2019 Nissan LEAF Reviews

2019 LEAF New Car Test Drive

Introduction

For 2019 Nissan introduces the all-electric Leaf Plus, joining the all-electric Leaf that has been around since 2011. The Leaf Plus has a 62-kwh battery pack, giving it an EPA-rated range of 226 miles on the stripped-down model to 215 miles on the others (under ideal conditions), versus the 40-kwh battery pack of the plain old Leaf, which has a range of 150 miles. 

The Leaf Plus is one of the very few all-electric cars that gets enough miles on a full battery charge that you might be able to take an actual road trip in it. 

In 2018 the Leaf got new hatchback styling inside and out, new available driver-assist features, better handling, more power from the electric motor, and more battery capacity that increased the range over what it was in 2017. 

The new Leaf Plus gets an even more powerful motor that enables it to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in less than 7 seconds. It makes 214 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque, which might enable it to do burnouts if not for the electronic traction controls. 

Powertrain aside, the Leaf is similar to any internal-combustion subcompact, with a straightforward interior, smooth ride, and same cargo space. However the cabin is much quieter. The Leaf Plus is a bit heavier and has a slightly higher ride height than the Leaf light, because of its bigger battery pack.

There are a few ways to charge the Leaf. The regular Leaf takes 7.5 hours to charge from flat to full using a 240-volt outlet, or 16 hours on standard 120-volt outlet. AC. The Leaf Plus takes longer: 11.5 hours on a 240-volt outlet.

Both Leafs have the capability to be charged on a fast-charging system called CHAdeMO DC. The Leaf can handle 50 kw and can be charged to 80 percent in 40 minutes, while the Leaf Plus can do 100 kw and can be charged to 80 percent in 45 minutes. 

The 2019 Leaf has not yet been crash-tested or safety-rated by the NHTSA, and the IIHS (insurance industry) has only done a few tests. The Leaf earned the top 'good'? scores in the moderate overlap front and side tests, as well as for its head restraints.

Standard safety equipment includes automatic emergency braking and forward-collision warnings. Optional safety equipment on upper models includes blind-spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alert, and a pedestrian detection system. There is also an available system called ProPilot Assist, which is adaptive cruise control working with active lane control to help keep the car centered in its lane on the freeway. 

Lineup

The Leaf and Leaf Plus each comes in three models, the S, SV, and SL. Prices (before incentives) run from more than $31,000 to more than $43,000. It's only the Leaf Plus S that gets the range of 226 miles.

The Leaf S comes standard with cruise control, keyless ignition, automatic climate control, steel wheels, a 5.0-inch display screen, and a CD sound system with four speakers. 

The SV for $33,500 adds adaptive cruise control, fog lamps, and 17-inch alloy wheels with higher-mileage Michelin Energy Saver tires, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, as well as navigation, satellite radio, HD Radio, and NissanConnect EV telematics services, to allow remote battery monitoring and climate pre-conditioning. Options begin to be available with the SV, such as an All Weather Package with heated seats, heated steering wheel, heated mirrors, rear climate ducts, and a hybrid heater using a heat pump.

The SL at more than $37,000 adds Bose premium audio, heated outside mirrors with integrated turn signals, LED headlamps and running lamps, a power driver's seat, leather upholstery, front heated seats, and rear climate control ducts.

The Leaf Plus models add about $6,000 to the price. They're similarly equipped, but with an 8.0-inch infotainment screen.

The Leaf Plus SV and SL models make available an optional Technology Package with ProPilot Assist, a more flexible adaptive cruise control system, pedestrian detection and cross-traffic assist.

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