Alex On Autos Reviews New 2018 Nissan LEAF – Video

2018 Nissan LEAF

DEC 8 2017 BY STEVEN LOVEDAY 40

Check out this in-depth review of the all-new 2018 Nissan LEAF.

We’ve shared a handful of 2018 Nissan LEAF video reviews, dating back to a few first drives in Japan. However, this is one is via the US; and as such, who better to fill us in than Alex on Autos.

Alex goes into plenty of details regarding the LEAF’s new design. He also gives us a solid idea of sizing in comparison to the outgoing model, as well as competing vehicles. It rings in right around the size of a Hyundai IONIQ, but isn’t as big as the Elantra.

2018 Nissan LEAF

2018 Nissan LEAF test drive

Before taking the LEAF for a spin, Alex discusses the new 147-horsepower engine and 40 kWh battery pack and mentions the eventual long range model (~60 kWh/225 miles of range). He also visits charging abilities, the lack of active thermal management of the lithium-ion battery pack, and the LEAF’s heat pump.

Notable takeaways:

  • Exceptional front-seat comfort and space: 9/10
  • Good rear-seat comfort, adequate legroom, minimal headroom: 8/10
  • Many hard-touch surfaces, although soft-touch in places that matter (door armrests, center console armrest)
  • zero-60-mph in 7.7 seconds
  • Noticeable tire slip due to instant torque
  • Good management of torque steer
  • Braking is not as good as most compacts but parallels other EVs
  • Outstanding, seamless transition between friction braking and regen braking
  • Handling is mostly unchanged from the 2017 model: B
  • Ride quality is excellent: A
  • Cabin noise improvements: B+

Overall, the new LEAF looks and feels more like a “regular” car. It mirrors that of the ICE Nissan family. Added to this, it’s more sporty in terms of the overall driving experience. All of these aspects should work to help the 2018 Nissan LEAF garner more mass appeal.

Video Description via Alex on Autos on YouTube:

America’s most popular EV has just received its first redesign featuring a more mainstream look, a bump to 150 miles of range and more standard equipment. For 2019 Nissan has announced the Leaf will get another range bump with thanks to a bigger battery for “over 200 miles” of EV range to compete directly with Chevy’s Bolt. In the meantime the Leaf slots right between the “average” EV in America and the Bolt in terms of overall range with one of the lower price tags on a modern EV.

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40 Comments on "Alex On Autos Reviews New 2018 Nissan LEAF – Video"

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I do find Alex On Autos reviews the best out there overall. The new Leaf certainly looks like a strong competitor for equivalent ICE automobiles and should be positioned to sell very well in a post early adopter world. I am glad we are finally getting more choices in BEVs that compete head to head (normal looks, no-compromise usability etc.) in the mainstream market. Personally I am still skeptical about the long term durability of air cooled batteries though.

He is the best, better then doug, FTL and consumer reports. FTL are anti electric so i dont bother with them. CNET is also good with Brian, he be making sarcastic comments

He is lied, he is not comfortable in the back seat. You can see his legs are touching the front seats and his head is also touching the ceiling.

I like A/A, but few issues.

0. Didn’t mention free charging, but FREE CHARGING SUCKS!!!

1. 150 miles is far closer to 125 miles range of eGolf and Ioniq, and far, far away from 240 miles range of Bolt.

2. Leaf, especially SL that he’s testing is probably not much cheaper than Bolt.

3. Without active battery heating/cooling, the energy you save with heat pump doesn’t mean much. With active TMS, you can heat the battery while charging, thus able to take more charge, not to mention saving on battery wear in heat and quicker fast charging.

4. New Leaf is better in 0-60 than the old due to quicker 30-60 time, but that’s still 5 seconds, full second slower than SpakEV. It’s not even a competition to Bolt while costing almost as much (SL trim).

5. While Bolt is lousy at $30K, Leaf SV/SL is awful value even if it’s $27K/$30K. S without DCFC is not good even if it’s cheap. Terrible value, people should stay away from it (at least until they stop giving free charging).

Volt with the TMS still doesn’t heat the battery in the cold. I be leaving home with 29 miles when i should be getting 37-38. Heat pump is great doesnt use the battery. Leaf is afforable and mainstream which niether the 3 and bolt ugly styling isnt

Calling the Bolt ugly when compared against a Leaf is pretty laughable. You’ve lost credibility there, bub.

Looked at them side by side at the Santable Monica show and sat in both. LEAF is noticeably more pleasant inside and out. Also, the LEAF sure seems bigger than the Bolt or Spark

Bro i like the Bolt, but mainstream America dont like the styling cues. America like a more coonsertive style

Tf you are talking the first generation Leaf than I would agree, bu the new Leaf looks better. Still I think I would prefer the Bolt though the Leaf wins in a number of categories, it’s 100+ less range and no TMS give the nod to the Bolt, imo.

If heat pump doesn’t use battery, where do you think the energy for running the heat pump comes from?

Just because you have a car that doesn’t condition the battery with TMS doesn’t mean that has to be true of all cars. But it is true that ALL cars without TMS cannot pack as much energy.

Cars without TMS can still pack more, its all about the chemistry

Leaf doesn’t have extraordinary chemistry that allow it to pack more energy in cold than warm. It’s a simple truth that in cold weather, Leaf packs less than TMS cars that keep the battery in optimal temperature when plugged in.

I agree with SparkEV.

TMS is removed to save money and in first gen , it reduced battery life. There is hard data for it.

On cost , nissan will need to discount it , compared to bolt. just like gen 1.

The LEAF SL is nearly $7k cheaper than a comparably optioned Bolt.

There’s no comparable; Leaf has better automation, but Bolt range is much longer. If you mean both cars fully optioned out, I’d take Tesla 3 instead.

Sure, but people wouldn’t be looking at a LEAF if 150 miles wasn’t considered acceptable. Since both vehicles are commuter cars, I don’t think people will overlook $7k difference in price for the increased range of the Bolt.

I’d wager that people will find this acceptable, and the LEAF will outsell the Bolt by 2:1, but probably greater, in 2018.

Yeah with 38k i couldnt get a 3, i still would need 22k to get fully option 3, thats is other whole new mid seden on top of leaf with that price

If you’re willing to pay for Leaf options over Tesla 3 looks, performance, charging infrastructure, more range, Tesla badge, etc.etc., go right ahead. But for most people, they’d rather spend that money on less optioned Tesla 3.

What is up with the big hump in the rear floor of the Leaf? Don’t need to run a transmission through there like in a typical ICE or a Volt. Why couldn’t it be completely flat like the Bolt/Teslas/etc…?

In the present day Leaf the “hump” in front of the center rear passenger houses the main battery disconnect (for emergencies etc). Maybe some other electrical stuff under there too.

Will be interesting to see:
1) sales break down across the 3 trim levels and two battery capacities (when available)
2) if bolt responds with similar model lineup

Pretty sure what you see in the Bolt is what you’ll get. GM may offer more options on their 2nd Gen EV. However, the Bolt was rushed to market without, so don’t expect any radical changes to their program over the next 2-3 years.

There is not a single Leaf at the Fort Worth Auto but the 2018 Leaf was heavily advertised there. There was a $70k+ non plugin Cadillac CT6 with Super Cruise. I think ProPilot on Leaf (at half price of the CT6) is going to dramatically increase the popularity of the Leaf and will force other manufacturers to start putting advanced autonomous features in lower end models.

I again chastised the Ford representatives for not offering the Ford Focus Electric on dealer lots in Texas and told them that when I buy my 300 mile Ford BEV SUV I would be going up to Michigan to get it (like I did with my 2017 FFE) if the Texas dealers don’t offer it.

I was disappointed that the commentor didn’t evaluate ProPilot in the video. To me ProPilot is the strongest attraction of the Leaf. Maybe they couldn’t get ProPilot to work on that winding mountain road.

I was surprised to see the dual-voltage EVSE. I’ve been saying for years that manufactures need to include these to reduce the cost of the car to the customer. Because, if the customer has to spend another $2,000 to get a level-2 charger installed, that might as well be another $2,000 added to MSRP. However, I was baffled by the horrible design of that thing. I’m sure it works fine as the level-2, but when he stuck that adapter on the front I was like “seriously?” There’s no way that thing is going to stay in the wall socket shaped like that. There isn’t enough friction to hold that thing in. So, great idea, horrible design!

That L2 plug was a NEMA 14-50 plug, which is common at RV parks but is not generally used for dryers. The commentator didn’t do his homework very well when it comes to EV plugs. I do think itis a pretty smart move by Nissan to offer a L2 charge cord that can plug in at places as common as RV parks.

You can buy a Clippercreek 7.2 kW NEMA14-50 charger for about $600. That Nissan charging cord adds real value to the Leaf. It also makes me think that that cord will be a target for thieves wanting to get their hands on a 6.6 kW EV charger.

The Gen 2 Volt/Bolt OEM stock charging cords also can be used for 240V charging. Just need to buy an appropriate adapter. I believe the max charge rate is ~2.9 kW (240v * 12A). Not “full” L2, but beats the 120v charge rates.

Clipper Creek makes the Volt/Bolt charging cords, and they spec’ed it to support 240V charging for whatever reason.

The Ford Focus Electric was dis’d in the video. This 2017 FFE as an EPA range of 115 miles. That’s better than the 2018 i3 range or the 2017 Leaf range but the FFE didn’t show up on the range comparison list that showed those vehicles.

Let’s see.
1. Live in socal.
2. Have access to Ford’s employee discount
3. Can take advantage of full tax credit.
4. $2500 state rebate
5. SCE rebate.
6. Car pool access

Will never buy that car. The first car eliminated in our car buying process. What’s the problem? That’s for Ford to figure out.

Best EV in 2018
1. Tesla Model 3
2. Nissan Leaf
3. Hyundai Kona EV (assuming 200+ mile range).
4. Hyundai Ioniq EV
5. Chevy Bolt

Its not 2018 yet, you dont know what will happen with tesla between now and jan

Tesla will be fine in 2018. People will be kicking and screaming that they didn’t buy TSLA at $300.

Not only is the model 3 the best electric car but it’s the best car, at it’s price range, in the market.

GM spends millions on advertisement that last one year. Tesla builds superchargers that advertise for life. While GM, Ford, and Chrysler play checker, Elon plays chess.

Not to worry, the Kona will get more than 200 miles. Hyundai and 64.2 kWh is all you need to know, really.

Before taking the LEAF for a spin, Alex discusses the new 147-horsepower engine and

I grew up in the USA and we have gas, diesel, steam engines etc. Electric vehicles have motors.

No electric motors in a Honda Clarity EV. Just ask Honda why they use Electric Engines, you will get an interesting response!

Great review.

But would still buy the Bolt over the Leaf.

Don’t like the center armrest cubbyhole space… or lack of.
Center console screen too small for my taste. Looks very yesterday.
Analog speedometer… Seriously?

No rear heated seats.

Power drivers seats useless without memory. I’m the only one driving the car, so whether it is power or not is pointless, I set it once, and done.

I’m amazed at how Alex is talking about how seamless the transition from regen brakes to friction… ummm.. Chevy perfected this years ago and I thought all manufacturers had as well. I guess not.

Heated steering wheel? After getting it in the 2016 Volt, I don’t think I would get another car without it. I didn’t think this would be a big deal, but having it on freezing days I appreciate it much more now.

Android auto/carplay should be standard on all trims. You won’t believe how much safer it is to have these systems in the car because let’s face it, people can’t stay off their phones.

Styling on both cars are about the same for me. Not inspiring and not ugly…

Why would you buy a Bolt over the leaf? The Bolt as no ACC. You thought heated steering wheel and car play/ Android auto was impressive. Well that’s peanuts compare to ProPilot assist.

So, you’re willing to pay more for less. I mean, that’s totally fine…but the considerations you’re discussing are rather personal.

M3 - reserved -- Niro/Leaf 2.0/Outlander - TBD
Test drove both Bolt and Leaf within 12 hours last weekend — both loaded models. Battery : leasing – so duration TMS drain longevity is Nissan’s problem. 150mi is our sweet spot for a local hauler/weekender with legs to LA and destination charging. No range anxiety now with the extra range. Interior: Leaf is definitely more comfortable and spacious in all aspects except for the middle floor hump in the back. The narrow front seats were noticeable — and we’re skinny Asians! The Bolt has better rear entry space. Legroom is about same. Bolt has larger and better screen interface. Cargo – No brainer -Leaf crushes the Bolt, and this will be a primary difference between the two. Suburanites need space to haul crap and the dog 🙂 Performance – Bolt is better; spirited like the Spark. Leaf isn’t going to win any races, but respectable like the regular Altima. Propilot: Better than AP 2.0. Only missing was the multi-lane, but I wouldn’t trust AP 2.0 on that anyways in that aspect. –Even loaded spec’d out, Leaf beats the Bolt by 5k because of the battery difference. If you absolutely need 200+ range on single charge, you’re still stuck with… Read more »