2020 Nissan Leaf

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2020 Nissan Leaf Review: Honest Entry Into World Of EVs

The Nissan Leaf was one of the first modern electric vehicles to crack the broader car buying market when it was first introduced to the US market back in 2010. We Are now entering a new decade, and the Nissan Leaf is more capable than ever, but instead of trying to compete in the premium class against the likes of the BMW i3 and Jaguar I-Pace, the Leaf keeps things humble, and relatively low-priced. We aren't big fans of the exterior styling and plastic-filled interior, but the Leaf does offer good in-town performance, a competitive range, and a number of standard features such as pedestrian detection and blind-spot assist that makes this little EV worth every penny. A Tesla Model 3 will blow the doors off of this electric hatchback, and the Chevy Bolt might look better, but the Leaf offers an honest and affordable entry into the world of electric motoring.

Read in this review:

8.6
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2020 Nissan Leaf Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2019 Leaf?

The new Nissan Leaf gets a good helping of fresh feature upgrades for the new decade. Those who own, or have experienced a Leaf will be happy to learn that the sub-par five- and seven-inch infotainment displays have been replaced with a more contemporary eight-inch unit, and all models now feature standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Driver assistance features that were optional on last years' car are now standard; these include automatic forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection, automatic headlights, rear auto braking, lane-departure warning, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic alert. The low-speed chime of the Leaf has also been replaced by something more audible, but a track off of Slayer's 1986 classic, Reign In Blood, would've likely had better effect.

Pros and Cons

  • Competitive driving range on extended range models
  • There's lots of space inside
  • Available semi-autonomous driving mode
  • Effortless acceleration
  • Back seats don't fold flat
  • It's not the most entertaining to drive
  • Lower spec models don't have the best range
  • Sound systems lack punch

Best Deals on 2020 Nissan Leaf

2020 Nissan Leaf Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
S
Electric
Single Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$31,600
SV
Electric
Single Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$34,190
S PLUS
Electric
Single Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$38,200
SV PLUS
Electric
Single Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$39,750
SL PLUS
Electric
Single Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$43,900
See All 2020 Nissan Leaf Trims and Specs

2020 Leaf Exterior

2020 Nissan Leaf Front Angle View Nissan
2020 Nissan Leaf Front Angle View 1 Nissan
2020 Nissan Leaf Side View Nissan
See All 2020 Nissan Leaf Exterior Photos

Dimensions

  • Length 176.4 in
  • Wheelbase 106.3 in
  • Height 61.4 in
  • Max Width 70.5 in
  • Front Width 60.6 in
  • Rear Width 61.2 in
  • Curb Weight 3,538.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Brilliant Silver Metallic
  • Glacier White
  • Gun Metallic
  • Super Black
  • Deep Blue Pearl
  • Scarlet Ember Tintcoat
  • Pearl White Tricoat
  • Sunset Drift Chromaflair
  • 2-Tone White/Black, (DISC), Build Out: 09/30/2020
  • 2-Tone White/Black, Build Out: 09/30/2020
  • Super Black, No longer available with K interior as of 09/30/2020.
  • Deep Blue Pearl, No longer available with K interior as of 09/30/2020.
  • Scarlet Ember Tintcoat, No longer available with K interior as of 09/30/2020.
  • 2-Tone White/Black, No longer available with K interior as of 09/30/2020.

2020 Leaf Performance

2020 Nissan Leaf Front Angle View 2 Nissan
2020 Nissan Leaf Charge Port Nissan
2020 Nissan Leaf Engine Bay Nissan

Engine and Transmission

  • Engine
    Electric
  • Transmission
    Single Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain
    FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Driving a Leaf is a serene experience. There are no V8 rumbles or turbo flutters here; the only sound you'll hear is a bit of tire noise, and You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban, a standard feature on all Nissan Leaf models. The Leaf is clearly set up to deliver a comfortable ride, especially with the active ride control set in its most cushy setting. That doesn't mean that its a complete boat; it will remain composed at high speed and always feels planted, but try to drive it like a sports car, and it will quickly remind you that it's not. The electrically assisted power steering is as light as a feather, which is a boon for city driving, but it just adds to the fact that the Leaf is no Porsche Boxster. If you want a more engaging driving experience, then we'd suggest looking at the athletic Tesla 3.

2020 Leaf Interior

2020 Nissan Leaf Dashboard Nissan
2020 Nissan Leaf Steering Wheel Controls Nissan
2020 Nissan Leaf Rear Passenger Seats Nissan
See All 2020 Nissan Leaf Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 42.1 in
  • Front Head Room 41.2 in
  • Rear Leg Room 33.5 in
  • Rear Head Room 37.3 in

2020 Leaf Trunk and Cargo Space

2020 Nissan Leaf Trunk Space Nissan
2020 Nissan Leaf Charger Nissan
2020 Nissan Leaf Top View Nissan
  • Maximum Cargo Space
    30 ft³

2020 Leaf Safety and Reliability

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Hybrid/Electric Components:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    3 Years \ Unlimited Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: Is the 2020 Nissan Leaf A Good car?

The Nissan Leaf has been a staple of the EV market for a decade, and is a tried and trusted entry-point to the world of gas-free motoring. In the past few years, there has been a small explosion of new entries to the EV market by major brands such as Volkswagen and BMW, but their offerings have been focussed on the premium image, so you won't find any cheap and cheerful cars. The Nissan Leaf then is a no-nonsense practical five-door hatchback that does away with luxury features such as wood-grain inserts, massive sound systems, and sub-five-second sprint times. Instead, you get moderate performance and range, a comfortable ride, and enough features to make everyday driving feel like less of a chore. Nissan has made some notable changes, such as upgrading the infotainment system and adding driver assistance features such as auto-forward emergency braking with pedestrian control, which goes a long way to boost the appeal of this little electric hatchback, but prices get close to the much more impressive Tesla Model 3 when you get to higher trim levels.

2020 Nissan Leaf Comparisons

Chevrolet Bolt EV Chevrolet
Tesla Model 3 Tesla
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Nissan Leaf147 hp123/99 mpg$28,040
Chevrolet Bolt EV 200 hp131/109 mpg$25,600
Tesla Model 3 271 hp138/126 mpg$46,990

2020 Nissan Leaf vs Chevrolet Bolt EV

The Chevrolet Bolt, just like the Leaf, is a five-door hatchback that will seat five adults. The 2020 Bolt is available in LT and Premier trims, and both get the same 200 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque, which blow the lower-powered variants of the Leaf out of the yard and onto the sidewalk. The Bolt will return an impressive 127/108/118 mpg city/highway/combined and will reach 259 miles on a full charge, besting the Leaf by quite some distance. We think the Botl is the better-looking car, and it's interior feels more 2020 than the Leaf. On the road, the Bolt is a comfortable thing to drive, and although it is at its best on city roads, it can manage highway driving just fine. Its low center of gravity means minimal body roll in corners. Unfortunately, the Bolt misses out on a good amount of the standard features offered on the Leaf, such as blind-spot monitoring and pedestrian detection. Go for a mid-range Leaf instead of the more expensive entry-level Bolt with fewer features and a higher asking price.

See Chevrolet Bolt EV Review

2020 Nissan Leaf vs Tesla Model 3

Tesla has been grabbing headlines for a good few years now, and their EV cars have been dominating sales figures. One of their latest offerings, the low-cost Model 3 has taken the market by storm and offers great performance, comfort, driving dynamics, and style at a reasonable price. Powering the Model 3 is a single three-phase induction electric motor that produces between 258 and a serious 450 hp depending on spec-level. So not only will the Model 3 leave the Leaf in the dust, but it will also get more distance out of a single charge; standard cars will reach up to 250 miles, while long-range versions will reach well over 300 miles on a single charge. The interior of the Tesla Model 3 is a beautifully minimalist space that truly feels ahead of our time. Cabin space is good, but the Leaf offers more cargo space. Out on the road, the Tesla Model 3 is by far the better car to drive; it's comfortable enough around town, but can also engage the driver with entertaining dynamics. Starting at close to $40,000, we'd rather get a Model 3 than a top-end Leaf.

See Tesla Model 3 Review
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