2020 Nissan Leaf Plus review: More power, more range

The Nissan Leaf Moreover is more rapidly and will just take you farther than the standard design.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Assortment stress and anxiety in electric powered vehicles is a really serious point. It is really akin to the worry of your cell phone heading dead, but rather of not becoming equipped to test Twitter for the most up-to-date warm takes, you might be stranded on the facet of the highway — ideally with a billed cell phone so you can summon a tow truck. In the Nissan Leaf’s case, an EPA-estimated driving array of 149 miles just isn’t miniscule, but you know what would be better to alleviate array worries? A array of 226 miles, which is in which the Leaf Moreover will come in.


  • Easy and quick acceleration
  • Seamless regenerative and mechanical brake integration
  • Outstanding list of safety technology

You should not Like

  • Fewer driving array than opponents
  • Mild, uncommunicative steering
  • Steeper base price than the opposition

Far better equipped to contend

As opposed to 2011 when the 1st-generation Leaf went on sale, the EV landscape nowadays is a great deal distinctive. The Nissan is no for a longer time the only electric powered hatchback in city, with entries like the Chevrolet Bolt, Hyundai Kona Electric powered and Kia Niro EV now in showrooms. Every boasts nicely above two hundred miles of array, leaving the base Leaf and its 40-kilowatt-hour battery pack considerably in the rearview mirror.

The Leaf Moreover officially arrived final 12 months with a larger 62-kilowatt-hour battery. In the base S Moreover trim, it returns the earlier talked about 226 miles of array, but the better-equipped SV Moreover and SL Moreover products with extra options that use up power acquire an formal ranking of 215 miles. Without the need of concern, those people numbers are a wholesome enhancement above the standard Leaf, but nevertheless lag at the rear of the ranges of the Chevy (259 miles), Hyundai (258 miles) and Kia (239 miles).

All through a week with an SL Moreover tester, the 215-mile ranking appeared conveniently in just attain. I never enable the battery dip a great deal underneath a thirty% charge for the reason that of array stress and anxiety but was easily on track to go over 215 miles of motoring making use of the electron-sipping Eco mode. 

Activating the e-pedal technique yields sturdy regenerative braking the moment you elevate off the suitable pedal. The regen brakes are muscular plenty of to convey the Leaf Moreover to a total cease for a a person-pedal driving practical experience. It is really mildly entertaining driving it this way and satisfying when you navigate by means of city without touching the brake pedal. Staying easy and timing your throttle inputs appropriately pays off as you go over extra ground and barely see the battery charge gauge drop.

When you do deplete the Moreover, juicing it up with a 240-volt, Stage two charger takes 11.5 hrs. A neat point about the Moreover is that the standard charging cable handles each Stage one and Stage two charging. So, rather of expending revenue putting in a Stage two charger at residence, proprietors can merely have a 240-volt outlet to plug into. As for Stage one charging from a usual home outlet, that takes north of thirty hrs.

If you reside in the vicinity of a 100-kW DC charger, you’ll be equipped to charge a drained Leaf Moreover to 80% in 45 minutes.

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For those people who reside in the vicinity of a fifty-kW DC charger, the Leaf Moreover can charge from to 80% in an hour. If you might be privileged plenty of to have entry to a fewer-typical 100-kW DC charger, that’ll slash charge time for a dead battery to 80% to 45 minutes.

Much more power

The other welcome enhancement accompanying the Plus’ upsized battery is a power soar. The regular Leaf is no slouch with 147 horsepower and 236 pound-toes of torque, but no one will protest an boost to 214 hp and 250 lb-ft. All that thrust is transmitted quickly to the entrance wheels by means of a single-pace transmission having the Leaf Moreover to sixty mph in about seven seconds, which is around a second more rapidly than the standard design. There are zero problems having up to pace for expressway merging and passing maneuvers are a cinch. Much more than its -to-sixty time, I am amazed with how speedily the Leaf Moreover accelerates from 40 to 70 mph and outside of. 

Straight-line slingshots are about the extent of the pleasurable in the Leaf Moreover from a performance standpoint. Relying on trim degree, the Moreover is about 340 lbs heavier than the base Leaf, and that doesn’t assistance dynamics. There is some dive under braking and roll at transform in. The low-rolling-resistance seventeen-inch Michelin Energy Saver A/S tires squawk in protest when you toss it into a corner and balance handle intervenes suitable away to get factors in get.

A extra strong battery also suggests that the Leaf Moreover is more rapidly, with 214 horsepower and 250 pound-toes of torque.

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Journey high quality is, on the other hand, buttoned up and cozy on the fifty-sequence sidewall tires. Impacts from larger bumps are nevertheless felt inside of the Leaf’s cabin. The handoff from regenerative to mechanical braking is seamless, with halting force progressively escalating as you press the pedal. The steering is gentle and devoid of any feed-back, but that’s great together with the fewer-than-stellar cornering chops. The Leaf just isn’t supposed to be a athletics car. 

A Leaf inside of and out

If you might be expecting the Leaf Moreover to appear a great deal distinctive from the standard Leaf, then you might be heading to be dissatisfied. Moreover an further blue accent strip on the entrance fascia and the Moreover badge on the hatch beneath the trim degree designation, it seems to be like each individual other Leaf. And that’s not an solely undesirable point. The Leaf wears a quite aggressive deal with with Nissan’s signature V-movement grille, delicate facet character lines and five-spoke wheels with a contrasting silver deal with and grey insets.

Inside of, there is certainly practically nothing to write residence about, either. It functions the Leaf’s large seating posture, blue accent stitching in this article and there and a lot of tough plastic earning up the total dash and portions of the door panels. Thankfully, the plastics are properly completed, and strategic spots are wrapped in vinyl and padded, this sort of as the armrests, the center of the door panels and the facet of the middle console, in which you may rest your knees. 

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Space in the Nissan’s entrance- and second-row seats is serviceable for most grown ups and there are plenty of cubbies to stash objects all over the cabin. The Leaf can also move very a bit of cargo, with 23.six cubic toes on give at the rear of the rear seats, which grows to thirty cubic toes with the second row folded ahead.

Quarterbacking infotainment in the Leaf is the NissanConnect technique with an 8-inch touchscreen that doesn’t have the most vibrant graphics. It is really a aspect-wealthy technique with a nice Bose audio setup, satellite radio, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay and Android Automobile. In the SL Moreover, it also has onboard navigation, which normally takes a minor bit of time to estimate routes.

NissanConnect’s graphics are wanting dated.

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On the lively safety technology entrance, all Leaf products come standard with ahead-collision warning with computerized unexpected emergency braking, blind-place checking, lane-departure warning and rear cross-site visitors notify with rear computerized braking. On my SL Moreover take a look at car, Nissan’s ProPilot driver aid tech is also provided, making use of adaptive cruise handle and lane-keep assist for partly automated, arms-on-the-wheel motoring that functions incredibly nicely in site visitors.

How I might spec it 

I always try out to keep my builds as finances-conscious as doable, but with the Leaf Moreover, I have to spring for the SL trim. Optioning the midgrade SV will have me introducing a couple of solution offers to get will have to-haves like heated seats and LED headlights, bumping the price tag to in the vicinity of-SL concentrations. Splurging on the array-topping design costs $forty four,825, which include $925 for vacation spot. Tack on the $695 two-tone black and white paint career like on the car pictured in this article and $195 floor and cargo mats, and that brings the base line of my great car to $45,715. Regrettably, that’s not a great deal extra inexpensive than this $46,045 tester.

With all the bells and whistles and a couple of options, this SL Moreover take a look at car or truck punches in at a hair above $46,000.

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A better Leaf, but not the benchmark

The 2020 Nissan Leaf Moreover will set you back $39,one hundred twenty five to commence, which is extra than the $37,890 Chevy Bolt and $38,365 Hyundai Kona Electric powered, but extra inexpensive than the $40,210 Kia Niro EV. All three of the Leaf’s opponents give a larger dose of type, are extra partaking to travel and, most importantly, give for a longer time driving ranges.

What the Leaf has operating in its favor is a sizable list of standard and readily available safety tech functions, and the fact that it truly is the most effective-providing EV to day has certainly designed some Nissan loyalists. But to any one new to the EV globe with no earlier allegiance to model or design, the Leaf Moreover most likely just isn’t the most effective solution in the inexpensive EV hatchback segment.