2013 Nissan Leaf vs. Its Competition

2013 Nissan Leaf, Nashville area test drive, April 2013
John Voelcker John Voelcker Senior Editor

The 2013 Nissan Leaf competes with a variety of plug-in cars, both battery electric and plug-in hybrid models.

It is most often compared to the 2013 Chevrolet Volt, which last year outsold it more than 2 to 1.

The Volt's range-extending engine eliminates the Leaf's range anxiety, but adds complexity--and the Volt is now much more expensive than the Leaf.

There's also the Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid, with a low 6-to-11-mile electric range but the Prius reputation of security for owners taking their first plug-in plunge.

Both the Ford Focus Electric and the much smaller Mitsubishi i-MiEV sold less than a tenth of what the Leaf did last year, and do not have as much support from their makers as the Leaf does from Nissan.

Finally, there's the Tesla Model S, now in production and offering two to four times the electric range, though at prices starting at double those of the Leaf and going up from there.

2013 Nissan Leaf, Nashville area test drive, April 20132013 Nissan LeafBrowse Used Listings2013 Chevrolet Volt 5dr HB Side Exterior View2013 Chevrolet VoltBrowse Used Listings2013 Ford Focus Electric 5dr HB Angular Front Exterior View2013 Ford Focus ElectricBrowse Used Listings2013 Toyota Prius Plug In 5dr HB (Natl) Angular Front Exterior View2013 Toyota Prius Plug InBrowse Used Listings2013 Tesla Model S2013 Tesla Model SBrowse Used Listings2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV 4-door HB SE Side Exterior View2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEVBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
7.8
The 2013 is the greenest car you can buy--if you can live with between 70 and 100 miles of driving range on a full battery charge.
7.4
If you can afford it, the 2013 Chevrolet Volt is one of only a handful of plug-in hybrids on the market, and among the best.
8.6
The Tesla Model S is a revolutionary electric car that blends sporty handling and lots of space, with a range of battery sizes so buyers can choose (and pay for) only the range they need.
MSRP From     
$28,800$39,145$39,200$32,000$69,900$29,125
Gas Mileage     
35 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy51 MPG City / 49 MPG Hwy
Engine     
ElectricGas/Electric I4ElectricGas/Electric I4ElectricElectric
EPA Class     
MidsizeCompact CarsCompactMid-sizeNASubcompact car
Style Name     
4-Door HB S5-Door HB5-Door HB5-Door HB (GS)4-Door Sedan4-Door HB ES
Drivetrain     
Front Wheel DriveFront wheel driveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
545554
Passenger Doors     
N/A44N/A44
Body Style     
4 Door HatchbackHatchbackHatchbackLiftbackSedan4 Door Sedan
Transmission     
AutomaticAutomaticAutomaticContinuously Variable TransmissionNAAutomatic