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Vehicle Comparisons:
2015 Nissan Leaf vs. 2015 Toyota Prius

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2015 Nissan LEAFThe 2015 Nissan LEAF is an electric compact hatchback, one of the bestselling of its kind. It’s powered by a lithium-ion battery pack and can be charged in fewer than seven hours. Introduced in 2011, the LEAF was the first mass-market pure electric car and continues to stand as an icon of excellence in electric vehicles.

The 2015 Toyota Prius is one of the best established hybrid cars in America. Almost synonymous with the idea of the hybrid, the Prius is, for a gas-powered vehicle, extremely efficient. Rated by the EPA at about 50 mpg, it’s also very aerodynamic. The Prius is a midsize hatchback that now comes with a plug-in option.

The 2015 Nissan LEAF is produced in North America at a plant in Tennessee, which supports the American economy and keeps quality high and production costs low. The most recent LEAF models start under $30,000 and qualify for tax rebates in many states as well as some federal breaks.

The LEAF uses a 24-kWh lithium-ion battery pack to power an 80-kW, 107-horsepower electric motor that runs the front-wheel drive. With a surprisingly roomy interior, the LEAF is considered a midsize car, in line with its 3,000-lbs weight.

Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph is about 10 seconds, and the top speed maxes out at roughly 90 mph. The Prius has a similar acceleration rating, but compared to the LEAF, the Prius has a reputation for slightly sluggish handling.

The range of the 2015 Nissan LEAF is rated at about 84 miles, although this number can vary depending on driving conditions such as speed and temperature. Most LEAF models can quick charge up to 80% capacity within 30 minutes at a quick-charge station.

The Toyota Prius uses a nickel-metal hydride battery pack to power an electric motor generator that pairs with a small four-cylinder gasoline engine. A second engine recaptures wasted energy to recharge the battery using regenerative braking. This complicated system is standard in the Prius, adding weight and redundancy to the car.

The Nissan LEAF is considerably cheaper to operate over the long term than a comparable gas-engine hatchback.

2015 Nissan LEAF InteriorThe 2015 Nissan LEAF is slightly more affordable than the 2015 Toyota Prius plug in, with the Nissan’s MSRP at about $29,010 vs. the Toyota’s sticker price at $29,990. Both are almost the same size inside and out, but the LEAF has a few more cubic feet cargo space (24 feet vs. the Prius’ 21 feet).

The LEAF offers a quiet, smooth ride and is the high bar of green driving. The LEAF remains at the top of the all-electric competition.

To learn more about the LEAF, check out Nissan 24’s 2015 Nissan LEAF vehicle review. And remember to schedule a test drive at the dealership when you’re ready to take the Nissan LEAF for a whirl.