History / Overview
The Nissan Leaf is one of the cars credited with bringing electric power to the mainstream, even if its $42,000-plus starting price remains on the high side for a compact hatchback. Nissan redesigned the Leaf into its second generation in 2018.
What's New / Key Changes from Last Year
For 2020, the Safety Shield 360 suite of active safety/driver assist features is standard; last year, it was not included in the S Plus trim, the least expensive version of the car with the larger of two battery packs and a more potent drivetrain.
Nissan offers the Leaf in SV, S Plus, SV Plus and SL Plus trims. The Plus models use a 62-kWh battery pack that boasts a longer driving range and power output than the 40-kWh pack in the SV model.
S Plus starts out with 16-inch tires on alloy wheels, auto on/off headlights, LED headlights and daytime running lights, and heated/power-adjsutable side mirrors.
The cabin is fitted with navigation, passive keyless entry, Bluetooth, a 7.0-inch digital gauge cluster display, automatic climate control, power windows and door locks, cruise control, heated front and rear seats and steering wheel, a 6-speaker stereo with 8.0-inch touchscreen, and satellite radio.
Standard safety kit includes intelligent lane intervention, blind spot monitoring and intervention, rear cross traffic alert, tire pressure monitoring, and forward collision warning.
SV and SV Plus gain 17-inch wheels and tires, fog lights, Nissan Connect EV, an integrated garage door opener, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a cargo cover, automatic high beams, electric parking brake, an 8-way power driver's seat, steering assist, and adaptive cruise control.
SL Plus brings side mirrors with integrated turn signals, 360-degree exterior camera views, leather seating, and a Bose 7-speaker stereo with QVGA display.
Nissan's energy consumption estimates for the Leaf are 1.9/2.4 Le/100 km (city/highway) for the SV and its lower-capacity battery, and 2.0/2.4 for the longer-range Plus variants.
Nissan's key competition for the Leaf comes from Hyundai Motor Groups's Kona and Kia Soul EV models, and the Chevrolet Bolt. There are also plug-in hybrids to consider, like the Toyota Prius Prime. The Volkswagen e-Golf provides EV driving with a shorter range, but also a lower starting price.