Buyers in the market for a used car this year may want to consider checking their local used auto dealer for hybrids or electric models. Owning an EV or hybrid is easier than ever, and because these vehicles have been in the market for several decades, they are well-endowed with technology and conveniences that you expect on a gas-powered car. Even better, you can save a load of cash on gas. Buying a hybrid or EV used will make the purchase far more affordable since prices for new hybrid and EV models are typically higher than those of gas-powered vehicles. In case you want ideas for which vehicles are likely to be a good investment, here is a list of the eight best hybrids and EVs to buy used in 2021.
1 – Chevy Bolt EV
Introduced in 2017, the Chevy Bolt EV is an affordable compact EV that has been giving all the other electric car manufacturers a run for their money. It’s possible that no one expected such a fine automobile from Chevy, but with up to 259 miles of driving range, it offers a remarkable charge for day trips and city driving. A partnership with Chevy and EVgo is expected to ramp up the number of rapid charging stations available across the country, and an app is available to show drivers where the nearest stations are located. The Bolt seats five and is a hatchback with plenty of cargo space in the rear. Standard equipment like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a rearview mirror camera, and keyless start are just a few of the tech-heavy conveniences you’ll find in the Bolt.
2 – Toyota Prius
Toyota created the Prius as the first successful hybrid, and it has maintained a reputation for stellar reliability and safety for many years. A benefit of being a producer of low-emission vehicles for so long is that Prius has developed a plug-in version of the Prius, too. If you want a hybrid of quality build, buying a used Prius will save a little on the purchase price, and you know it will last a long time.
Fuel efficiency for the Prius hybrid is excellent, even going back to the older models, and the plug-in takes things to the next level. Standard features you can expect in the last decade will include powered accessories, push-button start, keyless entry, and smartphone connectivity. Expect a smooth ride and comfortable interior with seating for five and uniquely modern styling. An added bonus of the Prius is that it utilizes recycled and plant-based materials to be more ecologically-friendly.
3 – Kia Niro
If you want a crossover SUV that is good for the environment, consider the Kia Niro. It hit the market in 2017 as a traditional hybrid, but a plug-in hybrid was added in 2018, and an EV joined the lineup for 2019. Buyers who have been keeping an eye on Kia know this is a manufacturer offering excellent tech and quality in their vehicles for a more affordable price. For the hybrid, fuel economy can be as good as 50 MPG combined, and the plug-in hybrid makes 105 MPGe. The EV driving range is up to 239 miles on a single charge.
Expect a high-energy driving experience with the Niro and the extra bonus of sport mode to engage more throttle and stiffen the steering for even more exciting performance. You will find satisfying tech for the mid-level trims you are more likely to find used, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, keyless entry, and push-button start. Where many brands go for a futuristic styling in their EVs, the Niro chooses to stick with the familiar SUV appeal that many buyers desire.
4 – Lexus ES 300h Hybrid
When luxury is more your style, a Lexus is the answer. With the hybrid ES 300h, you get the good looks and comfortable interior of a luxury sedan with the excellent fuel economy of a hybrid. You can find these models going back to 2013, and buyers can expect a reliable vehicle with a delicious riding experience the brand typically delivers in its vehicles. Even going back to the first models offered, you will have standard features like a sunroof, the Lexus Safety Connect system for emergency services, keyless ignition and entry, and Bluetooth. The premium interior is everything you want in a Lexus with a hybrid powertrain to save on fuel.
5 – Nissan LEAF
It may surprise buyers to learn that the Nissan LEAF was the first modern mass-produced electric vehicle to be sold in America. While the Tesla Roadster did beat it to market by two years, you aren’t likely to find that limited edition six-figure sports car at a used auto dealer. Like the Prius and the Bolt EV, we are looking at yet another hatchback, making the LEAF a practical choice.
Even going back to the original 2011 model, you will find powered accessories, Bluetooth, and more as standard features. The driving range of those 2011 models is only 73 miles, but the range increased steadily over time, and the latest models can go up to 226 miles on a single charge. While the LEAF is affordable and comfortable, its drivability is likely to be smoother than many rivals who are newer to EV or hybrid production. Like the Prius, the noteworthy usage of recycled and sustainable materials is part of the LEAF package, a choice many buyers of EVs appreciate.
6 – Hyundai Ioniq
With the introduction of the Hyundai Ioniq in 2017, buyers were offered a vehicle with styling that crossed between the Prius and the Ford Fusion. A sporty driving experience is more in line with the feel of the Ioniq behind the wheel, and the options are wide-ranging between the hybrid, plug-in, and EV models. Like Kia, Hyundai packs features and higher-quality materials into the interior, and like Toyota and Nissan, it does make the eco-conscious choice to use sustainable materials in portions of the build.
The hybrid’s fuel efficiency is up to 59 MPG combined, the plug-in will raise it to 119 MPGe, and the EV driving range is 124 miles. Standard features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, dual-zone climate control, and a seven-inch touchscreen will be found on all versions of the Ioniq, while each model will have its own set of differing features.
7 – Honda Accord
Honda, much like Toyota, has created a brand that buyers trust as reliable with long-lasting. You can find used Accord hybrids going back to 2005, including a plug-in option that affords even better efficiency. The Accord is popular for its relative comfort and quality, and driving its hybrid version will be pleasantly responsive. Those who value safety features will find that recent Accord hybrids come standard with blind-spot monitoring and other modern features like adaptive cruise control and navigation. More standard safety features will be found in models of recent years, along with plenty of technology for smartphone connectivity.
8 – Ford Fusion
Last but not least, is the Ford Fusion. If you really don’t want a hatchback or compact car, and a luxury model seems too far out of your price range even in the used lots, the Ford Fusion may just do the trick. This midsize sedan has a modern styling with a sporty edge, but the interior is plush with soft-touch materials and sleek upholstery and seating. The hybrid fuel efficiency will come in at up to 42 MPG combined, and a plug-in option is also available with a combined 103 MPGe.
Hybrid versions of the Fusion have been available since 2010, and the plug-in variant was introduced in 2013. Standard equipment on the Fusion is generous, including the SYNC infotainment system going back even a decade, the MyKey system to set driving parameters, and integrated voice commands. Ford offers one of the most creative gauges for eco-driving out there by turning driving habits into a game that grows a tree on your dash, and also builds the Fusion with a portion of eco-friendly materials.
Choose Your Option
Whichever brand is your favorite choice of low or no-emission driving, it’s worth taking the time to test-drive a few to see which one suits your lifestyle and driving habits best. Some hybrids and EVs take a little adjusting when changing over from gas-powered vehicles, but many brands have perfected their systems to have virtually no difference in the feel of the brakes and acceleration. Even better, if you go fully electric, you can expect fewer visits to the shop because the parts don’t require as much maintenance. There’s never been a better time to explore the options of ecologically-friendly driving at your local used auto dealer.