The electric car market is constantly growing with new entrants, but many of them are expensive luxury vehicles. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to find a fairly affordable EV, though. Such options at the lower end of the price spectrum are the Kia Niro EV and Nissan Leaf.
2022 Kia Niro EV
The Kia Niro EV is a feature-rich electric SUV, recently made available in all 50 states. That makes it more competitive with the tough Nissan Leaf. Prices start at $39,990 before federal or state incentives. Praise yours or View offers near you†
Kia Niro EV Highlights
SUV versatility: These two EVs have similar interior space, but the Niro EV is slightly more versatile. The rear seats can be folded flat in the Niro EV, but for the Leaf. That means you can open up the Niro EV’s cargo area for up to 53 cubic feet of space.
Range of 239 miles: The Niro EV comes standard with an impressive electric range of 239 miles. That beats the Leaf with a standard 149-mile range, as well as the 226-mile range with the Leaf Plus.
Excellent warranty: The Kia Niro EV has an excellent warranty. The base 5 year/60,000 mile warranty and the 10 year/100,000 mile warranty on the powertrain is much more generous than the Leaf warranty.
2022 Nissan Leaf
The Nissan Leaf is the original mass-market EV and is still a good value in electric cars. Now in its second generation, the Leaf is a practical hatchback that happens to be electric. The price starts at $27,400 before any tax incentives go into effect. Praise yours or View offers near you†
Nissan Leaf Highlights
Value prices: The Nissan Leaf has a significantly lower starting price than the Kia Niro EV. Granted, that’s partly because the standard Leaf has a shorter range than the 90-mile Kia, but even the longer-range Leaf Plus is a lot cheaper than the Niro EV.
Low cost of ownership: The Nissan Leaf is a consistent winner of our 5-year Cost to Own award in the electric vehicle class. That’s largely due to its low sticker prices, but reasonable maintenance and insurance costs, as well as manageable depreciation, making it an affordable car to live with.
Two battery options: If you can live with a 149-mile range, you can save money by getting the more affordable and slightly more efficient 40 kW-hour battery in the Nissan Leaf. If you’re willing to pay a little extra for more range, the 62 kW-hour battery in the Leaf Plus has a range of up to 326 miles.
Comparable interior space, comparable performance and range (with Leaf Plus), comparable charging times
The Kia Niro EV has a longer range and warranty than the Nissan Leaf, but the Leaf is the cheapest choice. If you’re looking for greater range and greater SUV versatility, go for the Niro EV. However, the Leaf is a better bargain if you want a good price and a lower cost of ownership.
|2022 Kia Niro EV||2022 Nissan Leaf|
|engine||Electric motor with 64 kWh . battery||Electric motor with 40 kWh . battery|
|horsepower||201 hp @ 3,800 rpm||147 hp @ 3,282 rpm|
|Couple||291 lb-ft @ 0 rpm||236 lb-ft|
|Transfer||1-speed automatic||1-speed automatic|
|Fuel economy||112 combined MPGe||111 combined MPGe|
|Range||239 miles||149 miles|
|Also available||62 kW-hour battery|
|Basic warranty||5 years/60,000 miles||3 years/36,000 miles|
|Powertrain warranty||10 years/100,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|NHTSA General Safety Assessment||5 stars||N/A|
|Maximum seating capacity||5||5|
|wheelbase||106.3 inches||106.3 inches|
|Total length||172.2 inches||176.4 inches|
|Width||71.1 inches||70.5 inches|
|Height||61.8 inches||62.0 inches|
|turning diameter:||34.8 cubic feet||36.1 feet|
|Headroom, front||40.1 in||41.2 inches|
|Headroom, rear||37.7 inches||37.3 inches|
|Legroom, front||41.7 inches||42.1 inches|
|Legroom, rear||36.0 inches||33.5 inches|
|Shoulder room, front||56.0 inches||54.3 inches|
|Shoulder room, rear||55.1 inches||52.5 inches|
|Freight volume||18.5/53.0 cubic feet||23.6 cubic feet|