Hyundai Kona Electric vs Nissan Leaf: verdict

The Hyundai Kona Electric and Nissan Leaf are both excellent family cars, but the Kona has the edge

There's no denying that the Hyundai Kona Electric and Nissan Leaf are both superb cars, and by any stretch their running costs will offer big savings over petrol and diesel alternatives.

Yes, there are drawbacks: the Kona Electric's boot is a little on the small side, while the Leaf's infotainment feels very dated for a car that is, after all, laden with the latest technology and equipment.

But putting those foibles to one side, both cars represent an ideal first step into the world of electric motoring. The reality is that either vehicle will leave you very satisfied indeed.

Of course, there can only be one winner in this electric-car head-to-head. So without further ado, our verdict is as follows...

First place: Hyundai Kona Electric

The Hyundai Kona Electric is the better of these two electric family cars. It gets beaten by the Leaf on boot space, but has a nicer interior with better technology and more room for passengers. The impressive claimed range was carried over to the real world on our tests and, generally, the Kona does a fine job as an electric car that’s also desirable family transport.

Second place: Nissan Leaf

There’s no doubt that the Nissan Leaf is an accomplished electric car; it loses out to the Kona mainly because of its more limited range, slightly awkward driving position, inferior touchscreen and lack of 100kW charging rapid charging. So, while it offers good practicality and cheaper monthly finance costs, and remains a fine and worthy electric family car, the Hyundai is the better all-rounder. 

Specs

  Hyundai Kona Electric 39kWh Premium Nissan Leaf 40kWh N-Connecta
Price £28,720 (after PiCG) £29,295 (after PiCG)
Motor 1x electric motor 1x electric motor
Power 134bhp 148bhp
Torque 395Nm 320Nm
Transmission Single-speed automatic, front-wheel drive Single-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
0-60mph 8.6 seconds 7.8 seconds
Top speed 96mph 90mph
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph 56.0/41.5/9.2m 48.9/35.6/8.8m
Energy consumption 4.5 miles/kWh 3.6 miles/kWh
Charge cost £4.91 £5.04
CO2 emissions 0g/km 0g/km
Tax £0 VED / 13% BiK £0 VED / 13% BiK
Options Metallic paint (£565) None
Length 4,180mm 4,490mm
Width 1,800mm 1,790mm
Height 1,570mm 1,540mm
Wheelbase 2,600mm 2,700mm
Boot (seats up/down) 332/1,114 litres 435/1,176 litres