2018 Nissan Leaf Upgraded In Every Conceivable Way
2018 Nissan Leaf Nearly Unrecognizable After Panel of Upgrades and Updates
Nissan sold 283,000 (112,000 of which were sold in the US). It is, by far, the best selling electric car. And now, there is a new generation, starting with the 2018 Nissan Leaf. At first glance, it doesn’t exactly look like the Leaf models that came before it. Upon closer inspection though, we begin to see it has much the same basic shape and, with those tiny wheels, the new Leaf gives off a mini-MPV vibe, just like the old one. And yet, chiseled and sharp edges are here to tell us this is just a hatchback.
The beauty of the Leaf might honestly be in its simplicity. It’s not a big fat sedan or an overpriced SUV. It’s a small, affordable hatchback that also happens to be electric. It’s honestly a pretty perfect city car.
Using styling cues from the other modern Nissan SUVs and small cars, the new 2018 Nissan Leaf certainly found its place under the Nissan umbrella. With this newest redesign, it finally feels at home under the Nissan moniker.
But the question is simple – can it really make an impact as it made before, now with competition from Tesla () and most notably, Chevrolet ()?
In order to compete with the newest electric entries, Nissan has updated the Leaf in every imaginable way.
New suspension, new motor, new batteries, better equipment, more range, and more speed; it has it all.
More electric power for the 2018 Nissan Leaf
Unlike the 108 hp electric motor from the first Leaf, the 2018 Nissan Leaf uses a 147 hp motor. It also develops 236 lb-ft of torque giving the beefy car (4,453 lbs) enough power to keep up with the modern ICE-powered machines.
Supplementing the new electric motor are new batteries with a total capacity of 40 kWh. Enough for 150 miles of range. But, there will be another battery pack soon. The 60 kWh capacity upgrade (as we’ve been lead to believe) should see the range grow considerably. The European version does 235, but stateside we’ll have to wait and see what the EPA has to say about it. As for recharging, do not expect anything new here – it’s an all nighter. Quick charge is an option too, but only at a CHAdeMO station which will recharge up to 80 percent in 40 minutes.
Nevertheless, the advancements are obvious. Of course, it is not all about power, batteries, and range. The 2018 Nissan Leaf strives to combine comfort, economy, practicality, and affordability all in one car.
Check this out:
ProPILOT Assist (Nissan’s advanced single lane driver assistance technology)
- ProPILOT Assist is a “hands-on” system, however, under certain conditions, it dramatically reduces the need for driver input while driving. The system will steer, accelerate, brake and handle all major driving functions all by itself. It is, by all means, the next step toward autonomous driving features for Nissan.
- This is as far as one can go with reducing driver input while still referring to the person behind the wheel as the driver. e-Pedal technology (activated by a button next to the “transmission lever”) lets drivers “start, accelerate, decelerate and stop by increasing or decreasing the pressure applied to the accelerator.” Nissan is confident that the drivers will use the system for 90 percent of the drive as it is very intuitive. Basically, when the pedal is released the system will automatically activate friction brakes and regenerative braking thus slowing down the car to a stop. Neat.
“When we launched LEAF in 2010, it instantly became the most affordable mass market EV in the world. We are not walking away from that proposition,” said José Muñoz, Chief Performance Officer, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. and Chairman, Nissan North America, Inc. “The value equation for the new LEAF is even stronger than ever before – beginning with a starting MSRP under $30,000. That’s a lower price than the LEAF in market today and it includes more power, range and technology, all wrapped in a beautiful new exterior and interior design.”
As expected, the interior is another place that received all the novelties imaginable. It is more refined, definitely more modern and loaded up with gimmicks. The Leaf has everything from buttons dictating driving modes to a 7-inch infotainment screen capable of supporting your phone.
As far as performance goes, Nissan engineers were able to reduce the 37-62 mph sprint time by 30 percent, the 0-62 mph time by 15 percent, and increased the Leaf’s top speed to 90 mph.
The 2018 Nissan Leaf will start at $29,990 – $690 below the current 2017 LEAF starting MSRP.
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