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2019 Nissan Leaf Review

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The Nissan Leaf, launched nearly a decade ago, has consistently ranked among the best-selling electric vehicles in the world. However, it’s been all eyes on the Tesla Model 3 since it arrived on the scene. Nissan is looking to recapture some of that attention with the second-generation Leaf which can travel up to 150 miles on a fully-charged battery. The new, 2019 Leaf Plus version increases battery power to travel up to 226 miles on a single charge.

With six total trims to choose from, the five-passenger Leaf hatchback boasts plenty of space for a compact car and comes standard  with an infotainment system and a 5-inch display screen. Nissan’s ProPilot Assist semi-autonomous technology system that helps steer, accelerate and brake without driver input comes standard on the highest trim and is optional on others.

2019 Nissan Leaf pricing and trims

The 2019 Nissan Leaf begins at $29,990 and is offered in three trims: S, SV and SL. It’s powered by a 147-horsepower electric motor and 40-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. The newer and more powerful Leaf Plus edition features a 214-horsepower electric motor and a 62 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. The Leaf Plus comes in three trims: S Plus, SV Plus and SL Plus.

The Leaf is front-wheel drive and has a single-speed transmission.

Here are the standard features equipped on each trim level:

Trim S SV SL S Plus SV Plus SL Plus
MSRP $29,990 $32,600 $36,300 $36,550 $38,510 $42,550
Standard Features Push-Button Start, 120-Volt Portable Charging Cable, 5-inch Display 17-inch Alloy Wheels, Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel, Nissan Connect System, Apple CarPlay/ Android Auto LED Headlights, Heated Front Seats, Leather Upholstery Same as S trim plus Nissan Connect with 8” Touch Screen Same as SV trim Same as SL trim

 *All MSRPs are the lowest base price for each trim. The feature list is not exhaustive.

What’s next? Once you pick out the car you want, a car loan may be next. It doesn’t hurt your credit to apply to multiple lenders any more than it does to apply to one if you do all your applications within a 14-day window. If you need a car loan, potential lenders could include Nissan financing, or your bank, credit union or online lender. You could also fill out an online form at LendingTree to receive up to five potential auto loan offers from lenders at once, depending on your creditworthiness.

2019 Nissan Leaf safety

The 2019 Nissan Leaf earned top scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). It has not yet been rated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) .

Nissan ProPilot Assist, the automaker’s semi-autonomous driving system that can steer, accelerate and brake without driver input, comes standard on the Leaf’s top-of-the-line SL Plus trim. It is available in all trims except for the base model as part of a Technology package starting at $650.

The Leaf comes with the following safety equipment:

S Trim

  • Rearview Camera
  • Automatic Emergency Braking applies the brakes if the car senses a crash is imminent.

SV Trim

  • Intelligent Cruise Control detects the location of the car in front to regulate speed and maintain a safe distance while cruise control is engaged.

SL Trim

  • Intelligent Around View Monitor, a 360-degree camera helpful when pulling into or out of a tight parking space or corner.
  • Blind Spot Warning alerts the driver to the presence of cars, pedestrians and bicyclists in the car’s blind spot.
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert detects cars and pedestrians in the car’s path when in reverse.
  • Intelligent Driver Alertness monitors the driver for signs of distraction

S Plus Trim

  • Forward Collision Warning uses radar to detect a potential collision in the car’s path.

SV Plus Trim

  • Intelligent Cruise Control

SL Plus Trim

  • Intelligent Lane Intervention reads lane markers to help keep the car in its lane
  • ProPilot Assist, a semi-autonomous technology system that helps steer, accelerate and brake without driver input

2019 Nissan Leaf competitor comparison

Vehicle 2019 Nissan Leaf 2019 Chevrolet Bolt 2019 Tesla Model 3
Base MSRP $29,990 $36,620 $38,990
Standard Technology 5-inch Display Screen, Bluetooth, Satellite Radio, Four-Speaker Sound System 10.2-inch Touch Screen, Six-Speaker Sound System, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay/ Android Auto, Voice Command 15-inch Touch Screen, Bluetooth, Navigation, All-Wheel Drive
Expert Scores 4.2 4.3 4.5
Fuel Economy Combined/City/Hwy 118/97/108 MPGe 128/110/119 MPGe 138/124/131 MPGe

Prices listed here are the lowest base MSRP for each model. Expert scores take an average of Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds expert ratings when available. Standard features lists a few key features included in the lowest trim level for each vehicle at no additional cost, but is not an exhaustive list of all technology. Fuel economy is as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The Nissan Leaf competes against the Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3  electric cars. At 238 miles, the Chevrolet Bolt has a longer electric range than even the range-topping Nissan Leaf Plus edition. The Bolt also features superior performance and handling and almost twice as much cargo space than the Leaf. Chevy’s electric car comes standard with more technology including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a larger touch screen.

Nissan Leaf vs. Tesla Model 3

The Tesla Model 3 boasts a longer range than either the Leaf or the Bolt, delivering about 240 miles per charge. That increases to 310 miles for models equipped with Tesla’s long-range battery. Tesla owners benefit from the automaker’s extensive supercharging network, which can charge half of one of its car batteries in 30 minutes. Like the Bolt, the Model 3 also provides stronger driving dynamics, better handling and more power and acceleration than the Leaf. Tesla’s entry-level electric vehicle features a more upscale cabin than either the Leaf or the Bolt, as well as standard features including a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot and navigation.

The Leaf’s starting price is nearly $7,000 less than the Bolt and $9,000 less than the Model 3. If either Leaf competitor is within your budget, consider those models before committing to a Leaf.

The bottom line on the 2019 Nissan Leaf

As one of the first electric vehicles in the market, the Nissan Leaf has a strong foothold in the category. But its base 150-mile range falls far short of newer electric vehicles on the market like the Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3. Even the Leaf Plus edition’s 226-mile range doesn’t quite measure up.

Furthermore, the Leaf is not as dynamic and has fewer standard technology features than its competitors.

However, Nissan’s electric car is significantly less expensive than its rivals. Buyers who want to go green but don’t have the budget for a Bolt or a Model 3 should consider a Leaf.

MSRPs in the article are accurate as of the date of publishing.


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