The Nissan Leaf 2023 EV serves as an example of the distinction between being appealing on paper and being competitive in practice. We pay note when an EV’s starting price falls below $30,000, before any available tax credits. However, the Leaf’s driving range is inferior to that of its competitors, and its antiquated charging system making it less user-friendly.
The Chevy Bolt EV, the somewhat more expensive Kia EV6, and the Tesla Model 3 all outperform the Leaf’s longest-range battery pack, which provides just more than 200 miles (ca. 322 km) of driving range. Furthermore, the Nissan’s CHAdeMO recharging connector isn’t supported by all public charging stations.
However, the Leaf may work if you simply intend to drive in your neighborhood and can set up a charging station at home. It also offers a reasonably priced entry point into the world of electric vehicles. Due to its tiny hatchback design, it is simple to maneuver through backed-up city traffic and find a parking space for.
For 2023, Nissan’s electric vehicle gets a few stylistic updates, including a new grille, frontal bumper, and external lighting components. The outward modifications to the Leaf are completed by a pair of stylish multi-spoke wheels and an integrated Nissan emblem. There is now only the base S version and the more powerful SV Plus in the portfolio.
The 2023 Nissan Leaf is the least cost new EV on the market with a starting MSRP of $27,800. The cost of the extremely long Leaf SV Plus increases to $35,800. The Nissan Ariya electric SUV comes in second place, with the Nissan Leaf serving as the company’s entry-level EV.
The SV Plus is the best option here since it has a fair price, the greatest driving range, the strongest electric motor, and a respectable list of standard features. It boasts automatic temperature control, keyless entry with push-button begin, an 8.0-inch automatic tranny with Apple CarPlay and Google Auto compatibility, and automated headlights.
Front-wheel drive vehicles include Leafs. By today’s standards, the 147-horsepower electric engine and the 40.0-kWh battery pack in the base Leaf S are both puny. A more powerful, 214-hp electric engine and a bigger, 62.0-kWh battery are added to the Leaf SV Plus. The S managed a 7.4-second 0–60 mph time at our street circuit, but it feels nimbler than this figure suggests because of the electric motor’s immediate power delivery. However, as a result, it is weaker than the Bolt EV and the Model 3.
There is no doubt that upgrading to the more potent Plus model will result in faster acceleration, but we won’t be able to determine that until we have the opportunity to test one. Also, with help of the Leaf’s e-Pedal function, the driver can switch between two regen braking modes: one that uses the energy released when you let off the gas to slow the car down and recharge the battery, while the other reverses the process.
The Leaf can be plugged into a 240-volt outlet as well as a conventional 120-volt outlet, although the recharging times for every are considerably different. The larger battery in the Leaf Plus and the shorter battery in the normal Leaf, according to Nissan, can both be regenerated in seven hours when attached to a 240-volt outlet.
All trims come with a standard DC fast-charging connection. With a 40.0-kWh battery, the Leaf S has a comparatively short range of 149 miles (ca. 240 km). This may be sufficient for some users with brief journeys, but it is less than half the range offered by the Long-Range model of the Model 3. Due to its larger battery pack, the SV Plus has an EPA-rated driving range of 215 miles (ca. 346 km).
The Leaf’s cabin has a lot of black material, but thanks to its well-assembled and homogeneous textures, it doesn’t appear cheap. The gauge cluster has a sizable analog speedometer next to a digital readout with a 7.0-inch screen that can be adjusted to show different displays. The Leaf’s seats are La-Z-Boy comfortable, and the roomy back seat has enough space for adults as well. Despite the fact that collapsing the back of the car does not create a level load floor, the Leaf has one of the best cargo capacities in its class.
Seven carry-on bags and a staggering 19 when the back seat is folded fit while behind back seat of the car. In contrast, the Bolt EV had a load capacity of five and a maximum capacity of sixteen when the back seats were folded. In our testing, the Niro EV, which has a larger SUV-like body style, held a little bit more stuff, but the Leaf continues to lead the pack of electric vehicles.
The same 8.0-inch entertainment screen, which supports Apple CarPlay and Infotainment System, is standard on all Leaf models; navigation is an option. Although not very aesthetically beautiful, the most recent Nissan Connect software interface is easy to use and reacts quickly to inputs. The Leaf’s conventional six-speaker audio system may disappoint audiophiles; a seven-speaker Bose installation is offered, but it too failed to wow us during our test drive.
Yes, the 2023 Leaf is an excellent electric vehicle, but it occupies a smaller market niche than other major EVs in today’s rapidly expanding EV market. The Leaf’s electric drivetrain provides quick acceleration, while also making it agile and fairly comfortable to drive. The inside is roomy, the front seats are supportive, and the back seats are suitable for adults. Although a little old, the infotainment system is simple to operate, and Nissan equips the Leaf with a ton of standard safety measures. That’s especially noteworthy considering that the Leaf has the lowest starting price of any electric car on the market, at under $28,000.