The Nissan Leaf was one of the first EVs for the masses with its practical design, acceptable for the time driving range and easy to swallow price tag. Today the Leaf is in the middle of its second generation, but has largely been overshadowed by newer electric vehicles that offer a longer driving range and a similar price tag. Given the fact that EV buyers have several options now, does the Nissan Leaf have what it needs to compete with its rivals?

2022 Nissan Leaf Review

While the Nissan Leaf may not have a driving range as long other EVs, like the Chevy Bolt, it has one thing going for it – price. The 2022 Leaf starts at $28,425 before any state or federal tax incentives. That means in states like California, your final price could be as low as $19k after the available incentives. The good news here too is the fact that Nissan EVs are still eligible for the full $7,500 federal tax credit, while other automakers like General Motors and Tesla are not.

The 2022 Leaf is offered in two versions. The standard Leaf has a 40-kWh battery, while the Leaf Plus gets a larger 62-kWh battery. With the standard battery, the Leaf has a driving range up to 149 miles, while the Plus version has a range up to 226 miles. Pricing for the Leaf Plus starts at $33,425 before any incentives. For buyers that don’t need the extra driving range, the Leaf comes in at a great price point, but comparing it to other EVs, like the Chevy Bolt and Hyundai Kona Electric, the Leaf comes up a bit short. But again, most drivers aren’t going to need that extra range, if they can charge their car at home or their office, so that makes the Leaf a more practical choice.

In addition to the two different battery sizes, each version also gets a different electric motor. The Leaf is powered by an electric motor with 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, while the Plus version gets a more powerful motor with 214 hp and 250 lb-ft. Both versions power the front wheels.

The Nissan Leaf was one of the first EVs for the masses with its practical design, acceptable for the time driving range and easy to swallow price tag. Today the Leaf is in the middle of its second generation, but has largely been overshadowed by newer electric vehicles that offer a longer driving range and a similar price tag. Given the fact that EV buyers have several options now, does the Nissan Leaf have what it needs to compete with its rivals?

While the Nissan Leaf may not have a driving range as long other EVs, like the Chevy Bolt, it has one thing going for it – price. The 2022 Leaf starts at $28,425 before any state or federal tax incentives. That means in states like California, your final price could be as low as $19k after the available incentives. The good news here too is the fact that Nissan EVs are still eligible for the full $7,500 federal tax credit, while other automakers like General Motors and Tesla are not.

The 2022 Leaf is offered in two versions. The standard Leaf has a 40-kWh battery, while the Leaf Plus gets a larger 62-kWh battery. With the standard battery, the Leaf has a driving range up to 149 miles, while the Plus version has a range up to 226 miles. For buyers that don’t need the extra driving range, the Leaf comes in at a great price point, but comparing it to other EVs, like the Chevy Bolt and Hyundai Kona EV, the Leaf comes up a bit short. But again, most drivers aren’t going to need that extra range, if they can charge their car at home or their office, so that makes the Leaf a more practical choice.

2022 Nissan Leaf Review

In addition to the two different battery sizes, each version also gets a different electric motor. The Leaf is powered by an electric motor with 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, while the Plus version gets a more powerful motor with 214 hp and 250 lb-ft. Both versions power the front wheels.

The Leaf can be charged up to 80 percent in about 40-45 minutes, which is slower than some of the newer EVs that only need about 20 minutes to get to that charge level. It’s worth noting too that the Leaf’s DC fast-charging port is a CHAdeMO design, which is different from the CCS charger that other EVs use. This means that when you’re hunting for a charging port on the go, you’ll need to make sure it has the specific one for the Leaf.

On the road the Leaf excels as a commuter EV. It’s not particularly fast, but you can get around town with ease. Its acceleration times are on par with what you’d get with a typical small hatchback. The Leaf is plagued by steering that is too light and its handling keeps us from saying that the Leaf is fun to drive. But again, that’s not what the Leaf is about. Instead it’s a comfortable EV that will get you from point A to B without any stress.

2022 Nissan Leaf Review

Inside the Leaf’s interior is comfortable for four. The dashboard features a more simplified layout than some other EVs, which makes it easy to operate the controls, but the overall look does look a bit dated. In front of the driver there’s only a partially digital instrument cluster, since there’s still an analog speedometer. An 8-inch touchscreen is also there with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

On the safety front, the Leaf comes standard with automatic emergency braking, rear automatic braking, a blind-spot monitor, rear-cross traffic alert and lane-keeping assist. The available ProPilot assist system adds adaptive cruise control with automated steering.

At the end of the day if you’re looking for a practical EV, the Leaf is hard to beat. It’s easy to swallow price tag and decent range, make it a better value than more expensive EVs. While its rivals do offer longer driving ranges, you also have to pay extra for that, so if you don’t need the range it doesn’t make sense to pay more.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design
Performance
Infotainment System and Tech Features
Fuel Economy
Value
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2022-nissan-leaf-review-the-sensible-evAt the end of the day if you’re looking for a practical EV, the 2022 Nissan Leaf is hard to beat. It’s easy to swallow price tag and decent range, make it a better value than more expensive EVs. While its rivals do offer longer driving ranges, you also have to pay extra for that, so if you don’t need the range it doesn’t make sense to pay more.