The whole Leaf range gains new high-tech features.
For the 2020 model year, Nissan is making a host of advanced driver-assist features standard across the entire Nissan Leaf model range. However, despite the introduction of a more practical, livable 62-kWh battery last year in the Leaf Plus, the base 40-kWh battery pack is going nowhere.
The standard 40-kWh battery pack provides an EPA-estimated driving range of just 149 miles or less, compared to a range of up to 226 miles with the Leaf Plus's 62-kWh option. The Leaf's rather limited range has been a sticking point among many prospective buyers, especially as Chevrolet and Tesla have both introduced further-driving EVs within the same price range.
In fact, Nissan is showing the standard 2020 Leaf some love, gracing the car's lower-tier S and SV trim levels with a new 8-inch color touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Additionally, Nissan's Safety Shield 360 is now standard across all models, giving all 2020 Nissan Leaf drivers Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Rear Automatic Braking, and automatic High Beam Assist.
But Nissan's going above and beyond their standard Safety Shield 360 suite with the 2020 Leaf, further adding Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent Lane Intervention, and Blind Spot Intervention. Meanwhile, an all-new premium paint hue - the tasty-sounding Sunset Drift ChromaFlair - will be joining the palette later in the year.
Of course, there's no such thing as a free feature, and all that extra standard equipment costs something. For 2020, the base Nissan Leaf S is priced at $31,600 MSRP before destination - $1,610 higher than the 2019 Leaf S. The Leaf SV is up $1,590 to 34,190, while the cheapest of the longer-range Leaf Plus models now starts $1,650 higher at $38,200.
At the top end of the price range, the 2020 Nissan Leaf Plus SV and Leaf Plus SL are up $1,240 and $1,350, respectively, with starting MSRPs of $39,750 and $43,900.
Nissan is contending with a serious loss of demand in the US market, as total company-wide sales slid nearly 10 percent from their 2018 levels. The Leaf was one of many nameplates affected, losing 16 percent of its sales volume through 2019.