The Nissan Leaf has been in the USA for more than a decade, and the last few years have seen it disappear into the background amidst a sea of competitors with more range and features. Thanks to the likes of the Chevrolet Bolt, its EUV crossover counterpart, and the Hyundai Kona Electric, the Nissan Leaf isn't the first choice among those looking for a small electric commuter anymore. It's still a handsome little car with loads of safety features and even some nice-to-haves in the top SV Plus model, but for the same price, you could get an EV with much more range. Is it worth spending on the Nissan in its final moments?
Since the new Nissan Leaf hatchback was updated for 2023, it carries over into 2024 with no changes other than a tweak in pricing. And that tweak is minimal - the base trim is just $100 more than before.
The price of the 2024 Nissan Leaf starts at $28,140 for the S, while the SV Plus will cost you $36,190, which is around $8k difference, with the more expensive model getting the lion's share of features, power, and range. These prices are MSRP and don't take destination fees ($1,115) into account, nor does it account for potential rebates.
Although the SV Plus is markedly more expensive, it is also significantly better equipped, and it gets a decent 212 miles of range - over 60 miles more than the base model. Better-looking wheels, heated front seats, additional safety tech, and more power when you need it are some of the benefits of spending more money here; unless your focus is purely on getting from A to B without needing anything else from your car, we'd opt for the top model here.
The Leaf's interior offers more than enough space for those seated in front, but entry-level models are a little spartan in terms of features.
The interior of the Nissan Leaf isn't anything special, but in the segment (and at this price point) one can only expect so much, and the focus here is more on practicality and functionality. To that end, the Leaf will seat up to five people, although it's not going to be particularly comfortable for those in the rear. Materials used in the cabin are not overly plush, but they do feel good even though you'll notice some harder plastics in high-traffic areas. Still, everything feels solid and the dashboard layout is relatively ergonomic, with the coziness of a compact hatch being comforting here, rather than restricting. The entry-level model is a little barebones in terms of standard features, but the safety suite is comprehensive across the range - you'll want the top trim for luxuries like heated front seats, power-seat adjustment, and more speakers on the sound system.
The compact hatch segment the Nissan Leaf competes in means that space is at a premium, although those in the front get the lion's share. Front-seat passengers get ample headroom and can stretch out their legs if they need to, but those in the back will be a tighter fit. Although there is a middle seat in the back row, it's really just to be used in a pinch. Taller folk won't be comfortable for long trips back there, but that's par for the course in the segment, although the Chevrolet Bolt EV does offer more spacious accommodations. It's worth noting that the Leaf's front seats are routinely lauded for high comfort levels.
Small cars aren't ideal if you need to cart a load of cargo around, but if you're heading away for the weekend with your significant other, there's enough room in the hatch. Behind the rear seats, the Nissan Leaf has 23.6 cubic feet of cargo volume, which is pretty good in comparison to even electric crossovers in the segment. Folding those down frees up to 30 cubes. With the rear seats in place, the Leaf has class-leading cargo space, but it's quite behind competitors with the seats folded.
As for small items, you get a glovebox, door pockets with integrated bottle holders, and a small bin under the armrest. There are two cupholders in the center console.
|Nissan Leaf||Chevrolet Bolt EV||Hyundai Kona Electric|
|5 Seater||5 Seater||5 Seater|
|41.2 in. front|
37.3 in. rear
|40.1 in. front|
37.9 in. rear
|38.3-39.9 in. front |
38.3 in. rear
|42.1 in. front|
33.5 in. rear
|44.3 in. front|
36 in. rear
|41.7 in. front |
36.4 in. rear
|23.6 - 30 ft³||16.6 - 57 ft³||25.5 - 63.7 ft³|
No buyer expects perforated leather and Alcantara on a car like this, so it's hardly a surprise that both models in the 2024 Nissan Leaf range come with bio-suede PET cloth seating trim - although you do get a leather-wrapped steering wheel on the top trim. Still, interior colors are limited to black with some contrast stitching and inserts lifting the dark feeling a little.
The 2024 Leaf range caters to the budget-conscious buyer and to those who are happy to spend a little more for reliable electric transport. To that end, you get two models - entry-spec and 'fully loaded'. The base model is a little barebones for our liking, with only the bare essentials inside: a six-way manual driver's seat, cruise control, push-button start, automatic climate control, and four USB ports. The top model adds to this with an eight-way power driver's seat (which includes lumbar settings), heated front seats, intelligent cruise control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a heat pump.
As for infotainment, the Leaf gets an eight-inch display as standard, which is paired with a four-speaker sound system on the base model and includes SiriusXM, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. The SV Plus gets a six-speaker audio setup and adds navigation, and remote connection to the car to track EV telematics.
|Eight-inch display with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto|
|Four-speaker sound system|
|Six-speaker sound system + navigation|
|Heated front seats|
|Power driver's seat with lumbar settings|
You can have your Leaf with 147 hp or 214 hp, depending on the model. SV Plus trims are the most potent and can hustle to 60 mph in under seven seconds.
Buyers can choose between two flavors in terms of performance, again catering to those who are looking for the bare essentials in commuting and those who want a more livable vehicle. The base Leaf S has a single electric motor with 147 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. This will be enough for most doing the school run or day-to-day commuting, but it's by no means quick or powerful. The SV Plus upgrades to a motor with specs of 214 hp and 250 lb-ft, which is enough to hustle the Nissan Leaf from 0-60 mph in under seven seconds. Don't expect to get to a blistering top speed, but with the SV Plus, you won't be lagging too far behind in traffic, either. Both models are front-wheel drive and use e-Pedal with two regenerative braking modes, and if you're used to how it works, you'll find commuting a breeze. No Nissan Leaf will ever feel like an executive sedan, but it's a pleasant enough ride.
When it comes to efficiency and gas mileage equivalent rates, the Nissan Leaf isn't leading the segment. Although there are two options in the range - the base Leaf model having better MPGe figures but a lower range - neither manages to be as efficient as the Bolt EV or the Kona Electric. The base model with the 40-kWh battery gets EPA ratings of 123/99/111 MPGe city/highway/combined and a total range of only 149 miles, while the SV Plus with the larger 60-kWh battery does 121/98/109 MPGe and can go for 212 miles before needing to recharge.
Charging from empty on a 240V outlet will take 11.5 hours, but with a DC fast charger it will take the base model around 40 minutes to go from 10% - 80% while the SV Plus needs around an hour.
|Electric: SV Plus |
|147 hp||214 hp|
|106 mph||106 mph|
|123/99/111 MPGe||121/98/109 MPGe|
|Est. 7.4 seconds||Est. 6.8 seconds|
|149 miles||212 miles|
|11.5 Hrs Charge Time @ 240V|
10% - 80% on DC Fast Charger: 40 minutes
|11.5 Hrs Charge Time @ 240V |
10% - 80% on DC Fast Charger: 60 minutes
There's just one comprehensive safety report for the Nissan Leaf for 2024, but it bodes well. The little car comes with ten airbags - more than many other modern cars have as standard.
Only the NHTSA has conducted a full safety review on the 2024 Nissan Leaf and the results are good. It obtained full marks overall, although both frontal and rollover crash tests were rated at four stars out of five. The IIHS hasn't evaluated the 2024 model and only partially tested the 2023 versions, which had its original Good score for the side crash test marked down to Acceptable for the updated side test.
The Nissan Leaf range is comprehensively equipped for safety, with an advanced ten-airbag system that includes knee airbags and rear seat-mounted side-impact airbags. You also get forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning and intervention, rear cross-traffic alert, and intelligent lane intervention as standard. The SV Plus adds intelligent driver alertness, a surround-view monitor, and ProPilot Assist to the mix.
|Intelligent forward collision warning|
|Blind spot warning and intervention|
|Intelligent lane intervention|
|Intelligent driver alert monitor|
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
When it comes to reliability, the Nissan Leaf is a mixed bag. While JD Power rates it at 76 out of 100 for quality and reliability for the last two model years, this is an improvement over the lower score it received in 2022 (72/100). There aren't any recalls for the 2024 model year, but 2023 records show three recalls for unintended acceleration, incorrect information in the owner's manual, and corroding brake lines causing leaks. The last issue is a new addition for 2023, with the other two already being present in 2022 models.
The warranty for the 2024 Nissan Leaf isn't anything special, but you get three years/36,000 miles of basic cover, five years or 60,000 miles for the Nissan Leaf's powertrain, and eight years or 100,000 miles of coverage on the battery.
The Leaf doesn't exactly stand out in a crowd, but as far as design and aesthetics go, it's not bad either. The little hatch is everything you'd expect from an urban runabout, and even though it's an electric car, it doesn't look unnatural or overly futuristic to drive that point home. Both models have an integrated rear roof spoiler to help it look nippy and a blacked-out C-pillar to draw attention to the sharply-styled liftgate. The base model has simple 16-inch steel wheels with wheel covers, while the top trim gets 17-inch aluminum alloys that suit it a little better. Both get chrome door handles to match the chrome grille elements, and only the SV Plus gets fog lights along with LED headlights and DRLs.
The Nissan Leaf isn't the best car in the segment, but there is a lot to be said for how much you get in return for your money - at least in the top-tier trim. The entry-level model is a little barebones for us, and the Chevy Bolt is even cheaper - even the Bolt EUV crossover costs less to begin with. Rivals offer better range than the Leaf has even on the SV Plus, and Chevrolet makes such mod-cons as leather seats available while providing a much more modern interior with a better infotainment setup. We get why Nissan isn't putting much more effort into the Leaf - it's being discontinued - so perhaps shopping elsewhere is a better option for those wanting a more advanced EV for daily commuting.
The most popular competitors of 2024 Nissan Leaf: