Nissan was the first to introduce an all-electric vehicle to the mass market with the original Leaf appearing way back in 2010. Since its arrival, Nissan has sold more than 283,000 cars, making it one of the world's best selling electric vehicles.
With competition hot on its heels though, not just from the headline-grabbing Tesla Model 3 but with most other car manufacturers posturing about electric vehicles, it's time for the Nissan Leaf to take its electric game to the next level.
And it seems Nissan is off to a hot start, reporting in January 2018 that 12,000 orders have already been placed...
Nissan Leaf 2018: Exterior design
- 4480mm in length, 1790mm in width, 1540mm in height
- 2700mm wheelbase
- Significantly improved design over predecessor
The new Nissan Leaf brings with it a whole new design, which will come as no surprise to most. The current model features an aerodynamic underbody and rear diffuser, allowing air to flow smoothly underneath, while the front sees aerodynamic halogen headlights specifically designed to redirect airflow away from the side mirrors.
The next-generation Nissan Leaf further improves its aerodynamic design though, with Nissan claiming it is more efficient in order to allow drivers to travel further on a single charge - more on that later.
The new Leaf is lower to the ground, allowing for zero lift and better stability at high speeds, while a rear bumper with a clear-cut curve and aero-designed wheels are said to reduce the drag coefficient of the new Leaf to offer a minimum ground clearance of 0.28.
The new shape is said to be inspired by the IDS concept car revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2015, as well as airplane wings to enable a symmetric airflow. The new Nissan Leaf takes on a sportier design compared to its predecessor and as a result, it offers a significant improvement in looks.
It has clean and simple lines with a sleek silhouette, while the signature V-Motion grille and the floating roof emphasise Nissan's brand design, following the path of other models like the new Micra. The result is improved kerbside appeal.
Projector beam headlights with dual, direct-lens low and high beams are a first for Nissan, while the rear of the new Leaf has a signature design with combination headlights and a spoiler integrated into the window graphics. The angle of the charging port on the front of the car has also changed to 45-degrees to allow for more convenient charging.
The new Nissan Leaf will be available in white, yellow, rear and light blue, as well as a new Spring Light Green colour and two tone options. Colours will vary by region, but if you want to stand out, it's the yellow model that shines the brightest.
Nissan Leaf 2018: Interior design
- Blue stitching throughout to distinguish as Nissan EV
- 7-inch full colour touchscreen
- Noise-reduction measures applied
The new Nissan Leaf features the company's "Gliding Wing" framework within the cabin, along with a redesigned information display with a simple configuration. Noise-reduction measures have been applied to the new Leaf for a quieter cabin, and noise from the electric motor itself has also been reduced.
There is vibrant blue stitching throughout, present on the seats, door trim, armrest and steering wheel, marking the new Leaf as a Nissan EV, while the power switch and shift knob also have blue detailing.
There are dual cup holders between the driver and passenger seat, allowing for a new storage area at the base of the centre console. There is also a power switch, a 12-volt power outlet and a USB port on board the new Leaf.
A 7-inch full-colour TFT display is centralised and sits flush in the middle of the dashboard on the new Leaf, featuring a matte chrome trim like the leather steering wheel.
The touchscreen presents a power gauge as the standard setting but users will also be able to see Nissan's Safety Shield technology on the screen, as well as use NissanConnect, which allows driver to search for charging stations' operating hours and availability.
Nissan Leaf 2018: Technology
- ProPILOT autonomous technology on board
- ProPILOT Park technology on board
- e-Pedal will come as standard
Nissan's the new Leaf will feature the company's ProPILOT autonomous driving technology and this will be standard on the top-level Tekna trim level.
ProPILOT allows the driver to enable autonomous driving functionality when driving on single-lane highways at the touch of a button, after which the technology will control steering, acceleration and braking.
In the future, Nissan is planning for ProPILOT to be able to navigate city intersections though that's a few years away. The new Nissan Leaf will also come with ProPILOT Park however, and it will be the first vehicle in Nissan's portfolio to do so, though again, Nissan hasn't confirmed if this will be as standard or an option.
ProPILOT Park will help drivers park by automatically guiding the car into a parking spot, whether parallel, angled, front or straight back-in using the sensors and cameras on the car.
Like the ProPILOT technology, ProPILOT Park will handle the accelerator, braking and steering input, while the driver will need to monitor the area surrounding the new Leaf and apply the brakes if needed. The driver also needs to select the type of parking it wants the car to do, as well as hold down the parking button next to the gear stick in order for the automated parking to work. Take your finger off the parking button and the car will stop parking immediately.
Alongside the autonomous technology, the new Leaf also features e-Pedal technology, which turns your accelerator into an e-Pedal at the flip of a switch, allowing drivers to accelerate, decelerate and stop with just the one pedal.
Nissan says the e-Pedal can cater for 90 per cent of driver's needs, including bringing the car to a complete stop on hills and staying in position, as well as resuming driving instantly. The conventional brake pedal will be needed for aggressive braking situations, but other than that, the e-Pedal is designed to make driving simpler and more engaging.
Nissan Leaf 2018: Specifications
- Driving range of 235 miles
- 40kW battery, offering 110kW power
- 0-62mph in 7.9-seconds
The new Nissan Leaf is claimed to offer an all-electric range of 378km, which works out around 235 miles. Although final calculations for Europe won't be done until January, this figure would deliver a 50 per cent improvement on the current Leaf, hopefully dispelling some of the anxiety EV vehicles face at the moment.
The current standard Nissan Leaf Acenta is said to offer up to around 155 miles on a single charge. The extended range is said to be thanks to the improvements in design, as well as a new battery.
The new Leaf comes with a 40kW battery, which despite being a third larger than the current model, has the same footprint. It can be charged in 16 hours with a 3kW normal charger, 8 hours with a 6kW charger or up to 80 per cent in 40 minutes with a quick charger.
Power has been improved on the new Leaf too compared to the current model, with a maximum output of 110kW from the e-powertrain rather than 80kW, achieving 0 to 60 in 7.9-seconds.
Nissan Leaf 2018: Release date and price
- Announced 6 September 2017
- On sale in Japan from 2 October
- Available to reserve in the UK now
- Official "on sale" UK date is 2 February
The new Nissan Leaf was announced on 6 September 2017, several weeks before the Tokyo Motor Show. It will go on sale on 2 October in Japan, with the US, Canada and Europe following in January 2018. The new Leaf will be sold in more than 60 markets worldwide.
There will be five trim levels, with the prices for the UK breaking down as follows (including the £4,500 government grant):
- Visia: from £21,990
- Acenta: from £24,290
- N-Connecta: from £25,990
- 2.Zero (special edition): from £26,490
- Tekna: from £27,490
The special edition 2.Zero model is limited to 1500 units, and gets £535 of extras over the N-Connecta, including ProPILOT, 17-inch wheels and a whole lot more. The official date for new Leaf sales to start in the UK is 2 February 2018.