2020 LEAF New Car Test Drive
The Nissan Leaf is an all-electric compact hatchback that has an excellent range. Depending on the version and battery pack, it can go between 150 miles and 226 miles on a single charge.
For 2020, every Leaf is equipped with an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and active safety equipment including automatic emergency braking (forward and rear), active lane control, and blind-spot monitors.
The base Leaf uses an electric motor with 40-kwh lithium-iron battery pack, and the Leaf Plus has a 62-kwh pack. Most Leafs will charge on a Level 2 home charger completely in about 12 hours, or can quick-charge at a nearby fast-charging station up to 80% in about 45 minutes.
The Leaf will comfortably seat four adults, while five adults will be a crowd. There is 23.6 cubic feet of cargo behind the upright rear seat, which is a lot more than the trunk of even a large sedan.
It's a bit confusing, but there are different Leafs with similar names with different ranges. The regular Leaf with its smaller battery can go an EPA-rated 150 miles. The Leaf Plus can go 215 miles. The Leaf S Plus can go 226 miles, thanks to different wheels.
Nissan says the Leaf Plus can recharge up to 80% on a 240-volt Level 2 charger (commonly found at charge points in cities and installed at home for new EV owners) in about 11.5 hours. On a 50-kw fast-charger found at some larger charge stations, the Leaf can charge up to 80% in about 45 minutes.
Leaf SV and higher trims get standard adaptive cruise control and can be fitted with active driving assistants that can help steer, stop, and start the Leaf on long drives or in stop-and-go traffic.
The Leaf is sold in S and SV trim levels, while the Leaf Plus is sold in S, SV, and SL trims.
The base Leaf S with 150 miles of range costs $32,525, before any applicable state or federal tax incentives, and the top Leaf Plus SL with 215 miles of range costs $44,825, including destination. Upgrading the Leaf's 40-kwh battery to a 62-kwh battery costs about $6,000, although it varies between S and SV trims.
The base Leaf S for $32,525 gets cloth trim, 16-inch wheels with covers, an 8.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, Bluetooth connectivity, and active safety features. A fast charger is optional for $1,690.
For $35,115 for the Leaf SV, still with the 40-kw battery, adds 17-inch wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, upgraded audio, navigation, and adaptive cruise control. Options include heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and heat pump for $900, and driver-assistance features and upgraded headlights for $1,600 or $2,000 depending on battery size.
The Leaf Plus S adds a fast-charger to the Leaf S.
The Leaf Plus SV costs $40,675, including destination.
The Leaf Plus SL for $44,825 adds 17-inch wheels, leather upholstery, a heat pump for cabin heating, heated seats and steering wheel, ProPilot Assist, and navigation.