2022 Nissan Leaf

44
Photos
Compare insurance prices:
Save an average of $440
Free Quote

2022 Nissan Leaf Review: Honest EV For The Masses

Way back in 2010, the Nissan Leaf was one of the first EVs to be launched to the US market, and as far as 'first times' go, this first experience with EVs was a very clear turning point. Back then, EVs were only for the wealthy, but suddenly a larger group of people could buy in on the concept. This tactic worked beautifully for Nissan, as the Leaf was the top-selling EV in the world - until Tesla launched the Model 3. That's really the main problem with EVs; the technology advances at such a rapid rate that the best EV is usually the latest one. It's like buying a smartphone, but only a lot more expensive. Nissan was smart to keep the Leaf as affordable as possible, choosing not to compete with the likes of the BMW i3 and Jaguar I-Pace. And for the 2022 model year, it's a lot cheaper still.

The Leaf is honest, affordable motoring at its best. It makes it possible for Joe Average to go electric. For proof, you need only look at the base price of a Leaf when it was launched in 2010, compared to the base price of the 2021 Leaf. Even though nearly 11 years have passed, the 2021 base Leaf retailed for $31,620 and offered a 110 kW AC synchronous electric motor developing 147 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque.In 2010, the base Nissan Leaf had a cost of $32,780, before tax incentives. And now, the 2022 model starts at a mere $27,400. This is proof that as mass production steadily brings down the cost of EVs, Nissan is doing its best to transfer that saving on to its customers. Kudos for that, Nissan.

Read in this review:

8.6
What is BuzzScore?

2022 Nissan Leaf Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2021 Leaf?

The biggest news is without a doubt the Leaf's big price reduction for the 2022 model year. Prices have been reduced by more than $4,200 across the board, with some trims being over $6,500 cheaper than last year. The range now kicks off at $27,400, making the Leaf the cheapest EV you can currently buy in the US, having leapfrogged both the $29,900 Mini Electric and the cheaper-for-2022 $31,000 Chevy Bolt EV. This year, Nissan has also made the CHAdeMO quick-charging port standard equipment on all trims. The SV trim gets more standard features and the SV Plus trim gets the semi-autonomous ProPilot Assist feature and the Technology Package as standard this year, as well as LED headlights and heated exterior mirrors, among others.

Pros and Cons

  • Driving range is good on extended range models
  • Spacious interior
  • Acceleration is good
  • Advanced semi-autonomous driving mode
  • It's one of the most affordable EVs
  • It's not an entertaining car to drive
  • Low-spec models don't have the best range
  • Back seats don't fold down

What's the Price of the 2022 Nissan Leaf?

Best Deals on 2022 Nissan Leaf

2022 Nissan Leaf Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
S
Electric
Single Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$27,400
SV
Electric
Single Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$28,800
S PLUS
Electric
Single Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$32,400
SV PLUS
Electric
Single Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$35,400
SL PLUS
Electric
Single Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$37,400
See All 2022 Nissan Leaf Trims and Specs

2022 Leaf Exterior

2022 Nissan Leaf Front Angle View Nissan
2022 Nissan Leaf Rear Angle View Nissan
2022 Nissan Leaf Front Angle View 1 Nissan
See All 2022 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 3,516.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Brilliant Silver
  • Glacier White
  • Deep Blue Pearl
  • Super Black
  • Gun Metallic
  • Pearl White
  • Sunset Drift Chromaflair
  • Super Black/Pearl White
  • Scarlet Ember

2022 Leaf Performance

2022 Nissan Leaf Front View Driving Nissan
2022 Nissan Leaf Charge Port Nissan
2022 Nissan Leaf Engine Bay Nissan

Engine and Transmission

  • Engine
    Electric
  • Transmission
    Single Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain
    FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

As is expected from an electric car, the Leaf offers a tranquil driving experience. There's no engine noise from the front, no gears interrupting the flow of power, and no soundtrack coming from the exhaust, mostly because it doesn't have one. The problem with the lack of vibration and noise is that there's nothing to drown out the road and wind noise. Luckily, the Leaf is adequately insulated, which means only a little bit of tire roar finds its way into the cabin.

While the Plus models might feel fast in a straight line, Nissan hasn't bothered giving the Leaf a sporty feel. It's tuned to be comfortable, especially once you engage comfort mode. It's far from feeling like an elephant through the corners, but it will quickly remind you that it was not designed for anything other than spirited driving in a straight line. Steering is extremely light and perfectly suited for city driving, which is just another reminder that it's not a sporty car. If sporty is what you seek, we'd suggest the Tesla Model 3.

2022 Leaf Interior

2022 Nissan Leaf Dashboard Nissan
2022 Nissan Leaf Infotainment System Nissan
2022 Nissan Leaf Central Console Nissan
See All 2022 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

2022 Leaf Trunk and Cargo Space

2022 Nissan Leaf Rear Passenger Seats Nissan
2022 Nissan Leaf Trunk Space Nissan
2022 Nissan Leaf Charger Nissan
  • Maximum Cargo Space
    30 ft³

2022 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 2022 Nissan Leaf A Good car?

It's easy to forget what the Nissan Leaf did for electric cars. Many see the Tesla Model S as the turning point for EVs, and it's hard to disagree with that, but it's worth remembering that Nissan built the first EV aimed at normal people, and it worked. In the 11 years since it was first launched, a bunch of new EVs has entered the market. With the exception of the Mini SE and Chevy Bolt, all of them come with a premium price tag. All of them are more interesting than the Leaf, for various reasons, be that a nicer interior, funky exterior, sporty handling, or a giant touchscreen interface. But the Leaf remains the people's EV, retailing at a price a large portion of the population can afford, especially in a post-COVID world.

The Leaf doesn't pretend to be anything other than a no-nonsense practical hatch with space for five and a big trunk. It's comfortable rather than sporty, even though it has the ability to be brisk in a straight line. It's also generously equipped across the range, and not just with luxury items, but safety kit as well. The Leaf's main problem, even after the 2022 price reductions, is the retail price of the high-end models. The SL Plus, with all of the features and a range of 226 miles now has an MSRP of $37,400. That's already more expensive than the $34,190 Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus, which is a better all-around car, and it has a range of 262 miles. For $44,190, you can have a Tesla Model 3 Long Range, good for 353 miles. That's without mentioning the seven-seat Model Y Long Range with an MSRP of $48,190.

What 2022 Nissan Leaf Model Should I Buy?

2022 Nissan Leaf Comparisons

Chevrolet Bolt EV
Tesla Model 3 Tesla
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Nissan Leaf147 hp123/99 mpg$28,040
Chevrolet Bolt EV 200 hp131/109 mpg$26,500
Tesla Model 3 271 hp138/126 mpg$42,990

2022 Nissan Leaf vs Chevrolet Bolt EV

The Chevrolet Bolt is also a five-door hatchback with space for five. It's not as practical as the Leaf, however. The Bolt range consists of the $31,000 base 1LT and the $35,195 2LT. That means it also has the same problem as the Leaf, which is the existence of the Tesla Model 3.

Having said that, it is an interesting alternative for many reasons. First and foremost, both models are equipped with a 200-hp and 266-lb-ft EV powertrain that Chevrolet claims is capable of doing 259 miles on a full charge. It's a fast little tyke and can sprint to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds. Like the Leaf, it was also built for comfort rather than speed. It does extremely well in the city and is perfectly happy on the highway.

The Bolt doesn't have quite the same generous standard specification as the Leaf, missing blind-spot monitoring, for example. But most of the other safety features are there, such as automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, forward-collision alert, pedestrian detection, auto high beams, and following-distance indication. The Leaf SV is only $3,600 cheaper than the entry-level Bolt and we think the Bolt's high-value 2022 price, superior performance and range, and better interior space clinches it for the Chevy.

See Chevrolet Bolt EV Review

2022 Nissan Leaf vs Tesla Model 3

The Nissan Leaf carried the torch for affordable electric motoring for nearly a decade, and, in a way, it still does. The 2022 Leaf is now the cheapest EV in the land. Last year Nissan had to hand over the torch to the Tesla Model 3. Sales of Tesla's entry-level EV are booming, and for a few days in 2021, it made Elon Musk the richest man on earth. With Model 3 prices starting at just over $40,000, it completely dominates the $40,000 to $50,000 space in the market. It delivers a Mjolnir-like blow to all of its competitors.

And, it's easy to see why. The Tesla is powered by a single electric motor that produces between 258 hp and 450 hp, depending on the trim. The base model does 262 miles on a charge, while long-range models will do over 350 miles. The build quality has been questionable, but there's no doubt that Tesla sets the standard when it comes to interiors. It's an elegant minimalist space that most luxury car manufacturers are now copying and implementing in their fossil-fueled cars. It's also good to drive in the city, good on the highway, and delivers an engaging drive overall. At not much more than the top-spec Leaf SL Plus, the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus is a no-brainer.

Back
To Top