If you compare the 2015 Nissan Leaf to its competitors with plugs, you'll find other cars may beat it in some specific respect--but the Leaf remains a smart, well-developed package for the first volume electric car sold by a global automaker in many decades.
Among battery-electric cars, the Ford Focus Electric is the most comparable product--it's a five-door all-electric compact hatchback too--but it sells only in tiny numbers.
The Tesla Model S sells considerably better, and its ranges (208 or 265 miles) are far higher than the Leaf's, but the price is commensurately higher as well.
Finally, the new BMW i3 is an oddly styled car one size smaller than the Leaf.
While it has the BMW badge, it's a departure for the Munich brand and potentially too small and quirky for its price.
As for vehicles that plug in but also have engines, the Chevy Volt has a range extender that makes range anxiety irrelevant: After its battery delivers 38 miles of range, it runs on gasoline like any other car--but the tradeoff is a higher price and four seats instead of five.
The Ford C-Max Energi offers a nominal electric range of 18 miles in a tall, compact hatchback bodies.
The C-Max is nicer inside than the Leaf (and the Volt), and it performs better, but it does have a gasoline engine--which many Leaf buyers are trying to eliminate.
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|2015 Nissan LeafBrowse Used Listings||2015 Chevrolet VoltBrowse Used Listings||2015 Ford C-Max EnergiBrowse Used Listings||2014 BMW i3Browse Used Listings||2014 Ford Focus ElectricBrowse Used Listings||2014 Tesla Model SBrowse Used Listings|
|35 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy||40 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy|
|Electric||Gas/Electric I4||Gas/Electric I-4||Electric||Electric||Electric|
|Mid-Size Cars||Compact Cars||Mid-Size Cars||Subcompact Cars||Compact Cars||Large Cars|
|4-Door HB S||5-Door HB||Energi 5-Door HB SEL||4-Door HB||5-Door HB||4-Door Sedan 60 kWh Battery|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front wheel drive||Front Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive|
|Detailed Spec Comparison|
|2015 Nissan Leaf vs. 2015 Chevrolet Volt||2015 Nissan Leaf vs. 2015 Ford C-Max Energi||2015 Nissan Leaf vs. 2014 BMW i3||2015 Nissan Leaf vs. 2014 Ford Focus Electric||2015 Nissan Leaf vs. 2014 Tesla Model S|