Used Cars: Best 3-Year-Old Electric Vehicles

    With passage of the landmark Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, qualifying buyers can get a $4,000 credit for the purchase of a used EV.

    2018-2019 Tesla Model 3 rear Photo: John Powers/Consumer Reports

    Landmark legislation that includes an overhaul of the tax credit structure for electric vehicles—including a first-time $4,000 credit for buying a used EV—passed the House on Friday and is headed to President Biden for his signature. Under the legislation, buyers of new EVs who make less than $150,000 a year ($300,000 for couples) would get a refundable $7,500 tax credit when they buy a qualifying vehicle.

    Because of complicated rules involving production, it’s still unclear exactly which new EV models will qualify. But the used EV credit is more straightforward. The new changes, part of the larger Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, start to take effect next year.

    CR can recommend a handful of used EVs that are worth your consideration from brands like Kia, Nissan, and Tesla. To help guide members in their selection, we balance our own extensive testing with surveys, in which we ask members to share their experiences with their cars.

    How You Can Take Advantage of the Inflation Reduction Act

    CR explains how buying a heat pump for your home could get you thousands of dollars in federal tax credits and state rebates. Plus, you might be eligible for a rebate when you buy an electric range, cooktop, or wall oven.

    More on EVs

    Reliability, comfort, and ease of use of the controls play a big role in how someone regards a vehicle over time. We combed through our data to find the most reliable 2019 EV models, considering vehicles from Chevrolet, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, Tesla, and others.

    At three years old, many may be off-lease models, and all have much service life ahead of them. We picked the cars that are the most likely to provide years of relatively trouble-free service.

    All of these models carry our Green Choice designation, which highlights the vehicles with the cleanest emissions—or in the case of EVs, zero emissions. And as with many newer vehicles, active safety features such as forward collision warning (FCW), automatic emergency braking (AEB), and lane departure warning (LDW) are often included as standard equipment.

    They are presented in order, ranked by average availability.

    If you’re a Consumer Reports member, the list below is available to you. CR members also have full access to the results of our Annual Auto Surveys; first-drive reviews of the newest cars, SUVs, and trucks; our full road-test results; and exclusive ratings for each vehicle we buy and test.

    If you’re not a CR member, click below to become one to access the list and all our exclusive ratings and reviews for each vehicle we buy and test. Joining also gives you full access to exclusive ratings for the other products our experts evaluate in several categories, including electronics and home appliances.

    Become a member to read the full article and get access to digital ratings.

    We investigate, research, and test so you can choose with confidence.