2020 Nissan Leaf Road Test and Review

When many people consider planet today, they’re likely picturing a Tesla. The company’s cutting-edge vibe, lengthy ranges per charge, sports-vehicle driving experience, and luxury-vehicle style make certain its selection will get observed. But Teslas will also be priced like luxury cars. The company’s entry-level Model 3 compact sedan starts at $40,000 and increases rapidly. What’s more, unlike the majority of today’s electric vehicles, you can’t obtain a Tesla having a $7,500 federal tax credit — Teslas have offered very well, the organization already burned through its allocation of tax credits.

If you’re searching to get rid of gasoline out of your existence with no luxury cost tag, we present the 2020 Nissan LEAF: minimal costly fully electric vehicle (EV) offered within the U.S. It starts at $31,600, which falls to $24,100 once you element in that tax credit. The 5-door Leaf is much more of the compact economy vehicle than the usual luxury vehicle, and it must recharge more frequently than Teslas do. But when a comparatively spacious and cost-effective EV sounds appealing, keep studying.

The Affordable EV

Once we stated, the 2020 Nissan LEAF may be the least costly EV available on the market, having a base cost of $31,600 ($24,100 after its federal tax credit). Nissan hiked the cost this season from 2019’s $29,900, however that makes up about a number of new standard safety and infotainment features. The bottom Leaf S model’s high-finish equipment includes advanced driver-assist technology, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and automatic heating and cooling. The Leaf SV ($34,190) is outfitted track of alloy wheels, fog lights, along with a leather-wrapped controls, and in addition it adds adaptive cruise control, a navigation system, along with a six-speaker seem system.

The more-range Leaf Plus costs roughly $6,000 greater than the conventional model: $38,200 for that S Plus (that can bring a couple of additional features when compared to base S) and $39,750 for that SV Plus. There’s additionally a $43,900 SL Plus with leather upholstery, which is not on the conventional Leaf, along with other luxury add-ons which are optional around the SV. Included in this are heated seats, a heated controls, along with a premium Bose seem system.

Simple to Drive

The 2020 Nissan LEAF has easygoing driving manners, with light, natural-feeling steering, an even ride, and agreeably agile handling. Its suspension is tuned to accept edge off bumps earlier than to carve corners, but as with a Tesla, battery pack keeps its center of gravity low and central — supplying excellent stability and balance.

It’s also quick. The conventional Leaf bakes an unremarkable 147 horsepower, however that figure disguises its hearty 236 lb-foot of torque. What’s more, unlike a gasoline engine, an motor unit keeps peak torque available immediately rather than roars using the effort. The Leaf Plus has 215 horsepower and 251 lb-foot of torque, however the real-world difference is minimal. The Leaf is simple they are driving as with every other vehicle, but you may also activate its “E-Pedal” that basically brakes the vehicle simply whenever you lift from the accelerator — helping charge the battery again when you achieve this. However, we prefer competitors that provide a broader selection of “regenerative braking” modes as opposed to the Nissan’s on/off switch.

Does not Scream ‘Electric’

Last redesigned in 2018, the Nissan LEAF is really a cleanly styled five-door hatchback with attractive lines with no apparent cues that it’s an electrical vehicle. That’s a blessing along with a curse when compared to first-generation Leaf, which was out more using their company traffic but was harder to “pretty.” That old model didn’t have front grille — because planet don’t require an opening for air to assist awesome the engine — but today’s Leaf wears the familial Nissan front finish anyway. The charging port remains around the front from the vehicle, but it’s subtle the original Leaf managed to get a leading styling statement.

The Leaf’s interior also lacks the strongly high-tech believe that you’d get in a Tesla or perhaps a hybrid such as the Toyota Prius. It feels and looks just like a conventional economy car’s, and never a daring one at this. The look uses mostly simple rectangles, having a conventional 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system in the center of the dashboard. Couple of cabin materials are fancy, and also the SL Plus’s leather upholstery is much more sturdy than opulent. Just the gear selector comes with an electric-vehicle vibe — the little round knob carries over in the original Leaf.

User-Friendly Controls

A large plus side towards the Leaf’s unimaginative interior planning is the fact that things are easy to determine. While Tesla famously moved almost all controls right into a giant touchscreen, Nissan declined to reinvent the wheel. You receive buttons, knobs, and stalks for common functions, with simple physical controls for anything you’d want to use rapidly. No submenus, no taking your vision in the road to search for the thing you need. We all do wish Nissan had made an intricate and comprehensive display for that Leaf’s range and efficiency data, though.

For 2020, Nissan added the 8-inch infotainment system as standard equipment even around the base Leaf, a welcome upgrade. That’s still barely half how big a Tesla Model 3 screen, however it can be useful for what it’s. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration are actually standard equipment too.

Spacious Interior

The Nissan Leaf’s function-focused design continues into its spacious interior. Being an upright hatchback, it’s more passenger and cargo space than the usual Tesla Model 3 sedan, by having an open and airy feel. There’s enough legroom and headroom for four adults to sit down easily, along with a fifth will easily fit in a pinch.

The Leaf supplies a generous 24 cubic ft of cargo space in the deep trunk, and you may fold the trunk seat lower inside a 60/40 split to grow capacity. However, the folded rear seatbacks are high over the cargo floor, which means you don’t obtain the convenient flat working surface that’s common in modern hatchbacks and crossovers. The Leaf Plus and standard Leaf have a similar interior volume the Plus’s greater-capacity battery didn’t have to intrude in to the cabin.

Safety Comes Standard

We pointed out the 2020 Nissan LEAF presently has more standard safety and driver-assistance features. More specifically, fraxel treatments includes front and back automatic emergency braking with forward pedestrian recognition, blind-place monitoring having a rear cross-traffic alert, along with a lane-departure warning with automatic steering corrections. Extra-cost additions include adaptive cruise control (standard on basically the S and S Plus) and Nissan’s ProPilot Assist (optional around the SV and SV Plus, standard around the SL Plus), which extends the adaptive cruise control along with other systems to prevent-and-go traffic conditions.

The 2020 Leaf hasn’t been crash-tested through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or even the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Other Fuel-Savers to think about

The Hyundai Ioniq Electric may be the next-least-costly EV following the Leaf, beginning at $33,045. Its 170-mile range slots between your standard Leaf and also the Leaf Plus. Backward and forward, the Leaf feels roomier however the Ioniq feels more high-tech because of newer and more effective updates this season. However, the Leaf can be obtained nationwide and also the Hyundai is just offered in a number of states.

If you’d prefer to repay for additional range, other options to a Leaf Plus range from the Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia Niro EV, Chevrolet Secure, and also the Tesla Model 3. Each beats the Leaf’s range and feels greater-tech. Of those, the Secure and Niro would be the most spacious, as the Hyundai and particularly the Tesla would be the most upscale and sporty. While every one has similar sticker prices towards the Leaf Plus, the Chevrolet and Tesla no more entitled to the $7,500 federal tax credit such as the Nissan, Hyundai, and Kia. Another fuel-saving choice is a plug-in hybrid, which provides a modest quantity of all-electric range (frequently 25 to 50 miles) before a gasoline engine activates this enables you to use virtually no gas while commuting, while still allowing lengthy journeys. Leaders range from the Honda Clearness, Hyundai Ioniq PHEV, and Toyota Prius Prime.

A Small-Effort Approach to Eliminate Gasoline

The Nissan LEAF doesn’t ensure it is awesome to operate a vehicle an electric vehicle. It doesn’t appear like it’s later on or provide sports-vehicle-like performance. Rather, it’s going about the entire process of a useful, decently affordable compact vehicle — all without ever burning any gasoline.

Our choice within the selection could be the Leaf SV while using standard 149-mile battery. It offers a number of useful features and enough range for everyday use, at prices that deeply undercut just about any competitor. True, it’s not ready for a extended road trip. But also for motorists who don’t need to take their electric vehicle on across five states, the Leaf can be a sensible, economical choice.