Skip advert
Advertisement

Volkswagen ID.3 vs Nissan Leaf: performance and handling

Strong performance from both cars means they’re good to drive, but the Volkswagen is more grown-up

VW ID.3 vs Nissan Leaf

The electric motors in these two cars are pretty closely matched, and with 201bhp in the ID.3 and 214bhp in the Leaf, they’re actually pretty fast considering that they’re intended to be no more than sensible family cars.

The 0–62mph sprint takes 7.3 seconds in the Volkswagen, but the Leaf’s slightly punchier motor means 62mph arrives in 6.9 seconds. You won’t notice that tiny time difference on the road, though, so both cars feel quick. The 0-30mph spring in both is even more impressive; you can easily beat hot hatchbacks and some sports cars off the line.

Advertisement - Article continues below

In both models, there’s almost no noise from the motor – apart from a barely audible whine as you accelerate. You’ll hear much more road and wind noise than any kind of motor sound in both cars here. It means they’re really relaxed and quiet on the road. The Leaf’s suspension emits a few more clonks and rattles than the ID.3's as you go over bumps in the road, though – and wind noise is louder in the Nissan, too.

The ID.3 is also more comfortable than the Leaf, because its suspension does a better job of soaking up potholes and bumps. It’s not perfect, as really harsh bumps still thud into the cabin, but considering the Volkswagen's big 19-inch wheels alloy wheels, it’s still pretty impressive.

The Leaf’s steering is really light and has virtually no feel or feedback, so it’s not as fun as the Volkswagen to drive. The Nissan’s biggest sin is its driving position, though, because it’s cramped and doesn’t have enough adjustment. Tall drivers will feel particularly uncomfortable inside.

Still, both cars are easy to drive and have enough maneuverability to be easy to park and drive in tight city streets. There are lots of safety systems to help, too, including autonomous emergency braking (AEB) in both cars as standard.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Richard is editor of DrivingElectric, as well as sister site Carbuyer.co.uk, and a regular contributor to Auto Express. An electric and hybrid car advocate, he spent more than five years working on the news and reviews desk at Auto Express and has driven almost every new car currently on sale.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

Cupra Tavascan review
Cupra Tavascan - front tracking
In-depth reviews

Cupra Tavascan review

Cupra’s first electric SUV is the beginning of a new chapter for this growing brand, and a very promising one at that
17 May 2024
New Kia EV6 facelift revealed with a host of updates
Kia EV6 Silver facelift front 3/4
News

New Kia EV6 facelift revealed with a host of updates

The new EV6 has been revealed with EV9 derived looks, an upgraded battery and updated interior
14 May 2024
Top 10 best hybrid SUVs and hybrid 4x4s 2024
Top 10 best hybrid SUVs and hybrid 4x4s 2024 cover photo
Best cars

Top 10 best hybrid SUVs and hybrid 4x4s 2024

SUVs and 4x4s traditionally used a lot of fuel, but there are now plenty of hybrid options to cut costs. These are the best ones to buy right now
8 May 2024