2012 Nissan Leaf vs. Its Competition

2012 Nissan Leaf, Electric Avenue, 2010 Detroit Auto Show

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.

2012 Nissan Leaf, Electric Avenue, 2010 Detroit Auto Show2012 Nissan Leaf
Browse Used Listings
2012 Chevrolet Volt 5dr HB Angular Front Exterior View2012 Chevrolet Volt
Browse Used Listings
The 2012 Toyota Prius. Image: Toyota2012 Toyota Prius
Browse Used Listings
Quick Specs
7.8
The 2012 Nissan Leaf is, quite simply, the first battery electric vehicle built in volume by any major carmaker; if you can get comfortable with its range of 70 to 100 miles, it's the greenest car you can buy.
7.4
The 2012 Chevrolet Volt is the plug-in electric car you drive as far as you want--if you can find one to buy.
7.6
The 2012 Toyota Prius remains the highest-mileage car offered in the U.S., and it's a practical and capacious mid-size hatchback with room for five
MSRP From  
$35,200$39,145$23,015
Gas Mileage  
35 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy51 MPG City / 49 MPG Hwy
Engine  
ElectricElectric/Gas I4Gas/Electric I4
EPA Class  
MidsizeCompact CarsMidsize Cars
Style Name  
4-Door HB SV5-Door HB5-Door HB One (Natl)
Drivetrain  
Front Wheel DriveFront wheel driveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity  
545
Passenger Doors  
N/A4N/A
Body Style  
4 Door HatchbackHatchbackHatchback
Transmission  
AutomaticAutomaticContinuously Variable Ratio
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 Nissan Leaf vs. 2012 Chevrolet Volt2012 Nissan Leaf vs. 2012 Toyota Prius