Nissan Leaf Vs Tesla Model Y: Which One Wins?

Tesla Model Y

Nissan Leaf Vs Tesla Model Y: Which One Wins?

 Are you shopping for a family car or a daily drive electric vehicle? Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model Y come in perfect sizes and shapes for such usage. This article compares the two models in detail, highlighting their similarities, differences, and scenarios where you may have to choose one over the other.

Nissan Leaf Vs Tesla Model Y: Side-by-Side Comparison

SpecsNissan LeafTesla Model Y
Production1st Generation 2010 – Present 2nd Generation 2017 – Present2020
ClassSmall/Compact Family CarSUV
Body5-Door HatchbackHatchback
Battery Capacity1st Generation 24 kWh, 30 kWh Lithium-ion
2nd Generation 40 kWh,
62 kWh lithium-ion
77 kWh Lithium-ion
Electric MotorNissan EM MotorSynchronous MotorPermanent magnet synchronous reluctance motor
DesignerKazuki Yamazaki, Masahide, Kazuhiko WatanabeFranz von Holzhausen

Keep reading to learn more!

Nissan Leaf Vs Tesla Model Y: What’s the Difference?

Nissan Leaf is a five-door hatchback EV.

Design and Display

Tesla Model Y and Nissan Leaf come from the well-trodden Tesla and Nissan’s electric paths, respectively. Like most EVs, both vehicles have a minimalist design, low center of gravity, impact protection, and a rigid structure.

Nissan Leaf has an improved heating system, reduced weight, enhanced regenerative braking, and advanced aerodynamics from the previous Nissan models. The model has an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment display and an array of cameras. The cameras are connected to the display to enhance visibility when parking or on the road. Nissan Leaf’s second generation has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility to assist in mirroring and using voice applications, navigation tools, maps, listening to books, playing music, and navigating apps.

Tesla Model Y features a larger touchscreen than Nissan Leaf. The 15-inch display provides a wider room for graphics and text. The car seats are well-angled to protect the back and neck while in transit. It has optional third-row seats in case you need to accommodate seven passengers. However, it lacks Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility.

Kia EV9 vs. Tesla Model Y
The Tesla Model Y’s 15-inch touchscreen surpasses the Nissan Leaf’s, providing more space for graphics and text.


Nissan has a record of producing safety-compliant vehicles, ranking them as the best EV sellers worldwide until December 2019. The 2011/2012 Nissan Leaf got a five-star rating from NHTSA for passing the impact crash test. However, this Leaf model only passed some injury measurement tests. Still, IIHS was convinced by the car’s ability to minimize injuries in accidents and awarded them the 2011 Top Safety Pick award.

On the list of its safety features is that any external impact will result in airbag deployment and high-voltage system disconnection. Structural steel also shields the battery pack to prevent sparks that might cause a fire in the event of an accident.

On the other hand, Tesla designs its models to exceed the set safety requirements for vehicles. This led to Tesla toppling Nissan as the leading EV seller across the world in 2022. Tesla Model Y got a five star from NHTSA and Top Safety Pick+ title from IIHS for meeting safety requirements. NHTSA confirmed that the frontal driver and passenger, side pole, side and rear passenger, and the overall features met their standard measures. IIHS affirmed that Tesla Model Y had excellent roof strength, perfect headlights, good head restraints, well-positioned and comfortable seats, and superior front crash prevention features. Also, the SUV vehicle has properties for vulnerable users like children.

Both vehicles have satisfied the safety regulations. However, the Tesla Model Y passed all the tests.

Cargo Space

Nissan Leaf vs. Sony Afeela EV
With the rear seats folded, the Nissan Leaf provides a versatile 30 cubic feet of luggage space. Even without folding, it offers a generous 23 cubic feet.

Nissan wants to cement its status as the first EV producer to get a model to the second generation. In 2010, they introduced the Nissan Leaf, a family-sized car for five passengers and their cargo. The car has a flexible luggage space of 30 cubic feet, with the rear seats folded. Even without folding the seats, it still offers a spacious 23 cubic feet. The trunk also has a parcel shelf to hold perishables and fragile products.

Tesla Model Y can accommodate up to seven passengers and luggage. The versatile nature of this vehicle allows for independent seat folding to maximize the cargo area. The low trunk floor eases the luggage loading and offloading activities in the midsize car. A parcel shelf is added to carry valuables and protect vegetables from the sun. Tesla Model Y has a trunk size of 68 cubic ft., including folded seats and trunk space.

Tesla Model Y has a more spacious trunk than Nissan Leaf, which is expected for an SUV. If you need a car to carry more passengers and some loads, consider a Tesla Model Y.


In the second generation, Nissan improved the Leaf’s battery from 24 kWh to 62 kWh. The Nissan model uses CHAdeMO and Type 2 charging inlets depending on the charging station. Connect the CHAdeMO inlet to a CHAdeMO connector to transfer high power voltages. By the end of 2022, the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV were the only models using this charger. Type 2 inlet is used where the voltages are lower than those in the CHAdeMO charging system, such as at home or public charging spots. Charging inlets are strategically positioned in a flap in its grille. Moreover, the model’s battery has a 62-kWh capacity.

Tesla charging at a supercharger station
A Tesla Supercharger Station can quickly recharge the Tesla Model Y

You can juice up your Tesla Model Y at Tesla’s Supercharger points or public networks. A single charge can last up to 314 miles. Unlike Nissan Leaf, the Model Y has a CCS charging unit that combines DC and AC inlet ports for rapid charging. Type 2 connector allows for slow, fast, and home charging. The charging inlet is placed near the rear light cluster. For safe charging, plug connectors into the right inlets during DC and AC charging. Furthermore, the Model Y battery has a 77-kWh capacity. 

Both EV brands have clear guidelines on charging their EVs safely. However, whereas Tesla has a dedicated charging network, Nissan doesn’t. Contact the manufacturer for clarifications and guidance on car charging. Pick one with easy-to-follow instructions. Ensure they have electric charging stations in your area.


Nissan Leaf is 100% electric, with 110 kW maximum power and 236 lb-ft torque. The front-wheel drive model can hit a top speed of 89 mph and accelerates from 0-62mph in 7.9 seconds.

Tesla Model Y is also fully electric, has 310 lb-ft torque, and 220 kW maximum power. The rear-wheel drive model has a top speed of 135 mph and takes 6.9 seconds to accelerate from zero to 62 miles per hour.

Energy Efficiency

Nissan Leaf consumes approximately 177Wh per mile on city driving and 291Wh/mile on the highway. The EV energy consumption rate depends on the driving style, geographical distribution, and climate. Furthermore, energy consumption during the winter season is higher than in summer.

Tesla Model Y consumes almost the same energy as the Nissan Leaf, with an estimated usage rate of 267 Wh for every mile. Climatic conditions, terrain, and used applications determine consumed energy rates.

Nissan Leaf Vs Tesla Model Y: 5 Must-Know Facts

  • Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model Y are zero-rated for CO2 emissions.
  • Both Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model Y are still available for ordering
  • Tesla Model Y production took place at Tesla’s Fremont plant.
  • Nissan Leaf was first introduced to the USA and Japanese markets.
  • Tesla has well-distributed charging networks worldwide.

Nissan Leaf Vs Tesla Model Y: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Use?

Ultimately, your preference, charging spot proximity, speed, and space will determine whether to purchase a Nissan Leaf or Tesla Model Y. If you are looking for a small family vehicle, consider a Nissan Leaf. However, if you love fast machines, pick a Tesla Model Y. The Tesla Model Y has more features than the Nissan Leaf. The trunk is spacious and comes with two extra seats.

Nissan and Tesla have set up charging stations in public facilities such as office buildings and shopping malls. So, check with the manufacturer to know the location of charging stations in your area.

Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model Y: Technology Updates

Recently, both the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model Y have undergone notable technological updates:

Nissan Leaf:

  1. Evolution to ProPilot 2.0: Nissan has introduced an upgraded iteration of its ProPilot driver assistance system, known as ProPilot 2.0. This advanced system now assumes a broader spectrum of driving responsibilities, encompassing lane-keeping and speed modulation for turns.
  2. Enhanced Battery Capacity: Nissan has unveiled an 87 kWh battery pack for the Leaf, significantly extending its range to over 223 miles – a marked improvement over the previous 62 kWh variant.

Tesla Model Y:

  1. Full Self-Driving Beta 10.2: Tesla has rolled out the latest iteration, Full Self-Driving Beta 10.2, enhancing the software’s capabilities. Notable enhancements include autonomous left turns and navigation within parking lots.
  2. Revamped Interior: Tesla has introduced a fresh interior design for the Model Y, featuring an enlarged touchscreen, a redesigned steering wheel, and an updated center console.

Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model Y: What’s Next

Anticipated future technology updates for Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model Y:

Nissan Leaf:

  1. Over-the-Air Convenience: Nissan is poised to introduce over-the-air updates for the Leaf, enabling seamless software enhancements without requiring dealership visits. This user-friendly approach ensures Leaf owners can effortlessly keep their vehicles current.
  2. Extended Battery Range: Nissan’s ongoing innovation efforts encompass the development of advanced battery technology, with the potential to significantly enhance the Leaf’s driving range.

Tesla Model Y:

  1. Full Self-Driving Advancements: Tesla is diligently advancing its Full Self-Driving software, suggesting that the Model Y might eventually attain autonomous driving capabilities, eliminating the need for driver intervention.
  2. Extended Range Battery: Tesla is reportedly exploring the creation of an upgraded battery pack for the Model Y, aimed at delivering a substantial increase in driving range.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the warranty period for a Nissan Leaf battery?

Nissan Leaf models use a lithium-ion battery. The manufacturers have a battery cover of up to 100,000 miles or 8 years. Car owners enjoy free battery repairs as indicated in the warranty agreement document within this period.

What contributed to the manufacturing of the Nissan Leaf?

Nissan saw the need for fully electric vehicles with optimum efficiency and energy consumption. Technologies used in manufacturing Nissan Leaf will make way for the upcoming Nissan EVs.

Is a Nissan Leaf durable?

The life span of any vehicle depends on its age, mileage, usage, terrain, and servicing. Since the Leaf is an EV, its lifespan depends more on its battery than the body. However, there is a high likelihood that most people will change cars before the end of the 8-year warranty.

Why buy a Tesla Model Y?

Tesla Model Y has spacious cargo space and enhanced torque and horsepower rates. Also, it has improved fuel consumption and is eco-friendly.

Is the Tesla Model Y a luxurious car?

Certainly! Anyone looking for an electric SUV and luxurious car should get a Tesla Model Y. Despite being a passenger car, the Model Y has the drag performance of a luxury sports SUV.

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