Twin test: Hyundai Kona Electric vs Nissan Leaf
We put two of the market-leading mid-size electric cars head-to-head, with the Hyundai Kona Electric taking on the Nissan Leaf
- Single-pedal driving
- Unreliable app
It might be hard to believe, but it was way back in 2010 when Nissan launched the first-generation Leaf. Today, that car has been superseded by the Mk2 version, but the newcomer was never going to have the clear run at the electric-car market that its predecessor enjoyed.
The Hyundai Kona Electric presents buyers with a choice of battery sizes and, as a result, ranges, but it’s the cheaper 39kWh model we’re testing in Premium trim. It costs £28,720 after the £3,500 Government plug-in car grant, so it undercuts the £29,295 Nissan Leaf that’s in equivalent N-Connecta trim with a 40kWh battery.
With a longer official range of 194 miles to the Leaf’s 168, the Hyundai Kona Electric has a clear edge on paper.
However, that edge will be negated for many by the long wait times faced by anyone ordering a Kona. In fact, as we write in June 2019, Hyundai has sold all of its 2019 Kona Electric allocation and has a waiting list of some 2,000 customers for the next batch.
Clearly, it’s no small matter that you’ll be waiting a year or more if you want to buy a Kona Electric, while the Leaf’s delivery time is just a few months. Even so, we’re here to judge which of these cars is best, not which is most available.
Hyundai Kona Electric 39kWh Premium
Nissan Leaf 40kWh N-Connecta
So, while the Leaf is a purpose-designed electric car in the family-hatchback mould, the Kona is an SUV that’s also offered with petrol, diesel and hybrid engines – although it was designed from the outset with an electric variant in mind.
At a glance
|Hyundai Kona Electric 39kWh Premium
|Nissan Leaf 40kWh N-Connecta
|£28,720 (after PiCG)
|£29,295 (after PiCG)
|Estimated monthly cost*
|Energy consumption / real-world range
|4.5 miles/kWh / 170 miles
|3.6 miles/kWh / 150 miles
|Charge cost (13p per kWh)
|Fastest 20-80% charge time
|30 mins (100kW)
|60 mins (50kW)
|Boot (seats up/down)
*PCP estimate, based on a 36-month contract with £5,000 deposit and 10,000-mile annual allowance
Despite their different approaches, both cars promise good practicality and interior technology. But there can only be one winner. Read on for the rest of our head-to-head test between the Hyundai Kona Electric and Nissan Leaf…
In This Review
- 1Introduction - currently readingWe put two of the market-leading mid-size electric cars head-to-head, with the Hyundai Kona Electric taking on the Nissan Leaf
- 2Range & chargingThe Nissan Leaf features the biggest battery, but it’s the Kona Electric that returns the most range
- 3Running costs & warrantySlightly better efficiency gives the Hyundai Kona Electric the edge over the Nissan Leaf
- 4Driving & performanceThe Hyundai Kona Electric and Nissan Leaf are closely matched, with strong 0-30mph figures ideal for urban driving
- 5Interior, comfort & practicalityThe Leaf’s smartphone app is very unreliable, although the Kona Electric is yet to offer such technology
- 6VerdictThe Hyundai Kona Electric and Nissan Leaf are both excellent family cars, but the Kona has the edge