2019 Nissan Leaf SL Plus
For this week’s review we’ve gotten our hands on the 2019 Nissan Leaf SL Plus which gets a a larger battery to boost range, and power. With the leaf being the long time benchmark for EVs, competition has gotten fierce in 2019 with the additional of rivaling EVs battling it out in the range wars. In 2019 the Nissan Leaf has dropped to 5th place for best selling EV in the US during the first half of this year according to InsideEVs.
1. Tesla Model 3: 67,650
2. Tesla Model X: 9,000
3. Chevrolet Bolt EV: 8,281
4. Tesla Model S: 7,225
5. Nissan Leaf: 6,008.
We’ve recently tested out one of the Leaf’s rivals, the Kona, which we’ll be doing some comparisons with.
Disclosure: Nissan Canada provided me with the 2019 Nissan Leaf SL Plus for a week to test drive, and photograph. All photos in this blog post was taken by me. #NissanLeaf
AC Motor 1 147 HP / 236 lb-ft
AC Motor 2 214 HP / 250 lb-ft
Single Speed Reduction
Passive Cooled Battery 40 or 62 kWh Capacity
6.6 kW Onboard Charger
CHAdeMO DC Fast Charge Port
6.5 second 0-100 km/hr
Average stopping score
Feels like your average hatchback/compact sedan, I don’t expect buyers to throw it around corners. The lower center of gravity helps with better handling.
Softer suspension in the Leaf make it a whole lot more liveable and comfortable ride.
242 / 363 km range
Nissan has improved the range significantly, although there are rivals that output 400+ km worth of range. I would think having less range would mean a smaller battery and lower curb weight to help it be more efficient but actually rivals like the Kona, Niro and Soul are all more efficient
CABIN NOISE: 8.25/10
Does very well with road noise but get a bit of wind noise
The Leaf has been around for a while, it doesn’t look bad but it won’t turn any heads as people see lots of them on the road. It blends in without being totally boring.
INTERIOR FOR DRIVER: 8.5/10
Steering wheel only has tilt but not telescope function so you’ll want to try it out for yourself to see if it feels good.
Seat is pretty comfy compared to other EVs especially in the SL trim that comes with leather seats
Interior feels more premium than the Kona which we just tested which was all hard plastics. The Leaf has a good amount of soft touch material for points of contact like the arm rest. I wish the sides of the center console was also a soft plastic as my knee ends up hitting it often
Joystick style shifter is quite an interesting take on a traditional shifter but works quite well
Personally I love the e-Pedal in the Leaf which does single pedal driving properly unlike the Kona which doesn’t come to a stop unless you hold paddle when the speed slows down. While technically the Kona can stop without hitting the brakes, it introduces a step where you have to pull and hold on the paddle which introduces a step back in and doesn’t really make it seamless like the Leaf.
Love the flat bottom steering wheel with sport grips up top!
On paper the torque is impressive but when driving it didn’t feel that way. Below a certain speed I read that the torque is limited, I assume that’s to prevent wheel spin from happening so you won’t have as quick of a launch from stop.
INTERIOR FOR PASSENGERS: 6.5/10
While the Leaf scores low in legroom and headroom, interesting the Leaf has more legroom than the Hyundai Kona which is a crossover. The width of the Leaf is also wider than a Kona so sequeezing 3 passengers in the rear will be less of a squeeze.
Unfortunately no arm rest for the middle seat
There is only 1 USB port to charge devices and it’s on the front dash. I would have liked to seen more for the passengers
77.7 - Niro EV
77.1 - Soul EV
76.6 - Prius Prime
75.6 - Leaf
74.9 - Kona EV
39.5 - Soul EV
37.7 - Niro EV
37.7 - Kona EV
37.3 - Leaf
37.2 - Prius Prime
INTERIOR STORAGE: 8.5/10
23.6 Cu Ft of storage which is great thanks to its hatchback like design.
Even with the subwoofer bose sound system in the trunk you’ll be able to fit a 20 inch roller bag making this the most practical option in the segment.
INFOTAINMENT SYSTEM: 7.5/10
Easy to use 8 inch touchscreen
Supports Android auto & Apple Carplay and comes standard on all trims
OVERALL IMPRESSION OF THE 2019 NISSAN Leaf SL Plus:
Regardless of Tesla Model 3 dominating the sales in 2019, Nissan’s 2019 Leaf Plus is a good value and practical EV for the masses. The addition of range gives you peace of mind that you won’t run out of juice if you get stuck in traffic, and the addition of power is quicker than you think. It may not be a Mustang GT speeds but it will outrun a Honda Civic. I’m also a huge fan of Nissan’s true one pedal driving over other brands.
While the Leaf has a big upgrade to range it falls short to it’s new rivals and I think a lot of consumers have range anxiety and would opt to have more range and a vehicle that’s less common on the road.
If you’re looking for a practical, and traditional styled car with active driver aids and solid amount of range for the daily commute to work, the Leaf is a good choice. If you want something larger, premium, modern and stand out from the crowd, go for the Tesla Model3.