Car shoppers interested in an electric vehicle that’s both affordable and easy to maneuver would be wise to put the Nissan Leaf and Mini Cooper SE Electric on their shopping list. Their small dimensions mean you can squeeze into tiny traffic gaps or navigate curbside parking that would be off-limits to larger vehicles. 

The Nissan Leaf is available with a choice of two battery packs, though we’ll be focusing on the more powerful SV Plus model for this comparison. It packs more miles of driving range and more comfort features like heated front seats and onboard navigation. 

Like the Leaf, the Mini Electric SE Hardtop has desirable features like heated seats, satellite radio, and driver aids like blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. It also has the steering agility that makes Mini vehicles a blast to drive.

Let’s look at the highlights of the Nissan Leaf SV Plus and Mini Electric.

2024 Nissan Leaf SV Plus

The Leaf SV Plus is the upper of two available trims in Nissan’s electric-powered hatchback. The base Leaf S starts at $29,280 in standard format, including factory-to-dealer destination fees. This makes it one of the least expensive ways of going electric. 

As for the Leaf SV Plus, it rings in at $37,330. Besides its longer roster of comfort and safety items, the SV Plus trim features a larger battery pack that provides 212 miles of range. In the Leaf S, the range tops out at 149 miles.

Nissan Leaf SV Plus Highlights 

Interior space, cargo room: If you plan on routinely driving with more than one passenger, the Leaf’s interior space and cargo volume make it the clear winner. Its trunk is more than double the size of what you get in the Mini Electric. 

Comfortable ride: During test drives, we’ve routinely come away impressed by the Leaf’s easy-going nature and ride quality. The suspension easily absorbs bumps in the road, making it a relaxing means of getting where you want to go.

Surround-view parking camera: The Leaf is even easier to navigate thanks to the surround-view camera that comes standard on the SV Plus model. This is one of those great features you didn’t know you wanted until you’ve had it. 

ProPilot Assist: Using the adaptive cruise control system as its foundation, Nissan’s ProPilot Assist driver aid provides steering assistance to keep the Leaf in its intended lane. It will maintain a safe distance from any vehicle ahead, including up to a complete stop if needed. You get this standard with the SV Plus.

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Leaf models for sale near you. 

2024 Mini Electric

2023 Mini Cooper Electric Resolute in green in a studio.

The Mini Cooper SE Electric is available in three trims, starting at $31,895, including the destination charge. Standard features on this zippy runabout include an 8.8-inch infotainment touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, synthetic leather seating upholstery, dual-zone climate control, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. 

Upper models add features like genuine leather, a panoramic moonroof, adaptive cruise control, and a head-up instrument display. The highest trim, the SE Iconic, is priced at approximately $37,000. The range for all Mini Electric models is 114 miles. 

Mini Electric Highlights

Fun handling: True to Mini tradition, this electric take on the Cooper 2-Door Hardtop is a delight to drive. Attacking corners in this electric coupe is guaranteed to bring a smile to any driver’s face. As for car-sick-prone passengers along for the ride, they might want to consider alternate means of transportation.

Premium interior: The cabin of the Cooper Electric has a luxury-like look and feel that you won’t find in many small cars, either electric- or gas-powered. Circular gauges and toggle switches add to the Mini’s peppy personality.  

Retro exterior, clever details: The Mini Cooper Electric’s retro-themed style certainly helps it stand out. There’s no shortage of ways to customize this EV via its extensive range of colors and exterior addendum. One detail we think is especially cool is the Mini’s taillights, which incorporate the Union Jack flag elements into their design.

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Cooper models for sale near you. 


Small in size and priced within reach, the Nissan Leaf and Mini Electric could convince many car shoppers to take the chance and plug into the EV lifestyle. 


We think the Nissan Leaf and Mini Electric make a strong case for themselves as perky electrics for a daily commute or scooting through town running errands. However, you’ll want to make sure these driving tasks are within a snug radius in the Mini Electric. Its biggest drawback is having only 114 miles of range, a figure that’s about half the distance you get in many EVs.

The Nissan Leaf isn’t the shiniest and newest electric out there. A refresh last year doesn’t hide the fact this generation Leaf dates back to 2018. We still think it’s the more practical choice of these pint-size electrics. It holds decisive advantages regarding interior space and cargo volume – though we’ll admit the Mini Electric is far more playful when you’re behind the wheel. 

  2024 Nissan Leaf SV Plus  2024 Mini Cooper SE Electric
Starting Price  $37,330 $31,895
Popular Powertrains      
Engine  Single electric motor w/60-kWh battery Single electric motor w/32.6-kWh battery
Horsepower  214 hp  181 hp
Torque  250 lb-ft  199 lb-ft
Transmission  1-speed automatic  1-speed automatic 
Fuel economy MPGe 121 city/98 highway/109 combined MPGe  119 city/100 highway/110 combined MPGe
Basic Warranty  3 years/36,000 miles  4 years/50,000 miles 
Powertrain Warranty  5 years/60,000 miles  4 years/50,000 miles 
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5-Star 5-Star
Max Seating Capacity 
Wheelbase  106.3 inches  98.2 inches 
Overall Length  176.4 inches  151.7 inches 
Width  70.5 inches  68.0 inches 
Height  61.4 inches  56.4 inches 
Turning Diameter  34.8 feet  35.1 feet 
Headroom, Front  41.2 inches 40.3 inches 
Headroom, Rear 37.3 inches  36.9 inches 
Legroom, Front  42.1 inches  41.4 inches 
Legroom, Rear 33.5 inches  30.8 inches
Shoulder Room, Front  54.3 inches  50.6 inches 
Shoulder Room, Rear 52.5 inches 47.8 inches
Cargo Volume  23.6/30.0 cubic feet   8.7/34.0 cubic feet 

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