The last generation of Nissan Leaf has received many changes during its lifetime. The redesign for 2018 brings the most comprehensive improvements to date. The styling of the new model is the end for the previous Leaf, though under the skin it is very similar except for larger battery capacity and additional power.
The 2018 Nissan Leaf does not become more expensive in terms of price. In fact, this new model is actually cheaper than the 2017 model out when you see the difference in feature content. It offers a wider range at the same price as other EVs, such as the Volkswagen e-Golf. Only the more expensive Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3 offer more driving range.
Other features in the 2018 Nissan Leaf are the new e-pedal mode and a variety of advanced driver assist called ProPilot Assist. E-pedals provide more powerful regenerative braking as you release the accelerator, making it easier to slow down the car without requiring you to use the brake pedal.
On the negative side, Leaf’s interior is not very stylish, and the rear seats are not folded flat, which of course reduces utility. Overall, the 2018 Nissan Leaf is a great choice for electric vehicles, especially if price is a priority.
Trim and Features
The 2018 Nissan Leaf is a compact five-door hatchback electric car available in three trim levels: S, SV and SL.
The lowest trim level, the S comes with keyless entry and start, 16-inch steel wheels, forward collision warning and mitigation with automatic braking, a 5-inch central display, a rearview camera, a USB port, Bluetooth, a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and satellite radio.
The optional Charge package includes a DC fast-charger port (CHAdeMO) and a portable charge cable capable of connecting to 120 or 240-volt sources.
The 2018 Nissan Leaf SV gets the Charge package along with 17-inch alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control, remote-access system, navigation, a 7-inch touchscreen, NissanConnect, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, and Nissan web connectivity.
Optional SV Technology package adds LED running lights, LED headlights, automatic high beams, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an electronic parking brake, adaptive cruise control, a power-adjustable driver seat, lane departure warning and intervention, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
Optional for the S and SV is the All-Weather package, which adds heated side mirrors, heated steering wheel, heated seats and heat pump cabin heater (SV only).
The 2018 Nissan Leaf SL includes the All-Weather package and some features from the SV Technology package (LED lighting, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, auto-dimming mirror and power driver seat). Also standard are a Bose seven-speaker sound system and leather upholstery.
Optional for the SL only is Technology package, that adds the rest of SV Technology features plus Nissan ProPilot Assist, which provides additional lane-keeping assist functionality.
The 2018 Nissan Leaf powertrain consists of a 40 kWh battery pack powering an electric motor that produces 147 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. A one-speed transmission sent power to the front wheels. Nissan claims these changes combine to make the 2018 Leaf about 15 percent quicker from zero to 60 mph, which cut its time down to 8.8 seconds. Nissan-claimed driving range of 150 miles.
The 2018 Nissan Leaf battery pack can be fully recharged in just 40 minutes using a DC Fast Charging station or eight hours with a Level 2 charger (240-volt). If you are short on time, a one-hour charge on a Level 2 will give you 22 miles of range and half an hour on a DC Fast Charger will give you 88 miles of range. A more powerful battery pack and electric motor are expected for the next model year.
Release Date and Price
The 2018 Nissan Leaf was announced on 6 September 2017, several weeks before the Tokyo Motor Show. It will go on sale in October in Japan, with the US, Canada and Europe following in January 2018.
Price for the base S models starts at $29,990. The most popular Leaf SV priced at $32,490, while the top-range SL models at $36,200.