New Ford Focus Electric Leasing Program Rivals Nissan LEAF

5 years ago by Alan Campbell 29

Sure The "Starting MSRP" Seems A Bit Daunting, But The Lease Deal Is Not Considering What You Get In Return

Sure The “Starting MSRP” Seems A Bit Daunting, But The Lease Deal Is Not Considering What You Get In Return

By looking strictly at the sales of the Nissan LEAF against the Ford Focus Electric, you would think the pricing value between the cars was quite extensive.  For 2012, the LEAF outsold the Focus EV by a 14 to 1 margin, causing Ford to start to offer more aggressive discounting and lease offers to close out the year on their plug-in which starts very well-equipped at $39,200.

So far in 2013, the ratio of LEAFs to Focus Electrics has narrowed to about 8 to 1, although some early results were a function on Nissan being virtually sold out of 2012 LEAFs for the first 6 weeks of the year.

2013 Ford Focus Electric Interior

2013 Ford Focus Electric Interior

Now, starting on the 2nd of this month, Ford has just kicked off a aggressive new lease deal for the Focus Electric, that should make the Ford more cost-comparable with its Japanese rival.

At $284 a month lease for 36 months,with $929 due at signing), the price of a Focus Electric is now $28,245 when coupled with a new $11,750 lease incentive.  Total consumer cost: $11,153.  If we compare this to even the new entry level/least equipped 2013 Leaf S model priced at $28,800, at $199/mo for 36 month, with $1,999 due at signing.  Total consumer cost is $9,193.

This gives the 2013 Leaf S model a $1,960 total ownership advantage.  That is not a lot of difference, and the entry level LEAF still has some short comings against the Focus Electric, as it has the slower 3.3 kW charger (7 hours to charge), and no available option to add Navigation or CarWings for remote/cell app access.  Bringing the S model LEAF up to just the 6.6 kw charger/quick charger standard is a $1,300 option for the Leaf S, which brings the cost to $10,493 or just $660 less than the fully loaded Focus Electric.

We Consider The Mid-Grade LEAF SV To Be The Best Comparable To The Focus Electric Of Nissan's Three Available Trim Levels (S, SV, SL)

We Consider The Mid-Grade LEAF SV To Be The Best Comparable To The Focus Electric Of Nissan’s Three Available Trim Levels (S, SV, SL)

The closer trim level to the Focus EV would be the new Leaf SV trim level, which has a $249/mo lease with $1999 down for a total cost of $10,963, or only $190 less than the Focus Electric.

With the Leaf SV you get the 6.6 charger, navigation and CarWings, as well as heated outside mirrors, but are missing some other features that are present on the Focus Electric:

  •  dual climate control
  • voice activated climate/audio
  • 9 speaker stereo
  • LED headlights
  • fog lights
  • backup camera
  • 17″ aluminum wheel
  • turn indicators in side mirrors

Now we are not saying the Focus Electric is a car that is necessarily superior to the Nissan LEAF, or inferior.  In many ways they are comparable, if  not near identical:

  • Focus EV has a EPA rated 76 miles of range, the 2013 Nissan LEAF, 75 miles
  • Focus EV has a combined 105 MPGe efficiency rating, the 2013 Nissan LEAF 117 MPGe
  • 107 kW (143 hp)/184lb-ft of torque  motor vs 80 kW (110hp)/187 lb-ft of torque
  • 3,624lbs vs 3,291lbs
  • 0-60 of 9.5 secs vs 0-60 of 9.2 secs
  • 104.3″ wheelbase vs 106.3″
  • 23 kWh lithium battery vs 24 kWh
The Focus Electric's Gasoline Roots Betray It When It Comes To Hiding The Lithium Battery

The Focus Electric’s Gasoline Roots Betray It When It Comes To Hiding The Lithium Battery

The main difference we find between the two is that the Nissan LEAF is obviously a dedicated EV platform that has its own unique (and somewhat questionable) aesthetic look and feel.  However, the Focus EV is based on the ICE Focus, which was also the #1 selling nameplate in the world for 2012.

The purpose-built platform of the LEAF does show a big advantage in the way it integrates the battery, especially behind the rear seats as compared to the Ford.

Overall, you really can’t go wrong with either choice.  And right now, if you are looking to lease a new electric vehicle, the pricing between these two is surprisingly really not a deciding factor at all.

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29 responses to "New Ford Focus Electric Leasing Program Rivals Nissan LEAF"

  1. Acevolt says:

    The focus lease is for only 10,500 miles though. Bringing this up to 12,000 miles per year makes the $294/month. My lease calculator shows $0 down based on my Southern Cali zip.

  2. Acevolt says:

    Is there a real world comparison of the range between the two? The focus is heavier, less efficient, has a smaller battery and yet has more range?

    1. bloggin says:

      Edmonds did a ‘real world’ EV range test. The Focus EV had a 99.8 EV mile range.

      http://www.edmunds.com/fuel-economy/testing-electric-vehicles-in-the-real-world.html

      1. acevolt says:

        Thanks for the link, that is a pretty good article and I don’t understand how the Focus does so well compared to the Leaf. The heavier, less efficient, more powerful, smaller battery Focus went almost 15 miles farther than the Leaf. Pretty amazing. I like the look of the Focus a lot better than the Leaf also.

        1. Teri says:

          The Focus has a more comprehensive battery cooling system which allows the battery to stay within a more efficient operating range as opposed to the Leaf.

          1. Herm says:

            The Edmunds test did not fully discharge the Leaf.. but its really the fault of Nissan and the notorious GOM they use

    2. Sam says:

      I don’t think it’s fair to compare the range of the Ford Focus EV vs. the Leaf without mentioning how the range is calculated for the 2013 Leaf. The 2013 Leaf is actually rated to 84 miles. The 75 mile range is due to averaging the 100% range with the 80% range (66 miles).

      http://green.autoblog.com/2013/02/21/2013-nissan-leaf-revealed-gets-75-mile-range-actually-84-in-n/

      I also appreciate the larger trunk size of the Leaf. It’s able to easily fit groceries. The Ford has a tiny trunk. This isn’t an issue for everyone, but it’s probably important to mention.

      1. bloggin says:

        yeah, I tend to put groceries on the back seat or on the floor behind the front seat so they don’t go anywhere. Most people don’t use their EV for too much hauling.

        And since the back seat folds down, there is a huge space for larger items like boxed furniture or a bicycle/stroller to fit easily. The ‘inches’ comparison with truck space overall with vehicles is really overrated.

  3. David Murray says:

    I looked at the Focus EV at the Dallas auto show. It is a nice car, but I prefer the Leaf. The Leaf has roughly the same specs and has more cargo area. I also liked the dash and instrument panel of the Leaf much more.

  4. Future Leaf Driver says:

    Unless the Ford Focus can fully charge in less than 30 minutes with a chademo charger then the Leaf still has a greater advantage over the Focus including the larger trunk capacity.

    1. cwerdna says:

      Ha! Nope. No CHAdeMO port on the FFE. I don’t think we’ll see Ford put one on unless they stop “supporting” Frankenplug.

  5. Priusmaniac says:

    Both cars have a major lack, either a short EV range or a lack of a range extender option. With such a small range the option of a micro range extender is a must have not really an option to have this option.

    1. cwerdna says:

      Which currently shipping BEVs have a range extender option? There are PHEVs like the Volt which have much shorter EV range and the PiP w/an even shorter range. In those cases, you’re always carrying an engine and everything that goes with it.

      1. Priusmaniac says:

        Indeed they aren’t available yet. actually the first one was supposed to be the Audi A1 e-Tron but Audi hasn’t decided to build it yet. So, we are left with the BMW i3 that is planned for production.

        Of course the BMW i3 is not a Sedan so we are indeed still expecting the very first sedan. It could be in the form of a BMW i4, a Volt simplified to an EV with only an electricity micro generator or alternatively it could be a Model S 45 KWh with a micro generator. Although this is now less likely since Tesla annouced they are abandoning the 45 KWh battery altogether. Nevertheless even the 85 KWh Model S could still benefit from a micro 15 KW bioethanol generator in case of a blackout or simply as an extra option. They even sell leather seats so why not a micro wankel generator or a direct piston linear generator or a direct Ethanol fuel cell or a Thermophotovoltaic generator. Generator options can go from a standard engine generator to the most exotic thing existing or to come.

  6. GeorgeS says:

    This just goes to show that leasing is the way to go!

  7. Richard says:

    I got my 2013 Focus electric for $199 a month with $1999 down at 10,5000 miles. I have since seen the same deal for $149 a month from dealers.

    1. Herm says:

      did you have a trade-in?

    2. Acevolt says:

      Which dealer did you go to?

    3. JR says:

      Paid $149/mo w/ $1999 down for 10.5k in Boston area. After all fees & other BS, $3500 total at signing.

  8. Christof says:

    Interesting comparison. And, at least we can say neither the LEAF or Focus lease appear to be a smoke job — compare that to the totally bogus “$500 per month actual cost of ownership Tesla lease.” I was a big fan of Tesla, but that smoke job — which tries to make it seem like, at first glance (meaning in passing media coverage), you can get a Model S for $500 a month, is totally ridiculous (no one’s getting Model S without cutting a monthly check of at least $1,000 to Tesla).

    In fact, bet you run a Tesla like “true cost of ownership” lease calculator on the LEAF and FE lease deals, and you’d come up with a $0 per month, $0 down lease, or, heck, maybe even a negative number…Sheesh.

  9. GSP says:

    All Leafs, including the base Leaf S have heated front and rear seats, and a heated steering wheel. As others have pointed out, the Leaf also has DC quick charging and more cargo space.

    I much prefer the looks of the Focus, but after driving an EV in the winter I really want that 20 W heated steering wheel, so I don’t have to run the 6000 W cabin heater.

    GSP

  10. The Ford Focus EV is now a terrific deal. I just picked one up this weekend for $2,000 down (all costs – drive off) and $285 per month for 19,000 miles/year at 36 months. The new Leaf lease deals are also fantastic and I may add one of those to the family too. $2,500 rebate (rebate not tax credit) in California and several other states make it effectively $0 down. Get one of the $89 – $159 low-mileage leases and you may pay less for your car than your smart phone. Ponder that for a while. I spend more per month on Kombucha than the minimum Focus EV lease payment, not including fuel savings, which is at least another $200. This is essentially a free car. Leather seats and premium paint too. This is one sweet ride.

    P.S.
    I know, I know. Two Kombuchas a day is excessive. Those things are addictive.

  11. Bennyd says:

    Hi all, so i am now seriously thinking about leasing the ford focus electric. The edmonds test revealed it’s 99.8 real world range. Here is my question, my wife’s commute is 80 miles round trip to work, if the focus sits there all day without being charged, will the focus make it bake home? How much does the battery discharge in 8-10 hrs of non use. I appreciate any info!

    1. bloggin says:

      I would stick with the 76EV miles as a target. But if your wife can plug-in to charge while at work, that will offer more than enough range for the trip to work and trip home. She can just plug into a 120 volt outlet.

    2. AR says:

      We leased a Miev 4 months and 4,500 miles ago.
      My wife, son and I love it!

      I have not noticed discharge for the battery when it sits.I am so happy we got our 1st EV

  12. Herm says:

    The Edmunds test is all city driving, IIRC.. does your wife ever get on the hwy?.. an 80 mile commute driving slow will take a while, the temptation to speed up will be strong. She might be better off with a Volt or Prius, everything changes if she can charge at work.

    1. Bennyd says:

      Yes, we can’t bank on her employer providing a plug. I am also considering the BMW i3. We are going to drive her 05 focus till the tires fall off…probably in another year. I love that there are now more options and the range is just getting better! Thanks for the info!

  13. Jim says:

    Our range: about 70 to 80 miles, but that varies Lots depending on speed (the car is fast!) and use of heater (which drops the range noticeably, so we often use the seat heaters instead). Hills also cost miles, but usually get those back (mostly) on return trip.
    ASK employer about plug-in: demand should be growing, and it is not a big expense for them … can be a feature to advertise to (potential) employees, et al.
    Charge does Not drop while sitting idle. Just don’t leave something plugged into 12V outlet endlessly: could pull that low v. battery down.

  14. Moses Kestenbaum ODA says:

    I love my fit,although I don’t fit inside it, when will someone bring back my rambler? I was able to sleep in it almost as in my bedroom and I had to pile up two telephone books on the seat to sit on in order to look out