I'm due to take a multi day test drive in a 2017 Leaf this weekend (despite having a reservation down for a Model 3, and being pretty much set on that as my next car). The reason, of course, is the arguably pretty competitive pricing on some of the brand new and barely used models (brand new in the region of £10,000 off list price, and barely used around £15,000 off list price).
I should clarify off the starting line that the Model 3 takes the crown in terms of personal preference. The Leaf is only really something I'd consider on the basis of a significant saving, and with the caveat that it would have to be sufficient for my regular use case.
In terms of timing, either way, the purchase would be around the start of 2019 (which lines up with the current projected Model 3 release in the UK).
In terms of regular use, my commute is <15 miles each way (typically driven twice daily for 60 miles total). At the weekends we tend to drive upwards of 80 miles in each direction, and it would be good to have room on top for a grocery run if needed. There is only one rapid charger currently active between our start point and the usual areas we head to, which I'm expecting would mean a stop on each leg of the journey. A base mileage Model 3 should be able to cover the route without a stop-off. Also worth noting that I understand the Leaf to be much worse at dealing with variable temperatures, and battery lifetime issues.
Looking at the finances, a base mileage Model 3, with the PUP seems to come out around £35000 - 36000 after incentives and tax on the teslanomics page. A 2017 leaf is working out around £20,000 - 25000. after incentives, tax and dealer contributions etc.
I currently spend around £2500 a year on fuel, so would expect to achieve savings just shy of £15,000 over the 6 year horizon I'd expect the vehicle to last.
Depreciation seems to be the killer on a Leaf, and i'd only expect that to worsen with the move to 200+ mile range EVs in the next 12-18 months. I'd expect the Model 3 as a newer, 200+ mile range vehicle to hold value considerably better. This ought to make the Model 3 a more flexible option down the line, as opposed to a virtually zero value Leaf after a few years.
Whilst some will probably look at this and see an opportunity to move a spot up the line, I'd be interested to know what other arguments people would use to talk someone into sticking with a model 3 over a 2017 Leaf?