While luxurious manufacturers akin to Audi, Jaguar, and Tesla seize headlines with luxurious EVs, the 2021 Nissan Leaf quietly serves the proletariat an reasonably priced, all-electric technique of transportation. While not as flashy as these premium-branded choices, the Leaf affords a spacious cabin. The Leaf’s beginning worth is attractively low, even when in comparison with mainstream EVs such because the Chevy Bolt EV, the Kia Niro EV, and the Hyundai Ioniq Electric. But the usual 40.0-kWh battery pack is sweet for under 149 miles of estimated driving vary, and the Plus fashions—which include a bigger 62.0-kWh pack that enhances vary as much as a extra aggressive 226 miles—price much more. Those on the lookout for driver-assistance options and semi-autonomous driving capabilities will discover the Leaf additionally affords a good set of such applied sciences.
What’s New for 2021?
Nissan’s all-electric Leaf scoots into 2021 with no adjustments in any respect.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The finest deal right here is the S Plus as a result of it carries an inexpensive worth, the longest driving vary, the extra highly effective electrical motor, and nonetheless affords a good set of ordinary gear. It has an 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, automated local weather management, keyless entry with push-button begin, and automated headlamps.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The commonplace Leaf fashions include a 147-horsepower electrical motor that powers the entrance wheels; a 40.0-kWh battery pack offers the juice. Leaf Plus fashions include a gutsier, 214-hp electrical motor and a bigger 62.0-kWh battery. The former managed a 7.4-second zero-to-60-mph time at our check monitor, however it feels perkier than this quantity suggests because of the instantaneous energy supply of the electrical motor. This end result makes it faster than the Volkswagen e-Golf, however slower than the Bolt EV, the BMW i3s, and the Model 3. Upgrading to the extra highly effective Plus fashions will little doubt lead to faster acceleration, however we cannot know till we’re in a position to check them. The Leaf’s e-Pedal function permits the driving force to toggle forwards and backwards between regenerative braking modes, one in every of which permits the automotive to coast when the driving force lifts off the throttle and one other that slows the automotive once you take your foot off the gasoline and makes use of that vitality to recharge the battery.
Range, Charging, and Battery Life
The Leaf will be plugged in to an everyday 120-volt outlet or a 240-volt outlet, however the charging instances range dramatically between the 2. On a 240-volt connection, Nissan says each the usual Leaf’s battery and the bigger one within the Leaf Plus will be replenished in seven hours. A DC fast-charging connection is optionally available on S fashions and commonplace on SV, SL, and all Plus trims. The commonplace Leaf fashions all include a 40.0-kWh battery which offers a comparatively restricted vary of 150 miles. This is likely to be sufficient vary for some drivers with brief commutes however it’s lower than half of what the Model 3’s Long Range mannequin offers. The Leaf Plus offers extra driving vary because of its bigger battery pack. To unlock the Leaf’s most 226 miles of driving vary, you will need to go together with the S Plus trim degree, because the SV Plus and SL Plus fashions are solely rated for 215 miles.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Our SV Plus check car exceeded its EPA freeway score of 94 MPGe by delivering 98 MPGe over our 200-mile freeway fuel-economy check route. However, we solely noticed 180 miles of vary throughout this check, lower than its claimed 215-mile EPA quantity.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Although the cabin of the Leaf S and SVs has loads of black plastic, the well-assembled and uniform textures assist it keep away from trying low-cost. The SL mannequin affords an optionally available light-gray leather-based inside with an identical sprint pad that appears and feels higher. The gauge cluster options a big analog speedometer subsequent to a 7.0-inch digital readout that may be reconfigured to indicate a wide range of shows. The Leaf’s seats are La-Z-Boy comfy; the spacious rear seat affords loads of room for adults, too. Despite the truth that the Leaf’s again seat does not create a flat load ground when folded, we discovered the cargo capability to be among the many finest in its class. We match seven carry-on suitcases behind the again seat and a whopping 19 with the again seat folded. For comparability, the Bolt EV held 5 its their cargo space and maxed out at 16 with its again seats stowed. The Niro EV—which a extra SUV-like bodystyle—held barely extra cargo in our testing, however the Leaf nonetheless is tops amongst electrical automobiles.
Infotainment and Connectivity
All Leaf fashions include the identical 8.0-inch infotainment show with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration; navigation is optionally available. The newest Nissan Connect software program interface, whereas not notably pleasing to the attention, is intuitive and fast to answer inputs. Audiophiles could also be dissatisfied with the Leaf’s commonplace six-speaker audio system; a seven-speaker Bose system is unique to the SL and SL Plus fashions however did not impress us throughout our check drive.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The Leaf has earned a five-star crash check score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and has scored effectively within the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) partially accomplished testing. Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 suite of driver-assistance options are commonplace throughout the lineup and the model’s novel ProPilot Assist semi-autonomous driving mode is offered on SV, SV Plus, and SL trims as a part of the Technology package deal; it is commonplace on the SL Plus. Key security options embrace:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert
- Available adaptive cruise management with semi-autonomous driving mode
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Nissan affords a primary guarantee package deal that covers the identical period of time as the remainder of the Nissan lineup; nevertheless, the Leaf’s battery is roofed for as much as eight years or 100,000 miles.
- Limited guarantee covers 3 years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain guarantee covers 5 years or 60,000 miles
- Battery guarantee covers 8 years or 100,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled upkeep
More Features and Specs