Have owned both and actually traded in my '12 LEAF for a lightly used '15 e-Golf as my LEAF could no longer 'easily' make my 52 mile R/T highway commute in the colder months here in the Midwest -- the e-Golf was my stop-gap EV while I waited for my Model 3 which of course is no comparison to either of them (at least the earliest versions of LEAF/e-Golf).
Both of these cars depreciate quite fast; I bought my e-Golf at about a year old at half its original MSRP and with only a little over 1K miles on it -- it was owned by a VW executive out on the East coast and I bought it through Carmax. Drove it for about a year, put 12K miles on it and it only depreciated another $3K during that time so was definitely the way to go.
Anyway -- pro's on the e-Golf; definitely more 'sporty' than the LEAF; as my son owns a Golf R and have driven both GTI's and Golf R's they are much stiffer than this e-Golf with its much more eco-rated tires (mine was an LE with steel rims and hubcaps; not the bigger alloy wheels) ride was firm but NOT punishing; much better turn in on ramps, curves, etc. and did not wallow like the softer sprung LEAF -- seemed to handle most bumps, etc. fine.
Range-range-range -- this is where the e-Golf beat the early LEAF hands down -- even on the coldest days the e-Golf would still show decent range after my daily commute; will assume the battery degradation curve will be better over time than the air-cooled battery on the LEAF but that will be up to the next owner of it.
Looks -- the VW Golf line has clean lines; my e-Golf had a few trim accents to set it apart but nothing that screams its an EV; I happen to like that -- the LEAF was not really a car you would call 'handsome' -- functional yes but not something you would buy for its looks!
Controls -- most people transitioning from an ICE to EV would find the e-Golf very easy to start driving -- also like the stepped controls for more aggressive regen; was quite fun on off ramps, etc. -- not as aggressive as my Model 3 but more fun to drive than the LEAF ever was.
Seats and fit and finish -- my LEAF had the light colored cloth seats, fit and finish was good, the e-Golf LE had grey/charcoal cloth seats - these (I would think) should hold up better and the it seemed to use less hard plastic surfaces than the LEAF so very slight advantage to the e-Golf.
Cons -- for my garage anyway, having the charge port in the front of the LEAF was nice, just pull it in and use only a portion of the 20' L2 cable from my wall charger -- the e-Golf does have the charge port on the driver's side but at the back (same spot as the ICE gas door) so have to drag the cable longer - also, no heated steering wheel on the e-Golf vs. the LEAF BUT, having to constantly switch it back on was a pain; of course my Model 3 doesn't have a heated steering wheel either but heats up much faster than either of these so no contest.
We liked the e-Golf so much that when my wife's smart ED gets returned from its lease in July of 2021 I will probably get another used one with the bigger battery but we'll see what new EV's are out by then -- VW may have their other new models available by then but as most mfg's will be delaying things due to much lighter sales and closed plants time will tell.
Bottom line -- I have a long history with owning VW's having at least one in my garage in various forms all the way back to the early '80's; the only disappointment was a VW Routan which in reality was a re-badged Chrysler Town & Country so I should have known better -- they are well designed and engineered with the driver in mind -- don't get me wrong, I enjoyed my LEAF for the 5 years I owned it and definitely a tip of the hat to Nissan for being really the first with a viable EV for sale nationally in the US and not just a 'compliance' car (for instance, you still can't buy a new e-Golf other than in the 10 Zero Emissions states today; looks like CO will be the 11th).
Lastly -- be sure to check with your local Nissan or VW dealer to be sure they will service it; the same goes for other makes you're considering that may be 'compliance' cars -- at the time I was considering a used e-Golf, I also checked out a few others and besides the e-Golf being the best pick that I wanted, my local VW dealer had been trained on it as well as they had a charger set up in their service center.
2018 smart ED Brabus (leased)
Sapphire Blue Metallic
2017 Tesla Model 3 LR RWD; FSD; 19" sport wheels
2015 VW e-Golf LE (traded-in for Model 3)
2012 Nissan LEAF SL (traded-in at 5 yrs; 46K miles)
EVSE: 10/07/11 Schneider EVlink