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.
- WHAT’S NEW:
- Nissan Safety Shield 360 standard on all Leaf models
- More airbags added for front and rear occupants
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard
- Part of the second Leaf generation introduced for 2018
Pros & Cons
- Quick, smooth acceleration
- 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
In base form, the 2020 Leaf is one of the more affordable EVs around. For the money, you get 150 miles of estimated range and a 147-horsepower electric motor. If you’re looking for an accessible EV for typical city commuting, it’s a solid choice. Alternatively, you can upgrade to the 214-hp Leaf Plus that has an estimated range of up to 226 miles.
There are more choices for an electric vehicle than ever before. Topping the list is the Tesla Model 3. It’s more expensive than the Leaf, but it’s a lot more rewarding to drive and has an arguably higher prestige factor. We’re also partial to the Kia Niro EV and the Hyundai Kona Electric. These models have crossover SUV-like styling and more range than the Leaf. Overall, however, the pioneering Leaf still has a seat at the table and is certainly worth a look if you’re shopping for an affordable and well-equipped EV.