2022 Nissan Leaf review
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|CarExpert||78%||"Fundamentally, the Nissan Leaf is a good car that drives beautifully and is practical enough to substitute an internal-combustion equivalent for most people, but with rivals evolving so rapidly in this increasingly electrified age, Nissan runs the risk of falling behind the pack very quickly."||Read more|
|Drive||81%||"Upgraded with a more energy-dense battery pack and extended real-world range, the Nissan Leaf e+ makes more sense for Australian buyers – especially one-car households."||Read more|
|Exhaust Notes||75%||"SPORTY, comfortable and environmentally friendly, the 2021 Nissan LEAF e+ really does embody the Japanese car maker's 'innovation that excites' mantra, and all while boasting zero emissions."||Read more|
|Wheels||70%||"But even in its twilight form, the Leaf represents so much more than an electric hatchback. An old EV is proof that the concept is standing the test of time and Nissan's commitment to zero-emissions transport is paying off."||Read more|
How does the Nissan Leaf compare with other electric vehicles?
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
A comprehensive review of the Nissan Leaf
Nissan Leaf range pricing and specs
Nissan offers buyers 2 different Leaf models in Australia.
Drive-away, the Leaf starts from $54,187.
The entry-spec Leaf model starts from $54,187..
The base specification includes the following:
- 270km range (WLTP)
- 110kW, 320Nm motor
- 40kWh battery
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Satellite navigation
- Reverse camera (with predictive path)
- 17-inch alloy wheels
- 8-inch colour touchscreen
- 7-inch driver's instrument screen
- Heated, leather-accented steering wheel
- Black leather-accented seat upholstery with Ultrasuede panels
- Heated front and rear outboard seats
- 7-speaker BOSE energy-efficient sound system
- Metallic blue rear bumper finisher
- Privacy glass
- Safety assists:
- Hill start assist
- Intelligent Around View monitor with moving object detection
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Intelligent driver alertness
- Intelligent forward collision warning
- Intelligent emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Intelligent lane intervention
- Blind-spot warning
- Rear cross-traffic alert
- Rear-view camera (with predictive path technology)
- Tyre pressure monitoring system
- Lane departure warning
- Low-speed vehicle sound
- Traffic sign recognition
Not a bad base specification.
Nissan Leaf e+
If you need more power, torque and range, then the e+ is the model to go for. The drive-away price rises to $65,212.
Extra features include the following:
- 62kWh battery
- 50kW more power (160kW)
- 20Nm more torque (340Nm)
- 115km extra range (385km)
- Metallic blue front bumper finisher
That extra range could be a big deal, but it comes at an $11,025 premium.
Click on a price to compare car loans for the Nissan Leaf.
|Leaf 40kWh||Leaf e+ 62kWh|
|Hatchback, single motor, FWD, single-speed transmission: $54,187||Hatchback, single motor, FWD, single-speed transmission: $65,212|
You can buy the Nissan Leaf in the following no-cost colours
- Arctic White
Premium paint options include the following:
- Vivid Blue
- Magnetic Red
- Gun Metallic
- Pearl Black
The following colours are available with a contrasting Pearl Black roof:
- Vivid Blue
- Magnetic Red
- Ivory Pearl
- Gun Metallic
In the electric vehicle world, the Nissan Leaf is a grandparent. It promises a reasonable (but not segment-leading) range, a modest specification, practicality and mature looks but reviewers wondered whether the Leaf is worth the money, considering there are cheaper options out there now. Other models to check would include the Hyundai IONIQ (which is cheaper) or the Hyundai Kona (also cheaper, has a great range and is held in high regard).
|CarExpert||"With the Leaf e+ the brand has not only made the electric hatchback more appealing to more people, but given it more performance that will no doubt resonate with the performance-hungry Australian market."|
|Drive||"What Nissan has done with the release of the Leaf e+ is offer an alternative to electric car buyers hesitant to sign up for the range of the now base model. We've said for some time that ranges approaching 400km start to make a lot more sense for a hell of a lot more Australian buyers, and the Leaf now falls into that category. "|
|Exhaust Notes||"Offering an eco-friendly option, it's a fun and styling vehicle, that's genuinely hard to go past."|
|Wheels||"While the unstoppable momentum of new zero-emissions vehicles builds exponentially, there are few that can claim to have dipped their toe in the water earlier than the little Japanese hatchback, and even fewer are still going strong today. But how strong?"|
Motor, battery and performance
The Nissan Leaf is a battery electric vehicle (BEV).
Nissan Leaf electric motor and transmission
The Leaf is only available with a single motor. The motor is an EM57, which was released by Nissan Motors in 2013. It underwent an upgrade when the Leaf was refreshed back in 2018, which increased the power and output. Engineering tweaks were also made at the time.
The e-Powertrain fitted to the 40kWh lead makes a peak of 110kw and 320Nm. The range is given as 270km WLTP.
If you need (or want) more power, torque and range, then the e+ is equipped with a 62kWh battery. It has 45.4% more power at 160kW and torque is 6.25% higher at 340Nm. The range also increases by 42.5% to 385km.
The Leaf, like most electric vehicles (not the Porsche Taycan, though), has a single-speed gearbox.
Nissan Leaf battery
The Leaf has a laminated lithium-ion battery, which comes in 2 different sizes: 40kWh or 62kWh.
Car reviewers' impressions of the Nissan Leaf engine and transmission line-up
What did motoring experts think of the Leaf's motor, battery and transmission trio?
In eco mode, reviewers found that the drivetrain was a little muted, but if you switch this off, the Leaf e+ has a solid and steady rate of acceleration. It's also silky smooth. One of the testers actually favoured this more gentle acceleration, when compared to vehicles like the Model S or Taycan. This view was backed up by another reviewer who said the acceleration was much more suited to public roads. A tester suggested that the Leaf had hot hatch levels of performance. Even hair-raising, if you take it out of eco-mode. It was pointed out that the Mini Cooper S has the same 0-100km/h time as the Leaf e+ – as does the previous-gen Focus ST and the old VW Golf GTI.
One of the biggest selling points of the Leaf is its 1-pedal driving feature. According to the journos, it really does make the car feel like a bumper car. Reviewers found it took a little bit of time to get used to lifting off the throttle to brake, but they added it was intuitive and easy enough to make the mental switchover.
It seems the Leaf is surprisingly quick then, but a little more sensible than some of the EV dragsters sold by other car makers.
The best quote that summed up the Leaf was that saving the planet doesn't have to be soulless.
Nissan Leaf motor and transmission figures
62kWh Leaf e+
|Motor type||AC synchronous motor Nissan EM57|
|Battery type||350V laminated lithium-ion|
|Max power||110kW (3,283-9,795RPM)||160kW (3,283-9,795RPM)|
|Max torque||320Nm (0-3,283RPM)||340Nm (0-3,283RPM)|
|Electric-only range (WLTP)||270km||385km|
|Acceleration (0-100km/h)||7.9 seconds||6.9 seconds|
|Top speed (km/h)||145km/h||158km/h|
|Towing capacity (braked)||Not known|
Nissan Leaf energy efficiency and ranges
How energy efficient is the Nissan Leaf? What kind of range does it have?
Nissan Leaf 40kWh
We use the Green Vehicle Guide as a source for all our fuel economy and energy efficiency figures.
According to the guide, the standard Leaf uses 171Wh/km. If you drive 14,000km per year, 66% of the time around town, then the Green Vehicle Guide figures you'd spend $718 on electricity.
The WLTP range for this Leaf is 270 kilometres.
Nissan Leaf e+ 62kWh
With a larger battery, this model has a longer WLTP range of 385km. The GVG predicted annual energy costs for e+ Leaf would be $756, driving in the above conditions. This model consumes a little more energy per km, at 180Wh per kilometre.
Are energy consumption figures a promise?
No, not at all. They are more of a guide to compare different models. They are reliable at this as all cars go through the same WLTP testing protocol. This procedure takes place under the same conditions every time. However, while it tries to simulate traffic (from a European city), it cannot take into account all the different variables you encounter on real-world roads. As a result, you can expect to see different energy consumption figures on public roads.
What ranges did the car reviewers report for the Nissan Leaf?
One of the testers reported energy use that was much higher than the official figures (though this was based on a freeway trip). To get a more accurate overview, you need more journeys to average out things like heavy acceleration and traffic. Another related how they managed an indicated 330km, with the e+.
It's not uncommon for there to be a difference between the official brochure figures and the sample size here is a little too small to make any firm assumptions.
To look at, you might think the Nissan Leaf is about as exciting to drive as a washing machine is to buy.
Well, it seems that's not the case, judging by the comments of reviewers.
More than one of the journos went as far as saying it was fun to drive. They said the chassis was well engineered and steady. Other reviewers suggested the ride was a little hard, without being too coarse. Testers suggested it'll eat up tight bends and the e+'s extra performance easily makes up for any additional weight gained. It was even suggested that the Leaf was a little over-engineered as it just lapped up the extra power that the e+ adds into the mix.
Apparently, the Leaf is eager to turn and the body roll is kept tightly under control. The steering is nice and quick.
Overall, it sounds like the Nissan Leaf is actually quite engaging to drive, much to the surprise of many of the journos.
Interior and equipment
How did the motoring experts judge the Leaf's interior?
Is the Leaf comfortable? It really depends on how tall you are, said one of the motoring experts. Someone with long legs reportedly won't enjoy the driving position too much. This was contrasted with the view from one tester that it was actually a very comfy vehicle on longer journeys. In the rear, it was suggested there was sufficient space for passengers, but not outstanding amounts of room.
The pros of the interior are that it has heated seats in both the front and second-row outboard seats, that's something reserved normally for far more expensive vehicles.
Ergonomics are good, judging by the tester's comments. The layout of controls is logical, though one reviewer pointed out the indicator stalk was on the left, which they said was evidence of its assembly for the European market. It's more likely that Nissan is saving money by not having to rejig the assembly line to switch the indicator stalk around.
Quality-wise, there are no major issues to report. Reviewers said it was well put together, with no untoward or irritating noises from trim pieces clattering together.
In the Nissan Leaf, there are 405 litres of storage volume. The Hyundai IONIQ BEV has 357 litres to the top of the seats and the Hyundai Kona only has 331 litres. The Leaf's cabin opens to 1,176 litres with the seats folded down.
Some of the downsides picked up on was the driving position. We read that it's very upright, almost like it's lifted from the Nissan Navara, despite the Leaf being a low-down hatch with some performance hidden beneath its more pedestrian exterior.
Also, testers didn't like that the Leaf's steering column lacks reach adjustment.
It was also suggested that the Leaf is starting to look behind the times, reflecting the time when it was first introduced. Specifically mentioned were the switchgear, user interface and the foot-activated parking brake.
It was commented on that because the infotainment system has been around for a while, it generally is very solid and doesn't suffer from too many hiccups.
It sounds like a solid quality interior that's well made and generally praised by testers, but they did mention it was starting to feel a bit dated in the Leaf's passenger cabin.
Nissan Leaf safety, security and driver assists
|ANCAP rating||5 stars (40kWh variants)||Unrated (62kWh)|
|Adaptive cruise control (ACC)||✔||✔|
|Anti-lock braking system (ABS)||✔||✔|
|Driver, front passenger and second-row seatbelt reminder||✔||✔|
|Autonomous emergency braking (AEB) - city, interurban and vulnerable road user||✔||✔|
|Automatic high beam||✔||✔|
|Blind-spot monitor (BSM)||✔||✔|
|LED daytime running lights (DRL)||✔||✔|
|Electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD)||✔||✔|
|Electronic stability control (ESC)||✔||✔|
|Emergency brake assist (EBA)||✔||✔|
|Front & rear parking sensors||✔||✔|
|Forward collision warning (FCW)||✔||✔|
|Hill launch assist||✔||✔|
|Lane departure warning (LDW)||✔||✔|
|Lane keep assist (LKA)||✔||✔|
|Rear cross-traffic alert (RCTA)||✔||✔|
|ISOFIX 2 x outboard seats||✔||✔|
|Rear-view camera with predictive path technology||✔||✔|
|Manual speed limiter||✔||✔|
|Speed sign recognition & warning||✔||✔|
|Tyre pressure monitoring stem (TPMS)||✔||✔|
|Dusk-sensing LED headlamps||✔||✔|
|Auto-dimming rear-view mirror||✔||✔|
|Vehicle sound (low-speed)||✔||✔|
|Temporary spare wheel||✔||✔|
Nissan Leaf interior and comfort features
|7-inch advanced drive-assist screen||✔||✔|
|8-inch touch screen||✔||✔|
|Apple CarPlay and Android Auto||✔||✔|
|Bose energy-efficient premium audio - 7 speakers||✔||✔|
|Digital radio (DAB+)||✔||✔|
|USB port with iPod compatibility||✔||✔|
|Bluetooth (phone & audio)||✔||✔|
|Heated, leather accentuated leather wheel||✔||✔|
|Black-accented leather with Ultrasuede panels||✔||✔|
|Heated seats front and rear outboard||✔||✔|
|6-way manually-adjustable driver's seat||✔||✔|
|4-way manually-adjustable front passenger's seat||✔||✔|
|12V power outlet||✔||✔|
|Climate control with timer||✔||✔|
|Smart key with push-button ignition||✔||✔|
|60:40 split-folding second-row seats||✔||✔|
|On-board charge timer||✔||✔|
Nissan Leaf exterior highlights
|17-inch Leaf alloy wheels||✔||✖|
|Power-folding, heated door mirrors - with built-in LED turn signals||✔||✔|
|Front & rear fog lights||✔||✔|
|Metallic blue rear bumper trim||✔|
|Metallic blue front and rear bumper trim||✔|
|Chrome door handles||✔||✔|
|Friendly light function||✔||✔|
The biggest thing to be aware of with the Nissan Leaf 2 is that a refreshed model is coming towards the end of this year. Nothing major is changing, but it could mean the current iteration drops in value slightly, meaning you can pick one up for less.
Some of the testers questioned whether the Leaf still represents good value for money since it has more competition than when it first launched. For example, the MG ZS EV is available now and it's a full $7,197 cheaper. It's crazy to think you can buy a Polestar 2 for only $4,120 more or a Model 3 for $3,849 more than the Leaf e+, which both offer significantly more range.
Why would you buy a Nissan Leaf then? You may want to pick one up if you manage to get a good deal on one or if you want a second-family car that's also electric given that the Leaf received a lot of love for its round-town practicality.
We painstakingly analysed 4 Nissan Leaf reviews to give you an overview of what the motoring experts thought of it. This helps you save time and get a better idea of what the Nissan Leaf is like. Now you've got some time on your hands, you could compare car loans and car insurance. It can save you quite a bit of money, sometimes!
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