We're not going to question Nissan on its ongoing claim that its Leaf is the best-selling EV in the world. After all, the Japanese company was the first to bring a fully-electric car to a mass-market audience, even if its price was pretty high for a compact hatchback.
Since then, the Leaf's price has become far more accessible. And as we write this, Nissan is working up the Leaf Plus, its next play for market-wide acceptance. It's a longer range model that will promise more than 360 km from a higher density battery.
But that's set for either a late 2019 or early 2020 model year debut. For now, the news for the 2019 Nissan Leaf is the addition of the company's new rear door alert system. It reminds the driver to check the back seat for valuables, pets and even small children.
The Leaf is still offered in S, SV and SL trim levels. Prices have gone up, however.
All Leaf trims promise 242 km of driving range. An electric motor provides 147 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. There is no transmission, per se. This second-generation Leaf introduced a one-pedal driving system that uses the car's regenerative braking to do most of the work, saving wear on the friction brakes.
Leaf competitors include the Chevrolet Bolt, the Volkswagen e-Golf and Ford Focus Electric. You could also include plug-in hybrids, but we consider them more as gateway drugs to the true EV market segment.
Standard features in S trim include 16-inch steel wheels with covers. There are also automatic on/off LED headlights, heated side mirrors and LED daytime running lights. Passive keyless entry is included too, along with automatic climate control, heated front and rear seats, six-way driver and four-way front passenger seat adjustments, cloth upholstery and a heated and leather-trimmed steering wheel. Tech features include a four-speaker stereo with 5.0-inch touchscreen, satellite radio and USB input.
SV trim adds 17-inch alloy wheels. This model also adds fog lights. Other features include a garage door opener, automatic high beam headlights and an electric parking brake. Inside, the Leaf SV brings an eight-way power driver's seat with lumbar, a 7.0-inch infotainment display, navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a six-speaker stereo.
Finally, SL models get a 360-degree exterior camera system, leather seats and a seven-speaker stereo.
Advanced safety features are included in the SV and SL models. They get blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert and lane departure intervention. There's also the ProPilot Assist system, which eases driver stress in heavy traffic by keeping the car centered in its lane and a safe distance from the one ahead.
Nissan's energy consumption estimates for the Leaf are 1.9/2.4 Le/100 km (city/highway) in S trim. SV and SL's highway rating improves slightly to 2.3 Le/100 km.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed