2014 Nissan Leaf vs. Its Competition

2014 Nissan Leaf
John Voelcker John Voelcker Senior Editor

The 2014 Nissan Leaf is a practical compact hatchback, but its main selling point is that it plugs in.

Its competitors with plugs include the Chevy Volt, which led it (barely) in sales during 2013.

The Volt has a range-extending engine that eliminates range anxiety after its battery delivers 38 miles or so of range, but the tradeoff is a higher price and four seats instead of five.

Two plug-in hybrids, the Ford C-Max Energi and Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid, offer nominal electric ranges of 21 and 11 miles, respectively, in compact hatchback bodies.

The C-Max is nicer inside and performs better, but the Prius gets better gas mileage when it's depleted its (tiny) battery.

The Ford Focus Electric is also a five-door hatchback battery-electric model, but while it's available nationally, it sells in tiny numbers--seemingly because Ford doesn't really care about the car.

Finally, there's the Tesla Model S, which sells in numbers almost as high as the Leaf.

Its ranges (208 or 265 miles) are far higher than the Leaf's, but the price is twice as high.

The Tesla is a striking, fast, luxury electric car with an image that just can't be beat--but it comes at a price.

2014 Nissan Leaf2014 Nissan LeafBrowse Used Listings2014 Ford Focus Electric 5dr HB Angular Front Exterior View2014 Ford Focus ElectricBrowse Used Listings2014 Ford C-Max Energi 5dr HB SEL Angular Front Exterior View2014 Ford C-Max EnergiBrowse Used Listings2014 Toyota Prius Plug In 5dr HB (Natl) Angular Front Exterior View2014 Toyota Prius Plug InBrowse Used Listings2014 Tesla Model S2014 Tesla Model SBrowse Used Listings2013 Chevrolet Volt 5dr HB Side Exterior View2013 Chevrolet VoltBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
7.4
The 2014 Nissan Leaf is the world's most popular battery electric car, and the greenest--but it can take time to get used to real-world ranges of 60 to 90 miles.
8.6
Now in its third year, the 2014 Tesla Model S has no direct competitor. It remains the undisputed top choice in the growing world of plug-in electric cars, and there's a good case to be made that it's the most advanced car of any kind on the planet.
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.
MSRP From     
$28,980$29,170$31,635$29,990$69,900$39,145
Gas Mileage     
40 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy51 MPG City / 49 MPG Hwy35 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy
Engine     
ElectricElectricGas/Electric I-4Gas/Electric I-4ElectricGas/Electric I4
EPA Class     
Mid-Size CarsCompact CarsMid-Size CarsMid-Size CarsLarge CarsCompact Cars
Style Name     
4-Door HB S5-Door HBEnergi 5-Door HB SEL5-Door HB (GS)4-Door Sedan 60 kWh Battery5-Door HB
Drivetrain     
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFront wheel drive
Passenger Capacity     
555554
Passenger Doors     
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A4
Body Style     
HatchbackHatchbackHatchbackHatchbackSedanHatchback
Transmission     
AutomaticAutomaticCVT w/ODCVT w/ODAutomaticAutomatic