You Can Power Your House With A Nissan Leaf

It's fun to make predictions about the future, and one relatively safe bet is that 50 years from now, most of the cars on the road will have a lot in common with the Nissan Leaf. The Leaf is an electric car, and these models have evolved considerably in just a few years. Issues that hobbled the earliest models—such as extremely limited driving rangehave been addressed thanks to advancements in battery technology.

The Leaf has long been a top seller in the segment. Last year, it was the third best-selling electric car in the U.S., following Tesla's Model S and Model X. The Teslas are luxury cars, and for most of its life, the Leaf was easily the top choice in its price segment. But then the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV came along, and the Leaf suddenly had some stiff competition on its hands.

For 2018, the Leaf gets a top-to-bottom redesign that brings it more in step with newer rivals like the Bolt. Driving range is a key selling point with electric cars, and the 2018 Leaf adds a 40-kWh battery pack that enables the car to travel farther between charges. The outgoing model offered 107 miles of range. The 2018 Leaf bumps that figure to 150 miles.

There's also more power for drivers to enjoy. The Leaf now delivers 147 horsepower and 236 lb.-ft. of torque, up from the previous model's 107 horsepower and 187 lb.-ft. Nissan says this change should cut the time it takes the Leaf to sprint from a standstill to 60 mph by 15 percent.

When the Leaf was first introduced back in 2011, electric cars were odd outliers, and this was reflected in their sheet metal. In the years that have followed, these models have cruised toward greater mainstream acceptance, and hot sellers like the Tesla Model S boast sheet metal that's more reflective of mainstream norms. The 2018 Leaf gets on board with this by adopting sheet metal that's sportier and less quirky than that of its predecessor.

And then there's the matter of feature content. Electric-car shoppers have one foot in the future, and they tend to prize leading-edge technology. The 2018 Leaf boosts its appeal in this area by adding a raft of technology features that help make things safer and more comfortable when you're behind the wheel.

Nissan's Leaf continues to be a top pick among electric cars. But it comes with a drawback that might be a dealbreaker for some buyers.

Below, we've listed eight great traits of the 2018 Nissan Leaf... along with a weakness you should consider before ushering one into your garage.

#1: Generous cargo space

2018-Nissan-Leaf-Cargo-Area

With cargo capacity of 23.6 cubic feet, the Leaf offers pleasing utility.

(Nissan)

Electric cars use lithium-ion batteries, and the earliest examples of these vehicles came with batteries that intruded on the cargo area. This resulted in compromised cargo capacity.

These days, many electric cars offer good cargo space, and the 2018 Leaf is one of them. The Leaf provides 23.6 cubic feet for your luggage behind the second row. Chevy's Bolt trails this figure with 16.9 cubic feet of cargo capacity.

With the second row folded, cargo capacity for the Leaf comes in at 30 cubic feet.

#2: Modern driver-assistive technology

2018-Nissan-Leaf-Red-Overhead

The Leaf's lineup of available technology features includes a surround-view camera and a blind-spot warning system.

(Nissan)

Driver-assistive technology is now an established part of the automotive landscape. These features provide aid that can help make you a safer driver.

The 2018 Leaf comes with driver-assistive technology that has your back when you're on the road. Its ProPilot Assist system provides adaptive cruise control technology that maintains a consistent speed and a safe distance between your car and the vehicle immediately in front of you. If the car in front of you suddenly stops, ProPilot Assist will automatically hit the brakes to avoid a collision.

Nissan's Leaf is also available with features such as lane departure warning, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and a surround-view camera.

#3: One-pedal driving

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With the Leaf, you can slow the car down simply by easing your foot off the gas pedal.

(Nissan)

Electric cars provide a different driving experience from gas-only models, and this is one of the things that make electrified vehicles interesting to those who choose them. These models typically employ regenerative braking that kicks in when you ease off the gas pedal. In some models, this braking is strong enough to allow you to stop the car using just the gas pedal. To bring the car to a halt, you simply need to lift your foot off the gas.

The regenerative braking in the previous-generation Leaf was never strong enough to facilitate one-pedal driving. That changes with the new model, which offers an e-Pedal that allows you to stop the car completely by simply lifting your foot off the throttle when the transmission is in Low mode.

A conventional brake pedal is still on board for those times when aggressive braking is required.

Moving your foot from the gas pedal to the brake pedal can cause a certain measure of fatigue, especially in gridlocked traffic. The one-pedal driving offered by the Leaf's e-Pedal technology simplifies the driving experience and allows you to navigate stalled traffic with greater ease.

#4: Outstanding value

2018-Nissan-Leaf-Red-Front

A relatively low starting price and a strong list of standard features provide the Leaf with a high level of value. 

(Nissan)

You sometimes pay a premium for a car with an electric powertrain. This can sometimes make electrified transportation a pricey proposition.

Happily, this isn't the case with the Leaf. With a starting price of $29,990, the 2018 Leaf is committed to providing strong value. Base models come nicely equipped with features like the e-Pedal technology, power-adjustable side mirrors, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, and automatic climate control.

This makes the Leaf more affordable than the 2018 Bolt, which has a base price of $37,495.

#5: Ample technology content

2018-Nissan-Leaf-Infotainment-System

Hands-free text messaging is standard in the 2018 Leaf, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration is offered. 

(Nissan)

Electric cars provide windows into the future, and those who buy these vehicles want more than just innovative powertrains. They're interested in technology content that's firmly lodged on the leading edge.

The technology content of the 2018 Nissan Leaf is right where it needs to be to remain competitive in this segment. Standard features include Bluetooth connectivity, handsfree text messaging, and satellite radio. Available amenities include Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, navigation, a 7-inch display screen and a premium Bose sound system.

#6: Quiet cabin

2018-Nissan-Leaf-Dashboard-Interior

Not a peep. A quiet cabin is one of the Leaf's perks.

(Nissan)

Electric cars have a leg up on their gas-only counterparts when it comes to providing a tranquil cabin. This is because electric motors do their work with far less noise than a gas engine.

For 2018, the Leaf adds aerodynamic upgrades and exterior enhancements that reduce wind noise, and steps have also been taken to reduce the noise coming from the electric motor. It all comes together to provide drivers with a pleasantly serene cabin.

#7: Impressive comfort and convenience amenities

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The Leaf offers available comfort features like heated front seats. 

(Nissan)

There used to be a big divide between the comfort and convenience amenities offered by luxury vehicles and those provided by models with more modest price tags. These days, the lines have blurred.

Nissan's Leaf offers a range of comfort and convenience features designed to make life more pleasant for you when you're on the road. The Leaf is available with amenities such as leather upholstery, a power-adjustable driver's seat, a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

#8: Sleek sheet metal

2018-Nissan-Leaf-Red-Front-Quarter-Right

Chiseled lines and a muscular countenance are part of the package with the new Leaf. 

(Nissan)

Remember that geeky kid in high school who eventually ditched the braces and the pimples to blossom into a bona fide looker? That's the story of the Nissan Leaf.

The previous generation of the Leaf featured sheet metal that could best be described as awkward. For 2018, the Leaf upgrades its exterior with a sporty motif that is bound to make it a more attractive choice for most car shoppers. Its lines are clean and athletic, and the car strikes a purposeful stance on the road.

A fatal flaw

As we've mentioned, the Leaf increases its driving range for 2018, and it can now travel for up to 150 miles between charges.

This is certainly a big upgrade from the previous model. However, there are other electric cars available that provide much better driving range. The Bolt can travel for up to 238 miles between charges. And Tesla's Model 3 provides a driving range of up to 310 miles.

While 150 miles may be enough for many shoppers, the Leaf isn't the model to get if you're looking for the electric car with the best range.

It's worth noting that Nissan plans on introducing a Leaf trim with longer range (and a higher price tag) for the 2019 model year.

Green giant

2018-Nissan-Leaf-Red-Front-Quarter-Left

Despite fresh competition, the Leaf continues to be a strong choice among electric cars.

(Nissan)

The Leaf holds the title of being the world's best-selling electric car. The latest model brings upgrades that make this popular Nissan even more appealing.

Passengers enjoy useful utility with the Leaf, along with a robust lineup of technology and convenience features. This Nissan also impresses with its sharp sheet metal, quiet cabin, and broad assortment of driver-assistive amenities.

There are capable choices to consider if you're shopping for an electric car. But with solid feature content and an accessible price tag, the Leaf has an edge when it comes to value.

First Pictures: 2018 Nissan Leaf

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