2022 Nissan Leaf

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The 2022 Nissan Leaf is a five-seat four-door hatchback powered by a standard 147-horsepower electric motor and a 40 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack.

Stepping up to the Leaf Plus brings a bigger battery and a more powerful electric motor. The EPA-estimated driving range also improves to up to 226 miles versus 149 miles in the regular Leaf. The front-wheel-drive Leaf competes with other electric cars like the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Tesla Model 3.

The 2022 Nissan Leaf is not the sleekest car but Nissan has pulled off what no other EV manufacturer has done to date: an EV that can be acquired for less than $20,000. This is a great first EV for new buyers.

Nissan has made the CHAdeMO quick-charging port standard across the Leaf lineup this year; it’s also including the ProPilot Assist semi-autonomous driving mode on the SV Plus trim. The big news, though, is the Leaf’s substantial drop in price.

The Leaf is now the cheapest new electric vehicle you can buy, with a base price of just over $28,000 before state and federal tax rebates. All trims are now between $4245 and $6545 cheaper than they were last year.

EV MOTOR AND IMPLEMENTATION

The standard Leaf models come with a 147-horsepower electric motor that powers the front wheels; a 40.0-kWh battery pack provides the juice. Leaf Plus models come with a gutsier, 214-hp electric motor and a larger 62.0-kWh battery.

The former managed a 7.4-second zero-to-60-mph time at our test track, but it feels perkier than this number suggests thanks to the instantaneous power delivery of the electric motor. This result makes it slower than the Bolt EV and the Model 3.

Upgrading to the more powerful Plus models will no doubt result in quicker acceleration, but we won’t know until we are able to test them.

The 2022 Nissan Leaf’s e-Pedal feature allows the driver to toggle back and forth between regenerative braking modes, one of which allows the car to coast when the driver lifts off the throttle and another that slows the car when you take your foot off the gas and uses that energy to recharge the battery.

 

The Leaf can be plugged into a regular 120-volt outlet or a 240-volt outlet, but the charging times vary dramatically between the two. On a 240-volt connection, Nissan says both the standard Leaf’s battery and the larger one in the Leaf Plus can be replenished in seven hours.

A DC fast-charging connection is standard on all trims. The standard Leaf models all come with a 40.0-kWh battery which provides a relatively limited range of 149 miles. This might be enough range for some drivers with short commutes but it’s less than half of what the Model 3’s Long Range model provides.

The 2022 Nissan Leaf Plus provides a more driving range thanks to its larger battery pack. To unlock the Leaf’s maximum 226 miles of driving range, you’ll want to go with the S Plus trim level, as the SV Plus and SL Plus models are only rated for 215 miles.

ENERGY AND REAL-WORLD MPG

Our SV Plus test vehicle exceeded its EPA highway rating of 94 MPGe by delivering 98 MPGe over our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test route.

However, we only saw 180 miles of range during this test, less than its claimed 215-mile EPA number. For more information about the 2022 Nissan Leaf’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.

INTERIOR, CONVENIENCE, AND BOOTH

Although the cabin of the Leaf S and SVs has a lot of black plastic, the well-assembled and uniform textures help it avoid looking cheap.

The SL model offers an optional light-gray leather interior with a matching dash pad that looks and feels better. The gauge cluster features a large analog speedometer next to a 7.0-inch digital readout that can be reconfigured to show a variety of displays.

The 2022 Nissan Leaf‘s seats are La-Z-Boy comfortable; the spacious rear seat offers plenty of room for adults, too. Despite the fact that the Leaf’s back seat doesn’t create a flat load floor when folded, we found the cargo capacity to be among the best in its class.

We fit seven carry-on suitcases behind the back seat and a whopping 19 with the back seat folded. For comparison, the Bolt EV held five in its cargo area and maxed out at 16 with its back seats stowed.

The Niro EV—which sports a more SUV-like Bodystyle—held slightly more cargo in our testing, but the Leaf still is tops among electric cars.

IN-VEHICLE INFOTAINMENT AND INTERCONNECTIONS

All 2022 Nissan Leaf models come with the same 8.0-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration; navigation is optional.

The latest Nissan Connect software interface, while not particularly pleasing to the eye, is intuitive and quick to respond to inputs.

Audiophiles may be disappointed with the Leaf’s standard six-speaker audio system; a seven-speaker Bose system is exclusive to the SL and SL Plus models but didn’t impress us during our test drive.

PROTECTION AND DRIVER-ASSISTANCE ASPECTS

Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 suite of driver-assistance features is standard across the lineup and the brand’s novel ProPilot Assist semi-autonomous driving mode is available on SV, SV Plus, and SL trims as part of the Technology package; it’s standard on the SL Plus.

For more information about the 2022 Nissan Leaf’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites.

PHOTOS

2022 Nissan Leaf

2022 Nissan Leaf

2022 Nissan Leaf

2022 Nissan Leaf

2022 Nissan Leaf

FULL SPECIFICATIONS

2019 Nissan Leaf SV Plus

VEHICLE TYPE
front-motor, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback

PRICE AS TESTED
$42,580 (base price: $37,445)

MOTOR TYPE
permanent-magnet synchronous AC motor, 215 hp, 251 lb-ft; 62.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack

TRANSMISSION
1-speed direct-drive

DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase: 106.3 in
Length: 176.4 in
Width: 70.5 in
Height: 61.4 in
Passenger volume: 93 cu ft
Cargo volume: 24 cu ft
Curb weight: 3831 lb

C/D
TEST RESULTS
Zero to 60 mph: 6.8 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 19.9 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 6.8 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 2.4 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 3.7 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 15.4 sec @ 92 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 106 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 190 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.76 g

C/D
FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 90 MPGe
75-mph highway driving: 98 MPGe
Highway range: 180 miles

EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 104/114/94 MPGe
EV range: 215

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