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The Disadvantages and Advantages of Tesla Model S vs Nissan LEAF

In one of the electric car groups on Facebook the group members are discussing whether there should be any comparisons between electric cars instead of comparing electric cars to ICE vehicles. But this discussion quickly turned into comparing Tesla Model S or Model 3 to Nissan Leaf. Here are few interesting comments from that discussion.


"The other EV's just don't hold a candle to the Tesla," writes Renee Cousins. "I appreciate the token effort from Nissan and Chevy, and the less-than-token effort from BMW and Kia, but really, they don't take the EV's seriously enough. When people make ignorant claims about EV's, I spend hours in the forums trying to de-fund it. But let's not accept the mainstream manufacturers lack-luster support of the EV market either" (Editor's note: Do you think mainstream manufacturers' support for EV market is lackluster?).

"I have owned three of them (still own the Smart ED) and have loved all three: Tesla Model S, Nissan LEAF and Smart ED. But reality is reality, and if you want the range, there are only two options; buy a Tesla or a Volt and gasoline is simply not an option for me anymore," she adds.

John Chartrand writing in defense of Nissan Leaf and Chevy Bolt writes the following. "The reality of a Tesla is less than 1% of the population due to price. I like Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, BMW but these cars EV or not are only for the extremely few and will not ever be mainstream. We need more Bolt price range EVs and even much lower cost."

Tesla Model S Price is High

Robert Malcolm Kay comments that he could buy two Nissan Leafs for the price of one Tesla Model S: and it is tiny: "So where exactly is the Tesla advantage, for the average 16,000 miles a year motorist like me who needs an affordable car to deliver value to my bottom line and keeps within the speed limit? Tesla is grossly overpriced as a normal car: the Leaf is very much on the mark, which explains why globally, the Leaf is Ichiban (number one) in sales," he adds.

The only disadvantage of the Nissan Leaf vs Tesla Model S is when you take long road trips. This is what you get for a low price. However, this can be substituted if you find the places where you are going to charge your car before your take your trip. On the other hand a new alternative is on the way. Tesla's model 3 will be another great reasonably priced EV. You will get good range at a good price. Nissan is not behind, as rumored 200-mile EV confirmed to be on the way. In fact, don't miss this story, titled New Nissan LEAF with 200 Mile Range vs Tesla Model 3: What Do You Do Now.


E (not verified)    February 7, 2017 - 2:58PM

Comparing a Nissan Leaf to a Tesla Model S makes about as much sense as comparing an Altima to S-Class. Different buyer, different class, different car, different everything.

Please stop making these comparisons!

Matt Rose (not verified)    February 7, 2017 - 3:41PM

In reply to by E (not verified)

I agree, except it's even worse than that.

Lets compare paying the original MSRP on a 2011 Altima, with paying for an S-Class which might be delivered months or years from now.

I can sell you a computer that cost half as much and is twice as fast as anything on the market today - if you will only pay for it today and let me delivery in mid 2019.

Matt (not verified)    February 7, 2017 - 3:39PM

I simply do not understand how person after person, publication after publication keep comparing the Leaf (a car that's been on the road for 6 years - and I can buy today for less than $15,000 after negotiations and tax credits), with a car that you pay for today but won't be delivered for at least a year or two after I begin paying for it.

This is as useful as a comparison between the Samsung Galaxy 4 with the iPhone 8 (except that you have to start paying for the iPhone 8 a year before you get it!)

I love what Tesla has done, and is doing. But there has never been such a perversely useless or misleading comparison as that between the Tesla and the Leaf.

Keith Bramlett (not verified)    February 8, 2017 - 3:26PM

As a Leaf and Model S owner I can compare them. I'd rather drive either one than the 7 Series I sold in 2014 and that was a nice car . I'm looking forward to the Model 3 later this year to replace the Leaf.