Consumer Reports Tests 2018 Nissan LEAF: Video

JAN 12 2019 BY MARK KANE 28

One more look at the LEAF, before e+ is be introduced

While the eyes of the world turned to the all-new Nissan LEAF e+ (62 kWh) at 2019 CES, Consumer Reports takes a look at the current 2018 model year with a 40 kWh battery.

Many consumers will now be considering whether it’s better to purchase the 40 kWh version, or wait til Spring 2019 and pay at least several thousand more for the 62 kWh version (which gest some other upgrades like more power and faster charging speeds).

Consumer Reports said: “The Nissan Leaf was one of the first all-electric vehicles to come to market. The 2018 redesign has a comfortable ride and standard advanced safety gear. But, the low range from its battery keeps it from being a true competitor among its peers.”

It would suggest that having a higher range/battery capacity would translate into a better competitive position and a lot higher sales. If that’s the case, we should see significant improvement. In 2018, Nissan sold just 14,715 LEAFs – up 31% from its worst year of 2017, but more than two times below its peak in 2014 when 30,200 were sold.

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28 Comments on "Consumer Reports Tests 2018 Nissan LEAF: Video"

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I think the Tesla Model 3 has now outsold the lifetime sales of the Nissan LEAF in the USA (or it is at least close). That is AMAZING.

It is nice to see the LEAF FINALLY get the big battery upgrade…but it has been long in coming and the technology is underwhelming. I guess Nissan will be an OK lower priced option but if Nissan wants fetch a better price, they really need to step up their game.

The Leaf was the bestselling EV in Europe in 2018, so it was a success. The European car market is more than twice as large as the US car market, so there is more potential in focusing on the European market.

Only because Model 3 has not started delivery in Europe. 2019 is going to be catastrophic for Legacy makers BEV sales because of Model 3.

There’s a big shortage in Europe for efficient vehicles in general and EVs in particular. Nissan can sell pretty much all they can produce, same goes for basically every other EV save perhaps Renault Zoe and Smart.

No it isn’t. The U.S. market was 17 million. EU sales totaled 15.14 million units in 2017.
At least get a simple fact straight.

“The European car market is more than twice as large as the US car market…”

Say what? The US car market is larger than the European car market.

2017 US car sales: 17.25 million
2017 Europe car sales: 15.63 million

150mile version (2018) on clearance sale after the 210 mile version comes out will be the best miles per dollar deal.
60-70 miles more range for $6000 more won’t do me much good without the super charger network.

I wish Nissan would also bring back the 30kWh one, but with the new style… With their current price/kWh, that allowed them to have the 40kWh S trim start at only $29,950, a new 30kWh one with 107 mile range would only cost $25,000 before incentives. I am sure a car that only costs $25,000 before incentives, yet still has 107 mile range and DC fast charging, will sell like hot cakes.

I would hope it sells well but I really don’t think it will. With 200+ mile range EVs available, the ~100 mile range EVs are a bit of a tough sell…even though they are much cheaper.


The 24kWh LEAF with the lizard batteries is a great buy, if they would just cut the price 15 grand.

The 40kwh Leaf is not going away. Both it and the 60kwh versions will still be sold. There’s not going to be a clearance sale.

I have a 2018 and while an extra 60 miles of range is not that big a deal the $6000 would buy another 5-10 years of battery life, plus the margin to go 75mph instead of 65mph on my usual 150 mile / 1 charging stop trip to the coast.

Plus another ~10% acceleration oomph apparently, not that the FWD LEAF can really use it until 40mph+.

The Leaf 2.1 ( or 3.0 ? ) has also a stronger motor with 160KW instead 110 KW, so it’s more than just a bigger battery which is responsible for the price increase.

Yeah, they now have half the requirements of a long distance EV….a big battery. They still lack a high-speed DC fast-charge port supported by a good charging network.

The LEAF went from a local car to a regional car. But it still can’t drive across the country in an acceptable manner.

For those interested, Alex on Autos has my favorite video review of this same Nissan Leaf.

An object lesson in squandering a leading position in the ev revolution, to now just filling in the low end demand.
Still better than an ice or hybrid, but clearly an also ran compared to other bev’s.

nah, if you wanted to buy a BEV in my (top-50 in the US metro) town, the choices were Fiat, Nissan, BMW, and Chevy.

Nissan had the best value proposition for me (f- the Fiat).

Not gonna pay 2x OTD on a Tesla for battery range [or sub-5 0-60 for that matter] that I almost never need.

Tesla’s big price tag comes with an opportunity cost, brah

I ended up leasing a 2018 Leaf for this reason. Figure in 3 years it’ll be worth it to buy a Tesla. Perhaps the Tesla Network and other goodies will be ready by then.

I think the biggest issue with the Leaf is the list price. If they would lower the list price to the price people currently pay people wouldn’t have the mindset Leafs cost what the Model 3 SR will go for. We paid high 20s net before tax incentives for our new 2018 loaded SL. That is Altima money before factoring in tax incentives and lower running costs. I rent Altimas now and then and our Leaf is much nicer.

Yeah, they could lower the price but that would make it a money-loser. EVs are an extremely tough business. And making subpar EVs that don’t fetch the premium prices that Tesla gets is a money-losing disaster.

Nissan needs to add CCS, up the DC fast-charge speed, and make it more appealing. But if they don’t, it is nothing but a money-losing compliance car. And they seem to have accepted the latter.

Actually they say they are making money on it. And their actions seem to prove it. They are keen to sell the Leaf, even in regions where they have no need to.

I think they are making a killing on the LEAFs.

They should offer the new 62kwH leaf at the old 40kwh prices, and drop the 40kwh prices.

The key to todays Leaf is it WAS the best selling electric and Consumer reports like J.D Power is an industry Joke.

Consumer Reports is nothing like JD Power–they don’t take advertising or any money from the industry (other than charity funds) and buy all their own products. The problem is that they don’t seem to think electric cars are real cars. Since they aren’t generally accepted by the public yet (they allude to this in the video), they treat them as a special category that they only cover because a few of their readers demand it of them. A few years ago they had a column that listed all the best mileage cars sold in the US. They didn’t list any electric or even any hybrid cars! Even though they get filled up with gas and are driven like any other ICE car, they put the hybrids in their own special category and left them out of any ICE comparisons. They are better about hybrids now days, but they still treat electric cars like some kind of oddball vehicle that shouldn’t be treated like a ‘real’ car. The Tesla seems to really freak them out and they can’t figure out if they love it or hate it. Most of the time they just ignore it, since it isn’t a ‘real’ ICE… Read more »

Your criticism of CR’s treatment of electric cars as not ‘real’ cars is disproved by the near-worshipful review they gave of the Model S some years ago when that car ‘broke’ their rating system (made them re-calibrate it) and was the highest scoring car ever reviewed by them.

Yep. I checked yesterday and Consumer reports doesn’t even have a EV charger on Plugshare at their auto facility and test track. They still think in terms of buying enough gasoline to get from paycheck to paycheck. Its not that Nissan that is behind the times, its the CR peeps that are living in the past. People can easily charge their EV every night, it only takes a few seconds to plug it in.