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

hyundai ioniq 5 vs. nissan leaf

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

Key Points

  • The Hyundai IONIQ 5 has a decided advantage over the Nissan Leaf in terms of trims available, estimated range, horsepower, drivetrain, battery capacity, towing capacity, miles per gallon equivalent, 0 to 60 time, and MSRP.
  • The IONIQ 5 has better overall performance, range, and flexibility compared to the Leaf, which is best suited for urban drivers.
  • Neither the IONIQ 5 nor the Leaf is currently eligible for the federal tax rebate program, but the Leaf will be eligible for a $3750 Federal EV Tax Credit starting in 2024.
  • The IONIQ 5 excels at safety features, including forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and Highway Driver Assist 2.
  • Hyundai offers better warranty coverage for the IONIQ 5 compared to Nissan’s coverage for the Leaf.
  • The Hyundai IONIQ 5 is the better choice overall, offering better range, performance, drivetrain options, and warranty coverage compared to the Nissan Leaf.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 vs. Nissan Leaf: What’s the better EV? The past few years have been rather kind to EVs, with prices getting lower and batteries getting better. There are a ton of options on the market these days as well, meaning you’re not just stuck with the same old Tesla and Ford choices. The Hyundai IONIQ 5 is one such EV, building upon the successes of the IONIQ line to deliver a great EV.

The Nissan Leaf is another option that has been on the market for years now. Nissan was one of the first manufacturers aside from Tesla to embrace EVs, and the Leaf has benefited from years of development to ease up the growing pains. So, how do these two compare next to one another?

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

Hyundai IONIQ 5Nissan Leaf
Trims AvailableSE, SEL, and LimitedS, SV Plus
Estimated Range210 to 303 miles depending on the trim and motor configuration149 to 212 miles of range
Estimated HorsepowerStarts at 168HP, higher trim levels get access to a 320HP dual-motor configuration147HP for the lowest trim level, higher trim levels get access to a 214HP electric motor
DrivetrainRWD or AWDFWD
Battery Capacity58 to 77.4 kWh40 to 60 kWh depending on trim level
Towing CapacityUp to 2300 pounds for some trim levelsN/A
Miles Per Gallon Equivalent101 to 113 MPGe94 to 98 MPGe
0 to 604.5 seconds for the top trim level7.4 seconds
MSRPStarts at $42,985Starts at $29,255

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

As you can see in the chart above, the IONIQ 5 has a decided advantage over the Leaf. We’ll take an in-depth look at the practical differences between these two EVs below.


hyundai ioniq 5 vs. nissan leaf
The IONIQ 5 is one of Hyundai’s best EVs when looking at performance.

©hendra yuwana/Shutterstock.com

When it comes to overall performance, the Hyundai IONIQ 5 has a decided edge. It has a more powerful motor by default, even when in the stock RWD configuration. When you start crawling up the trim levels, the vehicle itself has better overall performance. The RWD drive trim levels are going to offer the best overall fuel economy, especially when coupled with a single-motor powertrain.

The IONIQ 5 is also available in AWD, giving it a fair bit of flexibility for outdoorsy drivers. When you factor in the ability to tow with the higher trim levels, it is simply the right choice for most drivers. The IONIQ 5 also has a better overall range, with a minimum of 200+ miles with the stock battery pack.

The Leaf is best suited for urban drivers. It has significantly less range, even when factoring in the top trim level. Nissan has been in the EV game for years now, but something like the comparable Chevy Bolt has better overall range and power out of the gate.

The Leaf is only available in a FWD configuration, which does help with handling. Driving the Leaf is ultimately quite responsive, despite the lesser capabilities. You will feel the lack of overall range, however. Even when using the extended battery pack, there will be times when range anxiety can set in on longer trips.

Tax Credit Eligibility

Neither of the current model year vehicles is eligible for the federal tax rebate program. Now, you could certainly receive certain tax credits for the installation of dedicated charging facilities. Since the Hyundai IONIQ 5 and Nissan Leaf are both manufactured outside of the United States, they won’t be eligible for the new or preowned tax credits, sadly. However, beginning with the 2024 model year, the Leaf will be eligible for a $3750 Federal EV Tax Credit.

If you’re looking for a comparable EV that does qualify, you have no shortage there. However, you do lose out on some stellar features like Hyundai’s Bluelink or superb warranty. The charging station is fairly universal and can net drivers a solid $1000 back on the installation of a dedicated fast charger at their home.

Safety Features

hyundai ioniq 5 vs. nissan leaf
The Nissan Leaf comes with automated emergency braking.


The Hyundai IONIQ 5 excels at safety features. Of the many manufacturers currently producing EVs, Hyundai is among the top choices when it comes to overall driver safety. You’ve got access to a forward-collision warning system as well as automated emergency braking.

The IONIQ 5 also comes with a lane-keep assist as well as a lane-departure warning system. Adaptive cruise control is also a standard feature. Hyundai also offers Highway Driver Assist 2, which is a similar autonomous driving mode as the ones seen in use by Chevy and Tesla.

You’ll see a lot of the same safety features on the Nissan Leaf. It also comes with automated emergency braking and pedestrian detection. Adaptive cruise control is a standard feature on the Leaf, which is a great inclusion. You’ve also got a rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring.

Like Hyundai, the Leaf also comes with an autonomous driving mode. Nissan’s ProPilot Assist is very much intended for highway use but is a great feature to see in an EV at this price point.

Warranty Coverage

Hyundai has been one of the absolute best manufacturers when it comes to stellar warranty coverage. The IONIQ 5 benefits from this, getting access to the same level of coverage seen across the rest of the EV line. You’ve got a limited warranty that covers up to five years or 60,000 miles.

A powertrain and battery warrant covers up to ten years or 100,000 miles. You also have access to three years of complimentary scheduled maintenance. EVs don’t typically have the same sort of requirements as a traditional combustion engine, but it is great to see all of this bundled in one location for any purchaser to get.

Nissan’s warranty offerings are noticeably slimmer in terms of overall coverage. You’ve got a three-year limited warranty or coverage up to 36,000 miles. The powertrain is covered for five years or up to 60,000 miles. The battery does have an extended warranty of eight years or 100,000 miles.

If you’re going solely based on warranties, the Hyundai IONIQ 5 is well above the Nissan Leaf in overall coverage.

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

  • The IONIQ 5 features voice recognition through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
  • The IONIQ 5’s windshield features integrated augmented reality for directions.
  • The IONIQ 5 offers a spacious cabin for drivers and passengers.
  • The Nissan Leaf offers a Bose stereo system as an optional upgrade.
  • The Nissan Leaf has an impressive amount of cargo space for its overall size.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 vs. Nissan Leaf: Which One is Better? Which One Should You Choose?

So, it should be fairly evident at this point which of these EVs is the winner. The Hyundai IONIQ 5 might be a more expensive EV than the Nissan Leaf, but it thoroughly trounces it in every available area. Hyundai’s EV offers better overall range, performance, drivetrain options, and warranty coverage when in direct comparison to the Nissan Leaf.

The Leaf is certainly a fine EV, but it fits in an odd niche in the market. You could readily purchase a Chevy Bolt for the same price and get access to a vehicle with better range and performance. If you’re willing to spend more, you could just as easily step up to the IONIQ 5 and reap the benefits of a bigger vehicle with stellar performance.

As it stands, you’ll need to be an ardent Nissan fan to go for the Leaf. While it offered up plenty ten years ago, at the moment it is sorely lacking when compared to any modern EVs on the market.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the IONIQ 5 qualify for the federal tax credit?

No, it is a foreign-made vehicle. To qualify for the tax credit, EVs need to be manufactured in the United States.

Does the Leaf qualify for the federal tax credit?

Sadly, no, the 2023 model is a foreign-made EV. However, beginning with the 2024 model year, the Leaf is eligible for a $3750 Federal EV Tax Credit.

What sort of charging port does the IONIQ 5 use?

The IONIQ 5 uses a J1772 charging adapter for home charging.

What charging adapter does the Leaf use?

The Leaf also uses the universal standard, the J1772, as its charger.

Which EV offers up more cargo space?

The IONIQ 5 has more cargo space than the Leaf.

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