2018 Nissan LEAF Will Be Faster and Sleeker, With a Starting Price of $30,000

By · August 09, 2017

Teaser image of the 2018 Nissan LEAF, which will be fully revealed four weeks from now.

The 2018 Nissan LEAF will be officially revealed on September 6. That’s when current EV shoppers can fully evaluate the new LEAF—and how its design and technical specifications compare to an expanding selection of new battery-powered vehicles. Thanks to teaser images and leaked information emerging in recent weeks, we already have indications (although not confirmed by Nissan) about key figures, including price, battery size, and motor output.

The 2018 Nissan LEAF will go further and offer more power than its predecessor. The new LEAF’s battery could be as big as 40 kilowatt-hours—putting its real-world range in the neighborhood of 130 to 150 miles. (Official EPA range numbers are not yet available.) The current LEAF uses a 30-kWh pack to provide 107 miles of range.

For comparison, the Chevy Bolt provides 238 miles of range via its 60-kWh pack and the Tesla Model 3 will grant between 220 and 310 miles respectively from packs storing 50 and 75 kilowatt-hours.

While 150 or so miles of range is lower than the competition, so is the LEAF’s price—which barely changes from the current model despite a battery that’s 30 percent bigger. If the leaked info proves accurate, pricing starts at $29,990 for the S trim, climbs to $32,490 for the SV, and tops out at $36,200 for the SL. The more expensive trim brings luxury and high-tech features like heated seats and automatic emergency braking—but it’s not clear how a rumored choice of battery packs will affect pricing. Recent spy images reveal as much as 165 miles of possible range, but that’s probably optimistic.

Despite rumors of the LEAF offering a 60-kWh pack, based on the leaked pricing it seems unlikely that the 2018 LEAF will come close to matching range offered in the Bolt and Model 3. That will have to wait for a follow-up third-generation model that's at least three years away. Regardless, for EV shoppers not necessarily wanting to maximize range, the 2018 LEAF could provide a compelling balance of range and affordability in a proven five-seat platform.

While we have reliable info indicating that the New LEAF will be more powerful, we still don’t have an entirely clear picture of its design. The latest LEAF teaser only shows its silhouette—although it appears to be sleeker and sportier than the outgoing model. Based on spy shots, the current model’s geekier features, such as its bulging headlights and wide rear end, have been abandoned. The 2018 LEAF electric car will produce 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, a nice bump from its current output of 107 ponies and 187 pound-feet of torque.

Sales of the second-generation Nissan LEAF are expected in early 2018.

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