Hyundai Ioniq 5 vs. Nissan Leaf: Which One Wins?

Hyundai Ioniq 5 EV

Hyundai Ioniq 5 vs. Nissan Leaf: Which One Wins?

When it comes to thinking about the best electric cars on the market, Nissan and Hyundai are not likely to be the first names you consider. At least for now, names like Tesla, Lucid, and Rivian are more synonymous with the EV market than more traditional car manufacturers. However, it’s these traditional manufacturers that are quietly putting out some of the best EVs on the market. 

To that point, Hyundai and Nissan alike are both committed to an all-electric future with Nissan aiming for 40% of all U.S. vehicles sold by 2030 to be only electric. This mission has long been in place with the Nissan Leaf while Hyundai is looking to grab quick market share with its Hyundai Ioniq 5.

Let’s take a look and see how these two electric car flagships compare from two of the best-known car manufacturers on the planet. 

Hyundai Ioniq 5 vs. Nissan Leaf: Side-by-Side Comparison

Nissan LeafHyundai Ioniq 5
Date of ReleaseDecember 2010May 2021
Starting Cost$28,040$41,450
Range149-212 miles220-303 miles
0-60 Speed6.8 seconds5.2 seconds (model dependent)
Charging Speed10-80% in 40 minutes, 7.5 hours on a 240V charger10-80% in 15 minutes, under 7 hours on 240V charger
Number of Seats55
Cargo Space23.6 cubic feet27.2 cubic feet
Self-DrivingProPILOT AssistLevel 2 autonomous driving in mid and high trim levels
Warranty3-year 36,000-mile
5 year 60,000 mile powertrain
8-year 100,000 mile battery warranty
10-year 100,000-mile warranty

Hyundai Ioniq 5 vs. Nissan Leaf: What’s the Difference? 


When it comes to pricing, there is little question that Nissan is among the most competitive options currently available. With a starting price of $28,040, only the Chevy Bolt EV really competes in the sub $30,000 price range.

This starting price is really only true of the lower trim level of the Nissan Leaf as its S trim begins at this price. Jumping up to the SV Plus trim brings the starting price of the Nissan Leaf up to $36,040 with its larger battery, aluminum alloy wheels, and ProPilot Assist (driver assistance). Once you get into the SV Plus range, the price becomes a little more competitive against the likes of the Hyundai Kona Electric or the Mazda MX-30

With Hyundai, its SE Standard Range base trim starts at an affordable $41,450 without sacrificing any of the important standard safety features. However, pricing for Hyundai Ioniq 5 can quickly jump up to $52,600 for its Limited trim level which offers increased range and various extras like a Vision roof or heads-up display for the driver. The best part of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 buying experience is that there are almost no optional features that can be tagged on to increase the price except for a premium exterior paint color or a $3,500 package for Dual-Motor HTRAC AWD.  

The 2023 Nissan Leaf electric vehicle at a car show
The Nissan Leaf is a compact option for city dwellers and anyone looking for a small, zippy car, and the price point is pretty great!



Between the two different Nissan Leaf models, you’ll have the option of either a 40 kWh battery on the S trim or a 60 kWh on the SV Plus trim level. With the smaller battery on the S model, Nissan indicates that the Leaf should achieve up to 149 miles of range under optimal conditions. For the SV Plus model, Nissan indicates its range will extend up to 212 miles, again, under optimal conditions. While it’s fair to say this range is small compared to the competition, it’s actually perfect for anyone who just wants to enjoy city or suburban driving. 

Ultimately, its total range makes the Nissan Leaf a difficult recommendation for frequent road trips given that you need to fill up twice as often as a Hyundai or Tesla. However, its range is perfectly fine for cruising around town and running quick errands or going out to dinner. 

On the other hand, Hyundai offers a more competitive range for its price point as its SE Standard Range model includes 220 miles of total range. When you step up to the SE, SEL, or Limited trim levels, you receive 303 miles of range with rear-wheel drive or 266 miles if you opt for all-wheel drive. Each of these three different trim levels offers something different feature-wise but the total range remains the same throughout. 


Given its smaller range, one might assume that the Nissan Leaf would charge up relatively quickly. Unfortunately, this is one area where Nissan really falls down against the competition as its charging time is actually longer than most EVs on the market today. When using a Level 2 240V charger at home, the Nissan Leaf can recharge fully in around 7.5 hours for the S model with its 40 kWh battery. Should you opt for the SV Plus trim level and its 60 kWh battery, Level 2 charging times actually increase to around 11 hours to get its full 212 miles of range. 

On the positive side, Nissan offers access to more than 6,000 DC fast charging stations around the U.S. Using any of these stations can power up the S Nissan Leaf up to 80% in 40 minutes or with the SV Plus model, up to 80% in 45 minutes. 

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 offers charging that is much more in line with electric vehicle expectations as far as fast charging. Using a Level 2 home charger at 240V will give you a full charge in less than 7 hours, potentially closer to 6.5 hours under the right conditions. When you use a 400V DC Fast Charger, the Ioniq 5 will recharge from 10-80% in around 25 minutes. However, if you locate an 800V DC Fast Charge station, you can give the Ioniq 5 up to 68 miles of range in under 5 minutes. 

Driver Assistance and Safety

Looking at driver assistance for both the Nissan Leaf and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 is an exercise in making sure you don’t have the same expectations as you might for a Tesla Model Y. The Leaf definitely has some aspects of driver assistance, but autonomous driving is not a realistic expectation for either vehicle. In the case of the Leaf, they offer a suite of six standard safety features to assist the driver and up the safety level. 

This includes ProPilot Assist on the SV Plus which helps you maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you. Similarly, ProPilot can help you stay in your lane even through curves, a more advanced aspect of lane keep assist. In addition, Nissan offers blind spot detection, rear cross-traffic alerts, rear automatic braking, and automatic braking with pedestrian detection. 

Hyundai immediately jumps out with its own Highway Driving Assist II which maintains a smart distance behind the car in front of you when the Ioniq 5 is using its smart cruise control. Highway Driving Assist I similarly helps you stay centered in your lane and, using GPS and highway data, maintain a safe speed. One of the biggest benefits of the Ioniq 5 ownership is the Driver Attention Warning which detects if a driver is drowsy or inattentive based on driving patterns and instantly alerts the driver to maintain control of the vehicle. 

Tesla's rival
The Hyundai Ioniq has plenty of top-tier safety features, but the Nissan Leaf is nothing to scoff at in this regard as well.



If there’s one area that the Hyundai Ioniq 5 immediately beats the Nissan Leaf, it’s the infotainment experience. For one reason or another, Nissan has rejected the minimal approach of its competitors and maintains an infotainment experience that mirrors what you would get with any other Nissan vehicle. There’s nothing wrong with the 8-inch touch screen on the Nissan Leaf, but there are still more knobs, buttons and dials across the dashboard of the Nissan Leaf than many electric car buyers might care for. Of course, this is all subjective but Nissan should see the writing on the wall and go with a more minimal approach and shift more features to its touch screen in the future. 

Hyundai has seen the trend moving toward a more minimal infotainment experience and responded with dual 12-inch touch screens that are a true joy to use. Between driving information, cameras, and information about the Ioniq 5’s battery or charge status, the dual screens are just fun. You still get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard across both cars, but with the Hyundai, you can rely on those extra services a lot less thanks to the refined infotainment experience. 

Hyundai Ioniq 5 vs. Nissan Leaf: 5 Must-Know Facts

  • The starting price of the Nissan Leaf at $28,040 makes it one of the least expensive pure electric vehicles on the road. Only the Chevy Bolt EV truly competes on price. 
  • The Hyundai Ioniq 5 RWD SE, SEL, and Limited trim levels off 303 miles of range, which is more than double the entry-level S trim level of the Nissan Leaf. 
  • Both the Nissan Leaf and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 have seating for five but as a larger crossover SUV, the Ioniq 5 offers an additional 3.6 cubic feet of storage space without putting the rear seats down. 
  • Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 can recharge on a DC Fast Charge from 10-18% in 25 minutes whereas a similar charge will take the Nissan Leaf at least 40-45 minutes. 
  • The Hyundai Ioniq 5 was the Motor Trend SUV of the year for 2023, the first fully electric vehicle to take the honor. 

Hyundai Ioniq 5 vs. Nissan Leaf: Which One is Better? 

On paper, there isn’t much of a fight as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 offers much better value for the price and, in practical use, that holds true as well. The Ioniq 5 has been praised for its excellent interior, fast charging and futuristic body style, three things the Nissan Leaf has never been able to claim.

Sure, the Leaf is the better option for city dwellers who just want a vehicle to shuttle around town, but for everyone else, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 is worth every bit of its higher starting price. 

Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Nissan Leaf: Technology Updates

Here’s a summary of the recent technology updates for the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Nissan Leaf recently:

Hyundai Ioniq 5:

  1. Wireless Charging: The Ioniq 5 has been upgraded to support wireless charging, enabling convenient charging without the need for physical cables.
  2. Performance-Enhancing Software Update: A new software update has been introduced to the Ioniq 5, enhancing the car’s performance and introducing new features. Notably, this update includes a heat pump that enhances the car’s efficiency in cold weather conditions.
  3. Expanded Color Options: The Ioniq 5’s color range has been extended with the addition of two new color choices: Aquamarine and Digital Teal.

Nissan Leaf:

  1. Improved Battery Technology: The Leaf has incorporated new battery technology, contributing to an enhanced driving range of up to 226 miles on a single charge.
  2. Advanced Driver-Assistance Features: The Leaf now boasts new driver-assistance capabilities, including a hands-free driving system and a traffic jam assist system, enhancing safety and driving convenience.
  3. Refreshed Design: Nissan has given the Leaf a refreshed design, providing a more contemporary and stylish appearance.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Nissan Leaf: Looking Forward

Anticipated technology updates for the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Nissan Leaf in the coming six to 18 months include:

Hyundai Ioniq 5:

  1. Over-the-Air Updates: The Ioniq 5 is poised to continue receiving over-the-air updates, providing opportunities for enhanced performance, new feature additions, and bug fixes without requiring a physical visit to a service center.
  2. Battery Technology Advancements: Hyundai is actively developing new battery technology that holds the potential to extend the Ioniq 5’s driving range, further improving its efficiency and convenience.
  3. Advanced Driver-Assistance Features: Hyundai is also focusing on introducing advanced driver-assistance systems, including innovations such as lane-keeping assist and traffic jam assist. These features aim to enhance safety and provide a more relaxed driving experience.
  4. Enhanced Infotainment System: Rumors suggest that Hyundai is working on refining the Ioniq 5’s infotainment system, aiming to create an even more user-friendly interface and incorporating additional features to enrich the driving journey.

Nissan Leaf:

  1. Over-the-Air Updates: Similar to the Ioniq 5, the Nissan Leaf is poised to receive over-the-air updates to enhance its performance, introduce new functionalities, and address any software-related issues.
  2. Battery Technology Progress: Nissan is actively researching and developing new battery technologies that could contribute to extending the Leaf’s driving range, further bolstering its appeal and usability.
  3. Advanced Driver-Assistance Capabilities: Nissan intends to expand the Leaf’s driver-assistance suite, potentially including systems like lane-keeping assist and traffic jam assist to provide drivers with an added layer of safety and convenience.
  4. Revamped Design: While the Leaf already boasts a sleek and contemporary design, there are rumors of Nissan’s efforts to introduce a refreshed design that prioritizes aerodynamics and style, enhancing the vehicle’s overall aesthetic appeal.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 vs. Nissan Leaf: Which One Wins? FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is the total range of the Nissan Leaf and the Hyundai Ioniq 5?

At optimal performance, the Nissan Leaf SV Plus can offer 212 miles of range while the top three trim levels of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 can offer 303 miles.

What is the difference in the starting price between the Nissan Leaf and Hyundai Ioniq 5?

The Nissan Leaf is available starting at $28,040 while the Hyundai Ioniq 5 starts at $41,450, a difference of $13,410. 

Which car has more available fast charging stations around the United States?

The Nissan Leaf has access to more than 35,000 EVgo and EVgo roaming Level 2 chargers in the U.S. This is a significantly larger number than Hyundai can offer with its Electrify America partnership.

Between the Nissan Leaf and the Hyundai Ioniq 5, which EV has the better overall warranty?

Hyundai has long led the automobile industry with its 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty, and that is the case here as well. Nissan has three separate warranties for the Leaf which could be confusing for the buyer. 

Which EV is faster?

This definitely isn’t a reason to buy either vehicle but using the two fastest models available for both vehicles, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 quickly outpaces the Nissan Leaf at hitting 0-60 in 5.2 seconds against the Leaf’s 6.8 seconds.

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