2018 Nissan Leaf Electric

#22
in Compact hatchbacks
2018 MODEL
$29,990 - $36,200

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Detailed Review

If you need an electric car for commuting and occasional out of city excursions at a budget, the new 2018 Nissan Leaf will impress you. It is after all the best-selling Electric Car.

See detailed review »

Pros

Friendly to Pocket and Environment

Good Driver Assistance features

Quiet

Smooth Acceleration

Cons

Poor Braking System

Cabin lacks space for small items

What's New?

New design

Better power

More battery range


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$29990

bodystyle

4dr Hatchback

passenger capacity

5

top speed

145 mph

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

horsepower

147 hp @ 3283 rpm

torque

236 lb.-ft.

transmission

1-speed direct drive

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

11.5 in. ventilated disc brakes/11.1 in. ventilated disc brakes

dimensions

wheelbase

106.3 in.

length

176.4 in.

width

70.5 in.

height

61.4 in.

curb weight

3433 lbs.

ground clearance

5.9 in.

capacity

passenger volume

92.4 cu ft.

cargo volume

23.6 cu ft.

towing capacity

5000 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

9.7 sec.

standing ¼-mile

17.3 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

125/112/100 mpg

warranty

basic warranty

3 years/36000 miles

drivetrain warranty

5 years/60000 miles

corrosion warranty

5 years/unlimited

roadside assistance

No



Styles

 2018 Nissan Leaf electric in Brilliant Silver color  2018 Nissan Leaf electric in Deep Blue Pearl color  2018 Nissan Leaf electric in Glacier White color  2018 Nissan Leaf electric in Gun Metallic color  2018 Nissan Leaf electric in Pearl White color
Brilliant Silver

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

7.8

Engine

8.1

Fuel Economy

9.1

Interior

6.3

Exterior

8.1

Comfort

8.3

Driving

7.8

7.9

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2018 Nissan Leaf electric S

S

power
147 hp @ 3283 rpm
fuel
Electric fuel
mpg
112 combined

$29,990


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
S 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) Starting at $29,990 MSRP (125/112/100) 147 hp @ 3283 rpm, electric, electric fuel
See Full Specs
1-speed direct drive front wheel drive 5

 2018 Nissan Leaf electric SV

SV

power
147 hp @ 3283 rpm
fuel
Electric fuel
mpg
112 combined

$32,490


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SV 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) Starting at $32,490 MSRP (125/112/100) 147 hp @ 3283 rpm, electric, electric fuel
See Full Specs
1-speed direct drive front wheel drive 5

 2018 Nissan Leaf electric SL

SL

power
147 hp @ 3283 rpm
fuel
Electric fuel
mpg
112 combined

$36,200


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SL 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) Starting at $36,200 MSRP (125/112/100) 147 hp @ 3283 rpm, electric, electric fuel
See Full Specs
1-speed direct drive front wheel drive 5

Top Nissan Cars

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MPG: 34 combined

2018 Nissan Armada
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Engine: 390 hp @ 5800 rpm, 5.6 L V8

MPG: 16 combined

2019 Nissan Leaf electric
7.9/10

MPG: 112 combined

2019 Nissan Armada
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Engine: 390 hp @ 5800 rpm, 5.6 L V-8

MPG: 16 combined

2017 Nissan Maxima
8.5/10

Engine: 300 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.5 L V6

MPG: 25 combined

2019 Nissan Altima
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Engine: 188 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.5 L I-4

MPG: 32 combined

2017 Nissan GT-R NISMO Coupe
8.1/10

Engine: 600 hp @ 6800 rpm, 3.8 L V6

MPG: 18 combined

Expert Review


CARHP Editorial September 24, 2018

7.9

Overall Rating


7.8/10
Features

 

8.1/10
Engine

 

9.1/10
Fuel Economy

 

6.3/10
Interior

 

8.1/10
Exterior

 
 
 
 

The new Leaf now has a more modern look, more battery range, and enhanced features. However, if you frequently do a long distance run, the Nissan sparse fast-charging network will be a problem. For almost $6000 more, the more accomplished Model 3 is available but difficult to acquire.

2018 Nissan Leaf electric Features

7.8/10

Nissan Leaf offers three trim levels namely- S, SV and SL and all under a price range of $36,200. A 147 hp AC Synchronous Motor is standard across the range. Some of the standard features are 7” infotainment system, automatic temperature control, and standard automatic emergency braking.

Trims S SV SL
MSRP $29,990 $32,490 $36,200
Features
  • 147-hp (110 kW) AC synchronous electric motor
  • e-Pedal
  • 7″ information display (in gauge cluster)
  • Automatic Temperature Control
  • Aerodynamic underbody panels and rear diffuser
  • Standard Automatic Emergency Braking

INCLUDES S FEATURES PLUS:

  • 17” Machine-finished aluminum-alloy wheels
  • Nissan Navigation System
  • Nissan Connect EV & Services powered by Sirius
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto

INCLUDES SV FEATURES PLUS:

  • Portable charge cable (120 V/240 V)
  • LED headlights with LED signature Daytime Running Lights
  • Leather-appointed seats
  • Bose Energy Efficient Series Premium Audio System with seven speakers
  • Intelligent Around View Monitor

We Recommend

All of the trim levels of Nissan Leaf come in almost same driving range and offer almost the same performance. We will recommend the base model of Leaf with some of the additional features like DC fast charger port and portable charge cables.

2018 Nissan Leaf electric Engine

8.1/10

With its longer range, the Nissan Leaf may entice doubters to try an EV for the first time. What they will discover is instantaneous power delivery from the motor. The Leaf is snappy right off the line and has excellent mid-range passing power. – Kelley Blue Book

Engine and Transmission

Leaf uses a 147 hp AC Synchronous Motor producing 236 lb-ft of torque. While the power figure may seem underwhelming, the instant torque of electric motor makes it feel far faster than a gasoline car with similar power output. And because there is no transmission, the power delivery is seamless.

Models Nissan Leaf S Chevrolet Bolt LT Tesla Model 3 BMW i3
MSRP $29,990 $37,495 $35,000 $45,000
Motor Type 110kW AC Synchronous Motor 150kw Electric Motor 165kw Motor AC 3-Phase Permanent Magnet Electric 130kw AC Synchronous Electric Motor
Transmission Single Speed Automatic Single Speed Automatic Single Speed Automatic Single Speed Automatic
Power 147 hp 200hp 258hp 170 hp
Torque 236 lb-ft 266 lb-ft 307 lb-ft 184 lb-ft

Among the all-electric cars compared here, the Leaf has the lowest power output. Spending almost $6,000 more can get you the considerably more powerful Tesla Model 3. However, the Model 3 has a massive waiting period.

Acceleration

Nissan Leaf is the slowest car compared here because it’s the least powerful. It takes 7.5 seconds to reach a speed of 60 mph from a standstill and 15.8 seconds to cover a quarter mile.

Models Nissan Leaf S Chevrolet Bolt LT Tesla Model 3 BMW i3
0-60 MPH 7.5 sec 6.5 sec 6.0 sec 7.2 sec
Quarter mile 15.8 sec 14.9 sec 13.4 sec 15.3 sec

The quickest to reach 60 MPH from standstill is the Tesla Model 3 – 6 seconds. It maintains its lead in the quarter mile race. Both the others i.e. Chevrolet Bolt LT and BMW i3 fall between the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model 3.

Ride and Handling

Nissan Leaf uses a Rack and Pinion type steering system with a turning diameter of 34.8 ft. from curb to curb. This tight turning circle combines with the instant and seamless power delivery from electric motor combine to make the Leaf a nippy city car.

Braking

The Nissan Leaf gets 11.1-inch brake rotors in front wheels and 11.5-inch brake rotors in the rear wheels. These can bring the 3433 pound Leaf to stop from 60 mph in 129 feet. While that’s better than the Chevrolet Bolt LT and Tesla Model 3, the BMW i3 has better brakes.

Model Nissan Leaf S Chevrolet Bolt LT Tesla Model 3 BMW i3
Brake Front(in) 11.1 11.0 12.6 11.0
Brake Rear(in) 11.5 10.0 13.2 11.0
Curb weight(lbs.) 3433 3580 3549 2961
60-0 MPH (ft.) 129 132 127 113

2018 Nissan Leaf electric Fuel Economy

9.1/10

EPA combined range rating is 151 miles, and the 2018 Leaf gets an energy-efficiency rating of 112 MPGe, which equals that of the previous generation. – Car Connection

The Nissan Leaf has a 40 kWh battery pack. This gives a range of 151 miles. That’s enough for every day commuting but road trips will be a problem. The Leaf can charge fully in 35 hours from 110V socket. With 240V socket, that’s reduced to 7.5 hours. Also, with public 480V DC Quick charging points, you can get 90 miles worth of charge within 30 minutes.

Model Nissan Leaf S Chevrolet Bolt LT Tesla Model 3 BMW i3
eMPG (city) 125 128 N/A 129
eMPG (Highway) 100 110 N/A 106
eMPG (Combined) 112 119 N/A 118
Battery Range (Miles) 151 238 220 114

However, the electric's Fast-charging network is sparse and that will require careful planning before long road trips. That’s where the Model 3 bangs-in. While the standard 220 miles range is sufficient, the Model 3 Long Range offers a staggering 310 miles range. And the Tesla Supercharging network is unquestionable as well.

2018 Nissan Leaf electric Interior

6.3/10

It’s hard to find fault with the Leaf’s basic comfort. It delivers a smooth ride, and the front seats are genuinely comfortable. It’s a very quiet and serene place to spend time thanks to the inherent quietness of its electric propulsion system. – Edmunds

Seating and Comfort

With the passenger capacity of 5, Leaf is one of the most comfortable EV cars. Owing to a minimum number of moving components, the Leaf is impeccably silent. The only sources of the noise can be wind or road but neither of them is overly prominent.

Model Nissan Leaf S Chevrolet Bolt LT Tesla Model 3 BMW i3
Passenger capacity 5 5 5 4
Passenger Volume (ft. cube) 92.4 95 97 96.2
Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 41.2/54.3/42.1 39.7/54.6/41.6 39.6/56.3/42.7 39.6/53.6/40.5
Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 37.3/52.5/33.5 37.9/52.8/36.5 37.7/54.0/35.2 37.2/49.2/31.9

When compared with the others, Nissan Leaf has the least passenger volume i.e. 92.4 ft. cube which is 4.6 ft. cube less than the best one but provides reasonably spacious front and rear seats. BMW i3 is the only EV car which has a passenger capacity of 4 but got good passenger volume.

Infotainment System

Nissan Leaf has a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system which supports AM/FM, HD Radio, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. The navigation system of the car gives real-time traffic information with the help of satellite radio.

Cargo/Trunk Volume

The new Nissan has by far the best trunk volume in the class – 23.6 ft. cube which is 6.7 ft. cube more than its closest rival. Among the rivals, Tesla Model 3 and BMW i3 got almost same trunk volume.

Model Nissan Leaf S Chevrolet Bolt LT Tesla Model 3 BMW i3
Trunk volume (ft. Cube) 23.6 16.9 15.0 15.1

Interior Features

  • 7” Infotainment System
  • Automatic Temperature Control
  • Aerodynamic underbody panels
  • Nissan Navigation System
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • Portable Charge Cables (120 V/ 240 V)
  • Leather-Appointed seats
  • Premium Audio System with seven speakers
  • Intelligent Around View Monitor

2018 Nissan Leaf electric Exterior

8.1/10

Accused of looking more like an amphibian than a car, Nissan’s Leaf has undergone quite a metamorphosis in its redesign. The 2018 model looks more like a conventional hatchback or crossover SUV, with a split rear C-pillar that gives it a floating-roof look similar to the larger Murano. – Kelley Blue Book

Dimensions and weight

The Nissan has a curb weight of 3433 lbs. and is 176.4 inches long, 70.5 inches wide and 61.4 inches tall. Leaf offers a ground clearance of 5.9 inches which is among the best.

Model Nissan Leaf S Chevrolet Bolt LT Tesla Model 3 BMW i3
curb weight(lbs.) 3433 3563 3549 2961
Length(in) 176.4 164.0 184.8 158.3
Width(in) 70.5 69.5 72.8 69.9
Height(in) 61.4 62.8 56.8 62.9
Ground clearance(in) 5.9 6.0 5.5 5.5
Wheelbase(in) 106.3 102.4 113.2 101.2
Track width(in) F/R 60.6/61.2 59.1/59.1 62.2/62.2 61.9/61.3

Comparing with the rivals, Tesla Model 3 is the longest and the widest car among the rivals but is the shortest in the class. It also provides maximum wheelbase and track width. BMW i3 is the tallest car compared here.

Exterior Features

  • 17” Machine Finished Aluminum Alloy Wheels
  • LED Headlights with LED Signature
  • Daytime Running Lights

2018 Nissan Leaf electric Safety

The NHTSA has not yet crash tested the electric Nissan Leaf. Also, the data available from IIHS is partial. However, the Nissan Leaf is a well-engineered car with plenty of safety features including a full complement of airbags

Safedty Features

  • Nissan Advanced Air Bag System With Dual-Stage Supplemental Front Air Bags With Seat Belt And Occupant-Classification Sensors
  • Driver And Front-Passenger Seat-Mounted Side-Impact Supplemental Air Bags
  • Roof-Mounted Curtain Supplemental Air Bags With Rollover Sensor For Side-Impact Head Protection For Front And Rear-Seat Outboard Occupants
  • Front Seat Belts With Pretensioners And Load Limiters
  • 3-Point ALR/ELR Passenger Seat Belt System (ELR For Driver)
  • Zone Body Construction With Front And Rear Crumple Zones
  • Latch System (Lower Anchors And Tethers For Children)
  • Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) With Traction Control System (TCS)

IIHS Ratings

Crashworthiness
Small overlap front driver side N/A
Small overlap front passenger side N/A
Moderate overlap front N/A
Side N/A
Roof strength N/A
Head restraints & seats Good

 

CRASH AVOIDANCE & MITIGATION
Front crash prevention N/A
Headlights N/A
Child seat anchors (LATCH) ease of use Marginal

2018 Nissan Leaf electric Competition

Nissan leaf vs Chevrolet Bolt LT

With a price difference of around $7500 (Leaf has a lower price), Chevrolet uses more powerful motor and hence has a better acceleration than the Leaf. The bolt can also travel almost 70 miles more with full charge. However, the Leaf is more practical with larger boot capacity and is friendlier to the wallet.

Nissan leaf vs Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3 has the most powerful motor in the class and while the Bolt has more range than the base Tesla, the Model 3 Long range outclasses the competition with its 310 miles range.

Further, the Tesla Supercharger network is unquestionable and the Model 3 looks and feels like a brother to the much-acclaimed Model S. The only trouble is acquiring it since the demand is far higher than supply.

Nissan Leaf vs BMW i3

BMW i3 is a very costly EV costing $15,000 more than the Nissan Leaf. The power and torque generated do not justify the price tag and the range is hopelessly outclassed. However, the i3 does feel livelier to drive than the others.

2018 Nissan Leaf electric Final Verdict

The 2018 Nissan Leaf is a practical electric car that can be used daily for city commutes and some small out of city excursions owing to its sufficient battery range. However, the sparse fast-charging network means a good planning will be required for long trips.

In city, however, the Leaf will delight with its tight dimensions, small turning circle, great outward visibility, and instant power delivery. Further, the capacious 23 cubic feet boot and spacious interiors make it practical. So if you are considering an electric car on a budget, consider the Leaf.