Nissan Leaf (2018-present)

Need a practical, affordable, long-range electric car? The latest Nissan Leaf offers increased range, sharper styling and an improved drive

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Good refinement levels
Surprisingly fast around town
Looks sharper than previous car

Weaknesses 

Cheaper versions have limited range
Slightly firm ride
Not the most luxurious car inside
Best finance deal

Nissan Leaf Hatchback 110kw tekna 40kwh 5dr auto

Finance price £245 per month

Cash price £16,995

Nissan Leaf prices from £16,695   Finance from £245 per month

The first Nissan Leaf, launched in 2010, was very successful and helped bring electric cars to the masses. An all-new version was launched in 2018, propelling it to become Europe’s best-selling, pure-electric vehicle. However, the competition is growing, so the Leaf has its work cut out maintaining its lead.

Just like the last one, the current Leaf is similar in size to the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus, and Vauxhall Astra. Its main electric rivals are the Renault Zoe, Hyundai Ioniq EV and Kona Electric, Kia e-Niro and the Volkswagen e-Golf.

The key thing that sets the second-generation Leaf apart is the option of a 40kWh model, which is able to cover up to 168 miles between plugs, plus a newer, more powerful 62kWh Leaf e+ version, which is both faster and can travel further per charge, with a range of 239 miles. Keep reading to decide if this electric machine is the car for you.

Last Updated 

Tuesday, August 25, 2020 - 11:30

Key facts 

Warranty : 
Three years/60,000 miles
Boot size: 
435 litres
Width: 
1,788mm
Length: 
4,490mm
Height: 
1,530mm
Tax : 
£0

Best Nissan Leaf for... 

Nissan Leaf Acenta 40kwh
Regarding economy, in the case of electric cars it’s a case of balancing cost with range. The more you pay, the farther you go, and vice versa. If you tend to do only short journeys and can top-up the battery at home, the cheapest Leaf, the Acenta 40kWh is the most economical or cost-effective version.
Nissan Leaf N-Connecta
N-Connecta level brings a raft of assistance features that will help with family life. They include parking sensors and moving object detection, as well as the helpful Intelligent Around View Monitor, which essentially gives you a bird’s eye view of the car. It also had a rapid-charge port for greater convenience.
Nissan Leaf e+ Tekna
The e+ Tekna is the only version of the Leaf with the more powerful 62kW battery and 217hp electric motor. It can take the car from 0-62mph in just 7.1 seconds but has a range, claims Nissan, of up to 239 miles.

 

When the second generation Nissan Leaf launched in 2018 it was powered by a 40kWh battery powering a 150hp electric motor, offering a range of 168 miles on a full charge. It was by far the most capable electric car at that price, but that benchmark has since been beaten by a number of newer rivals.

As a result, Nissan added a second, more powerful Leaf with a longer range, to the model line-up in 2019. Called the Leaf e+ and available only in top-spec Tekna trim, it has a 62kWh battery powering a 217hp electric motor to give stronger performance and a range of 239 miles per charge.

The appearance of the orignal Leaf was divisive, its high-rising headlights made it look like a surprised frog. But the new Leaf has dumbed that down, with much more traditional styling. It is still distinctive, if that's what you're after, but the Volkswagen e-Golf in particular is hardly distiguishable from a petrol powered Golf, which some buyers may find more appealing.

With the instant power delivery you get from an electric motor, the 40kWh version of the Leaf is fast enough from 0-30mph. The e+ is faster still, capable of 0-62mph in 7.1 seconds, which is about as fast as a mid-noughties hot-hatch. The steering is light around town, which really suits the primary function of the Leaf as a zero-emission city goer.

The Leaf doesn’t have a clutch or gears - another trait of electric cars generally, the transmission lever is actually a small ball that you slide into drive, reverse and neutral. Inside, it's near-silent except for a bit of wind noise. It does however, emit a light buzz from the outside to alert pedestrians to its presence in the absence of any engine noise.

Because the batteries are heavy, and mounted low in the car, the Leaf’s suspension needs to be stiffer than a normal car’s to cope. This means it tends to crash and judder over bumps, making it less comfortable than a Vauxhall Astra on long journeys. This is magnified in the e+, which has more batteries and therefore increased weight.

Inside, there are some scratchy and flimsy plastics that you wouldn’t find in a Volkswagen e-Golf. All versions have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which allows mirroring of your phone on the car’s media display. This system and the Nissan Connect smartphone app were upgraded in March 2019.

Top-spec Tekna models have leather, which helps lift an otherwise fairly dull interior. Rear space is impressive. There’s enough room for tall adults, even if the driver is also tall and has their seat pushed back.

Boot space is impressive too - housing 435 litres. To put that into context, the petrol/diesel Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus only have 380 litres and 341 litres respectively. It has a bit of a lip, though, and the Bose sound system, found on Tekna models, gets in the way. 

Read more about electric car range

 

 

Nissan Leaf History

  • 2017: Nissan calls time on the first-generation Nissan Leaf.
  • 2018: New Nissan Leaf on sale in UK. e-Pedal, longer range, and updated design separate it from the old one.
  • 2019: The Leaf E+ Tekna joins the range offering more power and a greater range.

Understanding Nissan Leaf car names 

  • Leaf
  • Trim level
    Tekna
  • Motor
    e+
  • Trim level
    There are four trim levels on the Leaf. Tekna is the most expensive, and has the most amount of toys. There are two battery sizes on offer, and no gearbox options (because it doesn't have one.)
  • Motor
    Generally there’s no reference to the power of the battery or electric motor except in the case of the most powerful Leaf, called the e+.

Nissan Leaf Engines 

40kWh, e+ (62kWh)

There are are two "engines", or specifically motors, to choose from.

The lowest powered produces 150hp and uses a 40kWh battery. It has roughly the same power as an equivalent Ford Focus or Vauxhall Astra, but it’s much quicker. It'll do 0-62mph in 7.9 seconds, whereas a 1.5-litre diesel Ford Focus will take 10.2 seconds.

It can only travel up to 128 miles on a single charge. What’s more, you can’t quickly extend its range by rapid-charging the battery more than once on a single journey. Nissan says that this is to ‘safeguard’ the battery, in order to maintain battery life over an extended time period. While this won’t affect the range, it is something to bear in mind if you regularly travel long distances. Fast chargers will generally let you charge from empty to 80 per cent in around 40 minutes. On the trickle charge, it might take you more like two hours.

The most powerful Leaf is called the Leaf e+. It’s powered by a larger 62kWh battery and its motor produces 217hp. As a result, it can accelerate from 0-62mph in just 7.1 seconds, faster than most petrol cars of its size that aren't hot hatchbacks. The real punch can be felt from 0-30mph. An electric motor doesn't need to build revs like a traditional engine, so all of the power is available instantly.

Nissan claims the car can travel for up to 239 miles on a single charge. This number will fall in real-world use but means the car should be competitive against rival electric models. Our testing of this confirms that a 239 mile range seems acheivable in most situations. 

Fuel

Range

Power

Acceleration

Top speed

40kW

Electric

168 miles

150hp

0-62mph: 7.9s

90mph

62kW

Electric

239 miles

217hp

0-62mph: 7.3s

98mph

Nissan Leaf Trims 

Acenta, N-Connecta, Tekna, e+Tekna

The Nissan Leaf is available in four  trim levels.

All versions have the e-Pedal that accelerates the car when pressed and decelerates it when released, a host of electronic safety systems including ABS and hill start assist, and parking sensors. Alloy wheels are standard too, although they’re smaller 16-inch wheels on entry-level Acenta trim.

Acenta also has front fog lamps and electric folding door mirrors. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a sat nav and a rear view monitor.

N Connecta adds 17-inch wheels, privacy glass, moving object detection, and LED lights with self-levelling capabilities. It also has heated seats and a heated steering wheel.

Tekna cars get a powerful Bose sound system and the (£1090) option of ProPilot parking assistance that can parallel and bay park the car for you.

The e+ Tekna, is mostly a change in power, and can be read about in the section above. On the outside, the e+ Tekna only really has blue bumper accents to mark itself out from the regular Tekna.

Nissan Leaf Reliability and warranty 

The Leaf placed a respectable 18th out of 75 cars in Auto Express' Driver Power customer survey results, scoring highly across the board.

The Leaf has a 60,000 mile/three-year warranty as standard. It also comes with a five-year/60,000-mile warranty on all electric vehicle-related components. There’s also an eight-year/100,000 miles battery warranty that covers capacity loss of more than nine of its 12 bars (as shown on the capacity gauge on the dashboard).

Used Nissan Leaf 

There are currently 30 Nissan Leafs available on BuyaCar, with prices ranging from £16,695 to £21,500 for nearly-new models.

More expensive and better specced cars lose more money than lower specification cars. This means that the biggest savings can be found on top-spec Tekna models. All of these cars will also still have manufacturers' warranty left too.

Tekna models, with ProPilot assistance and a Bose sound system, start at £16,695 and £245 per month on BuyaCar.

Until early 2019, there was a trim level called Visia. It was the most basic, though, if you're just after a cheap electric car, they can make a canny used bargain.

      
Nissan Leaf: used car prices1 year old2 years old3 years old

Best for performance Nissan Leaf Tekna

£16,695N/AN/A

Best for families Nissan Leaf N-Connecta 

£17,129N/AN/A

Best for economy Nissan Leaf Acenta

£17,300N/AN/A

Other Editions