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8 Electric Cars to Avoid Buying

Constantinis / iStock.com
Constantinis / iStock.com

Electric vehicle (EV) technology is still very much in its infancy. Despite it only being a couple of decades since the push for EVs began in earnest, production has been prolific and competition fierce, with some brands and models emerging as riskier buys than others.

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According to a recent Consumer Reports survey of its readers, electric vehicles are generally less reliable than combustion engine rides, despite having fewer interconnected and moving parts. Moreover, some EV models “definitely fail to deliver in terms of range, price and features,” reported TopSpeed.com.

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As with any vehicle purchase, doing your research on specific makes, models and production years will pay off when considering an EV — as well as which to avoid. Ranging from the rather underpowered to the excessively overpriced, here’s a list of eight electric cars you should skip buying.

1. Mazda MX-30

The Mazda MX-30 is low on everything from range (100 miles) to price (around $35,000) to features (less than its competitors), according to TopSpeed. Additionally, as the model was only available in California and sold in limited numbers, Mazda announced it would be discontinuing its production after the 2023 model year. You might be able to catch a solid deal on one shortly, if you can live with its rather minimal range.

2. Tesla Model X

Reliability issues have plagued the X since 2017, said HotCars.com, leaving many owners let down. TopSpeed cited the model’s frustrating and malfunctioning “falcon-wing” doors and the tendency for its windshield to crack easily, but even more pressing seems to be a fast-draining battery and overall charging difficulties.

3. Chevrolet Bolt

Hotcars.com reported the Chevy Bolts from 2019 and 2020 in particular as models to avoid, citing recalls for possible fire issues and subpar reliability ratings. Potential buyers of used Bolts should be very aware of the model’s risky reputation, even if the price is right.

4. Ford Mustang Mach-E

When it comes to the electric version of the all-time classic Mustang, HotCars.com said it is best to steer clear of the 2021 and 2022 models. While Consumer Reports gave the Mach-E a (reader supplied) 35 out of 100 reliability rating, the SUV still received high grades from expert sites like Edmunds and Car and Driver. So what’s the major risk with the E-Stang? A tendency for models to shut down from the battery overheating, as well starting issues, per TopSpeed.

5. Nissan Leaf

Struggling to keep in line with its competitors, the Leaf comes with a great price (the 2023 model has an MSRP of just over $28,000, minus the federal EV tax credit), but only so-so performance. Limited range and battery compatibility definitely make the Leaf an EV to thoroughly research before buying.

6. Porsche Taycan

Despite being dubbed “probably the most complete EV on the planet,” by Top Gear in 2022, Consumer Reports found that the Porsche’s Taycan still stops short of matching the overall benchmarks set by Tesla in the luxury EV arena. If you want premium Taycan performance then you’ll have to shell out on a more expensive trim, but even then you’ll still need to be on the lookout for recall issues regarding seat harnesses and power losses.

7. Hyundai Kona Electric

The base model Kona EV has a range of around 200 miles, but with the boosted 64.8-kWh battery, it can drive up to 260 miles on a single charge, equal to its competitors. However, as with previous models, the 2024 KONA Electric is an all-wheel drive only and will be available in limited quantities in just 26 states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Utah, and Washington.

8. Ford Focus Electric

Ford produced its 5-door hatchback Focus Electric from December 2011 to May 2018, but never redesigned a platform to suit it properly with much of its cargo space taken up by the battery. Note that you should be able to snap up an electric Focus at a reasonable price if you can find one, but that there were plenty of reliability complaints attached to this model, even before it was terminated.

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The bottom line? While EVs are paving the way to the future in terms of advanced technology, reduced emissions and fuel economy, buyers should still perform their due diligence in the research department before investing in a new ride.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 8 Electric Cars to Avoid Buying