We knew this was coming. They warned us. The electric car revolution is upon us, and we couldn’t be happier. 2022 finds us with more EV choices than ever before, with a wide range of prices, styles, and capabilities.
The Autotrader editorial team has driven and lived with the 2022 model-year electric cars. We’ve asked the right questions about the interiors, the exteriors, the powertrains, the ride and handling, the features, the comfort, and of course, the prices. Do they serve the purpose for which they were built? Whether that purpose is commuting efficiently to and from work in the city, keeping your family safe, making you feel like you’ve made it to the top — or you’re on your way — or making you feel like you’ve finally found just the right partner for your lifestyle.
We take each electric vehicle we test through the mundane — parking, lane-changing, backing up, testing cargo space and loading — as well as the essentials — acceleration, braking, handling, interior quiet and comfort, build quality, and materials quality.
With the research behind us, the discussions began, with each editor contributing their opinions, expertise, and rating on a 5-point scale, with 5 being the best. To meet final consideration, 2022 model-year electric vehicles had to receive a minimum of 4.0 out of 5.0 points from our editors. For the first time, only pure EVs were allowed on our list this year. We didn’t consider any hybrids, plug-in hybrids, or hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. All electric cars, SUVs, and trucks on this list have to be generally available to the public within six months of publishing this list.
Here are Autotrader’s picks for the 10 best electric vehicles of 2022, listed alphabetically by brand.
2022 Chevrolet Bolt/Bolt EUV
In a year when big-bucks electric cars have dominated the landscape, the populist Chevrolet Bolt got a makeover and a slightly larger EUV (electric utility vehicle) sibling. The Bolt carries the Chevrolet electric car torch as it’s the only EV from Chevy, for now. The Bolt’s new exterior and interior designs improved the outgoing model’s minor shortcomings, and the improved battery capacity and motor made the EV even more capable. Executive Editor Brian Moody says, “The Bolt and the Bolt EUV combine practical and affordable in a way you don’t usually see in electric cars. It’s also rather quick.”
2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E
Taking on the name of one of the original pony cars hasn’t slowed the Ford F, -1.55% Mustang Mach-E’s gallop. The fast and furious electric SUV has an appeal all its own. Jeff Glucker, Autotrader’s video host and editor, says, “The Ford Mustang Mach-E has a great interior, fun exterior, and you don’t need to spend up to the GT version to have a great time.”
2022 GMC Hummer EV pickup
GM’s GM, +0.23% first all-electric pickup truck revives the Hummer nameplate, this time as a sub-brand of GMC. While the original Hummer SUVs were gas-guzzling behemoths, the new GMC Hummer EV Pickup is a monstrously capable, fast, quiet, electron-powered beauty – and it can crab walk. Brian Moody, executive editor for Autotrader, calls the new electric Hummer “an impressive truck on and off-road. This is one all-new vehicle they got right.” Using available rear-wheel steering, the big EV can maneuver on trails and in parking lots in ways other full-size vehicles can only imagine.
2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5
Hyundai 005380, -1.33% continues to refine its Ioniq concept, and the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 is the best version yet. We’re looking forward to even more Hyundai electric cars. As Brian Moody, Autotrader’s executive editor, said, “The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is probably the coolest EV you can get. It’s thoroughly futuristic but has a fun, retro vibe as well. The driving experience, especially the progressive regenerative braking, is sophisticated and seamless.”
2022 Kia EV6
Kia’s 000270, +0.12% electric cars are a little different. We like the bold look of both the EV6 and the Niro. Beyond pure function, Kia has pushed the design boundaries with their new electric vehicle, the 2022 Kia EV6. And why not? Doesn’t a new generation of transportation deserve a new look? “I like the sleekness of the Kia EV6,” says Frankie Rogers, Autotrader’s associate editor. “In profile, it resembles a missile cutting through traffic. A very bold look from Kia compared to past vehicles such as the Soul.”
2022 Mercedes-EQ EQS
Mercedes-Benz has been incorporating electric power into its lineup for several years now with EQ Boost. Mercedes-Benz electric cars are here and the 2022 Mercedes-EQ EQS is a winner. It’s a true luxury EV that should have Elon Musk quaking in his fancy hipster shoes. According to Jeff Glucker, “The interior is S-Class-level excellent.” That’s high praise, indeed. Piloting the EQS sedan through the streets of Atlanta, Editor Rob Nestora noticed how many “Ooohs and ahhs” the car generates. He also likes the light show from the headlights as you switch them on, as well as the ambient interior lighting.
2022 Rivian R1T
Rivian RIVN, +3.07% is an enticing startup EV manufacturer — so enticing that Cox Automotive, Autotrader’s parent company, invested $350 million in the company in 2019. The fruits of that investment have begun to ripen with the arrival of the 2022 R1T electric pickup truck, the first consumer vehicle from Rivian. The impressive EV, sized between a mid-size and full-size truck, brims with technological innovations and delightful details, like a big front trunk (frunk) and a bonus rear trunk. Renee Valdes, Autotrader’s advice editor, says, “I love the extra storage area below the bed in the Rivian R1T. It’s an unexpected hidden compartment.”
2022 Tesla Model 3
Possibly the most successful and unconventional automaker in the world right now, Tesla TSLA, -0.45% continues to crank out variants on its all-electric car theme. “The main reason to pick a Model 3 is the driving experience. It’s sharp and quick,” says Autotrader executive editor Brian Moody. While still focusing on luxury and advanced technology, the 2022 Tesla Model 3 is the most affordable electric car in the company’s lineup and still offers outstanding range, performance, and available driver assistance features. While actual autonomous driving is still a way off, the Model 3 provides a glimpse of the possibilities, and all under battery power alone.
Don’t miss: Elon Musk Isn’t the First to Want to Buy Twitter
2022 Volkswagen ID.4
We know a host of Volkswagen VWAGY, +1.82% electric cars are coming. While we wait breathlessly for the uber-cool retro-styled ID.Buzz minivan to arrive, the 2022 Volkswagen ID.4 has impressed our team with its smooth integration of function with form. It retains its essential “VW-ness,” even without an internal combustion engine. Could this be VW’s next Beetle? Associate editor Rob Nestora says, “Volkswagen’s ID.4 is like an Apple AAPL, +4.52% device on wheels. The interior is modern and functional, and the exterior is attractive without being flashy. Like other VWs, the ID.4 is fun to drive.”
2022 Volvo C40 Recharge
Volvo’s commitment to electrification has expanded beyond the SUV range to its first all-electric compact car, the 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge. Since Volvo VLVLY, +1.38% rebooted itself in the past decade, it has retained its core identity as a transportation safety leader and has elevated its interiors into the luxury category. The C40 Recharge brings all these assets to bear, delivering a stylish, comfortable, capable electric car with a distinctly Swedish flavor. Autotrader executive editor Brian Moody says, “Volvo’s electric car game is strong. Volvo is one of those automakers where electric power just makes sense.”
This story originally ran on Autotrader.com.