2019 Nissan Leaf vs. 2019 Toyota Mirai

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Leaf has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Mirai doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Leaf SL has a standard Around View® Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Mirai only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the Leaf and the Mirai 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, rearview cameras, available daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear cross-path warning and driver alert monitors.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

Engine

The Leaf PLUS’ standard electric motor produces 64 more horsepower (215 vs. 151) and 3 lbs.-ft. more torque (250 vs. 247) than the Mirai’s electric motor.

As tested in Car and Driver the Nissan Leaf (base engine) is faster than the Toyota Mirai:

Leaf

Mirai

Zero to 30 MPH

2.7 sec

3.1 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

9.4 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

12.9 sec

17.2 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

2.8 sec

3.9 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.5 sec

6.3 sec

Quarter Mile

15.8 sec

17.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

88 MPH

80 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Leaf gets better fuel mileage than the Mirai:

MPGe

Leaf

147 HP electric motor

124 city/99 hwy

PLUS S electric motor

118 city/97 hwy

PLUS SV/SL electric motor

114 city/94 hwy

Mirai

electric motor

67 city/67 hwy

Brakes and Stopping

The Leaf’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Mirai are solid, not vented.

The Leaf stops shorter than the Mirai:

Leaf

Mirai

70 to 0 MPH

191 feet

194 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The Leaf SV/SL’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Mirai’s 55 series tires.

The Leaf has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Mirai doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Leaf has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Leaf flat and controlled during cornering. The Mirai’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Leaf has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Mirai doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Leaf SV handles at .79 G’s, while the Mirai pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Leaf SL executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Mirai (27.9 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 28.8 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Leaf S’ turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the Mirai’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.4 feet). The Leaf SV/SL’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the Mirai’s (36.1 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

Chassis

The Nissan Leaf may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 550 to 650 pounds less than the Toyota Mirai.

The Leaf is 1 foot, 4.1 inches shorter than the Mirai, making the Leaf easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Leaf SV is quieter than the Mirai:

Leaf

Mirai

At idle

25 dB

36 dB

Full-Throttle

67 dB

67 dB

70 MPH Cruising

65 dB

66 dB

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Leaf a Mid-size car, while the Mirai is rated a Subcompact.

The Leaf has standard seating for 5 passengers; the Mirai can only carry 4.

The Leaf has 6.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Mirai (92.4 vs. 85.7).

The Leaf has 2.7 inches more front headroom, .5 inches more rear headroom and 3.4 inches more rear legroom than the Mirai.

Cargo Capacity

The Leaf has a much larger trunk than the Mirai (23.6 vs. 12.8 cubic feet).

The Leaf’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Mirai doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

Ergonomics

The Leaf SV/SL has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Mirai doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Leaf has a standard rear wiper. The Mirai doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Nissan Leaf, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Nissan Leaf outsold the Toyota Mirai by almost 9 to one during 2018.

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

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