Nissan LEAF PLUS Vs. Tesla Model 3

By Justin Cupler | April 8th, 2019

The EV segment has moved from being all about saving the environment to going green and fast at the same time. This is exactly what the all-new 2019 Nissan LEAF PLUS offers our Mid-Michigan area shoppers. Compared to the current LEAF, the LEAF PLUS has a significant increase in range and output, putting it in a class dominated by the Tesla Model 3. How does the 2019 LEAF PLUS stack up against the 2019 Tesla Model 3? Find out below.

Exterior

The Nissan LEAF was one of the original electric vehicles, and in its first generation, it had an odd design that made it stand out. While some buyers appreciated the standout appearance, many preferred a more low-key look. In 2018, the LEAF went through a full redesign, bringing in more traditional look. The LEAF PLUS arrives in 2019 with an extended range and more power, but its looks are virtually identical to the standard LEAF.

The Tesla Model 3 debuted in 2017 and has gone through a few updates since, but it has remained visually unchanged since arriving. The Model 3 carries on the Tesla corporate design, pulling in the looks from the Model X and Model S. This gives it a sleek, bubble-like design that is far from over the top but stands out in a crowd.

In terms of size, the Tesla Model 3 is significantly longer and wider than the LEAF PLUS, but it is lower by 4.6 inches.

 

Measurement 2019 Nissan LEAF PLUS 2019 Tesla Model 3 Difference
Length 176.4 inches 184.8 inches -8.4 inches
Width 70.5 inches 72.8 inches -2.3 inches
Height 61.4 inches 56.8 inches +4.6 inches
Wheelbase 106.3 inches 113.2 inches -6.9 inches
Ground Clearance 5.9 inches
Curb weight 3,780 to 3,853 pounds 3,686 to 4,072 pounds -219 to +94 pounds

 

Advantage: 2019 Nissan LEAF PLUS

  • Traditional hatchback looks
  • Smaller and easy to maneuver

Advantage: 2019 Tesla Models 3

  • Sharp looks without going too far
  • Attracts all the stares

Interior

Like the exterior, Nissan put a lot of focus on making the LEAF PLUS’ cabin look as traditional as possible. It achieved this goal with a slick flat-bottom steering wheel and a standard-looking dash with a well-organized center stack. The only two areas where the LEAF PLUS strays from the traditional is its gear shift and blue-tinted gauges with an energy monitor. Otherwise, the LEAF PLUS simply looks like a stylish hatchback.

The Tesla Model 3 takes toned down to a whole new level with a clean dash that’s void of virtually all buttons and knobs. You will control everything via its standard 15-inch touchscreen. Otherwise, the Model 3’s cabin is clean, clutter-free, and to some buyers, a little on the boring side.

Inside, the 2019 Tesla Model 3’s larger body gives is far more seating room in virtually every measurable. Where the 2019 Nissan LEAF PLUS comes back is in its cargo room, as its hatchback body can gobble up an extra 8.6 cubic feet of cargo with the seats upright.

 

Measurement 2019 Nissan LEAF PLUS 2019 Tesla Model 3 Difference
Front headroom 41.2 inches 40.3 inches 0.9 inches
Front legroom 42.1 inches 42.7 inches -0.6 inches
Front shoulder room 54.3 inches 56.3 inches -2 inches
Front hip room 51.7 inches 53.4 inches -1.7 inches
Rear headroom 37.3 inches 37.7 inches -0.4 inches
Rear legroom 33.5 inches 35.2 inches -1.7 inches
Rear shoulder room 52.5 inches 54 inches -1.5 inches
Rear hip room 50 inches 52.4 inches -2.4 inches
Cargo capacity (behind second row) 23.6 cubic feet 15 cubic feet +8.6 cubic feet
Cargo capacity (second row folded) 30 cubic feet

 

Advantage: 2019 Nissan LEAF PLUS

  • Traditional cabin with touches of futuristic design
  • Significant cargo-room advantage

Advantage: 2019 Tesla Model S

  • Clean cabin
  • Roomier seating area

Performance

Electric vehicles are no longer the boring green machines they once were. Today, they deliver impressive straight-line performance thanks to their advanced batteries that allow automakers to create more powerful motors without harming range or efficiency..

Tesla was one of the first EV manufacturers to test the bounds of performance with its Model S, and this trend continues with the smaller Model 3. The 2019 Tesla Model 3 not only offers 220 to 325 miles of EV range, but it can also sprint to 60 mph in as few as 3.3 seconds in its range-topping model. Even its base model is quick with its 5.6-second sprint time.

The new Nissan LEAF PLUS uses a larger battery and more powerful engine than the base LEAF, allowing it to deliver up to 214 horsepower and a respectable 6.5-second launch to 60 mph. It does this while also offering up to 226 miles of range*.

 

2019 Nissan LEAF PLUS 2019 Tesla Model 3 Difference
Motor AC synchronous electric motor
Horsepower 214 hp
Torque 250 lb-ft
Transmission Single-speed reducer Single-speed
Driveline FWD RWD
0-60 time 6.5 seconds (est.) 5.6 seconds +1.1 seconds
EV Range 226 miles* 220 miles +6 miles
MPG-e City TBD mpg-e 128 mpg-e
MPG-e Highway TBD mpg-e 117 mpg-e
MPG-e Combined TBD mpg-e 123 mpg-e
Motor
Horsepower
Torque
Transmission
Single-speed
Driveline
RWD
0-60 time
5.3 seconds +1.2 seconds
EV Range
240 miles -14 miles
MPG-e City
TBD mpg-e
MPG-e Highway
TBD mpg-e
MPG-e Combined
TBD mpg-e
Motor
Horsepower
Torque
Transmission
Single-speed
Driveline
RWD
0-60 time
5.2 seconds +1.3 seconds
EV Range
264 miles -38 miles
MPG-e City
TBD mpg-e
MPG-e Highway
TBD mpg-e
MPG-e Combined
TBD mpg-e
Motor
Horsepower
Torque
Transmission
Single-speed
Driveline
RWD
0-60 time
5 seconds +1.5 seconds
EV Range
325 miles -99 miles
MPG-e City
TBD mpg-e
MPG-e Highway
TBD mpg-e
MPG-e Combined
TBD  mpg-e
Motor
Horsepower
Torque
Transmission
Driveline
AWD
0-60 time
4.5 seconds -2 seconds
EV Range
310 miles -84 miles
MPG-e City
120 mpg-e +4 mpg-e
MPG-e Highway
112 mpg-e -13 mpg-e
MPG-e Combined
116 mpg-e -4 mpg-e
Motor
Horsepower
Torque
Transmission
Driveline
AWD
0-60 time
3.3 seconds +3.2 seconds
EV Range
310 miles -84 miles
MPG-e City
120 mpg-e +4 mpg-e
MPG-e Highway
112 mpg-e -13 mpg-e
MPG-e Combined
116 mpg-e -4 mpg-e

 

Advantage: 2019 Nissan LEAF PLUS

  • Quick acceleration, but manageable
  • More miles on standard powertrain

Advantage: 2019 Tesla Model 3

  • Ranges from quick to rip-you-face-off fast
  • Longer EV range in higher trim levels

Pricing and Features

The 2019 Nissan LEAF PLUS is available in three trim levels — S, SV, and SL — and prices range from $36,550 to $42,550.

 

The 2019 Tesla Model S has three trims — Midrange, Long Range, and Performance — and prices range from $35,000 to $58,000.

2019 Nissan LEAF PLUS Key Features and Pricing by Trim

S: $36,550

  • 160-kilowatt AC synchronous electric motor
  • 62-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Single-speed reducer transmission
  • Hill-start assist
  • 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels
  • e-Pedal
  • Normal, Eco, and B driving modes
  • Four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes
  • Tilt steering wheel
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Power mirrors
  • Halogen headlights
  • Quick-charge port
  • Bio Suede PET material
  • Six-way manual driver’s seat
  • SiriusXM
  • USB port
  • Four-way manual passenger’s seat
  • Six-speaker AM/FM/MP3/WMA audio system
  • 8-inch color touchscreen
  • NissanConnect infotainment system
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • Keyless access
  • Keyless ignition
  • Power windows with driver’s side one-touch up/down
  • Power door locks
  • Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
  • Variable-intermittent wipers
  • Automatic climate control
  • Hands-free text messaging
  • Cruise control
  • Rearview camera
  • Rear door alert
  • Automatic emergency braking

 

SV: $38,510

  • All S features, plus
  • 17-inch aluminum-alloy, machine-finished wheels
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Fog lights
  • HD Radio
  • NissanConnect with navigation
  • SiriusXM Travel Link
  • SiriusXM Traffic
  • NissanConnect EV
  • Adaptive cruise control

 

SL: $42,550

  • All SV features, plus
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Mirror-integrated turn signals
  • LED low-beam headlights
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Eight-way power driver’s seat
  • Leather upholstery
  • Heated front seats
  • Rear HVAC duct
  • Seven-speaker Bose Premium audio system
  • Hybrid heater system
  • Cargo-area cover
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • 360-degree camera
  • HomeLink universal home remote
  • Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Blind-spot warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Intelligent Driver Alertness
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Automatic high-beam headlights

2019 Tesla Model 3 Key Features and Pricing by Trim

Standard Range: $35,000

  • Electric motor
  • Single-speed reduction transmission
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • 220-mile EV range
  • 18-inch wheels
  • Auto-dimming, power-folding, heated mirrors
  • Tinted glass roof
  • 15-inch touchscreen
  • Manual seat and steering adjustment
  • Cloth seats and base trim
  • Basic audio
  • Standard maps and navigation
  • Center console with storage and 4 USB ports

Standard Range Plus: $37,000

  • All Standard Range features, plus
  • 240-mile EV range
  • 12-way power adjustable heated front seats
  • Premium seat material and trim
  • Upgraded audio – immersive sound
  • LED fog lamps
  • Center console with storage, 4 USB ports and docking for 2 smartphones

Mid Range: $40,000

  • All Standard Range Plus Electric motor
  • 264-mile EV range
  • 12-way power adjustable front and rear heated seats
  • Premium audio – 14 speakers, 1 subwoofer, 2 amps, and immersive sound
  • Satellite-view maps with live traffic visualization and navigation
  • In-car internet streaming music & media
  • Internet browser
  • Location-aware automatic garage door opener
  • LED fog lamps
  • Center console with storage, 4 USB ports and docking for 2 smartphones

 

Long Range: $43,000

  • All Midrange features, plus
  • 325-mile range
  • Dual-motor powertrain

 

Long Range AWD: $47,000

  • All Long Range features, plus
  • Dual-motor all-wheel drive
  • 310-mile EV range

 

Performance: $58,000

  • All Long Range AWD features, plus
  • 20-inch performance wheels
  • Performance brakes
  • Track mode
  • Carbon-fiber spoiler
  • Lowered suspension
  • Aluminum alloy pedals

Who Should Buy the 2019 Nissan LEAF PLUS?

Though pricing adjustments by Tesla made the base Model 3 cheaper than the LEAF PLUS, the Nissan lineup is simpler to navigate and has a less expensive cap. Plus, its cargo-loving hatchback design makes it a good option for family trips and hauling sports equipment.

Who Should Buy the 2019 Tesla Model 3?

The Tesla Model 3 is efficient, sure, but its claim to fame is insane performance. This small EV sedan is perfect for a buyer who wants to have their cake and eat it too. It’ll cost you, but you are likely fine with the extra cash in the name of fun.

Come see what it’s like tackling your daily commute to Bay City or just taking a day trip to Midland in the thrifty 2019 Nissan LEAF PLUS at Garber Nissan today. The 2019 Nissan LEAF PLUS has all the style and efficiency our Saginaw area shoppers crave, so come see it for yourself today. Can’t make it in today? Check out our online inventory to see the LEAF PLUS models we have in stock in the Saginaw area and schedule to test drive a few when it’s convenient for you.

* EPA range for Nissan LEAF S PLUS only. Actual range will vary with trim levels, options and driving conditions; see Customer Disclosure Form for details.

* All prices listed herein are Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP), which exclude installation, taxes and other costs, and are subject to change without prior notice. Dealer sets actual price. Pictures are for informational purposes only.