Two generations in and the Nissan Leaf is a car that has gone from one extreme to another. The first-generation car was an absolute abomination. We thought it would look better in the flesh, but then we saw it for the first time. Perhaps it would eventually grow on you? Nope. It was just a frog-eyed lump of a car. The second-generation car is much better, but also a bit dull. With its sharp edges and aggressive front grille, it does look contemporary, but we wonder whether that's what people are looking for? The skateboard underpinnings allow you to do virtually anything you want, so why do something normal? All of its main rivals, like the Kia Niro, Kia Soul, Chevrolet Bolt, and Tesla Model 3 are vastly superior when it comes to exterior design.
All models in the new Nissan Leaf lineup have automatic halogen lights, except for the SV Plus and SL Plus, which have a full LED setup with LED daytime running lights as standard. Power mirrors are standard across the range, while the SV Plus and SL Plus add heating. All Leaf models boast a CHAdeMO fast-charge port this year (50 kW with the 40-kWh battery and 100 kW with the 62-kWh battery) with lights and a locking feature, and UV-reducing solar glass. 16-inch steel wheels with covers are standard on the base model and 16-inch alloy wheels above that, upgrading to 17-inch alloys on top-end models.
Compared to other EV models on sale, the Leaf sits comfortably somewhere in the middle in terms of dimensions. Its total length of 176.4 inches means it has more than a ten-inch advantage over the Bolt, but the Tesla Model 3 is roughly eight inches longer. The Leaf has a width of 70.5 inches, and it sits 61.4 inches tall. The SV model is 0.2 inches taller, while the SL Plus is 62 inches in height. All of this is stretched over a 106.3-inch wheelbase. Base models have a curb weight of 3,516 pounds, increasing as you move up the trim levels and topping out at 3,934 lbs for the top-spec SL Plus.
|Nissan Leaf Trims||S||SV||S PLUS||SV PLUS||SL PLUS|
|Max Width||70.5 in.||70.5 in.||70.5 in.||70.5 in.||70.5 in.|
|Length||176.4 in.||176.4 in.||176.4 in.||176.4 in.||176.4 in.|
|Height||61.4 in.||61.6 in.||61.4 in.||62 in.||62 in.|
|Wheelbase||106.3 in.||106.3 in.||106.3 in.||106.3 in.||106.3 in.|
|Nissan Leaf Trims||Curb Weight|
|S PLUS||3,856 lbs.|
|SV PLUS||3,919 lbs.|
|SL PLUS||3,934 lbs.|
|Wheels Type||Steel Wheels|
|Front Wheel Size||16" x 6.5"|
|Rear Wheel Size||16" x 6.5"|
The S and S Plus are available in five color options: Glacier White, Brilliant Silver Metallic, Gun Metallic, Deep Blue Pearl, and Super Black. The SV and SL trims drop the Glacier White hue but retain the rest of the color options at no additional cost. Upgrading to the SV specification does open up more extroverted exterior options such as Sunset Drift ChromaFlair, Scarlet Ember Tintcoat, and Pearl White Tricoat, although these optional colors all add $395 to the price. The SV Plus and SL Plus grades add one more color option, retailing for $695. It's a two-tone paint job that consists of Super Black and Pearl White Tricoat. It's the coolest color option on offer, but it's a pity that it's only available on the two most expensive models.