What Is the 2020 Nissan Leaf?
The Nissan Leaf hatchback — one of the earliest mainstream electric cars, debuting for the 2011 model year — was redesigned for 2018 and features an EPA-estimated driving range of 150 miles on a full charge.
The five-seat Leaf is powered by a standard 147-horsepower electric motor and has a 40-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack that can be recharged in about eight hours at 240 volts. The Leaf Plus has a bigger battery pack and a more powerful electric motor. The front-wheel-drive Leaf competes with EVs such as the Chevrolet Bolt EV, Hyundai Ioniq EV and Volkswagen e-Golf.
What’s New on the 2020 Nissan Leaf?
New standard active safety features include rear automatic braking, lane departure warning, blind spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert, and high-beam assist. Standard front-seat knee airbags and rear-seat side impact airbags have also been added. An 8-inch touchscreen multimedia system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity is also standard.
What Features in the 2020 Nissan Leaf Are Most Important?
With an estimated range of 150 miles standard, the regular Leaf trails the Bolt EV’s 259-mile range (as well as the Tesla Model 3’s 220-mile standard range). The Leaf Plus brings the hatchback’s range closer to the Bolt EV’s and should help dampen most range-anxiety concerns. A quick-charge port (optional on the base, S trim level and standard on other trims) can charge the battery to 80 percent of its capacity in about 45 minutes at a fast-charging station.
All Leafs have an e-Pedal, which can initiate gradual braking when the driver lifts off the accelerator. The optional ProPilot Assist system can steer the car in its lane and maintain a set distance from traffic directly ahead all the way to a complete stop.
Should I Buy the 2020 Nissan Leaf?
Buying an electric car requires a commitment to managing your electric range and living with its limitations. The Model 3 is more expensive, so the Leaf’s real rivals are EVs such as the Bolt EV and Ioniq EV. Both competitors have longer standard driving ranges, but we recommend trying all three before deciding which best suits your needs.