Nissan leaf has taken unprecedented steps.
Nissan’s 2nd Leaf, which debuted for the 2018 model year, is now the segment’s grand old man in the United States. The facelift replaced the old model’s quirky design with something more in step with the current Nissan offerings. Better still, a new Plus model is available, which halves the original Leaf’s range and boosts its efficiency.
The four-door, the five-seat hatchback is available in five different grades and with a choice of two engines. There is a 147-horsepower dc motor and a 40.0 kWh rechargeable battery in the basic Leaf S and Leaf SV, allowing for a peak value of 149 miles. The Leaf S, SV, and SL Plus have an upgraded 214-horsepower electric motor and a 62.0-kWh battery combination, which together can carry the car for up to 226 miles. The CHAdeMO quick-charging port is now standard on all 2022 Leaf models, and the top SV Plus trim receives Nissan’s ProPilot Assist semi-autonomous operating mode.
Nissan has taken the unprecedented step of reducing prices across the board this year. An additional $4,195 has been slashed from the basic price of a 2021 Leaf S, bringing it down to $28,425. At the other extreme, the base price of an SL Plus model has dropped to $38,425 from $40,495 in 2021. All of the Leaf models provide comparable cost reductions. The federal, state and local tax breaks that may be applicable are not included in the $1,025.
Despite the Leaf’s essential role in establishing the EV market, the market is now crowded with newcomers from almost every automaker. The Leaf is the clear low-price leader, at least among basic models, while the Bolt and Mini Cooper SE, and the Hyundai Kona Electric are not far behind. Despite this, the inside is not flimsy and provides plenty of room and a pleasant atmosphere. Particularly in the front seats, there is ample space for even the tallest of college football linebackers to stretch out in comfort.
The Leaf has front legroom of 42.1 inches and a headroom of 41.2 inches, while the Bolt provides 44.3 inches and 40.3 inches, the Mini 41.4 inches and 40.3 inches, and the Kona 41.5 inches and 39.6 inches, respectively, according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
While the Bolt and Mini both have more immediate driving qualities, the Leaf strikes a nice balance that makes it a pleasant everyday driver. Until you hit a particular size bump or flaw on the road, the ride is completely smooth. The impact then propagates into the cabin with some dampening, but there is never a sense that the suspension is being overworked, and there are no accompanying rattles.
To blame are the low-rolling-resistance 17-inch 215/50 Michelin Energy Saver tires; the 16-inch 205/55 tires used on the basic models have a somewhat thicker sidewall and may help soften the ride a little.
Amidst a plethora of EV upstarts with cutting-edge aesthetics and expanded range estimates (including Nissan’s own Ariya), it’s easy to write off the Leaf as an antiquated relic. However, it continues to deliver an excellent mix of range, established technology, and comfort at an incredible price. The Nissan Leaf, regardless of its engine, is an excellent choice for first-time EV buyers and those with a regular commute.
The 2022 Nissan Leaf is offered two different engines. The electric motor in the standard Nissan Leaf S and SV produces 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque from a 40-kilowatt-hour battery pack. The electric motor in the higher-end Leaf S, SV, and SL Plus models is rated at 214 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. of twisting force and a battery pack producing 62.0 kilowatt-hours. The Plus engine brings the Leaf up to date, but the predecessor is just 17 lb-ft weaker.
While the Leaf Plus can accomplish a 0-60 mph sprint in under 7 seconds, that time doesn’t do justice to the massive amount of instantaneous power at its disposal. It is possible to get a chirp from the front tires with a slight turn of the wheel and a pressing of the accelerator. While this is typical with EVs in general, it’s encouraging to see that the Leaf can be sneaky despite its typically mild demeanor.
As expected, the steering is lifeless, although there is a discernible on-center valley that keeps the vehicle on course through potholes. The battery pack allows for a low center of gravity, which improves turn-in accuracy and gives the car a solid, rooted feel. It’s not a sports vehicle and it doesn’t try to pass itself off as one, but its frugal electric motor is a plus.