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  • Toyota Prius vs. Nissan Leaf

    Posted on July 8th, 2011 ninarussin

    Choosing the right green option

    By Edward Pacheco
     

    2011 Nissan Leaf

    There is a lot of discussion these days about green cars because of their impact on the environment. By driving a green car you are not only saving yourself money on gas but also helping to reduce air pollution by driving a car with fewer or no tailpipe emissions.

    The Toyota Prius and the Nissan Leaf have proven to be two environmentally-friendly cars. That said, the propulsion systems for the models are quite different.

    The Prius has a gasoline engine and electric motors. Power for the motors comes from a nickel metal hydride battery as well as regenerative braking. The Leaf, on the other hand, is a fully-electric vehicle which the owner recharges by plugging into an electrical outlet.

    2011 Toyota Prius

    Of the two models, the Prius is the less expensive option. A new Toyota Prius has a MSRP in the lower to mid $20,000s , whereas the Leaf MSRP is in the lower to mid $30,000s .

    Although the Prius has excellent fuel economy, averaging 48 mpg according to the EPA, cost of ownership is still affected by fluctuations in the price of gasoline. Since the Leaf is fully electric, the owner doesn’t have to worry about spikes in the cost of gasoline. Recent increases in gasoline prices have made this a hot-button issue for many car owners. 

    One of the Prius’ biggest assets is its abundant trunk space. This is really important for owners who plan to haul a lot of gear. For example, if you have a family of five, you probably spend a lot of time shopping for groceries. Having a car with adequate storage space is very important to the well- being of your family.

    The Prius also has a reputation for handling like a non-hybrid vehicle. This is important for buyers who like the sound and power of a gasoline engine. The fully-electric Leaf is essentially noise-free when operating, which can be a concern when driving through areas with lots of pedestrians.

    The Leaf, on the other hand, has extremely spacious front seats. If you have long legs or are tall in general you will surely appreciate this feature. The tradeoff is that the trunk is a little less spacious.

    You can review technical specs about the Leaf and Prius here: Nissan | Toyota
     
    The Prius and the Leaf are both excellent choices when it comes to performance and safety. The Prius can be a little quicker out on the open road but the Leaf more than makes up for it around town. Both models have been named as top safety picks. 

    Only time will tell which one of these vehicles is more consistent. Since both Toyota and Nissan have reputations for great dependability, you then you can bet that both the hybrid Prius and electric Leaf will prove to be as reliable as they come.

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