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2019 Chevrolet Bolt

Starting Price: $37,495 | Price Yours

Above Average: Excellent range; battery pack in the floor lowers the center of gravity, aids in handling; single-pedal driving; expected high resale value

Below Average: There are cheaper EV alternatives if your range needs are lower; infotainment package is only available at the highest trim level

Consensus: The 2019 Chevrolet Bolt makes a strong case for itself in the EV segment. While it may be somewhat more expensive than some competitors, it has excellent range, some very nice features, and plenty of space inside. Due to the placement of its battery pack in the floor, it also handles surprisingly well and its 266 lb-ft of instantly available torque give it good oomph.

 

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2019 Nissan Leaf

Starting Price: $30,885 | Price Yours

Above Average: Good buy; 150-mile range is plenty for most people; quick recharge

Below Average: Range will be an issue if you like road trips; no sense of sportiness

Consensus: The 2019 Nissan Leaf is a great little entry-level EV for those looking to leave fossil fuels behind. It’s one of the cheaper electrics on the market, it makes respectable power for freeway driving, and its range should be fine for the majority of commuters. If you’re a frequent road-tripper, either make sure you have a second car or consider one of the other EVs on the market.
 

Previously, if you wanted an electric car, your options were extremely limited, but more and more manufacturers (even Porsche) are adding electric cars to their fleets. The Nissan Leaf was one of the first EVs on the market, and with each passing generation it’s improved its power, range, and looks. The Chevrolet Bolt, however, is newer, introduced for 2017, and it’s showing a lot of promise. It’s got great range and an option for a quick charge that adds 90 miles of range in 30 minutes, and its combination of respectable power and a low center of gravity make it fun to drive as well. Both of these cars offer a fair amount of technology, including driver assist functions and sharp interior and exterior looks, plus efficient use of space.

Similarities

Both can be driven with only one pedal; quick-charge options

Chevrolet Bolt Advantages

Longer range; more fun to drive; more power

Nissan Leaf Advantages

Less expensive; low 5-year ownership costs

Final Recommendation

The 2019 Nissan Leaf is a perfectly adequate EV, and it has a very respectable entry-level price. But in our opinion, the Bolt makes more sense. Yes, the Nissan has a 150-mile range, which is great 90 percent of the time, but the Chevy has 238 miles and more power, which is worth the money. The Bolt’s also more fun to drive and has 55.6 cubic feet of space with the seats folded, sharper looks, and even a higher top speed. Yes, it is more expensive, but if you step up to the higher trim levels on the Leaf, the prices become closer to those of the Bolt. Nissan will be coming out with a Leaf Plus line that will be much more competitive with the Bolt in terms of both power and range, but it will likely come in at a similar or higher cost. At this point, unless you’re really watching your pennies, we say go with the Bolt.

Know which one of these electric cars you want? Time to get a free dealer price quote!

  2019 Chevrolet Bolt 2019 Nissan Leaf
Popular Powertrains    
Engine AC electric motor with 60-kWh lithium-ion battery AC synchronous electric motor with 40 kWh lithium-ion battery pack
Horsepower 200 hp 147 hp
Torque 266 lb-ft 236 lb-ft
Transmission Single-speed fixed gear Single-speed fixed gear
Fuel Economy 119 MPGe combined (128 city/110 hwy) 112 MPGe combined (124 city, 99 hwy)
EPA-estimated Range 238 miles 150 miles
Specs    
Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles  3 years/36,000 miles 
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5 Stars 4 Stars
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 102.4 inches 106.3 inches
Overall Length 164.0 inches 176.4 inches
Width 69.5 inches (w/o mirrors) 70.5 inches (w/mirrors)
Height 62.8 inches 61.4 inches
Turning Diameter 35.4 feet 34.8 feet
Headroom, Front 39.7 inches 41.2 inches
Headroom, Rear 37.9 inches 37.3 inches
Legroom, Front 41.6 inches 42.1 inches
Legroom, Rear 36.5 inches 33.5 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 54.6 inches 54.3 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 52.8 inches 52.5 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 94.0 cu. ft. 92.4 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume 16.9 cu. ft. 23.6 cu. ft.
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