Leaf

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2019 Nissan Leaf Overview

The Nissan Leaf enjoyed a long tenure as the only practical, fully electric car on the market. Since its introduction, it’s gone through a redesign and gained competitors like the Chevrolet Bolt, Hyundai Ioniq, Volkswagen e-Golf, and versions of the Tesla Model 3. With that in mind, Nissan offers some improvements for 2019.

The Leaf’s exterior is high-tech. The hatchback shape, floating roof pillars, and front charging panel give it a sense of occasion, but it still looks modern. For maximum curb appeal, the Leaf offers a pearl white and gloss black two-tone treatment. Several aspects of the exterior, like the pronounced bumper corners and low side skirts, are designed to help the car move smoothly. The inside, meanwhile, is inviting and spacious. Engineers utilized the lack of a bulky engine to create a truly spacious two-row cabin. The controls are logical and similar to conventional cars, and extra windows beside the dashboard make the interior feel airy.

The Leaf’s electric powertrain comes in the form of a 110-kilowatt motor and 40 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery. Together, they make a stout 146 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. Every model comes with regenerative braking that both slows the vehicle and recaptures energy. This also enables the car’s ePedal functionality, which can allow you to drive the car using just the accelerator. As soon as you lift your foot off the accelerator, the car slows to a complete stop. To get moving, you simply need to press the accelerator. Quick stops still require use of the brake pedal.

As far as efficiency, the Environmental Protection Agency rates the Leaf at 150 miles of range and 112 miles-per-gallon equivalent (MPGe). Using the 6.6-kW onboard charger, it takes roughly 7.5 hours to replenish the battery on a 220-volt Level 2 home charger. The available DC fast-charging port, however, delivers 90 miles of range in about 30 minutes. Note that the Leaf utilizes the CHAdeMO charging standard, which is less common than the SAE standard other electric vehicles employ. For further savings, Nissan supplies the car with a “LEAF-to-Home” system that enables you to store surplus solar power during the daytime, then use it to help power your home in the evening, which you can monitor via a smartphone app.

Three trims fall under the Leaf umbrella. The base S comes with a portable 120-volt trickle-charge cable, keyless access and start, satellite radio, automatic temperature control with a scheduled pre-heat/pre-cooling function, a 7-inch instrument cluster display, a 5-inch infotainment system, and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat. The mid-grade SV adds 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation, and DC fast-charging functionality. Finally, the SL trim gets LED headlights and daytime-running lights, heated mirrors, leather seats, a 6-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and Bose premium audio.

Standard safety systems on the Leaf include airbags and a reversing camera. Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a driver-alert system, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, and lane-departure intervention are all optional features. For 2019, a rear-door alert shows up on all models, reminding you of children or other precious cargo you may have forgotten in the rear seats. There isn’t yet complete crash-testing data for the Leaf.

The Leaf is a high-tech, stylish, and ultra-efficient mode of transportation. And it’s poised to get even better, since Nissan has announced that a longer-range variant is forthcoming, possibly this year.

Updated

Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.

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