Is the new electric Volkswagen hatchback really better than the latest version of one of the first mass market EVs?
Volkswagen has finally begun shipping the ID.3 and while some have found faults with it in their reviews, it’s mostly gotten a good reception from the media and the public alike. It has the tech, the range and the performance to be a winner in its segment, but in order to do that it will have to be considerably better than one of the most established names, the Nissan LEAF.
The LEAF is now in its second generation, it is available with two battery pack sizes, a maximum range of 385 km WLTP (364 km / 226 miles EPA) and decent performance thanks to a power output of 201 horsepower. Peak rate of charge for the latest Leaf is 100 kW (through a CHAdeMO port).
The ID.3 wades into battle with three available battery packs (although just the 62 kW pack is available right now; the other two will be added to the range next year), a maximum range of 426 km WLTP and very similar performance numbers to the Leaf e+. Both cars also have the same peak 100 kW charging power, so on paper they’re really rather similar.
However, as Autocar discovered in this video that compares the two, they’re actually two very different answers to the same question. The VW does seem to have the edge, given it has a different image than the slightly dull and uninspiring Nissan; the ID.3 actually has a chance to tug at the heart strings, whereas buying a LEAF will always remain a decision based on crunching numbers.