Looking to buy a Used EV - Opinions requested!

Discussion in 'General' started by Mattsburgh, May 22, 2020.

Which Used EV (or EVs) do you think is/are the best?

This poll will close on Jun 21, 2020 at 1:19 AM.
  1. Chevy Spark EV

  2. Ford Focus Electric

  3. Kia Soul EV

  4. Nissan Leaf

  5. Volkswagen e-Golf

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Mattsburgh

    Mattsburgh Active Member

    I have a Kona Electric and love it so much, I want another EV b/c I'm addicted and want to be the Jay Leno of Electric Cars. Ok that probably really is partially true, but actually I do have slightly more logical reasons. I want to get a local commuter EV and also use it for toting the constantly shedding dog around, and toting my bike around to parks, etc. And as most people may have noticed, used car prices are dropping, and if Hertz files bankruptcy in about 12 hours and CARpet bombs the used car market... it's going to get interesting.

    But back to my point. Ok so mostly I'm looking 2014/2015/2016 area, and these are the cars I think I'm willing to consider: Focus Electric, Leaf, e-Golf, Soul EV, and Spark EV. Forget price, from what I've seen I can get what I want in the price range that works for me (at least, from those cars I listed - which is why I didn't include the BMW i3). And forget range b/c if I'm going more than 30-40 miles I'll just take the Kona instead and I think for the most part if I choose wisely, whichever car I choose, I can find one in good shape with good range (50-80 miles) and low battery degradation.

    So - what are your thoughts? I have a few favorites and a least favorite but I'll save that for later b/c I don't want to influence anyone. Would you recommend 1 or 2 over the others? Would you recommend NOT buying the ones with passive cooling for the batteries (does the Kia Soul EV long warranty make a difference to you though)? Is there one that stands out that you think I shouldn't even consider?

    I've done a TON of research and I'm familiar with the various trims, so if that's part of your suggestion ("I'd get a Leaf but only an SV or SL and here's why...") that's great, too. I just have a bit of analysis paralysis after all the research, so looking to the EV community for recommendations.

    So in summary, this is wide open - if you have an opinion I'd like to hear it, whether it's "get this one" "don't get that one" or "they're all great but personally I'd take this one". Thanks!

    PS - looks like maybe I can create a poll so I'll try that too for folks that just want to vote and aren't feeling chatty.
    Domenick likes this.
  2. SouthernDude

    SouthernDude Member

    I’ve been thinking about doing the same thing but I can’t justify getting a second car financially. I’m single and young so it probably won’t make any sense in general. Do you have a set budget?
  3. marshall

    marshall Active Member

    I would pick the Spark if it wasn't so small and a limited production as my first choice.

    However, being that Spark is so tiny, I would choose a 2015 Leaf, as you live in a northern climate and the 2015 is suppose to have the best traction battery of the three years you are looking at. The heat pump (make sure the SV or SL you buy comes with it) should help with the range especially in the Spring and Fall.

    The Kia Soul would be my third choice for someone living in northern climate, the VW as my fourth choice and the Ford being my last choice.

    Make sure your local dealer will work on any vehicle you plan to buy. I would try to avoid any air cooled, battery powered vehicle operated in a warm climate.
    Mattsburgh likes this.
  4. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    This is hard because I prefer to buy "end-of-lease", to handle initial depreciation costs, with some remaining manufacturer warranty versus buy new with full warranty and full depreciation cost. You might consider the Chevy Bolt instead of the Spark as it is a more capable car and I could not find a recent Chevy Spark.

    Regardless, I would start with www.fueleconomy.gov and pick the car with the best electrical efficiency. If two are equally attractive per efficiency, choose the one with the higher, fast DC charge rate. Then use PlugShare.com to investigate likely, long distance routes for a matching charger, typically a CCS.

    Bob Wilson
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
  5. Mattsburgh

    Mattsburgh Active Member

    Yes and no, I'd like to stay around $10,000 but willing to go $12-$14 for the right car. But yeah, I'm a single dude too and it's probably not very thrifty but I expect to keep the Kona for a very long time and would rather not use it for toting dog/bike. Plus I figure EVs are going to last a very long time except maybe a battery replacement once in a long while.
  6. Mattsburgh

    Mattsburgh Active Member

    Keep in mind I already have a Kona Electric. If I didn't, I agree the Bolt would be a better choice than any of the 5 cars I'm considering, because of the range. But range isn't really that important to me for a 2nd car that I will only use for commuting and taking the dog to the vet/kennel/park, etc.
  7. Mattsburgh

    Mattsburgh Active Member

    I think I'm in the minority of folks that like the Leaf looks. It's weird of course, but it kind of grew on me over time. Sparks are definitely in smaller supply, but cheaper too. In terms of availability, from all the searching I've been doing it appears to be something like:

    (Most widely available) Leaf > e-Golf > Spark EV > Focus Electric > Soul EV (Least widely available)

    Or to put it another way, there are a ton of used Leafs and e-Golfs available, the other 3, not so much.
  8. BlueKonaEV

    BlueKonaEV Well-Known Member

    From that choice.. Spark EV.. You can get them for very reasonable prices and they have a better battery and battery management system than the LEAF.
    Mattsburgh likes this.
  9. SouthernDude

    SouthernDude Member

    If I were to do it I wouldn’t want to budget more than 5k because I’m super cheap. Lol. I’ve never bought a car before either. I’ve been driving the same car since Highschool. I’ve had it for 11 years now.

    I really want an EV, but the lack of chargers in my area makes the decision very difficult. Also, I’ve never even ridden in an EV before either. Not once.
    Mattsburgh likes this.
  10. Mattsburgh

    Mattsburgh Active Member

    The Spark is the one I keep wishing I liked more. It would be the combination of best deal plus easiest to find. Not a big fan of the interior though. But I haven't ruled it out.
  11. Mattsburgh

    Mattsburgh Active Member

    You can find Leafs for around $5000 but likely only 2011 or 2012 and you have to be careful and pay attention to battery capacity which is shown on the dash. If I buy a Leaf if would have to have 11 or 12 of the original 12 bars for capacity. You might be able to find one with 10 bars for $5000-$6000 but it'll be tough. But I like the way you think. I went into this looking for a really good deal. I was looking $5000-$6000 and now here I am a few weeks later looking to spend twice that. :eek:
  12. Mattsburgh

    Mattsburgh Active Member

    Also, I think you would like an EV. I've driven my Kona, the Bolt, a Leaf, and a Niro (but it wasn't the e-Niro) and all are great cars and drive really nice. I seriously considered the Bolt before buying the Kona, b/c I assumed the Kona would be hard to find and figured it would be stupid to not at least check out the Bolt. Well, I hated the seats in the Bolt. Otherwise, it's a great car.
  13. SouthernDude

    SouthernDude Member

    Yeah. I can’t wait to make the switch. I’ll have to wait for more stations in my area though. I can travel a bit for work. Having a rated range greater than 250 miles helps, but I don’t know how that translates into real world miles. I can list off at least 4 or 5 places where I believe I need a DCFC to make it work.
    Mattsburgh likes this.
  14. SouthernDude

    SouthernDude Member

    Lol. Yeah. My budget for a second play around car is low, so it is hard to find anything decent. I get to nervous to commit the money though because I’m naturally very cheap. It would be fun to have one for driving around town.
    Mattsburgh likes this.
  15. BlueKonaEV

    BlueKonaEV Well-Known Member

    I like the Bolts.. I find the seats to be ok. I wouldn't have bought the Bolt new but used.. The reason I went with the NEW Kona was the US Lifetime Battery Warranty.. I initially considered a used Bolt.. Then I switched to leaning towards the mid range Model 3 brand new.. However, I waited too long and Tesla lost their full tax credit and then I found out about the Kona and it's lifetime warranty.. So, 1 week after finding out that the Kona even existed, I pulled the trigger on one, flew up to Maryland and drove the Kona home to Florida..
    I recently shopped for an EV for the wife. We checked out a 2018 Leaf, a 2017 Bolt and a 2017 BMW i3. I really liked the 2018 Leaf as it has much more space than the others. Larger mid size car unlike the other 2 options. The Bolt had of course the biggest range and the biggest screen on the infotainment system.. The BMW is the best looking of the 3 and my wife went for looks. The i3 was my birthday present for her upcoming birthday in June.. The i3 was the least expensive of the 3 but had the highest original MSRP.. The I3 was $16999, the 2018 Leaf was $18500 and the Bolt was $19999.. All 3 had low miles, somewhere between 20k and 30k miles.
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
    Mattsburgh likes this.
  16. Mattsburgh

    Mattsburgh Active Member

    I read about the seats in the Bolt before I test drove one. I really thought "oh they can't be as bad as everyone says", but I thought they were worse. I can't stand that separation running down my back. But clearly some people don't mind, they've sold a ton of them.

    I love the lifetime battery warranty. Makes me think there won't be much reason to get rid of the car in the next few decades. I like the i3, someone in my neighborhood has one and I see it all the time. Where in Maryland did you get your Kona? I got mine there too, in Cumberland.
  17. BlueKonaEV

    BlueKonaEV Well-Known Member

    I bought mine at Massey Hyundai in Hagerstown. I was surprised that they actually sold me the car for the amount quoted. Most dealers play games and then the total ends up much more than the originally quoted price.. They quoted me $36100 for the SEL and that's what I paid. $2200 below the MSRP. So far, I have 28k miles on the car and ZERO issues.. Love it!!
    The BMW i3 seems a great car to buy used.. I don't know who is willing to pay $45k+ for a 114 mile rated range car... I don't get it.. However, used, the i3 is a great deal especially for someone like my wife who rarely ever drives more than 100 miles in a day..
  18. Mattsburgh

    Mattsburgh Active Member

    I had a very similar experience, I couldn't believe the dealer in Cumberland didn't try to jack up the price, and in fact sold it for $2k below MSRP. I was definitely happy. I only have 6,000 miles on it, don't drive much but like you have had zero issues.
  19. Chipper6

    Chipper6 New Member

    I am currently in a Chevy Bolt, but took over the last year of a lease on a Spark and would recommend it as a second car. I have driven Leafs, and the egolf (golf is my second vote because I am also a golf owner and the egolf quality was the same as a standard golf).

    Spark: I would get the "premium" vinyl seats because dog hair will not stick, Heated seats rock, you can get 50kW DCfast charge and the battery pack is underutilized/over engineered such that the range will not fall off a cliff like the leafs. It is also the most power/weight ratio of your list and smokes off the line (with or without sport mode on). It's small/great for parking but has 4 doors. The leaf/focus/bolt have big butts which is even more noticable after driving the Spark. I would have kept it but wanted to get used Bolt for the range. I think the spark seats may have even been better than the Bolt. As far as interiors, the 2016 can be found with all grey seats with minimal bright blue on the dash.

    As I said above, I suggest the egolf otherwise because quality but prices are significantly higher, so value of spark wins + I think you won't loose as much value on the spark.
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
    Mattsburgh likes this.
  20. BlueKonaEV

    BlueKonaEV Well-Known Member

    We did our first a little longer trip with the i3.. Me, my wife and our 2 kids in the i3. We drove is mostly on the highway with the AC on at 70 mph, sometimes 75 but sometimes also 65. It was 56 miles each way from my home in Lakeland to Millenia Mall and Costco in Orlando. I did charge on a 6kw charger for 1 hour and 10 mins at Milllenia mall, adding 27 miles of range. We arrived back home with 41 miles remaing range, so we could have made it even without recharging in Orlando but it would have been close. So, the rated range seems to be very conservative. Around town, it's likely closer to 140 mile range.
    So, if you drive 100 miles or less in a day, the i3 seems to be an excellent choice, especially as they can be bought for a very reasonable price used..
    bwilson4web and Mattsburgh like this.

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