Report: The #1 Electric Vehicle for Customer Satisfaction

Electric vehicles (EVs) continue to enjoy unprecedented popularity. If you’re in the market for an EV, you may be wondering which makes and models owners like best.
A recent report shows that Tesla is the #1 electric vehicle among premium battery cars when it comes to customer satisfaction. For mass-market battery EVs, the Kia Niro claims the top spot.

What Is the Best Electric Car for 2021 According to Customers?

The rankings come from J.D. Power's first-ever U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Ownership Study, which measures owner satisfaction.

The study is based on a 1,000-point scale using these seven factors to measure customer satisfaction:

  1. Accuracy of stated battery range
  2. Availability of public charging stations
  3. Battery range
  4. Cost of ownership
  5. Driving enjoyment
  6. Ease of charging at home
  7. Vehicle quality and reliability
Money expert Clark Howard has owned a Tesla for years, and he loves it. Although he usually favors buying used cars for less money, Clark says the lure of a zero-emission engine was too much to resist. He says there are other features that make EVs attractive as well.

"Once you have an electric vehicle, I can tell you that it's much, much, much more fun to drive than a gas engine vehicle," Clark says on his podcast. "The range is getting better and better and the new high-end Tesla goes 500 miles on a charge, … so the range anxiety that people have had will go away."

Let’s look at the J.D. Power rankings for premium battery market models first, then we’ll consider mass-market battery EVs.

Top Premium Battery Electric Cars

Electric Vehicle Score
Tesla Model S 798
Tesla Model 3 790
Tesla Model Y 780
Tesla Model X 758
Audi e-Tron 686
Jaguar I-Pace 669
Segment Average 782

As you can see from the rankings, Tesla is the brand to beat, notching three of the six top results.

“Brand loyalty can be fickle among EV owners,” Brent Gruber, senior director of global automotive at J.D. Power, says in a news release. “While early adopters of EVs say they’ll remain loyal to EVs in general, staying with the same brand is not a sure thing. Auto manufacturers will have to keep EV owners and shoppers interested in their products beyond just the cost equation.”

Now let’s look at the mass-market battery electric cars most favored by customers.

Top Mass-Market Battery Electric Cars

Electric Vehicle Score
Kia Niro 782
Chevrolet Bolt 745
Hyundai Kona 743
Nissan Leaf 712
Volkswagen e-Golf 696
Average Segment 730

See the complete report from J.D. Power here.

Final Thoughts

Clark wants you to save as much money as you can when buying a car.
“My preference is for you to buy a two or three-year-old used car, rather than a new car,” Clark says. “Because when you buy a new car, it loses value the minute you drive off the lot.”

Interested in a used car? Here's how to save money in the car-buying process.

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