The Nissan Leaf was the first mass-market electric vehicle to come to America when it debuted for the 2011 model year. It’s now in its second generation, which came out for 2018. Nissan has also enhanced the 2020 model with more standard driver-assistance features, more airbags, and standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration.
Pros and Cons:
- Quick, smooth acceleration
- The broad complement of standard driver assistance features
- Offers more range than some similarly priced EVs
- Quiet driving experience
- Lacks a telescoping steering wheel
- Limited small-item storage
- The back seats don’t fold flat
The standard 2020 Leaf models come with a 110-kW electric motor that pumps out 147 horsepower to the front wheels; a 40-kWh battery pack provides the power. Leaf Plus car models come with a gutsier, 214-hp 160-kW electric motor, and a larger 62-kWh battery.
Charging and Battery Life:
Speaking of recharging, the Leaf can be plugged into a regular 120-volt outlet or a 240-volt outlet, but the charging times vary dramatically between the two. On 240-volt electricity, Nissan says both the standard Leaf’s battery and the larger one in the Leaf Plus can be replenished in seven hours.
The standard Leaf car models all come with a 40-kWh battery which provides a relatively limited range of 150 miles. This electric car accelerates quickly from a stop, drives gracefully, and can go up to 226 miles on a single charge.
Interior and Cargo space:
The cabin features comfortable seating and user-friendly technology. All Leaf models come with the same 8.0-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration; navigation is optional. Nissan’s latest Connect software interface, while not particularly pleasing to the eye, is intuitive and quick to respond to inputs. Audiophiles may be disappointed with the Leaf’s standard six-speaker audio system, and a seven-speaker Bose system is exclusive to the SL and SL Plus models.
5 seater Nissan Leaf has comfortable front seats, and head- and legroom in both rows is mostly sufficient. However, the rear middle seat doesn’t have much legroom because of the placement of the battery. Outward visibility is generally excellent.
The Nissan Leaf car model has 23.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats and 30 cubic feet with the second row folded down. Those values are excellent for the hybrid and electric car class. However, the back seats don’t fold flat.
The 2020 nissan Leaf is one of the least expensive all-electric new cars you can buy. For that reason, it should be near the top of the list of budget and eco-conscious shoppers. Pricing starts at $31,600 for 40kWh.