Josh is looking for a replacement for his twelve-year-old Hyundai Genesis. However, it’s an aging car that gets 22 MPG with rising fuel prices, he wants to swap it for something electric. What car should he buy?
(Welcome back to What Car Should You Buy? Where we give real people real advice about buying cars. )
Here is the scenario:
I have a 12 year old Hyundai Genesis that I absolutely love. It is Big, Comfortable, RWD, and has plenty of power from its V6. The car averages 22 mpg, however with gas prices, I am considering going electric. I use the Genesis mainly for commuting a couple of days a week. I have a full-size pickup truck with a V8 and 4WD and use that in the snow, hauling, household projects, towing. This can be a true car in the sense I do not need a Swiss army knife vehicle. I need transportation point A to point B. It would be nice to be a hatchback or wagon so the dog has a place to go that is not the passenger compartment. I love her but she sheds. Currently we always take the truck when we take her anywhere but it would be nice to have a smaller vehicle for tight parking lots at trail heads. I would like something with some luxury to it. I do offer to drive others so a comfortable back seat would be nice. I do drive once or twice a month to see my in-laws, it is about 100 miles round trip. I could take the truck but it would be nice to use this car to cut back on gas costs. I am a big guy over 6 feet tall and over 250 lbs. I can spend up to $60,000
Budget: Up to $60,000
Daily Driver: Yes
Location: Baltimore, MD
Wants: EV, compact but spacious enough for a big guy.
Doesn’t want: Something too small
Josh, even though the car market is difficult in general, this is a pretty good time to switch to an EV. There are more offerings in “mid-size” range than ever before and with a $60,000 budget that gets you a rather nice car. Since you have had a good experience with your Hyundai, perhaps you should stick with the Korean offerings in the way of the Ioniq5 or Kia EV6. These cars are bigger in person than they look in pictures, but not so large that you have trouble parking them. Both cars have gotten rave reviews for their driving experience and feature set. Also, they would both qualify for the $7,500 federal tax credit.
Based on my research your Genesis has about 38 inches of headroom, and both the Ioniq5 and EV6 offer about 37-38 inches of headroom if you can find one without a sunroof.
As to which way to go, both cars are basically different flavors of the same thing and it’s really going to come down to whose styling you prefer. More importantly, it’s a question of which dealer is willing to sell you one of these EVs without a markup. I would encourage you to cast your net beyond the Baltimore/DC market as EV vehicle demand tends to be very high around there. You are more likely to encounter an even slimmer inventory and inflated prices. There is a dealer in NY with a lot of inventory who likely will sell at sticker price.
Josh, the nice thing about your requirements of an electric car that feels nice, feels powerful, has plenty of range, and costs somewhere around $60,000... you could meet those needs by buying “literally any EV.”
Seriously, if there’s a $60,000-ish EV for sale near you, a Mustang Mach-E, a Volvo XC40, whatever, they’re all going to do just about the same job.
I’ve driven them all! It’s hard to make a strong case for one over the other.
I myself liked the VW ID.4 best of the Not A Tesla crowd. It gives you just enough of a feeling that you’re in a car of the future, while still working for the most part like an ordinary vehicle. It’s comfortable, practical, and stylish. My only reservation is it feels foolish to buy a modern Volkswagen product, but the nice thing about you living in Maryland is that you’re close enough to VW USA headquarters to drive over and throw poop at their building if anything goes wrong with your car.
Josh, yes! I love when readers are ready to make the big switch! As Raph pointed out, your criteria and budget put you within comfortable range of many great EVs. The Ioniq that Tom recommended has excellent design. Apparently, the best in the world! The ID.4 can’t match that with its unremarkable looks, but it’s roomy enough for passengers and your pup.
I’m partial to Volvo, so I’m going to say give the 2022 XC40 Recharge a shot.
The XC40 Recharge starts at $51,700 but should still be eligible for the federal tax credit. On top of that, you can drive the Recharge in the carpool lane regardless of passengers in Maryland. You’ll get a $700 rebate for installing a home charger. And the Recharge (along with other EVs) is exempt from MD state inspections, according to Volvo. No more sweating over windshield cracks or faulty turn signals! Well, maybe you wouldn’t worry about that anyway.
You probably also won’t worry about range because the XC40 has a max range of 223 miles and is plenty quick for small SUV. It’s making 402 horsepower and has AWD, after all. I think the Recharge is better described as a crossover that rides high. Nice try, Volvo. But the good thing is it has the design language of all Volvos. It’s not gaudy; it’s not screaming out for an award by virtue of its electrification alone. It looks like a pretty normal Volvo, which is to say it looks damn good while keeping your passengers and good boi safe.
Josh, the world is your oyster, and you should absolutely take advantage of the fact that you can get just about any electric car you’re in the mood for right now, but I’m going to propose something a little less extreme than my colleagues. I’m going to say you should try a plug-in hybrid, specifically the Toyota RAV4 Prime.
Now, a PHEV isn’t a true EV, but it’s a great stepping stone for anyone who’s not totally convinced that fully electric is the way to go just yet and the RAV4 Prime can travel 42 miles before it swaps over to the gas-powered engine. My family has a RAV4 Prime, and it generally got us where we needed to go in a day without needing a charge, and it was one of those good in-between sized vehicles that could tote around a few people but could also navigate a parking lot.
Now, the RAV4 Prime is a hot commodity, so it may be a little difficult to find. You can, however, opt for the more-luxurious Lexus NX450H+, which is built on the same platform but isn't quite so highly sought after.
Do you want us to help you find a car? Submit your story on our form.