This year, environmentally-friendly cars made an appearance at nearly every auto show out there from Paris to Los Angeles. While you still won’t be able to get the now-legendary Tesla Model 3, you can still get the new 2017 Nissan Leaf or 2017 Toyota Prius four door. These two eco-friendly cars are the best in the market, but how can you choose? With this breakdown of course!
Comparing an electric car to a hybrid may seem unfair, but it may not be so uneven when you get down to the nitty-gritty. It comes down to what your priorities are and what kind of experience you want. The Nissan Leaf has a full charge power of 124 miles in the city and 101 miles on the highway. That’s for a full battery charge, and you may experience less power when you have a low battery.
The Prius gets approximately 54 mpg in the city and 50 mpg on the highway. While you need to charge your Nissan at an appropriate charging station, a Prius charges the battery by using regenerative braking or the gas engine when underway. You fill the tank with gas, and once the better is depleted, the Prius engine recharges the battery as well as power the car conventionally. The new Prius has an 11.3-gallon tank, which means you can go around 565 miles per tank. Of course, this highly depends on your driving habits. In the city, it’s possible to get up to 600 miles.
In the end, you can drive further without having to stop in the Prius than you can in the Nissan Leaf. Depending on where you live, you may also have a hard time finding stations to recharge your Leaf while you’re out-and-about.
Unlike fuel economy, the price of the Prius and the Leaf is a little easier to examine. The 2017 Toyota Prius Four Door is the cheaper option with a starting MSRP of $29,135. Comparatively, the Nissan Leaf S has a starting price of $30,680. The price difference is $1,545, which may not be that much more than the Toyota over time. Without considering your auto loan interest, the extra amount accounts for an additional $25.75 monthly with a 60-month term.
No one wants to purchase a vehicle that can break down in the future. The reliability of the 2017 Nissan Leaf hasn’t been recorded, but the 2016 version doesn’t have the best score. JD Power gave it a three out of five reliability rating, which is about average, but there are also two recalls that have been issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. One recall is for the passenger side airbags, and the other is for the electrical wiring system.
The 2017 Toyota Prius also doesn’t have reliability scores just yet either, but the 2016 model received a 3.5 out of five JD Power reliability score. The Prius also has had two recalls from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for a parking brake issue and airbag problems on the passenger side.
It’s easy to see how the two vehicles stack up side by side. In the end, which car you choose depends on your driving style. Those who need to drive long distances should consider sticking with the Prius because you’ll have to stop less. Additionally, you don’t need to find special charging stations. However, if you live in a place with several charging stations and you don’t mind stopping or driving short distances, the Nissan Leaf may be the electric vehicle for you.