Nissan has finally taken the covers off it’s latest Nissan Leaf 2018 model today in Japan. The new model brings with it a new design that’s more modern as well as improved power and range.
Nissan Leaf 2018 Design
The new design is by far the most notable thing here with a very nice overall outside look. Coming in 8 different colours including Glacier White, Gun Metallic, Brilliant Silver, Deep Blue Pearl, Scarlet Ember Red and more.
For some reason they’re keeping the traditional black “grill” up front unfortunately. This is possibly to make it not as radical as other new electric cars. It also has a specific black section on the rear that can look quite good depending on the colour combination.
Looking inside though it’s a dog’s breakfast. We’re still insulted with ridiculously small screens, dozens of buttons, dials, knobs and things all over the place.
On board software is also ugly, ridiculously out dated (already) and likely very difficult to use. You also get ugly safety stickers on the sun visors too as a bonus!
Nissan seems to be fully aware how old and tired their software systems look though. Just like most other traditional manufacturers they’re pushing Apple’s Carplay as a way of glossing over it.
Strangely enough one place where they seem to have done spectacularly well is their Nissan Connect EV App. As you can see it offers some great advantages such as remote monitoring of the charging status, remote climate control and more. You can even lock and unlock the car doors with it although it’s not clear if it will automatically unlock from the phone only.
Nissan Leaf 2018 Range And Charging
Another crucially important feature is the range. Nissan put a 40 kWh battery in the new Nissan Leaf 2018 but says a bigger, 60 kWh model will be coming later next year.
The 40 kWh model can go 150 miles (240 km) of EPA rated range which is an odd choice. Most people seem to be coming to the consensus that ~200 miles or greater is about what’s needed for a “good” EV. That’s not to say no one will buy the Leaf, but it certainly won’t help it.
The charger location hasn’t changed, it’s still under that huge grill up the front. According to Nissan’s website the Leaf will be able to charge at about 22 miles per hour or up to 88 miles per 30 minutes at 50 kW fast chargers.
240V – FAST CHARGING (HOME AND PUBLIC)
1 HOUR CHARGE = UP TO 22 MILES (35 km) OF RANGE
50KW – FASTEST CHARGING (PUBLIC)[*]
30 MINUTE CHARGE = UP TO 88 MILES (140 km) OF RANGE
That’s not a horrible rate but it will mean long distance trips are a lot harder than some other EV’s. For most city dwelling folks it’ll do just fine as a short 3-4 hour charge at home overnight will still give you 88 miles (140 km) of range.
Price And Availability
The Nissan Leaf 2018 will come in 3 variants, “S”, “SV” and “SL” all with the 40 kWh battery. The S model starts at $29,990 USD while the SV and SL models are $32,490 and $36,200 respectively.
The SV gets 17″ Machine-finished aluminum-alloy wheels, Intelligent Cruise Control, Quick Charge Port, Nissan Navigation System, Apple Carplay and Android Auto.
The SL gets Intelligent Around View® Monitor, Blind Spot Warning, Leather-appointed seats, Bose Energy Efficient Series premium audio system with seven speakers, Portable charge cable (120 V/240 V) and LED headlights with LED signature Daytime Running Lights
A Nissan At A Tesla Price
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a huge fan of the interior but everything else about the Leaf seems quite good. It has a decent range that will suit 99% of people well. It’s not some stupid “future car” EV design that has blue neon’s and ridiculous styling all over it.
It’s also got that fantastic smart phone app, lots of good colors and a semi-decent charging rate. The Leaf is a good car that would suit a lot of people… but that price is wrong.
Nissan (to me at least) is an “everyman” car brand. They make excellent, reliable cars that sell at competitive low prices. The 370Z is one of my favourite looking cars. Their X-TRAIL, Qashqai, Patrol or Pathfinder are all everyman cars that sell well because they are good value for their price.
The Nissan Leaf 2018 is priced like a Tesla Model 3 though. It’s priced as a luxury car when it is anything but.
For $35,000 USD (just $5,000 more) you can get a far more luxurious Model 3. The Model 3 has a 40% longer range, it accelerates far quicker at 5.4 seconds for 0-60 mph as opposed to the Nissan Leaf’s super sluggish 8 seconds..
The Leaf can’t charge as fast as the Model 3 nor does it have access to the huge Supercharger and Destination Charger network. It doesn’t have Tesla’s OTA software updates or industry leading user interface. It’s screen is not even half the size of the Model 3’s. And on and on.
The Nissan Leaf 2018 is an excellent car… just not for $29,990. I expected it to be priced more around $19,990. I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking about the above either. Do you think it will be DOA because of the price? Let us know what you think is a fair price for it in the comments bellow!
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