Nissan Prices New LEAF S Model At $28,800, Puts Plug-In Competition on Notice

JAN 14 2013 BY JAY COLE 26

Nissan took a huge leap forward today in pricing the entry level LEAF at $28,800.  That is $6,400 cheaper (about 18% less) than the most inexpensive 2012 model on sale today.  With the federal incentive applied, you are talking a very enticing $21,300, and as low as $18,800 in California once their state rebate has been discounted.

Truly, being freed of the pressure from importing the car from Japan (and the yen) has meant a much more affordable car for North America.

Both the mid-grade SV and SL also got significantly cheaper at $31,820 and $34,480 respectively.  As a refresher, the old SV trim level came in at $35,200, and $37,250 for the SL, a difference of only $2,050.

“With nearly 50,000 LEAFs on the road globally, we are the leaders in zero emissions vehicles and our class-leading product just got better,” said Billy Hayes, Global vice president of LEAF sales for Nissan. “From the very outset, Nissan has continuously advanced and refined the affordable zero emissions vehicle ownership experience. Now customers won’t have to pay a premium for owning a green car that’s really fun to drive, and that’s exciting.”

UPDATE:  Individual option pricing specs added to article at bottom

2013 LEAFs Come With Remote Charging Port Release

LEAF S Model ($28,800)

  • Standard features include a 6-way manual driver’s seat, 4-way manual front passenger’s seat, trip computer (instant and average energy consumption, driving time, outside temperature and autonomy range), Automatic Temperature Control (ATC), center console storage and 3.6 kW onboard charger, a 12-volt power outlet and 16-inch steel wheels with full wheel covers.

LEAF SV Model ($31,820)

  • The mid-grade trim level adds the Nissan Navigation system we have been used to in the past couple years, (7.0-inch color LCD screen, CARWINGS telematics, 6-speaker audio system), but also adds Pandora® link for iPhone®, 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, 6.6 kW onboard charger, hybrid heater system, cruise control, auto-dimming inside mirror, and “B-mode” regenerative braking.

LEAV SL Model ($34,840)

  • At the top end of the lineup, added features are a (mostly just for show) photovoltaic solar panel spoiler, fog lights, auto on/off headlights, cargo cover, Quick Charge Port, leather seats, LED headlights and 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.

Only Minor Tweaks To 2013 LEAF Dash, But We Really Like The Darker Color

Nissan also highlights three option packages.

  • The Quick Charge Package (S grade only – $1,300) includes the 6.6 kW onboard charger, Quick Charge Port and RearView Monitor.
  • The LED Headlights + Quick Charge Port Package (SV grade only – $1,630) includes LED headlights, auto on/off headlights, fog lights and Quick Charge Port.
  • The Premium Package (SV and SL grades – $1,050) offers the advanced Around View® Monitor and Bose® 7-speaker audio.

There is also a $850 destination charge, and Nissan is already promoting a $199 lease deal (which includes the destination).

While this price reduction out paces that of the Japanese-spec model that was released publically a couple months ago (12% less), we have been told to likely not expect a besting of the 14% increase in range announced in Japan (228 km vs 200 km) due to US EPA testing methodology.

UPDATE:  2013 Nissan LEAF Range has been rated at 75 miles.  However, that is due to a blending of a 80% and a 100% charge.  In a 100% charge scenario, the ’13 LEAF gets 84 miles to the charge, as compared tot he 73 of the outgoing 2012 LEAF.  (Full story here)

To see all the technical specs and a model overview, check out the full recap here.  More photos of the 2013 LEAF can be found at the gallery here.

MY 2013 Nissan LEAF Option Pricing


Top Of The Line SL Trim Of The Nissan LEAF

Categories: Nissan


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26 Comments on "Nissan Prices New LEAF S Model At $28,800, Puts Plug-In Competition on Notice"

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Heard it here first! Nice work Jay.

I think they really nailed it on the pricing and options for this revision of the LEAF. The loaded LEAF comes in at about the same exact price as my 2011, with a lot more equipment. They also hit the lower end of the market and some people will really be able to see cost saving EV ownership at that price point.

Maybe a battery option next year?…

…well I have no life, so its easy to be out first, lol.

This $28,800 I think is really aggressive, they really didn’t need to go lower than $29,999 (imo) to get the wow factor out there. Nissan is going to sell a lot more plug-ins in 2013 that is for sure.

$18,800 in Cali Jay—-great news!

I have to wonder how many people will buy the S trim level, though? I suspect a lot of people will be enticed by the lower MSRP and go to their Nissan dealer. Then if the salesmen actually understood the cost benefits of an EV they could explain to potential buyers that the higher trim levels are more affordable than they thought.

Can’t wait to get my 2013 Leaf at below $30k!!!!

March can’t come soon enough!

That’s great news on the lower price announcement. Now it makes me wonder if there is indeed hope for a future price discount on the Volt too? Any rumors floating around Jay or have you been sworn to secrecy?

Honestly, I was under the impression that the 2013 were originally going to be cheaper, but that plans changed over last summer and it was put off until the mid-gen upgrade.

I’d put down good money that the Volt gets reduced ‘officially’ for MY 2014, sometime in the spring (maybe June) so as not to upset current sales…until then, discount, discount, discount.

Nice! They got to get the price lower to move the metal.


I’m still in a little disbelief that they would price it so low. I think they are leaving money on the table – 22.5K after federal rebate and 20K in California is plenty cheap for a 75-mile EV.

The only thing I would change would be to put the new efficient heat pump on all models (assuming it does deliver the energy savings like we expect it to), even if it means bumping the S cost to $29,999. Reducing the range hit you take in the winter time is a big deal in the short term until we get to cheap 125mi range EVs.

Here is to hoping that Nissan can bring the battery tech upgrade in the 2014MY cars to boost range up to 95-100 miles.

If you can build an EV with a 24kWh battery for $28,800, how much does it cost to throw a 1.4L engine in there and reduce the battery size to 16kWh? Meaning, if Nissan is breaking even on this car, it seems like the Volt at $10K more should be making money (or IOW has room to reduce the price).

While not having cruise control isn’t the end of the world in a car you’ll probably only drive 40 miles at a time at most, selling a $28,000 car without cruise control does seem a bit crazy.

I think even if you are not a ‘pure EV’ person, and as kdawg alluded to, this sets a new bar/pressure level for others to price plug-ins at ($28,800 with 24 kWh of battery on board). Most of us are already estimating the cost of the battery and powertrain inside the LEAF and are applying that knowledge to other OEM’s offerings.

Not sure where a player like Mitsubishi can go now with their i-MiEV (considering it still being imported from Japan), and pretty much finishes off CODA as well.

Even more ‘user-friendly’ vehicles like the Accord PHEV/Fusion Energi are going to seem very pricey at 40K…same for the upcoming Outlander PHEV (with 12 kWh of battery) that you know Mitsu wants to price well north of 40K as well.

I would say that we are now seeing the payoff from Nissan’s commitment to plug-ins, and the scaling they have put behind the manufacturing process of both the car and the battery assembly. Whether or not they are ultimately successful/can make money selling EVs is still in question.


This actually feels like 2010 all over again when they announced the pricing of the original LEAF (~$33.5k). That damaged the i(MiEV), this will firmly place it in its grave.

It sure feels like 2010 all over again.. can you imagine getting the Georgia $5000 incentive on top of the Federal $7500?

You can’t wait forever.!!

That is some aggressive pricing. I thought it would be just shy of $30k (thats what most people thought too in the MNL poll). Ofcourse, with destination it IS just shy of $30k.

Another unexpected thing is the $199 lease. That will translate to below $300 for even SL. If all goes well, I’ll “trade-in” my leased 2011 Leaf for a new 2013.

I’m hoping this will put downward pressure on pricing for used ’11 and ’12 leafs as well.

For states and provinces with moderate climes like mine
( Washington State ) the LEAF makes perfect sense for that
second or third car. Buy the S model and use your smartphone
for nav and charging station locations.

Seriously, Volt is due for a big sales decline with Ford’s
C-Max and Fusion Energis coming into play. Thanks to Nissan
for being first to delve into the “budget” EV territory to see
if the market bites. You KNOW everyone is watching…..

For me personally – it makes me scratch my goatee and say
“hmmm – a $20,000 LEAF….it could very well be an option…”

Well, Leaf has always been my first car.

I tend to think of the car I drive 90% of the time as my first car.

Great news Jay. This is great news!!

Please let Canadian prices also sneak under 30k.

$199 lease…what are the rest of the terms? $1999 down? Just like buying a car, the actual payment is only part of the picture.

Also, I have to say I’m disappointed that the heat pump is not standard across all models, as well as the 6 kw charger. The recent announcement of QC rollout at CA. dealerships does nothing to improve charging times in lesser supported regions

Dropping the Nav seems like a legitimate cost cutting measure, as most can do without for local driving, or find cheaper alternatives. These are some nice mid-term improvements, especially the pricing. I do look forward to greater range, hopefully from battery improvements, in the next redesign.

Ford just announced $249/mo and $2138 down for the loaded Focus Electric. With Navigation and the MyFord Touch and Sync systems. You also get the 6kw charger.

If GM could somehow afford to Drop Chevy Volt price to around 330000 then there will be no stopping of electric cars. I hope this price war catches everybody and EVs become affordable to everyone

All that really matters is the monthly lease price, and what’s due at signing. No one in their right mind would actually ‘buy’ an EV when the technology is changing so rapidly, and battery pricing is dropping so quickly. Along with lease pricing dropping.

Just think, if you bought the 2012 model with the slow charger, good luck trying to sell it against a 2013 with the faster charger that costs less. Then there is the issue of battery capacity loss that Nissan never resolved. Who would want to own that long term???

Bloggin, Great point, I tell everyone, Only LEASE an EV. The changes are coming faster than gas price rises. New features like V2G Vehicle to GRID that AC Propulsion had on the T-ZERO in 2004 and on their eBox, are gaining each day. That can pay for the EV !

Batteries are improving so fast a 2 to 4 year old EV will look like a model T (E) and just keep getting better and lower in cost which is what good technology is all about.