2020 Chevrolet Bolt Vs. 2019 Nissan LEAF

By Justin Cupler | September 8th, 2020

EVs have gone through tons of changes in recent years, shifting from wildly styled slowpokes to surprisingly quick and good-looking rigs. Two models that have helped lead this push are the Chevy Bolt EV and Nissan LEAF. Which of these sharp-looking and -performing electric vehicles is best for our Freeland area shoppers? Continue reading to find out.

Exterior

EV cars have come a long way over the years in terms of design. In their early years, they were overstyled and stood out like sore thumbs. Today, we have models that almost blend in with mainstream cars, opening these green machines to a wider range of buyers.

 

The Chevy Bolt EV was one of the first electric cars to break the wild design trend back in 2017. It still has some of the cues of an EV, including its closed-off grille, but it mostly looks like any other compact hatchback on the road. This makes it the Bolt EV an excellent option for buyers who want a green car that will blend in.

 

 

The Nissan LEAF was one of the wildly styled offenders in its first generation. In 2018, the second-generation LEAF debuted with a far more traditional look than before. Despite its toned-down looks, the LEAF is still wilder than the Bolt EV with its sharp body lines and distinct lighting, but it is a definite improvement.

 

 

Buyers seeking more sportiness can find this in the PLUS models, which gain sharper wheels and a chin spoiler to go with their extended range and enhanced performance.

 

In terms of size, the LEAF is over 10 inches longer and an inch wider than the Bolt, which can make it a little tougher to manage in traffic. The Bolt offers 1.5 extra inches of ground clearance, making it less susceptible to underbody damage.

 

As for standard exterior features, the 2020 Chevy Bolt EV comes with 17-inch painted aluminum wheels, automatic on/off high-intensity-discharge headlights, LED daytime running lights, LED taillights, heated, black-colored power mirrors, body-color door handles, intermittent windshield wipers, a high-gloss black grille, and an intermittent rear wiper.

 

The 2019 Nissan LEAF is nearly $7,000 cheaper than the base Bolt EV, so it is understandable that it has fewer standard exterior amenities. Its standard equipment includes 16-inch steel wheels with hubcaps, a rear spoiler, flat underbody panels, a rear diffuser, halogen headlights with automatic on/off, and power mirrors.

 

Measurement 2020 Chevy Bolt EV 2019 Nissan LEAF
Length (in.) 164 176.4
Width (in.) 69.5 70.5
Height (in.) 62.8 61.4
Wheelbase (in.) 102.4 106.3
Ground Clearance (in.) 7.4 5.9
Curb weight (lbs.) 3,563 3,433 to 3,853

 

Advantage: 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV

  •       Smaller and easier to manage
  •       More traditional looks
  •       Higher-end exterior standard features

Advantage: 2019 Nissan LEAF

  •       More striking looks without being over the top
  •       Sportier look in PLUS models

Interior

Inside, the 2020 Chevy Bolt EV shows its EV side with a striking design that includes wild two-tone seats and dash, a floating dash, a large standard touchscreen, digital gauges, electronic gear shifter, and more. Despite its clear EV cues, the Bolt’s design is still far from too dramatic.

 

 

The 2019 Nissan LEAF’s cabin is a complete departure from the EV realm with a design that looks like any other Nissan sedan. The only slight indicator is the funky gear shifter. Otherwise, like many other Nissan models, the LEAF boasts sporty design with its flat-bottom steering wheel and bolstered seats. Its dash is very understated, which some buyers may find a little too bland.

 

 

In terms of roominess inside the cabin, the Nissan LEAF’s front seats have more space than the Bolt EV’s., but the Chevy comes back with over 3 more inches of rear legroom. Cargo room is an interesting one, as the LEAF offers 23.6 cubic feet of room with its rear seats upright, which beats the Bolt by almost 7 cubic feet. However, with their seats folded, the Bolt’s 56.6 cubes of space crushes the LEAF’s 30 cubic feet.

 

Inside, the 2020 Chevy Bolt is very well equipped with its standard 4G LTE Wi-Fi®, six-speaker audio system, six-way manual front seats, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, automatic climate control, Chevrolet Infotainment System with 10.2-inch color touchscreen, chrome interior door handles, digital gauges, keyless open and ignition, leather-trimmed shifter knob with satin-silver and chrome accents, LED ambient lighting, OnStar, outside temperature display, power door locks and windows, SiriusXM®, steering-wheel-mounted controls, dual USB ports in the front center console, and more.

 

The less expensive LEAF has many standard features that match the Bolt’s, but it falls short in a few areas. These shortcomings are its smaller 5-inch infotainment screen, four-speaker audio system, lack of Apple CarPlay® and  Android Auto™, and fewer USB ports.

 

Measurement 2020 Chevy Bolt EV 2019 Nissan LEAF
Front headroom (in.) 39.7 41.2
Front legroom (in.) 41.6 42.1
Front shoulder room (in.) 54.6 54.3
Front hip room (in.) 51.6 51.7
Rear headroom (in.) 37.9 37.3
Rear legroom (in.) 36.5 33.5
Rear shoulder room (in.) 52.8 52.5
Rear hip room (in.) 50.8 50
Cargo room (cu. ft.) (rear seats upright) 16.9 23.6
Cargo room (cu. ft.) (rear seats folded) 56.6 30

 

Advantage: 2020 Chevy Bolt EV

  •       Roomier back seats
  •       Tons more max cargo room
  •       Standard digital gauges

Advantage: 2019 Nissan LEAF

  •       Traditional interior design
  •       Sporty steering wheel and seats
  •       More cargo room with the rear seats upright

Performance

Electric cars are no longer the slow machines they were in the past. Today, even mainstreamers like the Bolt and LEAF offer surprising performance.

 

The 2020 Bolt EV’s standard electric motor cranks out 200 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque and ships it to the front wheels for a 6.3-second scoot to 60 mph. This motor taps into a 66-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery for a 259-mile range, which is a 21-mile improvement over the 2019 model.

 

 

The 2019 Nissan LEAF has two powertrain options. The base unit produces 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque for a respectable 7.4-second 0-to-60 time. This motor pulls juice from a 40-kWh battery pack for a 150-mile range.

 

 

The LEAF PLUS more competitive with the Bolt EV with its boosted electric motor that cranks out 214 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. This added power drops its 0-to-60 time to just 6.5 seconds. And with its 62-kWh battery, its range jumps to 226 miles in the S trim and 215 miles in the SV and SL trims.

 

2020 Chevy Bolt EV 2019 Nissan LEAF
Standard motor Single permanent magnetic drive motor AC synchronous electric motor
Battery type Lithium-ion Lithium-ion
Battery capacity 66-kWh 40-kWh
Horsepower 200 hp 147 hp
Torque 266 lb-ft 236 lb-ft
Transmission N/A Single-speed reducer
Driveline FWD FWD
0-60 time 6.3 seconds 7.4 seconds
EV Range 259 miles 150 miles
Charging time 120V: 4 miles per hour/240V: 10-hour to full charge/DC Fast Charge: 100 miles in 30 minutes 110V: 35 hours (full)/220V: 7.5 hours (full)/DC Fast Charge: 120 miles in 40 minutes
MPG City 127 mpg-e 124 mpg-e
MPG Highway 108 mpg-e 99 mpg-e
MPG Combined 118 mpg-e 112 mpg-e
Optional motor N/A AC synchronous electric motor
Battery type N/A Lithium-ion
Battery capacity N/A 62-kWh (PLUS)
Horsepower N/A 214 hp
Torque N/A 250 lb-ft
Transmission N/A Single-speed reducer
Driveline N/A FWD
0-60 time N/A 6.5 seconds
EV Range N/A 226 miles (S)/215 miles (SV, SL)
Charging time N/A 240V: 11.5 hours/DC Fast Charge: 180 miles in 45 minutes
MPG City N/A 118 mpg-e (S)/114 mpg-e (SV, SL)
MPG Highway N/A 97 mpg-e (S)/94 mpg-e (SV, SL)
MPG Combined N/A 108 mpg-e (S)/104 mpg-e (SV, SL)

 

Advantage: 2020 Chevy Bolt EV

  •       More standard horsepower
  •       Much quicker than the base LEAF
  •       Huge EV range
  •       Higher mpg-e

Advantage: 2019 Nissan LEAF

  •       Two powertrain options

Pricing and Features

The 2020 Chevy Bolt EV has just two trim levels – LT and Premier – and their starting prices are $37,495 and $41,895, respectively.

Because the LEAF has two variants, standard and PLUS, it has tons more trim options than the Bolt – six, to be precise. They are S, SV, SL, S PLUS, SV PLUS, and SL PLUS, and their starting prices range from $29,990 to $42,5500.

2020 Chevy Bolt EV Key Features and Pricing by Trim

LT: $37,495

  •       Electric motor
  •       Electronic precision shift
  •       7.2-kW onboard charger
  •       120-volt portable cord
  •       Electronic parking brake
  •       Front-wheel drive
  •       Lithium-ion battery
  •       Power steering
  •       Regen On Demand™ steering wheel paddle
  •       17-inch painted aluminum wheels
  •       Automatic on/off high-intensity-discharge headlights
  •       LED daytime running lights
  •       LED taillights
  •       Heated, black-colored power mirrors
  •       Body-color door handles
  •       Intermittent windshield wipers
  •       High-gloss black grille
  •       Intermittent rear wiper
  •       4G LTE Wi-Fi® capable
  •       Six-speaker audio system
  •       Six-way manual front seats
  •       60/40 split-folding rear seats
  •       Automatic climate control
  •       Cargo cover
  •       Chevrolet Connected Access capable
  •       Chevrolet Infotainment System
  •       10.2-inch color touchscreen
  •       Chrome interior door handles
  •       Cruise control
  •       Deluxe steering wheel
  •       Driver information center
  •       Carpeted floor mats
  •       Digital gauges
  •       Keyless open and ignition
  •       Leather-trimmed shifter knob with satin-silver and chrome accents
  •       LED ambient lighting
  •       Location-based charging
  •       Manual tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  •       OnStar
  •       Outside temperature display
  •       Power door locks
  •       Power windows
  •       Programmable vehicle charging
  •       Rear-seat heater duct
  •       Remote ignition
  •       SiriusXM®
  •       Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  •       Dual USB ports in the front center console
  •       Vehicle efficiency display
  •       High-definition rear view camera
  •       Remote panic alarm
  •       Teen Driver

Premier: $41,895

  •       All LT features, plus
  •       17-inch ultra-bright aluminum wheels with painted pockets
  •       Mirror-integrated turn signals
  •       Chrome-accented door handles
  •       Roof-mounted side rails
  •       Automatic heated steering wheel
  •       False cargo floor
  •       Heated front seats
  •       Heated rear outboard seats
  •       Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  •       Ambient instrument panel lighting
  •       Rear center armrest
  •       High-definition 360-degree camera
  •       Lane-change alert
  •       Blind-spot monitoring
  •       Rear camera mirror
  •       Rear cross-traffic alert
  •       Rear park assist

2019 Nissan LEAF Key Features and Pricing by Trim

S: $29,990

  •       AC synchronous electric motor
  •       40-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery
  •       Single-speed reducer transmission
  •       Hill-start assist
  •       E-pedal
  •       Speed-sensitive electric power steering
  •       Normal, Eco, and B driving modes
  •       Regenerative braking
  •       Active ride control
  •       16-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
  •       Rear spoiler
  •       Flat underbody panels
  •       Rear diffuser
  •       Halogen headlights with automatic on/off
  •       Power mirrors
  •       Portable 120-volt trickle-charge cable
  •       Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  •       7-inch information display
  •       5-inch infotainment screen
  •       Bluetooth® connectivity
  •       Hands-free text messaging
  •       Intelligent key with push-button start
  •       Power door locks
  •       Power windows with driver’s one-touch up/down
  •       Tilt steering
  •       Variable-intermittent windshield wipers
  •       Front map lights
  •       Six-way manual driver’s seat
  •       Four-way manual passenger’s seat
  •       Cloth upholstery
  •       60/40 split-folding rear seats
  •       Four-speaker AM/FM audio system
  •       SiriusXM®
  •       Bluetooth® streaming audio
  •       USB port
  •       Auxiliary input jack
  •       Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  •       Rearview camera
  •       Rear-door alert
  •       Automatic emergency braking
  •       Vehicle security system

SV: $32,600

  •       All S features, plus
  •       50-kW quick-charge port
  •       17-inch machine-finished aluminum-alloy wheels
  •       Fog lights
  •       NissanConnect infotainment system
  •       7-inch touchscreen
  •       Nissan Navigation System
  •       NissanConnect EV with Services
  •       Nissan Voice Recognition
  •       Apple CarPlay®
  •       Android Auto™
  •       SiriusXM® Traffic and Travel Link®
  •       Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  •       Six-speaker AM/FM audio system
  •       HD Radio™
  •       Adaptive cruise control

SL: $36,300

  •       All SV features, plus
  •       Portable 240/120-volt power cable
  •       LED headlights
  •       LED signature daytime running lights
  •       Heated mirrors
  •       Mirror-integrated LED turn signals
  •       Rear under-seat heater ducts
  •       Hybrid heater system
  •       Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  •       Universal home remote
  •       Removable cargo cover
  •       Eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with two-way lumbar
  •       Leather seating
  •       Heated front seats
  •       Heated steering wheel
  •       Seven-speaker Bose® energy-efficient audio system
  •       360-degree camera
  •       Intelligent driver alertness
  •       Blind-spot monitoring
  •       Rear cross-traffic alert

S Plus: $36,550

  •       All S features, plus
  •       High-output electric motor (215 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque)
  •       62-kWh lithium-ion battery
  •       100-kW quick-charge port
  •       120/240-volt portable charger cable
  •       16-inch alloy wheels
  •       Front bumper chin spoiler
  •       NissanConnect infotainment system
  •       8-inch touchscreen
  •       Apple CarPlay®
  •       Android Auto™
  •       Six-speaker AM/FM audio system
  •       Forward-collision warning

SV Plus: $38,510

  •       All SV features, plus
  •       High-output electric motor (215 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque)
  •       62-kWh lithium-ion battery
  •       100-kW quick-charge port
  •       120/240-volt portable charger cable
  •       Front bumper chin spoiler
  •       NissanConnect infotainment system
  •       8-inch touchscreen
  •       Nissan Door to Door navigation with Premium Traffic
  •       Forward-collision warning

SL Plus: $42,550

  •       High-output electric motor (215 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque)
  •       62-kWh lithium-ion battery
  •       100-kW quick-charge port
  •       120/240-volt portable charger cable
  •       Electronic parking brake
  •       Front bumper chin spoiler
  •       NissanConnect infotainment system
  •       8-inch touchscreen
  •       Nissan Door to Door navigation with Premium Traffic
  •       Forward-collision warning
  •       ProPILOT Assist
  •       Automatic high-beam headlights
  •       Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  •       Forward-collision warning
  •       Lane-keep assist

Who Should Buy the 2020 Chevy Bolt EV

The 2020 Chevy Bolt EV’s traditional outward appearance and powerful base powertrain make it a great option for buyers who want to drive an EV without feeling like they are in one. Plus, with over 250 miles of range, it works well for longer distance commuters too.

Who Should Buy the 2019 Nissan LEAF

The Nissan LEAF, even in its PLUS variant, cannot hang with the Bolt in power or range, but it offers tons more value with its lower price. This is especially true for buyers who are OK with its standard 150-mile variant that starts under $30,000 before any tax credits.

 

Is the 2020 Chevy Bolt EV the right electric car for your daily commute? Stop by the Garber Chevrolet Midland new-car showroom serving Bay City, Freeland, and the surrounding area today to take it for a test drive. Can’t make it to our Midland area showroom today? You can also navigate to our online inventory page, choose a few in-stock 2020 Bolt EV models that suit your needs, and schedule a test drive around your busy day.