Tesla's cheapest current offering topped the charts.
When it comes to premium cars, no other electric vehicle could quite meet the demands and satisfy quite as well as the Tesla Model 3 sedan. This is according to Automotive News, the motoring news outlet reporting the brand's cheapest sedan has topped the J.D. Power satisfaction survey for the second year in a row.
Owners love the Model 3, the premium electric sedan achieving 777 points out of a possible 1,000. 8,122 individuals were surveyed, each asked to rate their vehicle in several categories including quality, reliability, battery range, and cost of ownership. The brand finished strong in the premium segment, with the Model Y placing in second (770) and the Model S (756) in third place - far ahead of the fourth-placed contender, the Audi e-tron (718).
In the mainstream category, it was the Kia Niro EV that proved the most satisfactory to own. Like the Tesla, this is the Korean crossover's second time in first place, posting a total score of 744. This places it ahead of other mass-market EVs, such as the Ford Mustang Mach-E (741), Nissan Leaf (708), and Volkswagen ID.4 (692). Interestingly, the Chevrolet Bolt scored just 687 this year, trailing behind its strong 745-point finish last year. This is undoubtedly down to the recall GM rolled out in response to the risk of battery fires.
J.D. Power surveyed 10 electric vehicles overall, noting it did not have sufficient sample sizes to give other EVs a score. For EV owners, the most common reason for purchasing their vehicles was because of range. 86% of premium EV owners and 87% of mainstream EV drivers listed this as their top reason for purchasing their cars.
They are not without their faults, however. Mainstream EV owners had issues with infotainment systems, with an average of 26.2 problems per 100 vehicles. Premium buyers faced a different set of issues and, while less common, they remain unacceptable in expensive cars. Exterior problems and rattles were most prominent for premium vehicles, scoring at 14.6 and 13.4 problems per 100 vehicles, respectively.
Still, this isn't enough to put these consumers off electric vehicles. According to the survey, a whopping 96% said they would buy another electric vehicle (among owners whose scores topped 900 points), with 62% promising to be loyal to their current brand. It would certainly be interesting to see where the aforementioned cars place in relation to other electric vehicles, such as the Mercedes EQS, Lucid Air, and Ford F-150 Lightning - once these newer EVs have been around for a bit longer, of course.