The Leaf has standard Automatic Emergency Braking, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid has a collision warning system without the crash-mitigating brake feature that could reduce stopping distances.
The Leaf SL has a standard Around View® Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.
The Leaf SL’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Leaf and the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid 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, rearview cameras, available daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.
There are over 29 percent more Nissan dealers than there are Hyundai dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Leaf’s warranty.
On the EPA test cycle the Leaf gets better fuel mileage than the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid running on electricity (124 city/101 hwy vs. 99 city/98 hwy MPGe).
On the EPA test cycle the Leaf gets better fuel mileage than the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid running its gasoline engine (124 city/101 hwy MPGe vs. 38 city/40 hwy).
The Leaf’s maximum EPA estimated driving range is 150 miles on a full charge. The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid can only travel about 27 miles before it has to start its internal combustion engine.
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 Sonata Plug-In Hybrid’s 55 series tires.
For better maneuverability, the Leaf S’ turning circle is .8 feet tighter than the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid’s (34.8 feet vs. 35.6 feet).
The Nissan Leaf may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 350 pounds less than the Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid.
The Leaf is 1 foot, 2.7 inches shorter than the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid, making the Leaf easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The Leaf has a larger trunk with its rear seat up than the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid (23.6 vs. 9.9 cubic feet).
To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Leaf’s hatch uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the cargo area. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid’s useful trunk space.
The Leaf’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.
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 Sonata Plug-In Hybrid 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 Sonata Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a rear wiper.
Both the Leaf and the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid offer available heated front seats. The Leaf SL also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid.