Though the Nissan Leaf has received incremental changes over its lifetime, 2018 brings the most comprehensive rework of the car to date. The new car's styling is a complete departure from the previous Leaf, although under the skin the cars are very similar aside from the larger battery capacity and additional power. For a detailed look at these changes, please see our 2018 Nissan Leaf First Drive article.
The Leaf hasn't become more expensive in the bargain. In fact, the new car is actually less costly than the outgoing model when you factor in the differences in feature content. As such, it offers more range for the same price as other similar EVs, such as the Volkswagen e-Golf. Only the more expensive Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3 offer more driving range.
Other advantages to the 2018 Leaf include its new e-pedal mode and a new suite of advanced driver assist features called ProPilot Assist. The e-pedal delivers stronger regenerative braking when you lift off the accelerator, making it easier to slow the car appreciably without requiring you to apply the brake pedal.
On the downside, the Leaf's interior isn't particularly stylish, and the rear seats don't fold completely flat, hurting utility. Overall, though, we think the 2018 Leaf is a great pick for an electric vehicle, especially if value is a priority.
Notably, we picked the 2018 Nissan Leaf as one of Edmunds' Best Electric Cars for this year.
trim levels & features
The 2018 Nissan Leaf is available in three trim levels: S, SV and SL. As the lowest trim level, the S is a bit bare-bones, at least as electric mobility goes. But you can add the optional Charge package for quicker recharging. Otherwise, it's still a very functional car since it comes with all the range and performance of the other trim levels. The SV adds the Charge package and navigation as standard, but it still doesn't beat the S if value is paramount. The top-level SL adds leather seats, LED headlights, and a host of comfort features that might edge out the S for those folks who prefer a pampered electrified ride.
All three trim levels feature the same suspension and powertrain, and they differ mainly in infotainment, creature comforts and wheel choices.
Our choice, the S, comes with 16-inch steel wheels, a 110-kW electric motor (147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque), keyless entry and start, a rearview camera, a 5-inch central display, Bluetooth, a USB port, and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and satellite radio. Forward collision warning and mitigation with automatic braking is also standard.
The optional Charge package includes a DC fast-charger port (CHAdeMO standard) and a portable charge cable capable of connecting to 120- and 240-volt sources.
The SV comes with the Charge package, 17-inch alloy wheels, a 7-inch touchscreen, navigation, adaptive cruise control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, and NissanConnect, Nissan's web connectivity and remote-access system.
Optional for the SV is the SV Technology package. It adds a power-adjustable driver seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, LED headlights and running lights, automatic high beams, an electronic parking brake, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning and intervention, and adaptive cruise control.
Also optional for the S and SV is an All Weather package with heated side mirrors, heated seats and steering wheel, and heat pump cabin heater (SV only).
As the top model, the SL adds the All Weather package and a few of the features from the SV's Technology package (power driver seat, auto-dimming mirror, LED lighting, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert). Also standard are leather upholstery and a Bose seven-speaker sound system. Optional for this trim only is the SL Technology package that adds the remaining SV Technology features plus Nissan ProPilot Assist, which provides additional lane-keeping assist functionality.
noise & vibration
ease of use
getting in/getting out
child safety seat accomodation
audio & navigation
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.