2019 Toyota Mirai vs. 2019 Nissan Leaf

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Mirai’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Leaf doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Toyota Mirai are height-adjustable, and the rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Nissan Leaf has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

The Mirai has standard Safety Connect™, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to 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 Mirai 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 Toyota Mirai weighs 567 to 642 pounds more than the Nissan Leaf. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the Mirai 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.

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Mirai for 3 years and 35000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Nissan doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Leaf.

There are over 13 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Nissan dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Mirai’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 10th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Nissan is ranked 14th.

Engine

The Mirai’s electric motor produces 4 more horsepower (151 vs. 147) and 11 lbs.-ft. more torque (247 vs. 236) than the Leaf’s electric motor.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Mirai’s maximum driving range is 312 miles with a full tank of fuel of hydrogen, over twice as far as the Leaf’s 151 mile range. After it exhausts its range, the Mirai can then refuel in five minutes, while the Leaf has to recharge for 40 minutes for only a 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 Mirai’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Leaf:

 

Mirai

Leaf

Front Rotors

11.6 inches

11.1 inches

The Mirai stops shorter than the Leaf:

 

Mirai

Leaf

 

70 to 0 MPH

189 feet

191 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Mirai has larger tires than the Leaf (215/55R17 vs. 205/55R16).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Mirai has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Leaf S.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Mirai’s wheelbase is 3.2 inches longer than on the Leaf (109.5 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

The Mirai handles at .78 G’s, while the Leaf SL pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Passenger Space

The Mirai has .4 inches more front legroom, 1.7 inches more front hip room, 2.4 inches more rear hip room and 1 inch more rear shoulder room than the Leaf.

Cargo Capacity

With its sedan body style, valet key and remote trunk release lockout, the Mirai offers cargo security. The Leaf’s hatchback body style, non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Mirai. The Leaf doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Servicing Ease

The Mirai 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 Mirai has a power 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.

When two different drivers share the Mirai, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle. The Leaf doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Mirai’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Leaf doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Mirai’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Leaf’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

On a hot day the Mirai’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Leaf can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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

The Mirai’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Leaf’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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

When the Mirai is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Leaf’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Mirai has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Leaf offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Mirai has a standard heated steering wheel to take the chill out of steering on extremely cold winter days before the car heater warms up. A heated steering wheel costs extra on the Leaf.

The Mirai 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 Mirai’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 Mirai and the Leaf offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Mirai 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 Mirai’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.

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

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