What was once the world's best-selling EV has to work a bit harder to stay relevant in 2022.
With nearly 600,000 examples sold since its initial introduction, the Nissan Leaf is one of the world's most popular electric vehicles. Now in its second generation, the battery-powered compact continues to entice buyers with its decent performance, spacious interior, and incredible value for money. With a base MSRP of $27,400 before incentives, it's no surprise the Leaf is so popular.
But to keep the electric hatch fresh, Nissan has bestowed the European model with several styling and tech updates. The facelifted Leaf now sports Nissan's new logo on the front and rear, while new alloy wheels (available in 16- or 17-inches) give a sportier feel, says the brand. Painted in black, we're not sure the rather avant-garde design will appeal to all. Still, at least it's unique. Furthermore, A refreshed lineup of paint options gives buyers more choice, with Universal Blue and Magnetic Blue joining the already broad color range.
Two battery options are available, with a maximum range of around 239 miles, rated on the WLTP system. That's just 13 more miles than the current EPA estimated range of 226 miles, for the US-spec Leaf S Plus. Nissan's ProPilot technology allows the latest version to automatically stop, start and maintain a safe distance between the vehicle ahead.
Inside, the Japanese brand has added a host of features to the Leaf, the most exciting being the ability to remotely operate features through the NissanConnect app. This will allow owners to operate functions such as climate control, a neat touch for chilly mornings. Naturally, the infotainment system boasts Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. Lastly, the Leaf can be linked to an Amazon Alexa home device for further convenience.
In the US, the 2022 Leaf received its own set of updates such as receiving a quick-charging port as standard and the ProPilot Assist system on SV Plus models. The European arm of the carmaker has said the EU model will be made available in the second half of 2022. It's impressive that despite a raft of new EVs, Nissan continues to invest in the older Leaf.
In January, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance announced it will be spending $26 billion as it plans to strengthen its position as a producer of electric vehicles. With various electrified cars arriving before 2030, a fair share will wear the Nissan brand. This includes the handsome Ariya SUV and the compact Micra EV.
"As the popularity of electric vehicles continues to grow, Nissan is pursuing an exhilarating chapter in its electric mobility story," said Nissan's Arnaud Charpentier. "Leaf has played a key role in shaping Nissan's vision for empowering mobility and beyond, as we leverage our EV expertise to launch 23 new electrified models - including 15 full EVs - by the fiscal year 2030."