New Nissan LEAF Versus Renault ZOE, Volkswagen e-Golf…Winner Is?

2018 Nissan LEAF

FEB 3 2018 BY MARK KANE 89

Three electric cars – the new Nissan LEAF, Renault ZOE Z.E. 40 and the Volkswagen e-Golf with its now-bigger battery pack – were compared by What Car?

2017 Volkswagen e-Golf

Cutting to the chase, the new 2018 LEAF won, but each of thess cars have strong and weak points that requires one to decide what features you prefers.

What Car? awarded the new LEAF with 5 stars overall, while the e-Golf got 4 and the ZOE only 3.

What Car? concludes that the e-Golf is the most well-rounded car of the group. However, its range is a real letdown. The ZOE, the clear range leader and price champ in this test, gets knocked for its poor seating position, lack of safety features and cramped interior. That means that the LEAF, neither the longest range car, nor the most well-rounded, wins by virtue of delivering on most of the fronts electric car buyers are interested in, such as performance, capacity, safety and overall experience.

Here are the main results from the review:

Nissan LEAF

  • Pros: performances, driving experience, trunk capacity, features, safety features, actually makes the most sense to the most electric car buyers
  • Cons: inflexible driving position, interior could be better, tight rear head room
  • Spec: 40 kWh battery, 110 kW electric motor, 0-60 mph in 8.2 seconds, 235 miles range (What Car? test real-world range 108 miles)
  • Price: £30,490 (£25,990 after grant)

 Volkswagen e-Golf

Renault ZOE

  • Pros: best all-rounder, smoothest and quietest drive, classiest interior, a lot room in the rear, most user-friendly infotainment, most practical
  • Cons: limited range, higher price and PCP costs
  • Spec: 35.8 kWh battery, 100 kW electric motor, 0-60 mph 9.0 seconds, 186 miles of range (What Car? test real-world range 93 miles)
  • Price: £32,190 (£27,690 after grant)

Renault ZOE

  • Pros: longest range, lowest price, small for city driving
  • Cons: ride, cheap-feeling interior, least safety kit and makes more financial sense if you lease the battery separately
  • Spec: 41 kWh battery, 65 kW electric motor, 0-60 mph 13.0 seconds, 230 miles (What Car? test real-world range 131 miles)
  • Price: £29,020 (£18,719 after grant)

Source: What Car?

Categories: Nissan, Renault, Volkswagen

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

89 Comments on "New Nissan LEAF Versus Renault ZOE, Volkswagen e-Golf…Winner Is?"

newest oldest most voted

what test cycle are those ranges? The EPA range for the Leaf is like 150miles.

The published numbers look like NEDC. WhatCar must have a much harder cycle than EPA. Or perhaps they include winter testing? I usually get only 75% of EPA numbers in Boston in winter.

Their (whatcar?) range test was made in 5°C thus the rather low range of the cars.

“Their range test was made in 5°C thus the rather low range of the cars”

That’s 5°C in England, which means it’s raining a lot. It’s entirely comparable to my experience here in Vancouver in January. The trick with this is that the cold rain fogs the windows badly, whereas when it’s dry at the same temperature, it doesn’t. If you want the extra range, you just crack the windows a bit. Otherwise, if it’s pouring cold rain on your windshield, you basically have to put the heat on the whole time.

Now, the VW e-Golf has a direct-heated windshield like your typical rear window, but it has invisible heater wires. I don’t know if What Car? knows about this feature, or how to turn it on without turning on the defog heater, but I hear that Norwegians prefer the e-Golf for this reason. At the same time, you still need to defog the side windows, so I don’t really know if it matters. I haven’t personally driven an e-Golf around here, so I don’t know for sure.

This range of 108 miles suggests to me that the driver is incompetent and has a lead foot.

That would explain the Zoe’s huge range advantage (it should be 5-10 miles), as it’s so slow that you can’t really lead foot it.

Renault really missed out on making the Zoe a hot hatch by skimping on the motor/inverter.

You’re right, the Renault Zoe deserves a more powerful motor.

Fortunately there is a Renault Zoe R110 coming this summer. The current 90 HP electric motor will be upgrade to 110 HP.

Not only it will make it faster, but also more efficient at highway speeds.

They’re making a new version and only adding 20 hp?

I don’t get these decisions sometimes…

More powerful cars cost more to insure. Some buyers care more about their costs than about 0-60 times.

110 hp sounds plenty for such a small car.

It’s not that small. It’s 3300 lbs, which is the same weight as the old Leaf.

And the R110 is a separate model, not the base. Imagine upgrading a car to Prius performance…

For the Leaf 248.5 is JC08, 235 miles is NEDC. 177 is WLTP. 151 is EPA.

Yep right on

I think those are imperial miles, which is different and less than U.S. Miles

1. I wonder whether the ZOE price is for the battery-lease case, otherwise it seems way low compared to the MSRP.

2. A good idea to add details about their real-world test. It has some good aspects – driving all cars simultaneously and switching drivers around as they go; moderate winter temps (+3-5c) which provides something between average and worst-case conditions.

Some things I didn’t like about the test: heating to 21c. I know we are mostly spoiled Westerners here, but it’s time to kick the habit of expecting warm spring temperatures in winter in every controlled space. A great place to start – and communicate that – is EVs where you may pay for your spoiledness by getting stranded or losing precious time and $$ on redundant charging.
The only exception is if you have a newborn baby around. Otherwise, heating to 15-17c should be plenty sufficient, esp. if the EV in question also has heated wheel and seats.

Another thing is nixing any eco/regen mode. At the very least they should have tried one test with and one without, b/c that is very important info for would-be buyers: are the extra efficiency options for this particular EV worth using? Etc.

Here in Sweden Renault Zoe with battery is cheaper then Nissan Leaf so I believe that price is with battery.

Well, I certainly agree with you on the ‘suddenly motorists have to actually *pay* to drive around in winter in their shorts and T-shirts’ front but why does having a baby on board make any difference? Just stick it in a car-cot with integral 12V heating. Heated seats and steering wheels (and a windscreen with built-in heating element) plus some sensible clothes is what we should all be looking for once we have finally ditched our dirty fossil-fueled driving habit.

I don’t think 15 degC instead of 21 will make that much difference, especially if it’s -10 outside. Theoretically that’s just a 20% reduction in heating power.

If you’re driving at 110 km/h and the motor is sucking 20kW, you’ll average 5 km/kWh without HVAC. Add 5kW of heating, and you’ll average 4 km/kWh. Reduce the heater power by 20%, and you’ll still only be up to 4.17 km/kWh.

I don’t think adding 4-6 miles of range to each EV would make that much difference in the review.

And quite honestly, I’d rather that publications don’t paint EVs as a compromise in comfort.

Heating the cabin air is what I would expect from an ICE age reviewer. Eventually these dinosaurs will realize that contact heat from steering wheel and butt warmers is much faster, more effective, and more efficient.

Ok when you commute on your own. Does not work when you travel with two kids.

Or if you have feet and still want to feel them when you arrive.

Leaf comes with butt warmers for the kids also..

What do you do for your feet when you get out of the car? If you can’t handle the cold why live where it is cold? Less than 1% of humanity lives North of 60 deg latitude or South of -60 latitude .

I thought the 2018 Leaf only had front seat heaters.

“What do you do for your feet when you get out of the car? If you can’t handle the cold why live where it is cold?”

I guess you must not live where it ever actually gets cold, or we wouldn’t need to explain to you that your feet can get quite uncomfortably cold sitting still in the car for 20-30 minutes or more, whereas walking around outside will keep them much warmer, due to the exercise keeping your blood flowing faster, assuming you are wearing properly insulated shoes or boots.

Increased blood flow. It’s the same reason people stamp their feet to warm them up.

You can just ride a bike you fell warm enough in -20 C. Much better fuel economy 😉

Actually, in energy terms, an EV with two or more people in is far more energy efficient than the same people powering bicycles. Especially if those bodies are fuelled with red meat, an insanely CO2-intensive (and, unfortunately, delicious) energy source.

“Actually, in energy terms, an EV with two or more people in is far more energy efficient than the same people powering bicycles.”

That’s got to be one of the silliest assertions I’ve ever seen, at least from someone who isn’t a serial EV basher.

In terms of calories per mile, a person riding a bicycle is orders of magnitudes more energy efficient than an automobile going the same distance, even if the automobile is carrying two people.

“One hundred calories can power a cyclist for three miles, but it would only power a car 280 feet (85 meters)!”

/real science

It depends on what you are comparing. Calories used by the engine (in terms of fuel for a car or fat for a human)? Or GHG emissions to produce those calories? There’s an enormous difference right here, if you compare two cyclists they’ll be burning the same number of calories but depending on their diets the GHG emissions of those calories are quite different.

Similarly with a car, the GHG emissions to produce energy in electric form from solar are much smaller than the emissions to produce equivalent energy in gasoline form. On top of that, an electric car uses that energy more efficiently.

So, both could easily be true. A petrol car could use orders of magnitude more energy than a cyclist, like in your example, AND an electric car powered by solar could have less GHG emissions than two meat eating cyclists like in the example you were replying to.

The bicyclists could be eating penned veal on their jet, and cruise ship enabled sex tourism vacation, I suppose. But if they are using those bikes to commute, it is more likely that the rest of their lifestyle is less impactful than the car commuters also. ‘n funny ?

Nobody should ever buy a VW, Audi, etc ever again. Cheating emission and testing poison gases on humans and primates. Please let them go bust.

Nobody should ever buy a car from any mfg ever again because they all use leather and plastics made with cow blood byproducts. /s

Those Test on humans were lower emissions than normal traffic. A lot of the news is just out of proportion

The poor monkeys were gased to death..

Are you a vegetarian? If not, think about, what you are doing. You are killing animals not for science and knowledge, but for 5 minutes of taste. What is worse?

Then there are the game hunters, the ivory collectors, and on and on.

I’m not a vegetarian, but I don’t eat monkeys.

Do you really think pain and fear, which are basic emotions present in most animals, including humans, are different for cows, pigs or monkeys? Do you really think an animal without fingers is totally ok to be killed, while it is not for animals with fingers?
If you talk about killing intelligent animals, you should not differentiate between pigs, cows, dogs, cats, monkeys, even if there might be a minor difference in learned intelligence.
When corporations or zoos kill animals, it is always such an upset, but people are fine with billions of animals killed every year for the joy of meat.

Do you work for VW?

No he’s just telling you something you don’t like to hear.

You are right. I don’t want to hear bs.

Yes it is perfectly OK to kill animals for food. That is in fact exactly how nature works. Greenies always whine about things not being “natural”, well the food chain is the most natural thing there is.

WTF has that do with anything?

That the outrage is selective since most people are fine with killing animals for meat.

As they say: My ancestors did not claw their way to the top of the food chain so I could eat tofu!

I’m perfectly fine with domesticated animals which are the product of centuries or millennia of being bred to be food animals for humans, being raised and slaughtered so I can eat meat, so long as it’s done humanely. I’m not at all fine with places like industrial pig farms which raise animals in horrific conditions, forced to remain in cages so small they can barely move, for months or years.

There is a right way to raise animals destined for slaughter: On pasture land which isn’t fertile enough for growing crops, allowed to roam freely until they are rounded up for slaughter. There is a wrong way: Forced to live in horrifically crowded conditions in a cattle feed lot or a mechanized pig farm, forced to live in filth and stench, eating food which would be better used to feed people.

Forcing monkeys to breathe diesel exhaust for hours at a time isn’t humane; it’s torture. It’s even worse when it’s not for any legitimate purpose, but intended to provide fake evidence for the “clean diesel” fraud.

You don’t see any difference between killing animals for fun and for food?

You are pathetic.

..But no one would have a problem buying a Posche, Lamborghini, Rolls Royce or Bugatti

When ca I get a LEAF in the US?

Today if you are lucky. There are some already at dealers according to Autotrader searches this week.

Third and fourth week of this month is looking good for at least a few NA Leaf deliveries.

The Nissan Leaf is the best EV.

Good price, practical range, nice features.

IMO…Too Much Money for a small car , with small range. Not For Me …

Which EV would you prefer (instead of the Nissan Leaf)?

151 range (EPA) per day is sufficient for the majority of people (about 80%).

+1, I just can’t understand why people keep comparing it with TM3 it just doesn’t make sense to compare a $29k hatchback vs $50k sedan. TM3 target is BMW 3 series.

I see what you did there…

Comparing the entry level LEAF with 150 miles of range and no fast charging with a optioned out model 3 with 2x range, 2x performance and 2x charging speed.

Agreed. But his point would actually be valid if instead you compare the prices for a medium to top level LEAF to a any level Model 3. The maxed-out LEAF is cheaper than the fabled $35k Tesla, and to get Tesla’s inferior autopilot (ProPilot doesn’t promise as much, but is clearly better now) you have to shell out so much more as to put the two cars in utterly different market segments.

Besides, noone knows if the base Model 3 is real. It may prove just as real as the $56k sedan Tesla told everyone about called the Model S.


The 2017 e-golf has a short life due to the new MEB platform. IMO, you have to include that information in terms of grading. In 2019/20 their be will a new design that should perform better

Pathetic ranges… should be 3x that.

My small gas car has a range of 700 km in freezing winter. EVs are useless.

Because cars are only driven 700km in freezing cold?

WADA you are

World Anti Doping Agency?

How much do you spend in Gas/Oil/Oil Filters/Air filters/Sparks/Timing Belts and Brake Pads every year?

Yeah, but it can’t actually start when it’s cold. And it poisons the air other people breathe. Would you be impressed if some dude told you your fossil car was useless because his nuclear-powered car could go 2 million miles without refueling?? Maybe you would, but I would think that’s an utterly useless capability. I don’t need a coffee maker that can make ten gallons of coffee either, and if you tried to convince me my Moccamaster is useless because you have a machine that makes a bigger batch, I’d suspect you were a bit of a simpleton. EVs have some small inconveniences compared to fossil cars that are rapidly disappearing. Notice today’s cars are twice as good as the years ago, whereas the ICE ones are barely improved over ten year old ones. Having 700 km range is useless whenever you’re going less than 700 km. For me and for over 95% of all drivers that means it’s useless 100% of the time. And if my life took a turn for the worse and I suddenly had to go that far, any modern EV can do it with just a couple of charging stops. You can hate progress, but… Read more »

Great comment


+1 Smart comment

700 km = 435 miles.

I’ll keep your EV bashing in mind the next time I have to drive that far in one day. Personally, in decades of driving over the course of my life, the farthest I’ve ever needed to drive in a single day was ~350 miles. For longer journeys, they have these things called “airplanes”.

Too bad about you.

The practical answer is a PHEV. Ev for around town, zero tailpipe emissions, cheap off peak home charging. High milage hybrid for NO compromise road trips. Lots of heat if it’s really cold.

Most EVs are still pretty compromised, though they are nice to drive.

Why wasn’t the Ioniq considered in this test field, would be a worthy competitor against the e-golf and the Zoe…well, only problem is, that you seem to be unable to get one in real life (even living in CA)

Test was done in the UK.
They might not have RHD Ioniq EVs produced yet.

Elsewhere in Europe where they drive on the sane side of the road, Ioniq EVs are widely available, more than in the US, and pretty successful for a newbie model. 669 sold in December, >6k for the year.

The Ioniq Electric (BEV) has been sold in the UK for over a year now. Quick googling didn’t yield how many UK sales to date, however.

What is ‘sane’ [or insane] about which side of the road you drive? Your incapacity for rational thought is embarrassingly obvious.

Ioniq would have made them look bad.

Maybe, but they undestimated demand by a huge margin and you won’t be able to get your hands on one in the next 6/12 months

“Why wasn’t the Ioniq considered in this test”

Most likely because the backlog for them is so long they might as well not be for sale. You could probably get a 60kWh Leaf with 50% more range (which isnt released til Sep this year) before an Ioniq.

(OK I exaggerate slightly …… but only slightly)

“Zoe’s boot is the tallest here, but it’s by far the shortest and therefore has the smallest capacity.”

Contradictory or what? Think such a respected publication could spend a little more time editing so that things actually make sense.

you prefers.
Either say one prefers, or you prefer.

My god, this is what happens in absence of Bolt and Tesla 3: turtle race. Thank goodness I live in USA.

Would you crossshop a Tesla Model 3 and Renault Zoe?. I don’t know if many people crosshoping a BMW 3 series to a VW Golf. Not everybody needs or wants a $50k sedan and not everybody needs the Bolt’s range and is willing to pay a premium on it (over a Leaf) and ZOE customers have different needs/budgets than Leaf’s

Make America grate again.

Your time is up, and you’d have to be blind not to see where things are headed. Having a semi-illiterate, ignorant, racist, homophobic, superstitious electorate is what has brought you the dysfunctional politics and the moron president that you have. Korean thirteen year olds outperform your college graduates in math, physics and chemistry.

There’s only one thing that can prevent the coming era of Chinese hegemony. As the American ship sinks, it may decide to take the world with it. Insanely, you equip yourself with weapons to destroy the entire human civilization – as if using them could somehow constitute a defense of anything.

Ignorant and proud of it – USA in a nutshell.

You need to include yourself in the group you’re calling “ignorant” people, given that you claimed in a post in this very discussion thread that EV passenger cars are more energy efficient than riding a bicycle!

It’s easy to wipe the USA (or any nation, for that matter) off the Relevant Table when you quip with only negatives. While being far from perfect, there’s a very large contingent of American citizens that are still fighting and clawing for the good of all. With all her faults, The United States is also the world’s largest contributor to foreign aid, innovation, and freedom to create/invent/pursue without limit. Not to mention She spends over half a $TRILLION per year to blanket the entire free world with the defensive protection She offers- providing all those other countries with excess resources to pursue their own social programs and agendas for their own citizens. I’d say that’s a pretty good deal, and is chronically and conveniently lost in the conversations regarding how bad America is. And by the way, is also home to Tesla, who, like the company or not, has kicked the rest of the world in the EV arse with its fast-forward button of electric innovation. Not sure what country you’re from Terawatt, but methinks you likely benefit from the United States a LOT more than you realize. Praying for her destruction will likely come at the expense of your… Read more »

When it comes to EV, America is already great. Just look at the comparison being made here vs Bolt and Tesla 3 that you can only get in USA (for now).

The reason why Tesla started in USA and not anywhere else on the planet is because USA is the greatest nation on the planet and in history for innovation. If you doubt this, look around and see all the innovation that started from USA. This won’t change for the foreseeable future.

I’d vote for a car made by one of the companies which did not try to fake evidence for dirty diesel fumes being harmless by forcing monkeys to breathe the exhaust for hours at a time.

I was beginning to think it was time to put the Dieselgate scandal behind us. Boy was I wrong! Volkswagen, Daimler, and BMW have shown themselves to be as evil, and as indifferent to how their products damage public health, as Big Tobacco.

Can we PLEASE get rid of the NEDC? What do they do – take a real life range and then multiply by 2?

Yes we can.

Kind of:

Test distance: 6.86 miles
Test time: 19 minutes
Average speed: 21 mph

From website”

“This cycle is criticized by experts as it doesn’t represent real life driving conditions. Indeed, accelerations are very soft; there are a lot of constant speed cruises and a lot of idle events. This make impossible to obtain certified values when driving with the vehicle in real conditions”


Unfortunately it hasn’t. Manufacturers are still advised to quote NEDC to avoid “confusion” until Jan 1 2019 after which WLTP *must* be used.

No one thinks about only Nissan can deliver around 100.000 LEAFs in 2018, other can’t.