2018 Nissan Leaf electric

MSRP $29,990 - $36,200

Ranked #2 in Hatchback

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7.4

Overall Rating

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2018 Nissan Leaf electric Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: January 5, 2022

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Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The 2018 Nissan Leaf Electric hatchback is one of the easiest ways to on an electric car. It was offered is the brand’s first fully electric offering and has garnered quite a bit of attention. It has been around for a long while and establish a reputation for being reliable as well as cheap to maintain. It offers you all the comforts of an electric car without the huge price tag that comes with it.

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Pros

Nice ride quality

Excellent safety features

Good looking design

Smooth Acceleration

Cons

Handling is subpar

Touchscreen can cause distraction

Interior materials are a bit basic

What's New?

Upgraded battery

Revamped design

Better performance and safety


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$29990

bodystyle

4dr Hatchback

passenger capacity

5

top speed

90 mph

drivetrain

front wheel drive

engine type

horsepower

147 hp @ 3282 rpm

torque

236 lb.-ft.

transmission

1 speed direct drive

chassis

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension w/anti-roll bar

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

30 cu ft.

payload capacity

1020 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7.5 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

15.8 sec.

fuel economy

highway range

425.5 mi.

ev range

277.5 mi.

highway range (evs/hybrids)

425.5 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

powertrain warranty

5 yr./ 60,000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

Yes

ev battery warranty

8 yr./ 100,000 mi.


Pictures & Videos


Trims

S$29,990 onwards

  • 5-Inch central display
  • Automatic headlights
  • Keyless entry and start
  • Led taillights
  • Rear spoiler
  • Rearview camera

SV$32,490 onwards

  • 7-Inch touchscreen
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration
  • Leather-Wrapped steering wheel
  • Nissanconnect system
  • Six-Speaker audio system

SL$36,200 onwards

  • 360-Degree parking camera
  • Bose seven-speaker sound system
  • Leather upholstery

Colors and Styles

2018 Nissan Leaf electric in Brilliant Silver 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

Pricing and Features

6.0

Features

7.0

Engine and Performance

8.1

Fuel Economy

9.1

Interior

6.3

Exterior

8.1

Safety

6.0

Competition

9.0

7.4

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

7.4

Overall Rating


For the 2018 model year, the previously fitted 29.9 kWh battery was upgraded to 40 kWh battery which significantly better as the range. Nissan has also had several improvements in terms of the structural rigidity and for both performance as well as crash safety. For this year, Nissan Leaf price starts at MSRP $29,990, and it competes against the, Tesla Model 3, Chevrolet Bolt EV, and the BMW i3. Let us see how the Nissan fares in this competition.


7.0/10
Features

8.1/10
Engine and Performance

9.1/10
Fuel Economy

6.3/10
Interior

8.1/10
Exterior

6.0/10
Safety

9.0/10
Competition


2018 Nissan Leaf electric Features

7.0/10

Although it is a basic offering, the Nissan Leaf is split into several trim levels. These are mainly -S, SV and SL and cover a broad price range. The base trim starts at $29,900 and the highest trim range goes up to $36,200 without options. This is definitely cheap foreign electric hatchback when you compare it with the rest of the competition. Features offered are plenty even in the base trim levels with offering such as height adjustable driver seat, automatic climate control keyless ignition and entry, 8 inch touchscreen and so on.

Trims

S

SV

SL

MSRP

$29,990

$32,490

$36,200

Key Features

147-hp (110 kW) AC synchronous electric motor

INCLUDES S FEATURES PLUS:

INCLUDES SV FEATURES PLUS:

 

e-Pedal

Android Auto

Intelligent Around View Monitor

 

7″ touchscreen 

17" Machine-finished aluminum-alloy wheels

Portable charge cable (120 V/240 V)

 

Automatic Temperature Control

Nissan Navigation System

LED headlights with LED signature Daytime Running Lights

 

Aerodynamic underbody panels and rear diffuser

Nissan Connect EV & Services powered by Sirius

Leather-appointed seats

 

Standard Automatic Emergency Braking

Apple CarPlay

Bose Energy Efficient Series Premium Audio System with seven speakers

Which trim should you buy?

We find the base trim level itself to be well equipped although there is not much in terms of excitement. And since every trim is mechanically identical, there is not a big reason to go for the higher trim levels unless you want better technology. For this reason, we believe that the SV trim level is the one that makes the most sense. It gives you added convenience features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This also gets you a navigation system and 17 inch alloy wheels which significantly makes the car more usable and good-looking. It is offered at the price of $32,490 and hence is not much of a premium over the base trim.

2018 Nissan Leaf electric Engine and Performance

8.1/10

Being electric vehicles, these cars are powered by a battery pack and motors. Over the years, Nissan has been constantly updating the battery and motor technology. This car has a 40 kWh battery which gives it more range than any of its earlier models. In terms of power, the car can give an output of 147 hp and 236 pound feet of torque which is definitely an improvement over last year. This also makes it much faster in terms of acceleration.

The motor is a permanent magnet synchronous AC motor, and the transmission is the one-speed direct drive system. These transmissions are becoming more and more commonplace in electric vehicles these days and perform the duty quite well. Acceleration figures in the base engine itself are impressive with a 7.5 second 0 to 60 mph time as well as a 15.8 second 0 to 60 mph time. However, its handling is far from being progressive or exciting. The car often feels out of breath when pushed around corners.

Models

2018 Nissan Leaf 

2018 Tesla Model 3

2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2018 BMW i3

MSRP

$29,990

$36,200

$37,495

$44,450

Drivetrain

Single AC Synchronous Motor

Electric

Permanent magnet Drive Motor

Synchronous Traction Motor

Electric Motor

FWD

AWD

FWD

RWD

Transmission

Single-Speed Automatic

1-speed direct drive

1-speed direct drive

1-speed direct drive

Power (Horsepower)

147 hp

258 hp

200 hp

170 hp

Torque (lb-ft)

236 lb-ft

317 lb-ft

266 lb-ft

184 lb-ft

0-60 MPH

7.5 sec

5.1 sec

6.5 sec

7.2 sec

Quarter Mile

15.8 sec

13.1 sec

15.3 sec

N/A

Top Speed

N/A

145 MPH

N/A

N/A

There are a variety of drivetrain layouts in this class as you can observe. However, the Tesla is the fastest car in its class, both on paper as well as in real life. However, it is the Nissan that manages to undercut the price of its rivals by a few grand with its MSRP being much lower than the competition. In terms of performance, the Nissan comes last while the expensive BMW i3 gives it company near the last spot. The Chevrolet Bolt is slightly better in terms of torque figures and manages to strike a good balance but is more expensive than the Tesla.

2018 Nissan Leaf electric Fuel Economy

9.1/10

One of the good things about the new set of electric vehicles is that they come with excellent fuel economy. However, the testing on the Nissan Leaf has not been complete and hence the EPA rated fuel economy ratings are unknown. That said, even with its increased battery capacity, it does not have a lot of range. It can go 151 miles on a full charge but that is not what the category benchmark is right now. We do not expect a major improvement in that anytime soon but if Nissan has the will to upgrade like it has over these years, it is a good sign.

Models

2018 Nissan Leaf 

2018 Tesla Model 3

2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2018 BMW i3

MPGe (City)

N/A

148

128

129

MPGe (Highway)

N/A

132

110

106

MPGe(Combined)

N/A

141

119

118

Range

151 miles

322 miles

259 miles

153 miles

Fuel efficiency is single-handedly the department of Tesla because it not only has the best numbers in terms of efficiency but also in terms of range. In fact, it is much better in this aspect and can give you the largest range of 322 miles. The next competitor is the Chevrolet Bolt EV with a range of 259 miles and very comparable fuel efficiency. One can clearly see that Tesla is far ahead of most manufacturers in terms of battery technology right here. The BMW has good fuel efficiency but feels very insufficient in terms of range which makes it completely unacceptable for the price point.

2018 Nissan Leaf electric Interior

6.3/10

The interiors of the Nissan Leaf are not exactly luxurious but they are definitely up to the job. It has a decent layout with good ergonomics but the material quality is not exactly great. There is abundant space inside and passengers updated to good legroom and headroom in both rows. One can also find that there is a good storage capacity inside the cabin with cubbyholes and other compartments. There is also an excellent boot with 23.6 ft.³ of storage. This can swallow up all your luggage with ease.

In terms of interior space, the car feels like one of the largest ones in its class. The interior material quality is not exactly as great as some of its rivals. However, there is a decent amount of features you can find especially from the mid-trim and upwards. The ambience inside is definitely airy and the colors used are also quite welcoming. Overall, it is the cabin that is pleasing to the eye and is easy to use.

Models

2018 Nissan Leaf 

2018 Tesla Model 3

2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2018 BMW i3

Passenger capacity

5

5

5

4

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

41.2/54.3/42.1

40.3/56.3/42.7

39.7/54.6/41.6

39.1/56.1/42.2

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

37.3/52.5/33.5

37.7/54.0/35.2

37.9/52.8/36.5

37.4/55.0/35.7

Cargo Capacity

23.6 cu.ft.

15.0 cu.ft.

16.9 cu.ft.

15.1 cu.ft.

We find that the much smaller-looking rivals also have excellent interior space inside. The Tesla is the one with the most spacious seats but it suffers in terms of the cargo capacity. The Nissan on the other hand is exactly opposite but that does not say that it is cramped on the interiors. The BMW has undoubtedly the best material quality inside the cabin as well but sits only four, which is one person less than all of its rivals. For the extra money that we pay for it, we definitely expect better material quality inside the BMW. Some standard features include:

  • 6-Way Manual Adjustable Driver Seat.
  • 4-Way Manual Adjustable Passenger Seat.
  • Power Windows.
  • Front and Rear Cupholders.
  • Automatic Air Conditioning.
  • Fabric Seat Trim.
  • Front Map Lights.
  • Hybrid Gauge Cluster.
  • Air Filtration

What’s there to keep you entertained?

There is a digital display next to the analogs parameter that is configurable and there is also a touchscreen display that is quite nice to use. It provides both Apple CarPlay as well as Android Auto smartphone integration. The Nissan is a truly modern car, and hence it does not skimp on its infotainment features other than that. The system is very easy to operate and the snappy response is very much appreciated. The touchscreen is not very large but the 6.0 inches in size. The audio system offered is also very decent in terms of output. Some features of the infotainment system include: 

  •  6-inch Infotainment Display.
  • Nissan Navigation System.
  • USB, Aux and iPod Support.
  • Bluetooth Audio Streaming.
  • SiriusXM Radio.
  • CD Player and MP3 Support.
  • Speed Compensated Volume Control.
  • Portable Charge Cables (120 V/ 240 V).
  • 7-Speaker Audio System.

2018 Nissan Leaf electric Exterior

8.1/10

In terms of looks, the Leaf debuted with a very quirky design back in 2011. However, this is not very well received among automotive buyers. But now, it looks very mature in terms of the design language and is also much more spacious. It not only gives the impression that it is a much larger car, but it also provides most of that sophisticated nature of the brand at a very competitive price tag. It definitely looks very premium and has attracted a sufficient number of buyers just due to this. It has also become much heavier and weighs 3433 pounds. 

Models

2018 Nissan Leaf 

2018 Tesla Model 3

2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2018 BMW i3

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3433 lbs

3554 lbs

3563 lbs

2965 lbs

Length (in)

176.4”

184.8"

164.0"

158.3"

Width (in)

70.5”

72.8"

69.5"

69.9"

Height (in)

61.4”

56.8"

62.8"

62.9"

Ground Clearance (in)

5.9”

5.5"

N/A

5.2"

Wheelbase (in)

106.3”

113.2"

102.4"

101.2"

When we look at the dimensions, we find out that the hard to find that Tesla is much larger than any of its competitors. It has the longest wheelbase as well as the largest dimensions in every single aspect. This is why the car has excellent space inside. The BMW is the smallest car in this category. The Nissan strikes a balance between these two and is decently large but not at the cost of being less maneuverable around town. It is on the heavier side of the category when the BMW is much lighter. Some standout features include:

  •  16-inch Machined Aluminum Alloy Wheels.
  •  205/55R16 All Season Tires.
  • LED Headlights with LED Signature.
  • Daytime Running Lights.
  • Black Side Windows Trim and Black Front Windshield Trim.
  • Chrome Door Handles.
  • Lip Spoiler

2018 Nissan Leaf electric Safety

6.0/10

In terms of safety, Nissan has a commitment towards its buyers to provide good results. However, it has not been crash tested by the NHTSA which leaves us with very little information. It performs quite well in the IIHS crash test by the test has only been partially done. It has not only passive safety features but even has active safety features as standard such as automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and so on as standard from the mid-level trim. The company is also added a lot of structural integrity to the car for this year. Some of the standout safety features include:

  • Nissan Advanced AirBag System.
  • Driver And Front-Passenger Seat-Mounted Side-Impact Supplemental Air Bags.
  • Roof-Mounted Curtain Supplemental Air Bags.
  • Rollover Sensor For Side-Impact Head Protection.
  • Front Seat Belts With Pretensioners And Load Limiters.
  • 3-Point ALR/ELR Passenger Seat Belt System.
  • Front And Rear Crumple Zones.
  • Latch System (Lower Anchors And Tethers For Children).
  • Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with Traction Control System (TCS)

2018 Nissan Leaf electric Competition

9.0/10

2018 Nissan Leaf Vs. 2018 Tesla Model 3

The only advantage the Nissan Leaf offers on top of the Tesla is that it has better cargo capacity. But in every other aspect, the car fails to impress when you compare it with the Tesla Model 3. To begin with, the Tesla has much better performance. It also has a lot more convenience features as well as technology despite being priced at the premium. All in all, it would be a no brainer to choose Tesla over Nissan in the competition.

2018 Nissan Leaf Vs. 2018 BMW i3

The BMW i3 is the most expensive car in this segment and is also the smallest. It provides decent fuel efficiency but not much range. It does not have a lot of cargo capacity but is decently spacious inside. It also has the best material quality and overall build quality among the competitors. However, being priced at such a premium and not performing as competitively as some of the rivals, we feel that it is not a great option. Despite being priced at a much higher range than the Nissan, it fails to offer anything of value. However, it has arguably better design as well as the convenience of being very tiny and yet offering excellent interior space.

2018 Nissan Leaf vs. 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV

The Chevrolet Bolt EV is one of the most competitive offerings from the American brand. We find that buyers who were not previously interested have also started flooding Chevrolet showrooms with their money because the car is much more in vogue. It is one such car that provides a bit of everything. It has decent performance, good interiors, and it some the amount of features and good efficiency as well. It also provides excellent range.

2018 Nissan Leaf electric Final Verdict

The Nissan Leaf electric hatchback is one of the cheapest electric cars you can buya lot of value for its price point as well. It has managed to perform better in some aspects but failed to impress in many others. It has proved to be an economical and practical alternative to some of the electric cars we have around but fails to provide much of value to buy it over its competitors. Hence, even at the low price it is offered at, it is not a very tempting buy. We feel that you are better off with the Chevrolet Bolt of the Tesla Model 3.

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