At its 2012 introduction, the Nissan Leaf was one of the auto industry’s first electric vehicles aimed at a mainstream audience. Nissan redesigned this battery-powered compact hatchback into a second generation in 2018. There are no changes for the 2021 model year.
Nissan offers the Leaf in SV, S Plus, SV Plus and SL Plus trim levels. The “Plus” designation indicates a larger battery with longer driving range and better performance.
Despite its higher price and more sophisticated drivetrain, the S Plus is the true entry-level trim in terms of equipment, not the SV.
S Plus’s exterior kit comprises 16-inch alloy wheels, auto on/off LED headlights, heated/power-adjustable side mirrors, passive keyless entry, and A/C with automatic temperature control. Inside, there’s an 8.0-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated front seats and steering wheel, and a four-speaker stereo with satellite radio.
S Plus’s safety package comprises blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot intervention, tire pressure monitoring, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection/automatic braking, and a rear door alert.
SV and SV Plus add 17-inch wheels, fog lights, navigation, 360-degree camera views, an auto-dimming mirror, a garage door remote, electric parking brake, a power driver’s seat, leather-trimmed steering wheel, a six-speaker sound system, and a driver alertness monitor. This trim also brings Nissan’s ProPilot highway driving assist system, with intelligent cruise and steering assist.
SL Plus trim gets side mirrors with turn signal repeaters, leather seating, and a Bose seven-speaker stereo.
As of this writing, Nissan hadn’t published energy consumption estimates for the 2021 Leaf, but its figures should be the same as, or similar to, those for the 2020 model: 1.9/2.4 Le/100 km (city/highway) for the SV model, 2.0/2.4 Le/100 km for S Plus trim, and 2.1/2.5 Le/100 km (city/highway) for SV and SL Plus versions.
The Nissan Leaf’s strongest competitors are Kia’s Soul and Niro EV models, the Hyundai Kona Electric, and the Chevrolet Bolt. Hyundai also makes an electric version of the Ioniq, but it can’t match the Leaf’s driving range.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed