2020 Nissan Leaf Plus review: More power, more range

Maria J. Danford

The Nissan Leaf Moreover is quicker and will choose you farther than the typical product. Jon Wong/Roadshow Vary anxiousness in electric powered automobiles is a pretty authentic detail. It’s akin to the dread of your phone likely lifeless, but as an alternative of not remaining ready to test Twitter for […]

The Nissan Leaf Moreover is quicker and will choose you farther than the typical product.


Jon Wong/Roadshow

Vary anxiousness in electric powered automobiles is a pretty authentic detail. It’s akin to the dread of your phone likely lifeless, but as an alternative of not remaining ready to test Twitter for the most current very hot will take, you are stranded on the side of the highway — hopefully with a charged phone so you can summon a tow truck. In the Nissan Leaf’s situation, an EPA-approximated driving selection of 149 miles isn’t miniscule, but you know what would be much better to ease selection problems? A selection of 226 miles, which is where the Leaf Moreover comes in.

Like

  • Clean and fast acceleration
  • Seamless regenerative and mechanical brake integration
  • Remarkable list of basic safety technological know-how

You should not Like

  • Much less driving selection than competitors
  • Light-weight, uncommunicative steering
  • Steeper base rate than the opposition

Superior geared up to compete

In contrast to 2011 when the 1st-era Leaf went on sale, the EV landscape nowadays is a great deal various. The Nissan is no extended the only electric powered hatchback in town, with entries like the Chevrolet Bolt, Hyundai Kona Electrical and Kia Niro EV now in showrooms. Every boasts perfectly over two hundred miles of selection, leaving the base Leaf and its forty-kilowatt-hour battery pack much in the rearview mirror.

The Leaf Moreover officially arrived very last 12 months with a even bigger 62-kilowatt-hour battery. In the base S Moreover trim, it returns the formerly talked about 226 miles of selection, but the much better-geared up SV Moreover and SL Moreover products with a lot more choices that use up electrical power get an official ranking of 215 miles. Without having query, these figures are a healthful enhancement over the typical Leaf, but still lag guiding the ranges of the Chevy (259 miles), Hyundai (258 miles) and Kia (239 miles).

During a 7 days with an SL Moreover tester, the 215-mile ranking seemed quickly inside of attain. I never ever permit the battery dip a great deal underneath a thirty% demand simply because of selection anxiousness but was comfortably on monitor to deal with 215 miles of motoring applying the electron-sipping Eco mode. 

Activating the e-pedal process yields potent regenerative braking the moment you elevate off the appropriate pedal. The regen brakes are muscular ample to provide the Leaf Moreover to a comprehensive end for a one-pedal driving expertise. It’s mildly entertaining driving it this way and enjoyable when you navigate by means of town with out touching the brake pedal. Staying easy and timing your throttle inputs effectively pays off as you deal with a lot more floor and barely see the battery demand gauge drop.

When you do deplete the Moreover, juicing it up with a 240-volt, Stage two charger will take 11.5 several hours. A neat detail about the Moreover is that the typical charging cable handles equally Stage 1 and Stage two charging. So, as an alternative of paying out dollars setting up a Stage two charger at residence, proprietors can simply have a 240-volt outlet to plug into. As for Stage 1 charging from a standard residence outlet, that will take north of thirty several hours.

If you are living close to a 100-kW DC charger, you may be ready to demand a drained Leaf Moreover to eighty% in 45 minutes.


Jon Wong/Roadshow

For these who are living close to a fifty-kW DC charger, the Leaf Moreover can demand from to eighty% in an hour. If you are fortunate ample to have accessibility to a a lot less-widespread 100-kW DC charger, that’ll slice demand time for a lifeless battery to eighty% to 45 minutes.

Additional electrical power

The other welcome enhancement accompanying the Plus’ upsized battery is a electrical power soar. The typical Leaf is no slouch with 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, but nobody will protest an increase to 214 hp and 250 lb-ft. All that thrust is transmitted promptly to the entrance wheels by means of a one-speed transmission getting the Leaf Moreover to sixty mph in about seven seconds, which is around a second quicker than the typical product. There are zero concerns getting up to speed for expressway merging and passing maneuvers are a cinch. Additional than its -to-sixty time, I’m amazed with how speedily the Leaf Moreover accelerates from forty to 70 mph and outside of. 

Straight-line slingshots are about the extent of the enjoyment in the Leaf Moreover from a functionality standpoint. Depending on trim amount, the Moreover is about 340 kilos heavier than the base Leaf, and that isn’t going to help dynamics. You will find some dive underneath braking and roll at flip in. The lower-rolling-resistance 17-inch Michelin Power Saver A/S tires squawk in protest when you toss it into a corner and stability handle intervenes appropriate away to get things in get.

A a lot more impressive battery also signifies that the Leaf Moreover is quicker, with 214 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque.


Jon Wong/Roadshow

Ride top quality is, nevertheless, buttoned up and relaxed on the fifty-series sidewall tires. Impacts from even bigger bumps are still felt inside of the Leaf’s cabin. The handoff from regenerative to mechanical braking is seamless, with stopping pressure progressively escalating as you push the pedal. The steering is light-weight and devoid of any suggestions, but that is great along with the a lot less-than-stellar cornering chops. The Leaf isn’t meant to be a athletics vehicle. 

A Leaf inside of and out

If you are expecting the Leaf Moreover to look a great deal various from the typical Leaf, then you are likely to be unhappy. In addition to an supplemental blue accent strip on the entrance fascia and the Moreover badge on the hatch beneath the trim amount designation, it seems like each individual other Leaf. And that is not an fully undesirable detail. The Leaf wears a rather aggressive deal with with Nissan’s signature V-motion grille, refined side character strains and five-spoke wheels with a contrasting silver deal with and gray insets.

Inside of, there is practically nothing to compose residence about, either. It capabilities the Leaf’s high seating placement, blue accent stitching right here and there and a lot of hard plastic building up the entire sprint and parts of the doorway panels. Luckily, the plastics are nicely completed, and strategic spots are wrapped in vinyl and padded, these kinds of as the armrests, the middle of the doorway panels and the side of the heart console, where you could possibly relaxation your knees. 


Jon Wong/Roadshow

Area in the Nissan’s entrance- and second-row seats is serviceable for most adults and there are ample cubbies to stash objects all through the cabin. The Leaf can also shift very a bit of cargo, with 23.6 cubic feet on give guiding the rear seats, which grows to thirty cubic feet with the second row folded ahead.

Quarterbacking infotainment in the Leaf is the NissanConnect process with an 8-inch touchscreen that isn’t going to have the most lively graphics. It’s a feature-loaded process with a good Bose audio set up, satellite radio, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. In the SL Moreover, it also has onboard navigation, which normally will take a small bit of time to compute routes.

NissanConnect’s graphics are on the lookout dated.


Jon Wong/Roadshow

On the active basic safety technological know-how entrance, all Leaf products occur typical with ahead-collision warning with computerized crisis braking, blind-spot checking, lane-departure warning and rear cross-website traffic notify with rear computerized braking. On my SL Moreover test vehicle, Nissan’s ProPilot driver aid tech is also bundled, applying adaptive cruise handle and lane-hold assist for partly automated, fingers-on-the-wheel motoring that is effective very perfectly in website traffic.

How I’d spec it 

I often check out to hold my builds as funds-aware as possible, but with the Leaf Moreover, I have to spring for the SL trim. Optioning the midgrade SV will have me including a couple of solution offers to get must-haves like heated seats and LED headlights, bumping the rate tag to close to-SL concentrations. Splurging on the selection-topping product fees $44,825, like $925 for vacation spot. Tack on the $695 two-tone black and white paint career like on the vehicle pictured right here and $195 flooring and cargo mats, and that brings the bottom line of my suitable vehicle to $45,715. Regrettably, that is not a great deal a lot more inexpensive than this $46,045 tester.

With all the bells and whistles and a couple of choices, this SL Moreover test auto punches in at a hair over $46,000.


Jon Wong/Roadshow

A much better Leaf, but not the benchmark

The 2020 Nissan Leaf Moreover will established you back again $39,a hundred twenty five to start, which is a lot more than the $37,890 Chevy Bolt and $38,365 Hyundai Kona Electrical, but a lot more inexpensive than the $forty,210 Kia Niro EV. All three of the Leaf’s competitors give a even bigger dose of design and style, are a lot more participating to drive and, most importantly, give extended driving ranges.

What the Leaf has doing work in its favor is a sizable list of typical and available basic safety tech capabilities, and the simple fact that it’s the very best-promoting EV to date has surely developed some Nissan loyalists. But to anyone new to the EV world with no former allegiance to brand or product, the Leaf Moreover likely isn’t the very best solution in the inexpensive EV hatchback segment.

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