2019 Hyundai Nexo vs. 2019 Nissan Leaf

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Nexo has standard Blue Link, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Leaf doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Nexo and the Leaf have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes and rearview cameras.

The Hyundai Nexo weighs 482 to 683 pounds more than the Nissan Leaf. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

The Nexo comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Leaf’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Nexo 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Nissan covers the Leaf. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Leaf ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The Nexo’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Leaf’s (7 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are better in initial quality than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 10th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 10th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 4 places higher in reliability than Nissan.

Engine

The Nexo’s electric motor produces 14 more horsepower (161 vs. 147) and 55 lbs.-ft. more torque (291 vs. 236) than the Leaf’s standard electric motor. The Nexo’s electric motor produces 41 lbs.-ft. more torque (291 vs. 250) than the Leaf PLUS’ standard electric motor.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Nexo’s maximum driving range is 380 miles, 68% further than the Leaf PLUS’ 226 mile range. After it exhausts its hydrogen, the Nexo can then refuel in minutes, while the Leaf has to recharge for 40 minutes for only an 80% charge at a specially configured quick charge station not available in most areas. A full recharge at a conventional charging station can take up to 35 hours.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Nexo’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Leaf:

 

Nexo

Leaf

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.1 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

11.5 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Nexo has larger standard tires than the Leaf (225/60R17 vs. 205/55R16). The Nexo Limited’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Leaf (245/45R19 vs. 215/50R17).

The Nexo Limited’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Leaf SV/SL’s 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Nexo has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Leaf S. The Nexo Limited’s 19-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels on the Leaf SV/SL.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Hyundai Nexo has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Nissan Leaf has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Nexo’s wheelbase is 3.5 inches longer than on the Leaf (109.8 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Nexo is 3.5 inches wider in the front and 2.8 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Leaf.

Passenger Space

The Nexo has 8.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Leaf (101.3 vs. 92.4).

The Nexo has 2.3 inches more front hip room, 2.9 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, 5.1 inches more rear legroom, 3.5 inches more rear hip room and 3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Leaf.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Nexo’s rear seats recline. The Leaf’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The Nexo has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Leaf with its rear seat up (29.6 vs. 23.6 cubic feet). The Nexo has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Leaf with its rear seat folded (56.5 vs. 30 cubic feet).

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just waiting momentarily behind the back bumper can open the Nexo Limited’s power liftgate, leaving your hands completely free. The Nexo’s power liftgate can also be opened or closed by pressing a button. The Leaf doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

Servicing Ease

The Nexo uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Leaf uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Nexo has a telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The Leaf doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

The power windows standard on both the Nexo and the Leaf have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Nexo is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Leaf prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

To lock it, the door handles on the Leaf must be held while closing the door. On the Nexo you just lock the door and close it, which makes it easier to lock up, especially when your hands are full.

The Nexo’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Nissan charges extra for heated mirrors on the Leaf.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Nexo Limited keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Leaf doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The Nexo has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Leaf doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Nexo’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Leaf doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Nexo and the Leaf offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Nexo has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Leaf doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

A built-in pollen filter removes pollen, exhaust fumes and other pollutants from the Nexo’s passenger compartment. This helps prevent lung and/or sinus irritation, which can trigger allergies or asthma. The Leaf doesn’t offer a filtration system.

The Nexo has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Leaf doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The Nexo Limited’s Remote Smart Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Leaf doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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