The 2012 Nissan Leaf now faces a pair of competing battery-electric vehicles, the Ford Focus Electric and the Mitsubishi i, with more on the way in future years.
The Focus Electric hatchback is likely to be sold in much smaller numbers than the Leaf, leading some to question Ford's commitment, and the Mitsubishi 'i' four-seat minicar is significantly smaller inside.
As for the Chevy Volt, its range-extending engine removes concerns over range anxiety but adds complexity, not to mention price--it's almost $5K more expensive than the Leaf.
The largest volume competitor to the Leaf may be the plug-in version of the iconic Toyota Prius hybrid that will go on sale early in 2012.
It offers an electric range of just 9 to 13 miles, after which it becomes a standard hybrid, but it may be the "safest" way to start plugging in for part of your driving, and it has the Prius name as a guarantee of security.
Among conventional hybrids, not only the standard Prius but also the Lexus CT 200h compact hybrid hatchback are roughly comparable to the Leaf range in size and price.
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|2012 Nissan LeafBrowse Used Listings||2012 Chevrolet VoltBrowse Used Listings||2012 Lexus CT 200hBrowse Used Listings||2012 Mitsubishi iBrowse Used Listings||2012 Toyota PriusBrowse Used Listings|
|35 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy||43 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy||51 MPG City / 48 MPG Hwy|
|Electric||Electric/Gas I4||Gas/Electric I4||N/A||Gas/Electric I4|
|Midsize||Compact Cars||Compact||N/A||Midsize Cars|
|4-Door HB SV||5-Door HB||FWD 4-Door Hybrid||N/A||5-Door HB One (SE)|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front wheel drive||Front Wheel Drive||N/A||Front Wheel Drive|
|4 Door Hatchback||Hatchback||4 Door Hatchback||N/A||Hatchback|
|Automatic||Automatic||Continuously Variable Ratio||N/A||Continuously Variable Ratio|