Nissan is updating the big-selling Leaf electric hatchback for the 2022 model year. The one-time king of the electric car world is having to deal with ever-growing, and longer-ranged, competition but Nissan will clearly be hoping that the revised styling and continuing strong value will keep sales buoyant for a bit yet.
New nose styling
The changes are mostly limited to the exterior, where the Leaf gets a new nose, with a blanked-off, black-coloured centre panel that has a subtle bit of patterning going on at the outer edges. The lights are slightly tweaked too, as are the bumpers and air intakes.
Nissan is also going to offer new alloy wheel options, in 16-inch and 17-inch sizes, with the 17-inch one looking especially smart. There are new colour options too, which have been lifted from the new Qashqai and the incoming Ariya - Universal Blue ("with a rich and mature tone" says Nissan), and Magnetic Blue.
Inside, there are no major changes aside from the addition of Nissan's updated logo on the steering wheel, which is a little slimmer and neater than before (it's more obvious on the steering wheel than on the nose).
Same battery options as before
Beyond that, there's not much new to report. The Leaf will continue with its 40kWh and 62kWh battery options, which provide between 275km and 285km of range - figures that leave the Leaf well behind opposition such as VW's ID.3 or the incoming new Renault Megane E-Tech. That said, the Leaf is much better priced than either of those, with a price tag starting at €28,145 (for now - Nissan Ireland hasn't confirmed whether there will be a price rise with the arrival of this updated model) which is far better value, and competitive with much smaller electric models from the likes of Peugeot and Opel.
Nissan is talking up the Leaf's electronic sophistication, including its Amazon Alexa, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, the online Nissan Connect internet services setup, the 'e-Pedal' regenerative braking system, and its 'ProPilot' electronic driver assistance system - even though the company has been criticised by safety experts for including the word 'pilot' in the name (apparently it sets up unrealistic expectations in the minds of customers as to how sophisticated the software is).
15 new EVs by 2030
"The Nissan Leaf has always been about making advanced technology and the thrill of electric driving accessible to everyone with over 577,000 customers worldwide. Leaf has been designed around families' needs to offer seamless connectivity and an efficient powertrain," said Arnaud Charpentier, Region Vice President, Product Strategy and Pricing, Nissan AMIEO region. "As the popularity of electric vehicles continues to grow, Nissan is pursuing an exhilarating chapter in its electric mobility story. Leaf has played a key role in shaping Nissan's vision for empowering mobility and beyond, as we leverage our EV expertise to launch 23 new electrified models - including 15 full EVs - by fiscal year 2030."