TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Tesla Model S 85 versus Nissan Leaf SL

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by arijaycomet, Dec 30, 2014.

  1. arijaycomet

    arijaycomet Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2014
    Messages:
    370
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Just picked up a 2014 Tesla Model S 85 (non-perf), and decided to do a blog post that compared my new car to my wife's 2012 Nissan Leaf.

    Check out the post here:
    COMPARISON: Our 2012 Nissan Leaf vs our new 2014 Tesla Model S85 | ari jay comet

    We've been using her Leaf to commute to work for the last 2-years and have put on 20,000 miles on that car. It works great, and we've really enjoyed the EV so much we decided to go 100% electric. Thus far we obviously both really love the Tesla, it works great for hauling our kid around too, and is a superior car on so many levels. Still it is interesting to draw comparison of the two.

    Though I realize we are not the first people in the universe to go 100% electric, I have to think we're rare here in the Ohio/Midwest area to do so. Should be interesting to make the full switch. We've already been to Pittsburgh with the Tesla, and plan another nearby trip to Columbus, Ohio here on Friday. (We are in Cleveland, Ohio).

    Check out the blog post above and let me know what you think! Ciao...
    Ari

    dec2014-tesla-01.jpg

    dec2014-tesla-06.jpg

    dec2014-tesla-09.jpg
     
  2. scottm

    scottm Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    1,289
    Location:
    Canada
    That's a nice pair of shoes for the Leaf!
     
  3. trigga71

    trigga71 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2013
    Messages:
    200
    Location:
    SC
    Yeah the LEAF wheels look great. What are they? I loved my 2012 LEAF just needed more range. Hopefully V2 will have faster charging and more range.
     
  4. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Messages:
    3,960
    Location:
    South Surrey, BC
    Good article. The only part I disagree with is the answer regarding the range of the Leaf. When asked, I tell people "not far enough" instead of "far enough". For most people, it needs at least double the range unless it is used as a second car to a Tesla or an ICE. But it is perfect for my teenage daughters to keep them close to home, and for its safety ratings.
     
  5. arijaycomet

    arijaycomet Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2014
    Messages:
    370
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    FORWARD-WHITE

    See link above. Those wheels are Konig Forward. Snagged those for cheap off ebay. They are actually really nice quality and my wife loves them. One size up from factory which also makes summer driving more fun!

    Though I would agree on the range issue, it does really depend on what you need. We are only 11-12 miles from downtown/work and as such almost always arrive home with half our range. Though one snow storm driving home took a long time with heat on and we got back to the house with just 2-bars left on our leaf.

    But overall I think you are right, Canuck. Most people would probably NOT be happy with the Leaf range. And in that regard I'll be really curious to see what happens with the Tesla 3. Will it best the 80-115 mile range of these other entry level EVs? Should be interesting.
     
  6. tga

    tga Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2014
    Messages:
    2,217
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    I highly doubt the model 3 will be remotely successful if it comes with compliance-car range. 200mi is the minimum I see for it to make a real splash.

    Range is the naysayer's #1 complaint. Double the current best non-Tesla range and round up to the next 100's place for 200. That should be your target.

    I know Leaf owners here in New England with a 20 mile commute who worry about making it home in the winter without a place to charge at work. That seems a hard sell as a mass market car.
     
  7. arijaycomet

    arijaycomet Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2014
    Messages:
    370
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    tga-- could not have worded it better myself, and that 200-mile range is the EXACT number that I've been telling people, too. In my eyes they could offer two options... perhaps a 30 and 60 kWh version of the smaller car. Or regardless of battery pack, maybe a 125-150 mile base version, and a 175-200 mile top-level version bigger battery. So just like there is 60/85 on the Model S, there needs to be X/Y on the Model 3, offering those range options.

    But as you said, the problem comes in winter driving, and efficiencies. It does help that more and more public charge stations keep popping up, sure. But most people don't or perhaps can NOT charge at work. That means they need at least round-trip work-range. IMO a car, even in the deep of winter, needs to be able to muster 100-miles full-charge to succeed, minimum. That means 150+ rated range. Should be REAL curious to see Tesla crack that nut, but with any luck they have some battery technology updates around the bend too.
     
  8. GuyHall

    GuyHall Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2014
    Messages:
    148
    Location:
    Granite Bay, CA
    #8 GuyHall, Dec 31, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2014
    Owning both a 2014 MS and a 2015 leaf SL, I can give a few comparisons between the two. Of course the Tesla wins hands down in terms of overall looks, performance, range, huge display and charging speed. You'd also expect that at 3 times the cost. However, the leaf has some wins over the Tesla.

    Entry ease: the higher leaf roofline of leaf gives it a win here, although Tesla's saved seat and mirror positions are nice.

    Cameras: the leaf's 360 degree view is mind blowing. High quality views forward and back, plus a view that simulates looking down at the car and surrounding space from about 15' above the car.

    Turning radius: largely due to its smaller size, the leaf makes U turns a breeze.

    Charging timer: it's wonderful that the Tesla uses the GPS to know whether or not to use the charging timer (which i love), the Tesla's simplistic charge timer is a loser against the leaf and the volt.

    Radio: the Tesla one pretty much sucks in presets, reception quality. Though the internet streaming is nice, it's also disappointing when compared to a smart phone through Bluetooth.

    Cupholder, etc: we all know the Tesla's Spartan approach in this regard. I do think it's a negative when comparing to other EVs. I'm irritated about Tesla's lack of these and pockets, and that I have a very limited choice of cups that will fit in the cup holders and allow two side by side.

    One point that that still irratates me is the leaf and other EVs that lock out console features when you are driving. Doesn't matter that you have a person in the passenger seat, the car thinks it knows better than you as to whether it's safe to use some of these functions.

    Overall, we favor the leaf for around town and the Tesla for the road trips.
     
  9. arijaycomet

    arijaycomet Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2014
    Messages:
    370
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    GuyHall- great reply. I'm going to touch down on a few points where I both agree, and in some cases, disagree with you. Just throwing my $0.02 back at you incase others reading are curious and would like a counter-point as they consider and cross-shop cars.

    Your Leaf is an SL trim like ours, but is a 2015 model. Ours is a 2012, and pre-dates a lot of the technology. For example we have a backup camera on our Leaf (which I do find helpful), but that was before the All-Around 360-view you talk about was released. I've been in various cars (my 2014 Audi S6 had that feature) and while I think it is great, I frankly think people rely TOO heavily on these cameras and sensors. Personally I like park distance sensors, coupled with looking over you shoulder or via mirrors. Cameras are, IMO, not the best solution. I guess I'd see the 360-view good for parallel parking really and that is it, but I learned to parallel park without sensors or cameras, and do it just fine in any vehicle. Just something to throw out there-- I'm sure if our Leaf had that feature I might love it.

    My wife and I are the same height, a VERY short 5-foot 3-inches of height. We find the Tesla is WAY too big for us, but we do enjoy it. However, the Leaf is more than ample for our short stature, and family of three (my daughter is 7, and we're one-and-done no more kids planned). So again, to say the Leaf is too small depends on who you are. For us, the Leaf is quite perfect!

    You're right though that Tesla needs to offer a richer set of features for charging. Obviously the Leaf charges fast (your unit is a 6.6kWh charger, our older leaf is half that speed). But again, charging a smaller batter is always going to be faster. What I suspect will happen for us is that we'll keep our Leaf topped up to 80% charge all the time now (we used to end-time charge to 100% right as we left the house for work but now that it will sit idle more, we'll 80% charge) (sidebar: we just had the 2nd 1-year battery check at Nissan, we got 5-stars and they said ours is the BEST condition battery Leaf that have seen to date for being 24-mos old). But yeah, it will be interesting to see how the charge goes for the Tesla, which I'll charge to 90% but only as needed.

    I'm with you 100% on the cup holder / cubby issue. I've been contemplating the $600 center console premium. Do you have one? Do you like it? I'm not yet sure if that is the route I wish to go-- but I agree the Leaf has better ergonomic offerings in that regard. But it is smaller inside, which has its own set of issues. Around town we will probably do just as you and favor the Leaf, where the Tesla will be our longer trip car, or such. However, given what i'm paying monthly for the Tesla I imagine we'll drive it to work daily, and enjoy the premium cost it has....

    Great feedback -- thanks for sharing -- i think we're on the same page for a lot of this--- just that our Leaf, being older, isn't the same "level" as the newer ones (our SL lacks the leather seats and other changes they made over the years)
     
  10. tezco

    tezco Sig P85

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Messages:
    818
    Location:
    Colorado
    I have 2012 versions of each. The Leaf is the daily commuter and the S is the go to Denver and special occasions car. The Leaf is great downtown -- very east to maneuver and park in the tiny spaces that Boulder mandates as part of their social programming, and I'm just not as concerned about the inevetiable dings that come from crowded parking conditions.

    A 30 mile commute in the Leaf is just about all that is possible in the winter, and that requires a cabin preheat on shore power before the first leg. Multiple errands with cool-downs inbetween shortens the comfortable range to 20 mi unless you are willing to go without heat and peer thru foggy windows. When temps go below 0 I have to switch to the AWD ICE to ensure adequate heat, range, and traction--both the FWD Leaf and the RWD Tesla fall short when it comes to that last half mile up my unplowed driveway.

    Both cars fulfill their roles well, but the Leaf really needs a bigger battery if Nissan wants to market the car to urban commuters with slightly longer commutes. The EPA still hasn't a clue when it comes to mileage. The worst case scenario (ie below 0, deep snow conditions) needs to be shown as what you should expect as a minimum. The EPA is too focused on what you might get in the best of conditions.
     
  11. arijaycomet

    arijaycomet Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2014
    Messages:
    370
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    That right there summarizes well the "point" that I wanted to make about range in my article/blog post -- so thank you for the reply.

    We love our leaf, and like you find it perfect for around town, it is leased so we don't care about typical wear/tear (it isn't our "nice" car as my Audi has typically been). I am worried about the snow prowess of the RWD 85 here, but we'll see how these dedicated snow tires help. I could totally see myself upgrading to the 85D in the next year or two.

    One thing that I agree with you is the whole "published range" data. The average consumer is not going to do the research and know that in winter the mileage really tanks. That problem is going to give a lot of people a bad taste and they would buy the EV, but never want one again there-after. If ahead of time you know these short-comings you can better plan for them. And yes, a larger battery in ALL future current EVs (all these cars under 100 miles EPA rated) is going to be a necessity if there is going to be more general public traction for this propulsion method.
     
  12. tezco

    tezco Sig P85

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Messages:
    818
    Location:
    Colorado
    Yes, in the Leaf you are driving around on a 1/16ths of a tank. Fortunately potential EV drivers are the most likely ones to actually do some research prior to purchase, and it is also fortunate that most folks realize that even the EPA figures for ICE's are a joke.
     
  13. Calvin.K

    Calvin.K Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2013
    Messages:
    323
    Location:
    Stevens Point, WI
    "Of course the Tesla offers all the same features (though no heated steering wheel, sadly)"
    Correction the Model S does have an option for a heated steering wheel it is now part of the cold weather package

    wheel.jpg
     
  14. arijaycomet

    arijaycomet Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2014
    Messages:
    370
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Yeah I heard that after my post. But it took tesla 3-years to add that feature yet our Nissan has offered it since 2011. That would be my beef there. But don't worry my next tesla will have it LOL
     
  15. Calvin.K

    Calvin.K Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2013
    Messages:
    323
    Location:
    Stevens Point, WI
    #15 Calvin.K, Jan 1, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2015
    Yeah i'm unsure why it took so long, but at least they have it as an option now. The Chevy Volt still does not offer a heated steering wheel, you have to upgrade to an ELR to get that kind of luxury:wink:
     
  16. abasile

    abasile Independent Software Eng.

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    Messages:
    361
    Location:
    San Bernardino Mts., CA (Elev. 6100' / 1800m)
    Getting in and out of a Tesla S is no problem for me, but I do find the roofline a bit low for my tastes. I prefer the more generous headroom of my LEAF. Riding in a friend's Model S helped nudge me in favor of waiting for the Model X. Granted, there are other factors; comfortable seating for more than five is a higher priority.

    Also, while my 2011 LEAF does not have the "360 degree view" of newer models, it is an 'SL' with a backup camera that I appreciate very much. It provides guide lines on the display, something lacking in my friend's Model S. The guide lines (green, yellow, and red according to proximity) help me to know exactly how far I can back up.
     
  17. arijaycomet

    arijaycomet Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2014
    Messages:
    370
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    I agree that the lines are nice for steering-angle--- but if you are worried about distance, look at the instrument cluster. You will see not on the 17" but on the main driver cluster a redundant displace of distance, and it will actually show you precisely how many inches away from the "wall" (etc) you are as you approach the barrier in question. So to me that is more accurate than just a colored line on the display the Leaf offers.
     
  18. abasile

    abasile Independent Software Eng.

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    Messages:
    361
    Location:
    San Bernardino Mts., CA (Elev. 6100' / 1800m)
    That is quite nice. I don't recall seeing such a feature on my friend's late 2013 car. I wonder if only the newer Model S cars, with the "autopilot" sensors, have that feature.
     
  19. arijaycomet

    arijaycomet Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2014
    Messages:
    370
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    My Tesla is a 2014 built 9-months ago (pre autopilot) (no forward facing camera, no lane departure etc) and it still shows that. See here:
    dee3f28e83cc118a4221e67b5239c9f6.jpg
     
  20. arijaycomet

    arijaycomet Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2014
    Messages:
    370
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    I do wish they would overlay -- the Audi system is best for a nice version of that. All around Nissan Infiniti too
     

Share This Page