real bad for rear-facing car seat--front passenger won't have enough room. Not available in NC. Available in Maryland.$37k533.4"164.6"70.9"61.2"-120258
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Hyundai Ioniq Electric6Not available in NC. Available in Maryland.$30k$38k according to TrueCar$7,50035.7"176.0"71.7"57.1"?Top Safety Pick (for the plug-in hybrid version)-136124
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Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid4All electric range is just ok. Extra complication from gas engine.$25k$7,5005211929
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Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid3All electric range is short. Long, on the wider side, and on the pricier side.$38k$7,500535.6"191.1"73.4"57.9"399927
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Jaguar I-Pace0Not great MPGe and expensive.$70k$7,500-76
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Kia Niro Electric6Not available in NC. Available in Maryland.$39k$7,50036"172.2"71.1"61.4"?Top Safety Pick+ (for the plug-in hybrid version)-112239
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Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid4All electric range is short. Bigger tax credit due to Kia having not sold many electric vehicles?$29k$7,50037.4"171.5"71.1"60.8"4610526
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Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid3All electric range is short. Long and on the wider side. Bigger tax credit due to Kia having not sold many electric vehicles?$35k$7,50035.6"191.1"73.2"57.5"4010329
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Kia Soul Electric5Small? Ugly.$34k$7,5004?36"163.0"70.9"63.0"?Top Safety Pick (for the non-hybrid non-electric version)-114111
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Mercedes-Benz GLC350e 4matic0Poor mileage.>$50k$7,5002556
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MINI Cooper SE Countryman All40Poor mileage.> $37k$7,5002765
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Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV4All electric range is short. MPGe isn't great.$36k$7,5005184.8"70.9"67.3"257422
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Nissan Leaf S/SV/SL (40 kW-hr battery pack)8Want SV or SL because blind spot warning isn't available on the S. Probably SL because the SV with blind spot monitoring is almost the same price, and SL comes with a few extra niceties (better speakers). But maybe hard to find an SV that isn't a PLUS. Maybe tight for rear-facing car seat? Probably ok. Speakers in SV weren't great. SL has Bose speakers. Another difference: SV has cloth, SL has leather. The cloth seats in the SV seemed very average. Interior was fine, but standard affair. Driving position was average for me. Controls felt clunky. Too many options, poorly organized. Infotainment screen was laggy (half second delay after pressing a button). Around 2013, for the previous generation, Nissan seemed to recommend charging only up to 80% to reduce battery degredation over time. Not sure if that's still a recommendation. Note: If considering used, probably stick with 2017 and newer because the first gen had too-low-for-comfort range. Also Android Auto was only added in 2018.$33k$38k, but $35k according to TrueCarJust installation cost?$7,500533.5"176.4"70.5"61.4"4 stars for older years?, but older model years had average ratings-112no150no
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Nissan Leaf S Plus (62 kW-hr battery pack)1If we got a leaf we'd want either the SV or SL because blind spot warning isn't available on the S.$37k$7,500533.5"176.4"70.5"61.4"-108226
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Nissan Leaf SV/SL Plus (62 kW-hr battery pack)5Want SV or SL because blind spot warning isn't available on the S. Maybe tight for rear-facing car seat? Should test it. Don't care about longer range.$39k$7,500533.5"176.4"70.5"61.4"??, but probably same as above-104226
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Porsche Panamera 4 e-Hybrid0Poor mileage.$102k?
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Porsche Panamera Turbo S e-Hybrid0Poor mileage.$186k?
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Smart EQ fortwo0Too small.-
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Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid AWD4All electric range is short. MPGe is lower than typical.$35k536.7"175.8"71"62.8"359017
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Tesla Model 3 Long Range5Great performance. Probably not worth paying $10k more for an extra 70 mile range.$50k$1,875 until end of December5184.8"72.8"-130310no
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Tesla Model 3 Mid Range8Lack of physical buttons wasn't hugely annoying. Though lack of manual control of A/C vents probably would be. Would be a pain for guest drivers to adjust mirrors. Great performance. Great handling. Ride supposedly a bit harsh due to good handling. Glass roof could be sunny distracting hot? Didn't seem like a problem--it's very tinted. Lots of ambient road noise/wind noise and highway speed. Lack of Android Auto is lame. Hate the software-limited feature differentiation. Standard Range and Standard Range Plus don't show real time traffic on the map (but they do take it into account when navigating?)? Driving position was good for me. People suggest charging only to 80%, like the leaf, because LiIon batteries degrade faster when fully charged? Rear windows don't go down super far (a little more than half way). Also back seat not great for adults.$39k$36.2k$500 + installation cost$1,875 until end of December535.2"?184.8"72.8"57.0"5 stars?, but Model S has average ratings. Average for small overlap front collision, headlights aren't great.-123no240nonono
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Tesla Model S0Expensive.$76k5-103 for 75D, 102 for 100D, 98 for P100D
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Tesla Model X0Expensive.$80k7-93 for 75D, 87 for 100D, 85 for P100D
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Toyota Prius7if getting used, get 2011 or newer due to piston ring problems on 2010. Fourth gen has stiffer frame, results in crisper driving feel.$24k$25k-5?33.4"180"69.3"57.9"52-nonono
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Toyota Prius Prime5All electric range is short. Maybe tight for rear-facing car seat? Unavailable in 27513 according to Toyota's website. Controls are all touchscreen, like a Tesla :-($27k$4,502433.4"182.9"69.3"57.9"Top Safety Pick54133no25no
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Volkswagen e-Golf6Maybe tight for rear-facing car seat? Reduced trust from Volkswagen emissions cheating. Seemingly not sold in NC. Closest new models are in Maryland.$29k$33k ($29k according to TrueCar)$7,500535.6"168.1"70.8"57.2"4/5 starsOk (for normal Golf)-125no125no
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Volvo S60 AWD PHEV0Not out as of 2019-04-21. New tech. Scary review.$55k317421
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Volvo S90 AWD PHEV0Expensive. Not great MPGe.$64k297121
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Volvo XC60 AWD PHEV0Poor mileage.17
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Volvo XC90 AWD PHEV0Poor mileage.> $66k
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DisclaimerRatings and notes are my personal opinion for my specific needs. A car that’s a bad choice for me might be a good choice for someone else. In other words, sorry if I railed your car!
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I make no promises about any of this data. If you notice a mistake let me know and I’ll fix it.
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MPG numbers are from fueleconomy.gov (EPA and Department of Energy). I believe all numbers are for the 2019 model year.
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Range numbers are usually from the automaker websites.
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I believe other info is for the 2019, model year, too.
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An empty field means I didn’t collect data. I didn’t bother for many minor features, especially for cars that we had already ruled out.
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The “as configured” price is a rough approximation of how much it would cost for us, configured with the features we want. This usually includes things like blind spot indicators, lane departure warning, surround view cameras, etc.
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The federal tax credit for EVs is viewable at https://fueleconomy.gov/feg/taxevb.shtml Also worth noting that a bill was introduced to increase the tax credits. See https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2019/04/10/tesla-shares-jump-as-lawmakers-begin-push-to-expand-ev-tax-credits.html and https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/1094
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In NC, "The owner of an EV that is exclusively powered by electricity must pay a fee of $130 in addition to any other required registration fees at the time of initial registration and annual registration renewal."
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See https://kingant.net/2019/11/choosing-another-new-car/ for more insight about my decision process.
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