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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 EVs on the market, it makes respectable power for freeway driving, and its range should be fine for many 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.
 

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2019 Volkswagen e-Golf

Starting Price: $32,790Price Yours

Above Average: Responsive and sporty, fun to drive

Below Average: Hatchback only; only available in a select number of states

Consensus: The Volkswagen Golf has been one of the most popular hatchbacks in the world for many years. It’s stylish, sporty, and fun to drive, and the 2019 e-Golf keeps all those qualities but with an electric powertrain that returns 119 MPGe combined.
 

More and more manufacturers are going electric, with Tesla offering a luxury sedan, a midsize and a crossover, and even Porsche getting in the game with its forthcoming Taycan.

At the other end of the spectrum are the 2019 Nissan Leaf and 2019 Volkswagen e-Golf, which are very reasonable, fun little city cars, each with a number of things to recommend. Each has a reasonable starting price and a lot of attractive options. And with 150 and 125 miles of range, respectively, both are a practical choice for most commuters.

The e-Golf adds an electric powertrain to a hatchback that’s been popular around the world for many decades and is known for its style and some sportiness. The Leaf, while somewhat newer, continues to improve and add features. And while it is a perfectly comfortable commuter, the Leaf is not really sporty in any sense, although it feels planted on the road.

Similarities

Starting price; relatively low range means neither is a great choice for a road trip; hatchback body style

Nissan Leaf Advantages

More power, more range

Volkswagen e-Golf Advantages

Well-known hatchback; sportier to drive

Final Recommendation

On paper, the Nissan seems the better choice, with more performance and an expected nearly 25 miles longer range. But the Volkswagen brings the style and vibe of a hatchback that’s been a favorite around the world for decades and is also more fun to drive.

If you can live with the range (or just rent another car when you go on road trips), then we suggest the 2019 Volkswagen e-Golf.

Find a Volkswagen e-Golf in dealer stock near you

  2019 Nissan Leaf 2019 Volkswagen e-Golf
Popular Powertrains    
Engine AC synchronous electric motor with 40 kWh lithium-ion battery pack AC synchronous electric motor with 36 kWh lithium-ion battery pack
Horsepower 147 hp 134 hp
Torque 236 lb-ft 214 lb-ft
Transmission Single-speed fixed gear Single-speed fixed gear
Fuel Economy 112 MPGe combined (124 city, 99 hwy) 119 MPGe combined (126 city, 111 hwy)
EPA-estimated Range 150 miles  125 miles
Specs    
Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles  3 years/36,000 miles 
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 4 Stars n/a
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 106.3 inches 103.5 inches
Overall Length 176.4 inches 168.1 inches
Width 70.5 inches  70.8 inches 
Height 61.4 inches 57.2 inches
Turning Diameter 34.8 feet 35.8 feet
Headroom, Front 41.2 inches 38.4 inches
Headroom, Rear 37.3 inches 38.1 inches
Legroom, Front 42.1 inches 41.2 inches
Legroom, Rear 33.5 inches 35.6 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 54.3 inches 55.9 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 52.5 inches 53.9 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 92.4 cu. ft. 93.5 cu. ft.
EPA Cargo Volume 23.6 cu. ft. 22.8 cu. ft.
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