The main difference for me, between the SV and SL is seating surfaces: partially recycled fabric in the SV, and leather in the SL. The SL also includes some other gadgetry, like heated rear seats and the more elaborate sound system with the subwoofer on the trunk floor, which is a pro for some and a con for others.
The eGolf was on my radar when I was shopping, but I didn't see it as being very competitive. It tended to cost more but have lower range than the 30 kWh LEAFs I encountered.
The models that did strike my fancy were the Chevy Spark EV and Fiat 500e. They sound incredibly fun, and the 500e is so easy on the eyes, inside and out.
My practical side won out, though, and I chose a 30 kWh LEAF due to the charging versatility (6.6 kW level 2 and DC quick charge--the Spark EV has quick charge but only 3.3 kW level 2, and the 500e has no quick charge ability), longer range, the ability to rotate the tires front/rear, and the space to carry a spare tire on the trunk floor.
I used to find the previous generation LEAF...well shall we say ugly, but now I can't stop looking at them. The looks have really grown on me.
While I was originally focused on the 2016-17 LEAF SV, mostly for the heat pump climate control, I ended up with an S-trim car, and couldn't be happier. I prefer the seat fabric on the S, the wheels and tire size, and the controls in the center stack. I love not having a touch screen (they get so grimy) or the glossy shifter surround, and my prepaid cell carrier isn't compatible with the user account for the connectivity features of the SV and SL.
I live outside city limits, off dirt roads, and this LEAF takes me everywhere. I can't get enough of it! It's been on two camping trips (one over an 11,300' pass). Nearly every drive is at least 20 miles each way, and even in winter conditions, I return home with range to spare.
You may be aware, but the 4th place in the VIN is how to definitively tell a 24 kWh LEAF from a 30 kWh. For 2017 and earlier, A=24 kWh, B=30 kWh. Although the press release indicated that 2016 S-trims were 24 kWh, there are some 30 kWh 2016 S cars (I drive one) toward the end of the model year. My theory is that the assembly line ran out of 24 kWh packs before the model year ended.
S-trim cars came standard with only 3.3 kW level-2 charging. Look for the quick charge package on these, which have 6.6 kW level 2 and DC quick charge ChaDeMo, like the SV and SL.
You've probably heard about LEAF battery degradation. Fortunately, the LEAF has a capacity gauge (the 12, thin illuminated bars to the right of the range estimation bars) and more precise measurements can be obtained with the LeafSpy app and a Bluetooth dongle. I just selected one that still had all 12 capacity bars, but I don't use LeafSpy. I'm in the habit of not charging much past 80% on a regular basis, to extend life, but some just drive and charge without worrying about it and most don't come out badly.
2016 LEAF S-30 w/QC "Lexie"