KeiJidosha wrote:Drove FFE and LEAF back to back today at EVS26. Short street only course. LEAF feels more roomy, with a smoother ride. Focus more sporty, tighter suspension tune. LEAF has better B pedal regen integration. Trunk volume is a wash, but shape is different. Not decisive, but Focus is very appealing.
I got to drive the FFE also today. I agree with KieJidosha's assessment. FFE cockpit is tighter but still roomy enough for this 6 footer of average girth, doesn't have the LEAF's airy, open feel, but is more sporty. Seating is lower than in the LEAF because the batteries are not placed underneath the seating area, and I'm starting to notice that I prefer a lower seating position than that in the LEAF. Leather steering wheel is nice, and cloth seat material is grippier, looks and feels more durable than LEAF's seats. Interior trim level is same as ICE Focus Titanium level, so quite nice, comes with rear parking sensors and, I was told, rear view camera in addition.
I didn't sit in rear seats, but that area looked more cramped than LEAF's and FFE roofline slopes back more quickly than LEAF's, so it appears that rear head room is more limited on FFE. As familiar as I am with LEAF's rear luggage space, I'd say that the FFE's rear space is more cramped due to the intrusion of the battery pack, though the FFE's space is larger front to back than LEAF's. Still, the LEAF's luggage space is deep and tall and IMO is larger and more flexible and usable than FFE's.
Steering on the FFE is nice and tight, more connected and less serenely overboosted than LEAF's. Motor response was good and quick and the car felt responsive to the pedal and it rewards enthusiastic driving. With the tight city course we had available, it wasn't possible to judge handling and road holding, so the FFE's higher center of gravity and large battery mass at the extreme rear of the car weren't a factor. If I were to guess, I'd say that this issue wouldn't show up for the average driver in daily use, but more so if the car were pushed hard on a road course. Brake regen was mild and not noticeable, though I didn't shift into L gear, where regen is apparently stronger.
The EV-specific instrumentation on the main dash was pretty and colorful, but lacked quantitative kW usage feedback that the LEAF offers on the energy display. The FFE has colorful bar graphs, but as I recall, they weren't labeled as to scale. Instead of growing trees, the FFE grows butterflies. Pure fluff, both. I remember seeing a GOM, but no SOC percentage display.
All in all, I'd say that the FFE is attractively designed both outside and inside, has nice interior materials, feels more sporty to drive due to the lower seating position, grippier seats, leather wheel, and more aggressive acceleration. But the interior is less spacious than the LEAF's especially in the rear seats, width, leg room, head room and luggage area. Instruments on the LEAF are better, especially the energy use display.
If I had the two cars to choose from head-to-head, my personal choice for a driver's car would be the FFE, but that is only because I value sporty driving over interior space. I'd truly be hard pressed, though, because the FFE lacks any kind of quick charge capability beyond its 6.6 kW standard charger, and because the FFE is $40,000.
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