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2019 Nissan Leaf Plus Range and Price Compared to Tesla Model 3 and Other EVs

Last week we at Torque News got our hands at the 2019 Nissan Leaf PLUS and have been enjoying the test-drive. One of the things that people were asking us was how the new Leaf PLUS compares to Tesla Model 3, Hyunday Kona and other popular electric cars in terms of price and range. I decided to tackle those questions in this story.

Nissan introduced the 2nd generation LEAF for the 2018 model. It has a better design, looks much more beautiful and has a longer range. But now Nissan offers an expanded lineup with the introduction of the 2019 Nissan LEAF PLUS. As the name already suggests the "PLUS" designation means more energy, longer range and higher output.

The higher output of the 2019 Nissan LEAF PLUS adds approximately 50% more range to this EV reaching up to 226 miles. You can get this mileage only with the Nissan LEAF Plus, which is about 5000 dollars more expensive than the regular 2019 Nissan LEAF. Thus, if you get the Leaf PLUS configuration, it will get you to the 200-mile club (in terms of EV range) and meet the driving needs of those car buyers who have longer commutes or simply need a wider range. My sources for this comparison were US Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Fuel Energy and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

2019 Nissan Leaf PLUS SL Deep Blue Pearl rear back close up

Before we start comparing the range and price of the 2019 Nissan LEAF PLUS, let's take a quick look at the different trim levels of the 2019 Leaf itself.

2019 Nissan Leaf Trim Comparison

The 2019 Nissan Leaf comes in six configurations. 2019 Nissan Leaf S costs $29,990. The 2019 Nissan Leaf SV costs $32,600. The 2019 Nissan Leaf SL costs $36,300. The 2019 Nissan Leaf S PLUS costs $36,550. The 2019 Nissan Leaf SV PLUS costs $38,510. The highest trim level 2019 Nissan Leaf SL PLUS costs $42,550. The second-generation Nissan Leaf is, of course, a hatchback. The non-PLUS regular Leafs have range of 150 miles per charge combined. The Nissan Leaf PLUS trims reach a range of 226 miles per charge.

Below we will use the 2019 Nissan Leaf PLUS SL trim comparing the highest possible trim levels of today's popular electric cars.

 2019 Nissan Leaf PLUS SL Deep Blue Pearl interior front side dash with infotainment systemNissan Leaf vs Tesla Model 3

The 2019 Tesla Model 3 Long Range can cost from $44,500 to $55,990 (the Performance trim) and can range from 258 to 325 miles per charge. As you can see the 2019 Nissan Leaf PLUS SL with its 225 miles per charge and 42,000 dollars price is comparable to the Tesla Model 3's 258 miles per charge.

Nissan Leaf vs Chevrolet Bolt

The 2019 Chevrolet Bolt has two main trim levels: the LT and the Premier. The LT is about $36,620 and the Premier costs about $41,020. The total range of the 2019 Chevy Bolt EV is 238 miles per charge. Again, it compares really well with the 2019 Nissan Leaf PLUS SL trim.

2019 Nissan Leaf PLUS SL Deep Blue Pearl front side under light

As we discussed both Tesla Model 3's pricing and Chevy Bolt's pricing comparing to Nissan Leaf PLUS SL, take a look at how the Tesla Model 3 and Chevy Bolt EV are defining new pricing tiers for the electric vehicles.

Nissan Leaf vs BMW i3

The 2019 BMW i3 gets 153 miles per charge, but with the Range Extender Plug-in Hybrid it gets 200 miles of total range per charge. However, note that with even the Range Extender it costs $48,300, while the 2019 Nissan Leaf PLU SL gets about 225 miles per charge EV only and has a $42,000 MSRP.

Nissan Leaf vs Hyundai Kona EV

The 2019 Hyundai Kona EV has a range of 258 electric miles per chage. While it offers comfort through familiarity, it can cost from $36,950 to $44,900 depending on the trim levels. The 2019 Hyundai Kona SEL is $36,950, the Limited is $41,400 and the Ultimate is $44,900. As you can see the 2019 Nissan Leaf PLUS SL compares very well with Hyundai Kona EV as well.

2019 Nissan Leaf PLUS SL Deep Blue Pearl spacious back seatNissan Leaf vs Hyundai Ioniq EV

The 2019 Hyundai Ioniq EV is cheaper than the Nissan Leaf PLUS SL, but it only has 118 hp and the battery range is only 124 miles per charge. Hyundai Ioniq EV starts at $30,315. Speaking of battery, learn how to improve Nissan Leaf PLUS battery maintenance and increase range.

Nissan Leaf vs VW ID.3

A few days ago VW revealed it's ID.3 with 341 miles of range. But at least for now, ID.3 will not make its way to the United States. VW ID.. will cost around $33,000 in Germany. While Nissan Leaf will not compete with VW ID.3 in the United States it has to compete with this car in Germany and in the European Continent.

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Here in this story I didn't compare the Nissan Leaf PLUS SL with Tesla Model S and Model X because those are different category cars.

The Advantages of the 2019 Nissan Leaf

You may ask what is the Nissan Leaf's advantage if it costs more than some of the cars compared above. If you look at any car just for the range, that car, including the LEAF will yield some of its competitors. The same will also happen if the price is your only decision making factor. Yet, one needs to look at many factors when buying an electric car.

For example, take the E-pedal. It’s not a feature that most other EVs or older Leafs have. They might have something similar, but not something that will do a complete stop and stay stopped. Only Chevy Bolt offers a customizable one-pedal driving. Both Nissan Leaf's and Bolt's one-pedal driving is especially helpful in emergency situations.

The size of a car, the torque power, control and the comfort also need to be taken into consideration in addition to the price and range of an EV.

2019 Nissan Leaf PLUS SL Deep Blue Pearl charing in the parking lot

The 2019 Nissan Leaf has 3 separate cooling systems. The trunk is huge, the range is great, the Pro-pilot is awesome, though not perfect yet. The 2019 Nissan Leaf PLUS SL has a very decent range with with a great torque. It's comfortable, quiet. Some people may talk about downsides too. But in my opinion the upsides far outweigh the downsides. The only other EV I'd even consider would be a Tesla, but Teslas are still too expensive and don't have ePedal which in some situations may be imperative.

See you in my next story where I am discussing how to protect your 2019 Nissan Leaf against corrosion.

Armen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded in 2010, which since then has been publishing expert news and analysis about the automotive industry. He can be reached at Torque News Twitter, Facebok, Linkedin and Youtube.


DeanMcManis (not verified)    September 16, 2019 - 6:18PM

Nice article Armen. The VW ID.3 will start in Europe only, but next year the ID.4 should be coming to the U.S. and the ID.3 will give us a taste of what to expect. Of course the EV range is based on the wildly overrated European rating, but the ID.4 should approach 300 miles. The i3 seems to be offering relatively short range at 153 miles, which is similar to the base Leaf and the $37K Mini Cooper SE, and more than the Ioniq. For some people with shorter commutes, this range should still work fine, being far more than the 65-80 miles of previous early BEVs. But with the Model 3, Bolt, Kona, and Leaf Plus the bar is raised. In fact the i3 with the range extender seems like a poor value getting 47 more miles (200 total) for nearly $50K, seeing that the same price will get you into a Model 3 Long Range with 310 miles EV range and a 4.4 sec 0-60 time and Autopilot for the price of admission. One point for the Leaf and Kona over the Tesla and Bolt is that they still get the full tax subsidies, which shaves another $6K off of their bottom line for those people who qualify for the tax credits. The new Leaf is a nice, evolutionary step up from the previous model without too much of a price hike for all of the new capabilities, but it still ranks 4th for me behind the Model 3, Kona, and Bolt.

Armen Hareyan    September 17, 2019 - 7:48AM

In reply to by DeanMcManis (not verified)

Thank you Dean. I am glad that ID.4 is coming to the United States. I am expecting it will probably have even more impressive range than ID.3, which is already pretty good. Indeed, the Leaf PLUS is a nice evolutionary step up from the previous model. I haven't tested the others yet, but liked the Leaf very much. I may have several more stories on the 2019 Leaf revealing its different capabilities and the life with the Leaf, but of course, Leaf now has serious competition and the EV marketplace is going to be even more competitive with the advent and advance of more EVs from a host of auto makers.

John Goreham    September 17, 2019 - 9:41AM

Great overview. Price discussion of various EVs is difficult without considering available incentives. In Massachusetts, one of the EV target states, the Nissan Leaf Plus SV is costing new buyers $28,385. In Rhode Island, another EV Target state, the cost is $27,500. You can view these prices at the DriveGreen Website. They change based on dealer discounting over time. These are the ones posted today. Compare the post-incentive prices of the Leaf Plus SV to a Tesla Model 3 SR+ and you will see that the new Leaf Plus is about 30% less expensive. Of course, the state in which you buy makes a big difference. Standard Range Leafs (new) start at under $19K after incentives. About half the price of a Model 3 after its incentives are included.