2020 Nissan Leaf Plus review: More power, more range

The Nissan Leaf Furthermore is more quickly and will take you farther than the normal product.


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Variety stress and anxiety in electric autos is a really real thing. It can be akin to the concern of your telephone likely dead, but alternatively of not being ready to look at Twitter for the newest incredibly hot will take, you’re stranded on the side of the highway — ideally with a billed telephone so you can summon a tow truck. In the Nissan Leaf’s circumstance, an EPA-approximated driving assortment of 149 miles is not miniscule, but you know what would be better to relieve assortment anxieties? A assortment of 226 miles, which is in which the Leaf Furthermore arrives in.

Like

  • Easy and fast acceleration
  • Seamless regenerative and mechanical brake integration
  • Impressive list of security technological innovation

Really don’t Like

  • Much less driving assortment than competition
  • Gentle, uncommunicative steering
  • Steeper foundation value than the opposition

Better geared up to contend

In contrast to 2011 when the initial-technology Leaf went on sale, the EV landscape currently is a lot diverse. The Nissan is no longer the only electric hatchback in city, with entries like the Chevrolet Bolt, Hyundai Kona Electric powered and Kia Niro EV now in showrooms. Every single features perfectly over 200 miles of assortment, leaving the foundation Leaf and its forty-kilowatt-hour battery pack significantly in the rearview mirror.

The Leaf Furthermore formally arrived last calendar year with a greater 62-kilowatt-hour battery. In the foundation S Furthermore trim, it returns the earlier mentioned 226 miles of assortment, but the better-geared up SV Furthermore and SL Furthermore models with more alternatives that use up electricity obtain an formal rating of 215 miles. Without having query, those quantities are a healthier advancement over the normal Leaf, but still lag powering the ranges of the Chevy (259 miles), Hyundai (258 miles) and Kia (239 miles).

During a 7 days with an SL Furthermore tester, the 215-mile rating appeared quickly within just get to. I never ever enable the battery dip a lot underneath a thirty% charge because of assortment stress and anxiety but was easily on observe to go over 215 miles of motoring applying the electron-sipping Eco mode. 

Activating the e-pedal system yields potent regenerative braking the minute you elevate off the suitable pedal. The regen brakes are muscular more than enough to carry the Leaf Furthermore to a entire stop for a one particular-pedal driving working experience. It can be mildly entertaining driving it this way and gratifying when you navigate through city without touching the brake pedal. Being clean and timing your throttle inputs effectively pays off as you go over more floor and rarely see the battery charge gauge fall.

When you do deplete the Furthermore, juicing it up with a 240-volt, Amount two charger will take eleven.5 hours. A neat thing about the Furthermore is that the normal charging cable handles both equally Amount 1 and Amount two charging. So, alternatively of spending revenue putting in a Amount two charger at residence, owners can just have a 240-volt outlet to plug into. As for Amount 1 charging from a regular domestic outlet, that will take north of thirty hours.

If you reside in close proximity to a 100-kW DC charger, you can be ready to charge a drained Leaf Furthermore to eighty% in 45 minutes.


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For those who reside in close proximity to a 50-kW DC charger, the Leaf Furthermore can charge from to eighty% in an hour. If you’re fortuitous more than enough to have entry to a a lot less-widespread 100-kW DC charger, that’ll cut charge time for a dead battery to eighty% to 45 minutes.

More electricity

The other welcome advancement accompanying the Plus’ upsized battery is a electricity soar. The normal Leaf is no slouch with 147 horsepower and 236 pound-toes of torque, but nobody will protest an boost to 214 hp and 250 lb-ft. All that thrust is transmitted instantly to the entrance wheels through a single-speed transmission acquiring the Leaf Furthermore to sixty mph in about 7 seconds, which is about a second more quickly than the normal product. There are zero troubles acquiring up to speed for expressway merging and passing maneuvers are a cinch. More than its -to-sixty time, I am impressed with how rapidly the Leaf Furthermore accelerates from forty to 70 mph and outside of. 

Straight-line slingshots are about the extent of the fun in the Leaf Furthermore from a overall performance standpoint. Based on trim stage, the Furthermore is about 340 pounds heavier than the foundation Leaf, and that doesn’t enable dynamics. There’s some dive below braking and roll at change in. The minimal-rolling-resistance seventeen-inch Michelin Strength Saver A/S tires squawk in protest when you toss it into a corner and balance control intervenes suitable absent to get matters in buy.

A more impressive battery also signifies that the Leaf Furthermore is more quickly, with 214 horsepower and 250 pound-toes of torque.


Jon Wong/Roadshow

Trip excellent is, on the other hand, buttoned up and comfortable on the 50-collection sidewall tires. Impacts from greater bumps are still felt inside of the Leaf’s cabin. The handoff from regenerative to mechanical braking is seamless, with stopping drive progressively escalating as you press the pedal. The steering is light-weight and devoid of any responses, but that is good along with the a lot less-than-stellar cornering chops. The Leaf is not meant to be a sports activities car or truck. 

A Leaf inside of and out

If you’re anticipating the Leaf Furthermore to glimpse a lot diverse from the normal Leaf, then you’re likely to be disappointed. Other than an extra blue accent strip on the entrance fascia and the Furthermore badge on the hatch beneath the trim stage designation, it appears to be like each and every other Leaf. And that is not an completely bad thing. The Leaf wears a fairly intense encounter with Nissan’s signature V-movement grille, delicate side character traces and 5-spoke wheels with a contrasting silver encounter and grey insets.

Inside, there is certainly almost nothing to generate residence about, both. It attributes the Leaf’s high seating position, blue accent stitching listed here and there and loads of hard plastic generating up the complete dash and parts of the doorway panels. The good news is, the plastics are properly finished, and strategic spots are wrapped in vinyl and padded, this kind of as the armrests, the middle of the doorway panels and the side of the center console, in which you could relaxation your knees. 


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Space in the Nissan’s entrance- and second-row seats is serviceable for most grown ups and there are more than enough cubbies to stash goods all over the cabin. The Leaf can also shift very a little bit of cargo, with 23.6 cubic toes on offer powering the rear seats, which grows to thirty cubic toes with the second row folded ahead.

Quarterbacking infotainment in the Leaf is the NissanConnect system with an eight-inch touchscreen that doesn’t have the most vivid graphics. It can be a attribute-prosperous system with a nice Bose audio set up, satellite radio, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. In the SL Furthermore, it also has onboard navigation, which normally will take a tiny little bit of time to work out routes.

NissanConnect’s graphics are hunting dated.


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On the active security technological innovation entrance, all Leaf models occur normal with ahead-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind-place monitoring, lane-departure warning and rear cross-targeted visitors alert with rear automatic braking. On my SL Furthermore examination car or truck, Nissan’s ProPilot driver help tech is also incorporated, applying adaptive cruise control and lane-retain support for partially automatic, arms-on-the-wheel motoring that operates unbelievably perfectly in targeted visitors.

How I would spec it 

I generally check out to retain my builds as price range-conscious as doable, but with the Leaf Furthermore, I have to spring for the SL trim. Optioning the midgrade SV will have me including a couple of solution packages to get have to-haves like heated seats and LED headlights, bumping the value tag to in close proximity to-SL degrees. Splurging on the assortment-topping product expenditures $forty four,825, including $925 for desired destination. Tack on the $695 two-tone black and white paint task like on the car or truck pictured listed here and $195 flooring and cargo mats, and that provides the base line of my perfect car or truck to $45,715. Sadly, that is not a lot more affordable than this $forty six,045 tester.

With all the bells and whistles and a couple of alternatives, this SL Furthermore examination car punches in at a hair over $forty six,000.


Jon Wong/Roadshow

A better Leaf, but not the benchmark

The 2020 Nissan Leaf Furthermore will established you again $39,125 to begin, which is more than the $37,890 Chevy Bolt and $38,365 Hyundai Kona Electric powered, but more affordable than the $forty,210 Kia Niro EV. All a few of the Leaf’s competition offer a greater dose of design and style, are more engaging to travel and, most importantly, offer longer driving ranges.

What the Leaf has doing the job in its favor is a sizable list of normal and offered security tech attributes, and the reality that it is really the ideal-marketing EV to date has surely developed some Nissan loyalists. But to any individual new to the EV world with no past allegiance to model or product, the Leaf Furthermore very likely is not the ideal solution in the affordable EV hatchback section.