1. 2013 Nissan (NSANY) LEAF

MSRP: $21,300

Miles per gallon: 106 city, 92 highway, 99 combined.

Electric charge range: 73 miles

Nissan must have heard Americans complain once or twice that it's near impossible to get a decent electric vehicle for less than $25,000.

Though it's hard to believe the Leaf has been around since 2010, the roughly $6,000 price drop for 2013 indicates Nissan is well aware that the lack of a supercharger dates this vehicle a bit. For folks lacking a long commute and living in places such as the West Coast towns along Interstate 5's electric corridor with loads of access to chargers, however, it's a dream.

A bevy of audio, navigation and app support features -- including maps of nearby charging station -- are similar to that of the higher-priced Volt. The Leaf is just as silent, though, and is still one of the best EV options available for the money, even if advancing EV technology makes it seem like the rest of the field is passing it by.

-- Written by Jason Notte in Portland, Ore.

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Jason Notte is a reporter for TheStreet. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Esquire.com, Time Out New York, the Boston Herald, the Boston Phoenix, the Metro newspaper and the Colorado Springs Independent. He previously served as the political and global affairs editor for Metro U.S., layout editor for Boston Now, assistant news editor for the Herald News of West Paterson, N.J., editor of Go Out! Magazine in Hoboken, N.J., and copy editor and lifestyle editor at the Jersey Journal in Jersey City, N.J.

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