Wild new wheels, luminous badge, same batteries

As the first true electric vehicle made by a major manufacturer—not just as a limited model or something for a buyer looking to invest in a startup—the 2010 Nissan Leaf was an early staple of low-priced electric vehicles for the masses. After just over 12 years and 500,000 cars, the Nissan Leaf 2023 bows out at the 2022 New York International Auto Show with some updated styling and a streamlined lineup in two trim levels, the Leaf S and Leaf SV Plus; The SL that tops the range offered for 2022 is gone.

Since its generation change in 2017, the Nissan Leaf has become a somewhat handsome look, at least for a compact five-door hatchback. While the Leaf’s driving range has increasingly left much to be desired – it has long been overtaken by the rest of the EV world, including other affordable electric vehicles – it has always been a good bargain for those looking to buy their first EV , because it offered several parts combinations to choose from, and last year Nissan cut prices dramatically.

Now, however, Nissan appears to be integrating the Leaf lineup further into affordable territory, reducing trim levels from three — each with two extended-range “Plus” versions — to just two: the S and SV Plus, with the S limited to A smaller 40 kWh battery and the SV gets a 62 kWh package. Nissan claims this range is “tailored” to reflect the features and technologies most consumers demand “with the ‘best value'”.

Paper is better in the wind, but does it fly?

In conjunction with the introduction of only two new models, the 2023 Leaf features an updated look that equally enhances aerodynamics. The grille, bumper, and headlights feature black interior paint to help contrast the 2022 model. The Nissan badge – as with any model introduced in the electric vehicle segment today – is also now illuminated in the new, streamlined design that Nissan maintains. . To help it penetrate the air, its aerodynamic parts have been reshaped to improve flow.

The tire reflectors, the rear under the diffuser, and the rear spoiler have been modified from the 2022 model and allow the leaf to really slide as it takes power from its battery pack. In the SV Plus version, a new set of 17-inch five-spoke wheels have a more aggressive look without interfering with the aerodynamic appearance of the leaf. While some of us are here in MotorTrend Like the new design, others feel there’s a lot of black for the tiny amount of machinery on the wheel. It’s a very radical design, regardless, and it doesn’t feel terrible in motion, and the machines bring some contrast when the SV Plus wheels roll.

Familiar interior space

Inside, the Leaf hasn’t changed much but the steering wheel features the latest “Nissan” badges and the dashboard’s start-up video has changed. Both the S and SV Plus feature a black cloth with gray finishes on the S and a glossy black finish on the SV Plus that separates the inner edges. The SV Plus also features ProPilot Assist, which includes a “stop and hold” function that causes the leaf to come to a complete stop, come to a stop, and return to speed when traffic is moving again.

Run this green paper

Nissan doesn’t seem to budge on the Leaf’s small battery pack options, although as previously mentioned, the packs are now for trim — 40 kWh on the S and 62 kWh on the SV Plus. The automaker is also sticking with the old-fashioned charging connector where the CHAdeMO plug is still, along with the J1772 Level 2 AC charger for the US, this means you’ll either have to charge overnight or while working with Level 2 AC or hope to find About a CHAdeMO charger that will likely take up to 45 minutes to reach 80 percent. That’s if the 100 kW rating is still from 2022. Why Nissan remains committed to this hard-to-find and slower system over the more available and faster CCS system remains a mystery to us, especially as the upcoming Ariya will bypass CHAdeMO for that faster infrastructure. Why couldn’t the paper get it, too?

With a 110 kW engine in the S, this entry-level model cuts 147 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque, while the SV Plus uses a 160 kW motor (214 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque). Range numbers for either car haven’t been released yet, but we’re expecting exactly the same performance as the 2022 model, and Nissan hinted this much in its announcement. That means the 2023 Leaf S should get close to 140 miles per charge with its 40 kWh battery, while the SV Plus and 62 kWh battery puts about 220 miles.

Aside from its smaller battery choices and slower “quick charger”, the Nissan Leaf 2023 still looks great in this current field of electric vehicles. If Nissan can keep the price close to the 2022 Leaf, something it indicates it plans to do, the Leaf still offers a great deal for first-time EV buyers and those who don’t need stratospheric range numbers. We’d still just like to see a bigger battery and higher charging rate on an easy-to-find charging network. Or, you know, the mighty 4-wheel drive Nismo Leaf would be fun, too.