While the past decade has seen several Electric Vehicle (EV) manufacturers storming the market, most have been touting quite the hefty price tag or are slim on safety to make up for the more expensive components. However, there are now several options in the 2020 model years and beyond that offer superior electric capabilities at a reasonable price. The most popular of these budget-friendly EVs are the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Bolt.
Comparable Features Between The Nissan Leaf And Chevy Bolt
Before exploring the differences between the pair, we will examine what makes the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Bolt live at the same level of consideration.
- Both are inexpensive, with new models coming in at $26,000 for the Bolt and $28,000 for the Leaf base models. Of note is that 2022 Leafs are still eligible for tax credit rebates, whereas only 2023 Bolts can still receive the credit.
- Each vehicle sports a sleek and compact hatchback design.
- Both cars seat up to five comfortably and can have the back row flipped down for additional cargo space, although we will explore a discrepancy between them below.
Differences In Motor And Battery
When considering purchasing an EV, one of the crucial factors is battery range and infrastructure for charging. Regarding range, the Chevy Bolt is superior to the Leaf in most regards. The Bolt has a single battery option and can reach EPA estimated ranges of 259 miles. In contrast, the Leaf has battery options depending upon trim, with the smaller pair sporting only 149 miles on a single charge and the more robust option topping out at 212 miles of range.
The range is not the only consideration when it comes to the battery. Which charges faster? The charging capabilities of the Bolt and Leaf are similar, yet, the Bolt can charge slightly faster if you have 240v capabilities at home. However, depending on your area's EV infrastructure, the Leaf comes with a CHAdeMO fast charging capability which can far outperform the limited charging options of the Bolt.
Interior And Safety
While both vehicles have similar proportions and styles, the interiors differ. Concerning cargo, the Nissan Leaf offers substantially more space in the trunk. The Chevy Bolt has a small 16.6 Cu. Ft. of cargo space compared to the Nissan Leaf, which has a solid 23.6 Cu. Ft. Although, this extra cargo room does make the Leaf have slightly less space in the back seat, cutting about two inches of leg room.
In terms of safety, there is little to no competition when it comes to Nissan's ProPilot® driver assistance functionality. While both vehicles offer hands-free and one-pedal driving, the standard safety and driver assistance features on the Nissan Leaf exceed those of the Bolt. These improvements in safety on the Leaf include:
- Nissan Leaf S:
- Rearview camera
- Front collision alarm
- Automatic emergency braking system
- Front pedestrian detection
- Rear automatic braking
- Blind-spot warning and intervention
- Rear cross-traffic alert
- Lane keep assist
- Nissan Leaf SV Plus Additions:
- 360-view camera system
- Driver alertness monitoring
Which Is Better, the Nissan Leaf or Chevy Bolt?
While the choice of EV ultimately comes down to the use case, there is an argument for both. The limited range of the Nissan Leaf ensures that it is a city car, where EVs shine, and the Chevy Bolt wins slightly on versatility. However, the Nissan Leaf's larger cargo space and more robust safety features set it apart.
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