2020 Nissan Leaf Plus review: More power, more range

    The Nissan Leaf Plus is faster and can take you farther than the usual mannequin.
    Jon Wong/Roadshow
    Range anxiousness in electrical automobiles is a really actual factor. It’s akin to the concern of your telephone going useless, however as a substitute of not with the ability to verify Twitter for the newest scorching takes, you are stranded on the facet of the highway — hopefully with a charged telephone so you may summon a tow truck. In the Nissan Leaf’s case, an EPA-estimated driving vary of 149 miles is not miniscule, however you recognize what can be higher to alleviate vary worries? A spread of 226 miles, which is the place the Leaf Plus is available in.

    LikeSmooth and fast accelerationSeamless regenerative and mechanical brake integrationImpressive listing of security expertise

    Don’t LikeLess driving vary than competitorsLight, uncommunicative steeringSteeper base worth than the opposition

    Better outfitted to compete Unlike 2011 when the first-generation Leaf went on sale, the EV panorama immediately is way completely different. The Nissan is now not the one electrical hatchback on the town, with entries just like the Chevrolet Bolt, Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia Niro EV now in showrooms. Each boasts properly over 200 miles of vary, leaving the bottom Leaf and its 40-kilowatt-hour battery pack far within the rearview mirror. The Leaf Plus formally arrived final 12 months with an even bigger 62-kilowatt-hour battery. In the bottom S Plus trim, it returns the beforehand talked about 226 miles of vary, however the better-equipped SV Plus and SL Plus fashions with extra choices that expend energy obtain an official ranking of 215 miles. Without query, these numbers are a wholesome enchancment over the usual Leaf, however nonetheless lag behind the ranges of the Chevy (259 miles), Hyundai (258 miles) and Kia (239 miles).

    2020 Nissan Leaf Plus: Going farther and faster than earlier than
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    Throughout per week with an SL Plus tester, the 215-mile ranking appeared simply inside attain. I by no means let the battery dip a lot under a 30% cost due to vary anxiousness however was comfortably on observe to cowl 215 miles of motoring utilizing the electron-sipping Eco mode.  Activating the e-pedal system yields robust regenerative braking the second you carry off the precise pedal. The regen brakes are muscular sufficient to convey the Leaf Plus to a whole cease for a one-pedal driving expertise. It’s mildly entertaining driving it this manner and satisfying while you navigate by way of city with out touching the brake pedal. Being easy and timing your throttle inputs accurately pays off as you cowl extra floor and hardly see the battery cost gauge drop.

    When you do deplete the Plus, juicing it up with a 240-volt, Level 2 charger takes 11.5 hours. A neat factor concerning the Plus is that the usual charging cable handles each Level 1 and Level 2 charging. So, as a substitute of spending cash putting in a Level 2 charger at house, house owners can merely have a 240-volt outlet to plug into. As for Level 1 charging from a standard family outlet, that takes north of 30 hours.

    If you reside close to a 100-kW DC charger, you can cost a drained Leaf Plus to 80% in 45 minutes.
    Jon Wong/Roadshow
    For those that dwell close to a 50-kW DC charger, the Leaf Plus can cost from 0 to 80% in an hour. If you are lucky sufficient to have entry to a less-common 100-kW DC charger, that’ll reduce cost time for a useless battery to 80% to 45 minutes. More energy The different welcome enchancment accompanying the Plus’ upsized battery is an influence soar. The common Leaf is not any slouch with 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, however no one will protest a rise to 214 hp and 250 lb-ft. All that thrust is transmitted instantly to the entrance wheels by way of a single-speed transmission getting the Leaf Plus to 60 mph in about 7 seconds, which is roughly a second faster than the usual mannequin. There are zero points getting in control for expressway merging and passing maneuvers are a cinch. More than its 0-to-60 time, I’m impressed with how quickly the Leaf Plus accelerates from 40 to 70 mph and past.  Straight-line slingshots are concerning the extent of the enjoyable within the Leaf Plus from a efficiency standpoint. Depending on trim degree, the Plus is about 340 kilos heavier than the bottom Leaf, and that does not assist dynamics. There’s some dive underneath braking and roll at flip in. The low-rolling-resistance 17-inch Michelin Energy Saver A/S tires squawk in protest while you throw it right into a nook and stability management intervenes straight away to get issues so as. A extra highly effective battery additionally implies that the Leaf Plus is faster, with 214 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque.
    Jon Wong/Roadshow
    Ride high quality is, nonetheless, buttoned up and cozy on the 50-series sidewall tires. Impacts from larger bumps are nonetheless felt contained in the Leaf’s cabin. The handoff from regenerative to mechanical braking is seamless, with stopping drive progressively growing as you press the pedal. The steering is mild and devoid of any suggestions, however that is high-quality together with the less-than-stellar cornering chops. The Leaf is not purported to be a sports activities automotive.  A Leaf in and out If you are anticipating the Leaf Plus to look a lot completely different from the usual Leaf, then you are going to be disillusioned. Besides an extra blue accent strip on the entrance fascia and the Plus badge on the hatch beneath the trim degree designation, it appears like each different Leaf. And that is not a completely dangerous factor. The Leaf wears a reasonably aggressive face with Nissan’s signature V-motion grille, refined facet character traces and five-spoke wheels with a contrasting silver face and grey insets. Inside, there’s nothing to write down house about, both. It options the Leaf’s excessive seating place, blue accent stitching right here and there and loads of laborious plastic making up the entire sprint and parts of the door panels. Fortunately, the plastics are properly completed, and strategic spots are wrapped in vinyl and padded, such because the armrests, the center of the door panels and the facet of the middle console, the place you may relaxation your knees. 
    Jon Wong/Roadshow
    Space within the Nissan’s front- and second-row seats is serviceable for many adults and there are sufficient cubbies to stash objects all through the cabin. The Leaf also can transfer fairly a little bit of cargo, with 23.6 cubic ft on supply behind the rear seats, which grows to 30 cubic ft with the second row folded ahead. Quarterbacking infotainment within the Leaf is the NissanJoin system with an 8-inch touchscreen that does not have probably the most vibrant graphics. It’s a feature-rich system with a pleasant Bose audio setup, satellite tv for pc radio, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. In the SL Plus, it additionally has onboard navigation, which regularly takes somewhat little bit of time to calculate routes. NissanJoin’s graphics are trying dated.
    Jon Wong/Roadshow
    On the energetic security expertise entrance, all Leaf fashions come normal with forward-collision warning with automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and rear cross-traffic alert with rear automated braking. On my SL Plus check automotive, Nissan’s ProPilot driver help tech can also be included, utilizing adaptive cruise management and lane-keep help for partially automated, hands-on-the-wheel motoring that works extremely properly in visitors. How I’d spec it  I at all times attempt to preserve my builds as budget-conscious as attainable, however with the Leaf Plus, I’ve to spring for the SL trim. Optioning the midgrade SV could have me including a few choice packages to get must-haves like heated seats and LED headlights, bumping the worth tag to near-SL ranges. Splurging on the range-topping mannequin prices $44,825, together with $925 for vacation spot. Tack on the $695 two-tone black and white paint job like on the automotive pictured right here and $195 flooring and cargo mats, and that brings the underside line of my perfect automotive to $45,715. Sadly, that is not way more reasonably priced than this $46,045 tester. With all of the bells and whistles and a few choices, this SL Plus check automobile punches in at a hair over $46,000.
    Jon Wong/Roadshow
    A greater Leaf, however not the benchmark The 2020 Nissan Leaf Plus will set you again $39,125 to begin, which is greater than the $37,890 Chevy Bolt and $38,365 Hyundai Kona Electric, however extra reasonably priced than the $40,210 Kia Niro EV. All three of the Leaf’s opponents supply an even bigger dose of favor, are extra participating to drive and, most significantly, supply longer driving ranges. What the Leaf has working in its favor is a large listing of ordinary and obtainable security tech options, and the truth that it is the best-selling EV so far has absolutely created some Nissan loyalists. But to anybody new to the EV world with no earlier allegiance to model or mannequin, the Leaf Plus seemingly is not the best choice within the reasonably priced EV hatchback section.

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