Renault Zoe vs. Nissan Leaf

Which is better; the Renault Zoe or the Nissan Leaf? We compare the two...

Renault Zoe vs. Nissan Leaf

When you’re looking for a new car, you are naturally going to compare a few to see which one is best.

This is obviously important, you need to be sure that you are making the right decision. Particularly when it comes to electric cars. Choosing an electric car is a big decision, particularly if you are buying an electric car for the first time.

So, in this article, we are going to compare two extremely popular electric city cars, the Renault Zoe and the Nissan Leaf and see which is better in terms of price, running costs, and reliability.

Renault Zoe vs. Nissan Leaf: Running Costs

Electric cars don’t cost that much to run at all if we’re being completely honest. However, there are still costs involved, so which one is cheapest to run?

How much does the Renault Zoe cost to run?

A Renault Zoe can cost as little as £3 to charge fully, and this can get you to 130 miles. However, this is in ideal circumstances and realistically you’ll probably get about 100 miles out of it.

If you are to rent a battery from Renault then you will have to pay £70 a month but it does come with a lifetime warranty. Warranty for the car itself is four years/100,000 miles with the first two years being unlimited mileage.

The Zoe sits in insurance groups 14-17

Renault Zoe vs. Nissan Leaf

How much does the Nissan Leaf cost to run?

The Nissan Leaf is less to run than the Renault Zoe, estimating that it should cost just £2 for an eight-hour charge. Nissan estimate, in fact, that you will spend just £257 a year charging your car up.

Plus, you don’t have to rent the battery. The standard components of the Leaf carry a warranty of three years/60,000 miles. Whereas the specific components, such as the lithium battery, carry a five year/60,000 mile warranty.

It does, however, sit in higher insurance groups, at 18-22.

Renault Zoe vs. Nissan Leaf: Reliability

Reliability is a huge factor when it comes to choosing a car. A common misconception regarding electric cars is that they are way more complicated than standard, fuel powered cars. But, this isn’t actually the case. They actually have less-complicated parts than fuel powered cars.

How reliable is the Renault Zoe?

As of yet, there have been no reported incidents. However, the technology is still fairly new, and hasn’t been used by the public for an extended period of time. This means that it’s hard to say how reliable the Zoe is in the long run.

However, there have been no recalls or no immediate problems with the car, so that can only be a good thing.

How reliable is the Nissan Leaf?

Renault Zoe vs. Nissan Leaf

Again, the Nissan Leaf hasn’t been around long enough for us to measure its long-term reliability. However, it is one of the best-selling electric cars, and there are yet to be any problems with it. So, we can only assume this is a good thing.

There is one thing to note about electric cars, however, and that is that if anything does go wrong with the car, then it does have to be repaired by an EV trained mechanic. While this isn’t a huge issue (and it won’t be in the future when they become even more popular) it is something that should be noted.

Renault Zoe vs. Nissan Leaf; Driving

Obviously your car should be good to drive. You are going to be using it pretty much every day for quite a few years. And, you don’t want to be driving a car that you hate to drive. The good thing about electric cars is that they are generally very good to drive. But which one is better when looking at the Zoe and the Leaf?

What is the Renault Zoe like to drive?

As the Zoe is a city car, it’s naturally going to be more at home on narrow city roads. It’s pulling power is there no matter the rev range which means it feels quicker than it is (0-62 in 13.5 seconds in case you were wondering).

It does only have a top speed of 84mph and does tail off when wind resistance becomes a problem. But, if you’re using it for mainly city driving then there’s no need to worry about that.

It drives well and is easy to park (vital for city driving) as well as responsive.

It’s also comfortable and pretty futuristic looking inside. And of course, it’s quiet.

Renault Zoe vs. Nissan Leaf

What is the Nissan Leaf like to drive?

Renault Zoe vs. Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf is pretty much the same as the Zoe in terms of driving experience but slightly better. It’s quicker off the mark, reaching 62 in 11.5 seconds and hits a maximum speed of 89mph. Again, this isn’t going to be a problem if you are mainly doing city driving.

The Leaf is much more composed than its electric competitors, and even more so than a fuel-powered car but it does naturally drive better around cities rather than on motorways.

Unfortunately, where it does fall down is the interior. It isn’t quite as flash as the Zoe, and don’t expect any soft touch plastics.

Renault Zoe vs. Nissan Leaf; Specification

Electric cars are known for having quite a bit of standard equipment and these two cars are no different. Obviously, they aren’t going to be as futuristic as a Tesla or a BMW i8, but they do come with quite a bit of equipment, particularly for city cars.

Renault Zoe

There are three trim levels available with the Zoe; Expression, Dynamique Zen and Signature. We don’t know either. But even the Expression comes with quite a bit as standard.

This includes energy-efficient tyres, voice controlled sat-nav with a touchscreen and USB port and Bluetooth connectivity.

You also get cruise control, hill-start assist, ISOFIX child seat points, tinted windows and a speed limiter device.

Available on the other two trims include larger alloys, hands-free key card, a leather steering wheel, rear parking sensors and remote battery charging.

Additional extras include an upgraded stereo and Z.E Live Services for the Sat-nav which includes live traffic information, speed camera alerts and local search functions.

A fun extra that we think will make the Zoe particularly appealing is that you can set the temperature of the cabin using the climate control system while it is charging. That means you can be ready to go in a nice warm car on colder mornings, or a nice cool car in the height of summer.

Nissan Leaf

The previous version of the Nissan Leaf only had one trim, but now there are three; Leaf Visia, Acenta and Tekna.

The Visia is pretty standard, and looks it too with the lack of piano black trim. However, it does have hill-start assist, illumination for its charging point and black wing mirrors.

It’s the Acenta that Nissan thinks will be the most popular trim level, mainly because of the amount of kit available. On top of the standard equipment, it adds a quick charge port, cruise control, remote charger and remote heating. It’s also updated its CarWings IT system which includes improved voice recognition and real-time charge point information.

If you opt for the Tekna then you get all of that plus a seven-speaker Bose Audi efficiency hi-fi system as well as an ‘Around View Monitor’ with cameras placed all around the car to help with manoeuvring at low speeds.

Renault Zoe vs. Nissan Leaf: Cost

And finally, cost. Electric cars are more expensive than their fuel counterparts. But some are more expensive than others, so how do these two city cars compare?

How much does the Renault Zoe cost?

If you are looking to buy new, then it will cost you between £18,495 and £30,745 for the Renault Zoe.

If you’re looking to buy used, then Parkers estimate that you can buy one starting from £5,635 and it rises up to £8,895.

You will have to rent the batteries from Renault, and get a wall-box installed. The box comes free with the car, but you have to be able to install it.

Renault Zoe vs. Nissan Leaf

How much does the Nissan Leaf cost?

Renault Zoe vs. Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf is slightly more expensive, starting at £21,180 and rising up to £33,440.

If you were to buy used then you would be looking at anything between £4,000 and £15,125. Again, you will have to factor in renting the battery from Nissan and getting a charging point installed.

Both cars are pretty similar, with similar specs, speeds and everything in between. Whichever you choose depends on your personal preference. Both are great around cities and cost very little to run. The decision is yours.

Holly Martin

Content Co-ordinator at OSV Ltd
Holly enjoys: Reading, music and spending time with friends.

Within a week of Holly starting work at OSV she became an indispensable part of the marketing team. She's very intuitive and gets on with the whole office effortlessly.
Holly Martin

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