Hybrid Comparison: Chevy Volt versus Nissan Leaf
Electric and hybrid vehicles offer an excellent way to save money and to cut down on pollution produced by driving. When shopping for a hybrid vehicle, it needs to offer more than just a way to get from point A to point B. It also needs to be safe, reliable, offer a desirable driving range and deliver a comfortable ride. This article runs the rule over two of the most popular hybrid and electric vehicles currently on the market: the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf.
Engine Specs and Fuel Economy
The Chevy Volt uses a gas/electric hybrid-I4 1.4-liter engine. Thus, while it can be driven in full electric mode, the engine is a hybrid so it still can run on gasoline. The Leaf has an all-electric motor. The Volt offers 149 horsepower and 273 pound feet of torque against the 107 horsepower of the Leaf and 187 pound feet of torque.
The Chevy Volt is able to drive 53 miles on a single charge before switching to gasoline power. Now, it might switch over faster, based on charging during the drive, more charging occurs in city driving due to braking and other variables, but this is the extent of the electric driving. In total, it can drive 420 miles on a single charge and tank of gas. When switched to gasoline, the Volt provides 35 miles per gallon in the city and 40 miles per gallon on the highway.
In comparison, the Nissan Leaf offers 84 miles of range on a single charge, but that's it. The Leaf is a short-range vehicle only. Until charging times are reduced and charging stations become more plentiful, the Leaf must remain close to home at all times.
The Volt offers the ability to switch to gasoline, so it can be used as a long-range vehicle as well as a short-range one. The 53 miles of electric power range should be plenty for most people to get to and from work and run some errands on a daily basis. Gasoline power is available for longer trips that the Leaf just cannot undertake.
The Volt offers keyless start, remote engine start, navigation from telematics, universal garage door opener compatibility, driver illuminated vanity mirror and passenger illuminated visor mirror all as standard features the Leaf doesn't have. It also offers electrochromic rearview mirror and rear parking aid as upgraded features; neither is available on the Leaf.
Regarding entertainment, both vehicles come with AM/FM stereo, AUX input, CD player and MP3 player. The Leaf has satellite radio as standard, while the Volt offers that, navigation system and a premium sound system as upgrade features. The Volt also provides on-board hands-free communications system as a standard feature, which is not found on the Leaf.
The only standard features the Leaf has that the Volt doesn't have is a trip computer and a back-up camera, although both can be added to the Volt as upgrades.
In any vehicle, safety is vitally important and both vehicles have excellent safety features. Both have driver, passenger and side air bags. The Volt comes with a rear body airbag, which is not found on the Leaf. In terms of other safety features, both offer brake assist, electronic stability control, child safety locks and traction control. The Volt goes beyond and provides daytime running lights, integrated turn signal and lane departure warning as an upgrade.
Overall, the Volt wins virtually every category comparison, from driving distance and safety features to internal convenience options. The Volt even comes with a trunk, which is not available on the Leaf. Choose Chevy!