The Nissan Leaf Plus is more quickly and will take you farther than the typical product.


Jon Wong/Roadshow

Range stress in electric powered vehicles is a really serious factor. It is really akin to the concern of your cell phone likely useless, but rather of not remaining in a position to look at Twitter for the most up-to-date very hot normally takes, you happen to be stranded on the aspect of the street — hopefully with a charged cell phone so you can summon a tow truck. In the Nissan Leaf’s circumstance, an EPA-believed driving vary of 149 miles is not miniscule, but you know what would be greater to relieve vary problems? A vary of 226 miles, which is exactly where the Leaf Plus arrives in.

Like

  • Smooth and fast acceleration
  • Seamless regenerative and mechanical brake integration
  • Impressive listing of basic safety engineering

You should not Like

  • Significantly less driving vary than opponents
  • Gentle, uncommunicative steering
  • Steeper foundation value than the opposition

Greater outfitted to compete

As opposed to 2011 when the very first-generation Leaf went on sale, the EV landscape currently is substantially different. The Nissan is no lengthier the only electric powered hatchback in city, with entries like the Chevrolet Bolt, Hyundai Kona Electric powered and Kia Niro EV now in showrooms. Each individual boasts properly around 200 miles of vary, leaving the foundation Leaf and its forty-kilowatt-hour battery pack much in the rearview mirror.

The Leaf Plus formally arrived very last year with a even larger sixty two-kilowatt-hour battery. In the foundation S Plus trim, it returns the formerly described 226 miles of vary, but the greater-outfitted SV Plus and SL Plus designs with extra solutions that use up power receive an official rating of 215 miles. With out question, individuals figures are a balanced enhancement around the typical Leaf, but however lag at the rear of the ranges of the Chevy (259 miles), Hyundai (258 miles) and Kia (239 miles).

Throughout a 7 days with an SL Plus tester, the 215-mile rating appeared easily in arrive at. I under no circumstances allow the battery dip substantially down below a thirty% demand because of vary stress but was comfortably on observe to address 215 miles of motoring applying the electron-sipping Eco manner. 

Activating the e-pedal process yields solid regenerative braking the second you elevate off the right pedal. The regen brakes are muscular enough to convey the Leaf Plus to a total end for a a person-pedal driving encounter. It is really mildly entertaining driving it this way and satisfying when you navigate through city without having touching the brake pedal. Becoming smooth and timing your throttle inputs properly pays off as you address extra floor and rarely see the battery demand gauge fall.

When you do deplete the Plus, juicing it up with a 240-volt, Level 2 charger normally takes eleven.5 hrs. A neat factor about the Plus is that the typical charging cable handles the two Level one and Level 2 charging. So, rather of expending cash putting in a Level 2 charger at home, proprietors can simply just have a 240-volt outlet to plug into. As for Level one charging from a usual house outlet, that normally takes north of thirty hrs.

If you are living near a 100-kW DC charger, you will be in a position to demand a drained Leaf Plus to 80% in 45 minutes.


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For individuals who are living near a 50-kW DC charger, the Leaf Plus can demand from to 80% in an hour. If you happen to be privileged enough to have obtain to a much less-typical 100-kW DC charger, that’ll minimize demand time for a useless battery to 80% to 45 minutes.

A lot more power

The other welcome enhancement accompanying the Plus’ upsized battery is a power bounce. The normal Leaf is no slouch with 147 horsepower and 236 pound-ft of torque, but no one will protest an boost to 214 hp and 250 lb-ft. All that thrust is transmitted straight away to the entrance wheels through a solitary-pace transmission obtaining the Leaf Plus to sixty mph in about 7 seconds, which is around a 2nd more quickly than the typical product. There are zero difficulties obtaining up to pace for expressway merging and passing maneuvers are a cinch. A lot more than its -to-sixty time, I’m impressed with how quickly the Leaf Plus accelerates from forty to 70 mph and beyond. 

Straight-line slingshots are about the extent of the enjoyment in the Leaf Plus from a performance standpoint. Relying on trim amount, the Plus is about 340 lbs heavier than the foundation Leaf, and that doesn’t support dynamics. There is certainly some dive below braking and roll at transform in. The lower-rolling-resistance seventeen-inch Michelin Electricity Saver A/S tires squawk in protest when you throw it into a corner and stability control intervenes right away to get things in get.

A extra highly effective battery also indicates that the Leaf Plus is more quickly, with 214 horsepower and 250 pound-ft of torque.


Jon Wong/Roadshow

Trip top quality is, nevertheless, buttoned up and relaxed on the 50-collection sidewall tires. Impacts from even larger bumps are however felt inside the Leaf’s cabin. The handoff from regenerative to mechanical braking is seamless, with stopping force progressively growing as you push the pedal. The steering is light and devoid of any opinions, but that is great together with the much less-than-stellar cornering chops. The Leaf is not meant to be a sporting activities car or truck. 

A Leaf inside and out

If you happen to be anticipating the Leaf Plus to seem substantially different from the typical Leaf, then you happen to be likely to be disappointed. Apart from an additional blue accent strip on the entrance fascia and the Plus badge on the hatch beneath the trim amount designation, it appears to be like like every other Leaf. And that is not an solely negative factor. The Leaf wears a quite aggressive confront with Nissan’s signature V-movement grille, refined aspect character lines and five-spoke wheels with a contrasting silver confront and gray insets.

Within, you will find nothing to create home about, either. It characteristics the Leaf’s significant seating placement, blue accent stitching below and there and a good deal of really hard plastic generating up the entire dash and parts of the door panels. Thankfully, the plastics are properly concluded, and strategic places are wrapped in vinyl and padded, these types of as the armrests, the center of the door panels and the aspect of the centre console, exactly where you could possibly relaxation your knees. 


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Area in the Nissan’s entrance- and 2nd-row seats is serviceable for most grownups and there are enough cubbies to stash things throughout the cabin. The Leaf can also shift pretty a bit of cargo, with 23.6 cubic ft on provide at the rear of the rear seats, which grows to thirty cubic ft with the 2nd row folded ahead.

Quarterbacking infotainment in the Leaf is the NissanConnect process with an 8-inch touchscreen that doesn’t have the most lively graphics. It is really a feature-loaded process with a pleasant Bose audio set up, satellite radio, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay and Android Automobile. In the SL Plus, it also has onboard navigation, which normally normally takes a minimal bit of time to compute routes.

NissanConnect’s graphics are on the lookout dated.


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On the lively basic safety engineering entrance, all Leaf designs arrive typical with ahead-collision warning with automatic crisis braking, blind-place checking, lane-departure warning and rear cross-targeted visitors inform with rear automatic braking. On my SL Plus take a look at car or truck, Nissan’s ProPilot driver support tech is also involved, applying adaptive cruise control and lane-maintain aid for partly automatic, fingers-on-the-wheel motoring that is effective incredibly properly in targeted visitors.

How I would spec it 

I usually consider to maintain my builds as funds-mindful as achievable, but with the Leaf Plus, I have to spring for the SL trim. Optioning the midgrade SV will have me incorporating a couple of option offers to get will have to-haves like heated seats and LED headlights, bumping the value tag to near-SL degrees. Splurging on the vary-topping product expenditures $forty four,825, including $925 for place. Tack on the $695 two-tone black and white paint occupation like on the car or truck pictured below and $195 floor and cargo mats, and that delivers the base line of my excellent car or truck to $45,715. Regrettably, that is not substantially extra reasonably priced than this $46,045 tester.

With all the bells and whistles and a couple of solutions, this SL Plus take a look at car punches in at a hair around $46,000.


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A greater Leaf, but not the benchmark

The 2020 Nissan Leaf Plus will set you back $39,one hundred twenty five to start, which is extra than the $37,890 Chevy Bolt and $38,365 Hyundai Kona Electric powered, but extra reasonably priced than the $forty,210 Kia Niro EV. All a few of the Leaf’s opponents provide a even larger dose of model, are extra engaging to drive and, most importantly, provide lengthier driving ranges.

What the Leaf has operating in its favor is a sizable listing of typical and readily available basic safety tech characteristics, and the reality that it can be the very best-advertising EV to date has certainly created some Nissan loyalists. But to everyone new to the EV globe with no past allegiance to brand or product, the Leaf Plus most likely is not the very best option in the reasonably priced EV hatchback section.