2018 Nissan LEAF – First-Gen To Second-Gen Changes

SEP 6 2017 BY STAFF 42

2018 Nissan LEAF

Nissan’s new EV goes from happy-go-lucky to sporty and angry.

With more electric vehicles on the road, the Nissan Leaf now faces some stiffer competition in the long-range EV market – i.e. the Chevrolet Bolt and the Tesla Model 3. The new 2018 Nissan Leaf seeks to be more competitive with a slew of driver assistant technologies, an increased range, and a sportier and tech-forward design. Let’s take a look at just how different the new Leaf performs, and looks inside and out from its predecessor.

2017 Versus 2018 Nissan LEAF Specs

Editor’s Note:  The longer range/60 kWh edition (good for 220-225 miles) arrives int he 2nd half of 2018 as a 2019 model year offering.


The new Leaf looks far angrier than its more easy-going predecessor. Replacing the big round headlights are angular projector-beam units that employ “dual, direct lens low and high beams,” complemented with LED accent lights. The Leaf also has a more traditional V-shape grill evocative of other Nissan vehicles, with a clear-blue 3D mesh pattern to establish its EV status in the lineup. The hood also has some steep creases to give the new Leaf a far sportier look.

The charge port is also bent 45-degrees to allow easier access for the charging cable.

2017 LEAF

2018 LEAF


A “floating roof” design element helps the new Leaf come closer in line with other vehicles in the Nissan portfolio. Angular character lines and stylized side sills give it a more planted look. In some configurations, the Leaf can be had with a contrasting blue color on the roof and side mirrors. New “clear-cut curve and aero-design wheels” also help reduce drag. With the bolder character lines, the profile has a sleeker and more tech-forward appearance.

2017 LEAF

2018 LEAF


Replacing the long and skinny taillights are new “boomerang” units that look like ones found on the Nissan Murano and 370Z. A new integrated rear spoiler sits on top of the hatch and is blacked out along with elements below the rear window, similar to the BMW i3. The underfloor and diffuser-type bumper not only help the Leaf look more aggressive, but also reduce overall drag.

2017 LEAF

2018 LEAF


Unlike the exterior, the interior design isn’t a far departure from the last-gen Leaf. Familiar elements like the circular shifter with blue accents, and climate controls remain. New elements include a seven-inch center touchscreen, blue stitching on the seats, instrument panel and steering wheel, different materials to create a more upscale feel, and matte grey and black accents throughout the cabin. In front of the driver, there’s a new analog speedometer paired with a multi-information digital display. A different cupholder configuration also allows for storage of a smart phone conveniently next to a 12-volt power outlet and USB port.

2018 LEAF

2018 LEAF

2018 Nissan LEAF

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42 Comments on "2018 Nissan LEAF – First-Gen To Second-Gen Changes"

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Looking 100% better styling that the 1st gen.With more range should be great EV…

My opinion is that it’ll be a cheap, widely available, practical EV – which is fantastic.

I am also really happy that they have updated the looks, I own a leaf, I think it’s a great car but my god is it ugly.

No improvement in charging performance –> disappointment!

I would not buy an EV with no 3-phase AC capability and a DC charging power of less than 100kW. So guess I have to wait for the Model 3:

I hope you do realize that per Tesla’s “spec” 3 LR charges at about 90 kW, while standart probably at 60 kW

So still no battery thermal management in new Leaf?

Even if not a larger battery means less stress on individual cells.

The problem is heat in the summer time especially during DCFC. In the winter time you need a heater to keep the range from tanking when the battery gets cold.

Thermal management is an absolute necessity but Nissan still has not learned that after all these years.

This car is not half of what it should have been. I’m thoroughly disappointed in almost every aspect. No comparison to Bolt or Model 3 in almost any way.

Yep, no comparison on the price either.

You can buy a cheaper car but when the pack fades on range…well it depends on what is important to you.

Not much change underneath… Just all the fluff on the outside.

Sorry, not good enough. Show me the 60kWh version before I get interested again.

It is a bit of lip-stick on a pig.


A well-priced pig!

At the very least, it makes the previous Leaf (which sold better than any other EV) look like complete junk, yet it costs a bit less.

It’s not taking a single sale away from a Model 3, but a non-black Model 3 with autopilot is $42k, while a Leaf SV with ProPilot is $34k.

That’s a big step up in price (especially lease cost), and it’s probably even bigger outside the US.

The Leaf won’t get even half the sales of the Model 3, but it has the low end market all to itself.

I think it also pushes the Bolt into no-man’s land.

Lower priced pig with fading battery pack.

> Sorry, not good enough. Show me the 60kWh version before I get interested again.

Every car doesn’t have to cater to your specific needs. Buy something you need and don’t spam the forums of cars you’re not interested in.

Some people think they are SO important when they don’t matter at all.

I love thé New look ,this will grow on me?

Haters gonna hate. I think it looks like a solid car. A 150 mile hatchback, good price, and maybe not sexy, but also no ugly. It’s a good option to add to the mix.

I dunno about “angrier”, but the new look for the Leaf moves it very firmly out of the “dorkmobile” category! Well done, Nissan.

Sadly, the “two snaps up” in appearance isn’t matched by any improvement in the battery pack. Yeah, it’s nice that Nissan will be offering an option for a larger pack size and a 150 mile range, but the Leaf is still crippled, without any active battery cooling system.

I realized that it probably wouldn’t have one, because Nissan was silent on the subject; but still it’s a disappointment to have my hopes dashed, no matter how faint they were.
🙁 🙁 🙁

Well, Nissan has firmly captured the bottom end of the full-sized BEV market here in the USA. It’s too bad that this seems to be the extent of Nissan’s ambition. Meanwhile, the new generation of EVs is moving ahead to significantly longer ranges and faster charging speeds, leaving the Leaf further and further behind.

It’s good that Nissan has managed to improve the range of the Leaf somewhat, without increasing the price. Sadly, with the Leaf still lacking any active battery cooling, this likely won’t have much impact on how fast Leafs drop in value as the years pass.

So true on the last part, especially since I hear that the 30kWh packs aren’t holding up well either. Leaf is going to get a reputation as having unreliable batteries if they don’t fix that issue soon…

Menorman – FYI the 30kwh packs are indeed holding up very well in cold climates. The only caveat is that you can’t fast charge multiple times in a row on 30 degrees Celsius + days. For hotter climates I agree it’s a total no go, but for colder climates it’s not terrible.

?? “full size” ??
The LEAF (current and new) are compact cars, not mid-size and certainly not full-size (think Model S, Crown Vic etc.)

> wavelet:

All current and past Leaves are “mid size cars” by EPA classification. See Specs tab:
It comes from 92 ft3 + 24 ft3 interior volume.

You may talk about A, B, C segments in EU or auto media, or exterior dimensions, but these are too loosely defined and do not define “mid size” at all.

I’m glad Nissan has abandoned its previous objective of reducing population growth through automotive styling with this updated Leaf. It says they are serious about people wanting this vehicle and no longer want it to look evocatively queer. The first time I saw a Nissan Leaf was in the parking lot of Tesla HQ in Palo Alto, CA for their Get Amped tour back in 2012. I remember my comments to the Tesla employee at the time was “what’s wrong with the back? I’ve seen the Nissan Versa, what on earth did they do that for?” Glad the joke is finally over, Nissan!

This seems like a decent offering for someone who is not looking to spend Bolt money, though the lack of a real TMS is really disappointing.

However, if the 60kWh version comes out next year and STILL doesn’t have TMS… I feel bad for anyone suckered into buying that car.

Bolt money. You can buy Bolts for $33K from Chevy of Northridge. I have a GM card and just received a letter offering $2000 off on a Bolt or other Chevy’s bringing the price down to $31k for a much larger battery and a real battery TMS. No comparison to this also ran. Lease deals better be good.

I’m sure there will also be deals on Leaf shortly after release, so I wouldn’t get too caught up in the day 1 price comps.

Still the ugly duckling of EVs

On what planet does the Bolt and i3 look better than this?

They did pretty good. Very similar to the Bolt and BMW i3 in range and price. All of them miss the Nationwide Fast Charging Network. We have come a long way from old lead acid batteries with 2-3 year life and 50 mile range.

This will meet the needs of many drivers. I hope their not Wilt in the heat.

Looks Good and can be charged overnight on a 25Amp (30Amp circuit breaker) @ 240VAC in Australia or those in the USA with 2 phases ~ 220VAC. Very practical without the need to rewire from the pole to the house 🙂

Yeah, well, except for large apartment buildings/condos, we don’t have multiple phases in general in our homes (no difference in time displacement from L1 to L2 in most homes), but most homes can scrape up the 25 amperes required as you say – and those that can’t can still get some charge at 110.

Since these are made for Japan, (100/200 volts is commonplace), I always found it interesting that the OLD 2012 Leaf’s (3600 watt chargers) would pull over 18 amperes from a public charger here (200 volts) and still charge at FULL POWER, whereas my volts and now ELR will only charge at less than 3000.

Impressed the new Leaf is a couple inches longer and has 10 kw larger battery and only gained 20 pounds. How did they do that?

Did you see this incredibly ignorant statement by a so-called analyst in response to the new Leaf:

“Koichi Sugimoto, analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. in Tokyo, says many automakers are selling green models because of tightening emissions regulations, especially in Europe and California, rather than because of what he called “natural sales growth.”

“There really is no outstanding attractive quality about an electric vehicle,” he said, noting drawbacks such as finding charging stations.”


OK, I know this is a small point, but WHY the analogue speed indicator? I FAR prefer the digital speed indicator in my current Leaf. I hate having to look at a gauge to see my speed, especially gauges that are not marked with every 10 mpg, like the one shown in the photos. A big step backward, in my view.

The new leaf is better than the old leaf in every way. It’s slightly cheaper, too. I hope it sells more. There is a huge market to take over.

Try not to compare with that “T” brand and embarrass yourself.

Those pics seem to confirm there is still no rear wheel well liner on the LEAF?

So you’re still going to have rocks going “tick tick tick” hitting the body and lodging on that little ledge in there?

Nissan are the masters of making a car feel cheap through niggly cost-reductions.

This 2018 updated leaf should have been the 2016 model leaf or the 2015 model leaf.

What blows my mind is how Nissan and BMW has the Tesla Model 3 come out at 220 miles range and the Chevy Bolt come out at 220 mile range and they still only come out with a 150 mile range car.

Different price point and market. For my needs this car is perfect. I don’t road trip. I’ve been asking for 150 miles for a long time, since I live in a large metro area and sometimes I don’t know how far I will drive that day.
Main remaining problem with the Leaf is the dealer experience: Only Tesla gets that right.

Drove the car and it is very nice. In almost all ways it is the most impressive EV I have ever driven. However, Nissan has a serious battery degradation problem and, frankly, without thermal battery management there is no reason to expect it to get better. So, until they fix the battery management issue I cannot buy one