A Leaf S 60 kwh will be under $30K after tax credit. TM3 SR loses in my book.
And Hyundai Kona will beat both of them in terms of value.
I went and drove a 2018 Leaf SV with cold weather and tech packages as well as a base 2018 Volt with the comfort package. Both were advertised at ~$33k.
Both were very nice cars and felt similar in terms of acceleration and throttle response. I thought the Volt was a better looking car with a nicer infotainment system that handled better than the leaf but lacked space in the back seat, had no QC capabilities, and had poor visibility . I loved the lines on the car, I liked the drivers position, and I thought the buttons were laid out well in intuitive places.
The leaf was more spacious than the Volt especially in the back seat, had the cool e-pedal system, and had more overall bells and whistles than the Volt but still has limited range and uninspired handling. It felt a little roomier than my 2015 S and I thought the cabin looked much more modern with a nicer display, better console layout, and nice integrated features like android auto and bluetooth streaming. I really liked the looks of the exterior compared to my 2015. It looks less like a tree frog and more like the typical modern Nissan design. It is a nice car and if I didn't already have the 2015 it would definitely be a good buy if I needed a car NOW.
The big takeaway from all of these test drives was that neither blew me away in comparison with my gen1 leaf and that I think I am probably committed to full electric rather than a phev because I just don't want to deal with all of the ICE issues that come with one like oil changes, emissions testing, exhaust leaks, etc... Obviously the range is my big issue with the 2015 which both cars would solve but neither made my current leaf feel slow, clunky, or outdated aside from the infotainment system which I could easily fix with a $300 head unit upgrade. The 2015 is far uglier IMO than both of these cars but I'm used to it by now and can deal with it a couple more years.
My conclusion... unless the dealership is gonna give me some ridiculous <$27k out the door and pay off my trade I don't think I'm gonna go for either. I don't want the added complexity of the Volt drivetrain and I think there is a good chance that the leaf eplus or kona EV is gonna make the 2018 leaf look like poor value over the long haul... Especially if the eplus S really gives you 200hp and 225 miles of liquid cooled range for $35k like it is rumored to do. I actually used to be big into the import tuning scene in the early 2000's and my favorite car was the old school Sentra SE-R so I might actually pony up the cash for a NISMO leaf if they every bring it to the U.S. especially if it handles well, looks more aggressive, and goes 0-60 ~6 seconds.
So I guess it is planB for now which is to QC on my way to work when it's cold out or I need to run errands and just consider it part of my morning commute. It'll save me cash and spending 10 minutes a day 4 days a week to charge for free really isn't enough of a headache to go drop $25k on a new car that isn't much of an upgrade from what I have.
Thanks for all the thoughts and advice.