What is the 2023 Nissan Leaf?
The Nissan Leaf started rolling the electric vehicle (EV) boulder up the hill before the words "Model 3" were a whisper in the wind. The accessibility of this compact electric hatchback remains its strength as it enters the midway point of its second generation with a streamlined lineup and a freshened-up exterior for 2023.
For 2023, the Leaf's front end sports a refreshed front grille, bumper molding and headlights that feature a darker look thanks to a black finish in the housing. The Nissan badge is illuminated for a bit of splash. Nissan also opted to trim the lineup to two models: the standard Leaf in S trim and the Leaf Plus in SV trim. The S trim gets you the smaller battery (40 kWh), while upgrading to SV Plus configuration nabs you the 60-kWh battery and the more powerful 160-kW electric motor, good for 214 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque. The battery packs haven't changed so the EPA range estimates should be similar to the 2022 figures, which are 149 miles for the smaller-battery Leaf and at least 215 miles for the larger-battery Leaf Plus. Notably, we took a 2020 Leaf Plus 237 miles on our EV range loop.
Even with its exterior updates, the Leaf will struggle to compete on looks alone with the Tesla Model 3, Ford Mustang Mach-E and Hyundai Ioniq 5. Those models also offer more range, though the Leaf holds appeal as an affordable city runabout. And with its wallet-friendly starting price, the Leaf is also eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit.