2021 Nissan LEAF

MSRP range: $31,670 - $43,970
4.8 out of 5 stars(4)
MSRP$34,725
Edmunds suggests you pay$33,529

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2021 Nissan LEAF videos

[MUSIC PLAYING] DAN EDMUNDS: What we have here are three electric vehicles that are well known, perhaps because each is a dedicated EV that has no gasoline counterpart. Chevrolet has plugged everything they learned from their Bolt plug-in hybrid into the Bolt EV. JASON KAVANAGH: The Model 3 represents Tesla's first foray into a more accessible EV. CALVIN KIM: And the Nissan LEAF, the first widely available electric vehicle in the United States, is now in its second generation. And while they're all mainstream offerings, they're not true direct competitors. JASON KAVANAGH: Today, we're going to explore the differences and similarities among these three popular EVs. Well, the Tesla Model 3 has a lot of power, actually. I mean, there's no complaints that I have with the acceleration in this. And like all EVs, it has that instant torque. You can punch around cars on the freeway pretty much instantly. I mean, you dip your foot down on the accelerator, and there's just an instant reaction from the car. That's one of the things that EVs and in particular, the Tesla does really well. DAN EDMUNDS: One of the things I like about the Bolt is it's quick. I'm just rolling into the throttle, not really laying into it hard at all. And it's up to speed and in a short order. And I am having no problem getting around folks. People think these things are golf carts. Uh-uh. CALVIN KIM: The Nissan LEAF has what sounds like a low number-- 146 horsepower. But it's the torque that really gives it the beans. It's got about 236, possibly the torque. Don't quote me on that. But 236 is a lot for a small car like this. The car weighs about 3,500 pounds. So it's well in line. I mean, basically, it'd be equivalent to a bigger engine in a compact car. Needless to say, acceleration is easy and brisk. JASON KAVANAGH: Well, compared to the Bolt or the LEAF, the Tesla Model 3 is definitely the most powerful. It's the most capable. It's also the most expensive. It's also the only rear-wheel drive EV of the three. The other two are front-wheel drive. And that affects the driving dynamics in a beneficial way for the Model 3. The Model 3 has the best steering and handling of the bunch by far. It's just a more grown-up feeling car in the way it goes down the road. The steering feel is really good. It corners flat. It picks up its speed well over bumps. In terms of steering and handling, the other two don't touch the Tesla Model 3. DAN EDMUNDS: The Bolt handles great. I mean, you wouldn't think so to look at it. It's tall and skinny. But the battery pack is low and underneath the floor, so that keeps the center of gravity low. And that makes it feel more like a go-cart than an SUV or something like that. The steering is also nicely weighted. It's immediate, but not darty. It's just what you want to kind of maneuver around in traffic. JASON KAVANAGH: Now, the range in the Model 3 is kind of its trump card. We got the long-range version, which has a 310-mile max range in normal mode, which is what Tesla recommends you use on a day-to-day basis. This will do 279 miles, which is still really impressive. It's still more range than the other two. In fact, it's the longest range EV you could buy currently. CALVIN KIM: This face-lift of LEAF-- you get 150 miles of claimed range. Wonderfully for us, if you put it in ECO mode and enable e-Pedal, you can get a lot more than that. With our long-term LEAF, we've been able to drive it a little bit already. And we've routinely gotten over 150 miles with those features enabled. That's great news for commuters, especially those that drive a little bit longer distances. So they can go a week without charging. Now, for EV owners, the best way to do it is to charge every night. But, hey, if you're going to go visit a friend's house, or maybe go across town to hang out somewhere, it's nice to have that option. DAN EDMUNDS: The Model 3 has a higher range rating than this one. But I don't really think that at actual practice that would be the case. Because I've had a really hard time getting close to the Model 3's rating. And yet, with this car, which is rated at 238, I've gone 334. That's almost 100 miles more than the rating. And if I'm paying for more battery than I need, then that's a big part of the price of the car. And this car could be cheaper if it had a 150-mile range or a 175-mile range. CALVIN KIM: One of the best advantages of electric vehicles is the ability to regenerate, which is regenerative braking. That means you can use an electric motor that propels you to help slow you down. And one thing that they did very cleverly, though, is give you a switch right on the center console here called e-Pedal. And just by clicking the switch, you immediately engage that regenerative braking. Nissan says you can break as much as 2/10 of a "g," which doesn't sound like a lot, but from our testing, it's plenty. JASON KAVANAGH: And in the Model 3, the regenerative effect is strong. You can basically one-pedal drive this thing most of the time. DAN EDMUNDS: Now, the Bolt is especially good in this regard, better than I think any other car that you can buy, any other EV. Because when it's in drive, like it is now, I toggle using this here. When it's in drive, there's no regenerative braking. It's all pads and rotors, so the brake feels utterly natural. A lot of cars-- EVs and hybrids use something-- a computer that kind of decides whether it's going to be regenerative or brake pedal, based on demand. And so then the brakes feel weird. This never feels weird, indeed. And then when you put it in L, there's so much regenerative braking that the brake lights come on. And you can actually execute a stop all the way down to zero without ever touching the brake pedal. You just modulate the throttle. Compared to the Model 3 and the LEAF, I like the Bolt's setup much better. Click it into L. You've got all the regen you want. Put it in D. You've got the brake pedal feel you want, if you want that. The Model 3-- it's poke through the touchscreen. And the LEAF requires you to flip a switch, and you may not remember to do it. And it's not where you think it should be. This is really intuitive, really easy, and very effective. CALVIN KIM: Inside the Nissan LEAF, you'll find a pretty much traditional car. The materials are good. There's not a lot of busyness with the colors and design choices. We're in the top SL model, so the seats are this nice leather with microsuede inserts. The controls-- again, easy to use, well laid out. Again, it's more like a regular car, instead of maybe a science project, or a sci-fi set you'll find in some of the other EVs. DAN EDMUNDS: The one thing that really disappoints me more than anything else about the Chevy Bolt is the quality of the interior materials. It's just hard plastic which would be OK if it was attractive. But there's just a lot of weird lines. And this color scheme is kind of hard to take. I mean, I would trade away some battery capacity and range to get a better interior. I mean, it doesn't help that we've got the light-colored interior here. I think that really does not show it in its best light. A darker color might mask some of this stuff, even like the reflections of the dashtop or in the windshield. Everywhere I go at just about any light condition. And that's kind of annoying, because the visibility as a car is great otherwise. This car is probably the least well equipped of the three when it comes to active driver aids. It has a Lane Keeping Assist System. It has a Forward Collision warning, but it doesn't have Adaptive Cruise. It has nothing like Autopilot or Nissan's ProPILOT Assist. That's not bad because you're not paying for it. But at the same time, it does lag behind. And you couldn't get those things if you wanted them. JASON KAVANAGH: The design of the Model 3's interior is pretty unusual. There's not a whole lot of stuff in it. I mean, it's a wide-open space with a big touchscreen in the middle, and that's about it. I mean, you could even go and say that maybe this is a little generic looking. But what you can't say is that it's cluttered or crowded. It feels really breezy and airy in here. There's a lot of space. If you need anything, you have to go to the touchscreen. Or you've got a couple of controls on the steering wheel, and that's about it. A good amount of headroom for me. I'm over 6 feet tall. It does have this panoramic sunroof arrangement up here, which gives you a little bit extra headroom. Compared to the Bolt and the LEAF's interior, or the Model 3's cabin-- is definitely a departure. And some people really love it. And some people-- they're maybe going to have to warm up to it a little bit. In terms of material quality, the Model 3 does pretty well there. The seats are this synthetic leather, which feels pretty convincing, and looks like the real thing. There's this synthetic suede on the headliner and on the door panels. There's also this wood applique on the dashboard. Overall, the materials look pretty good at a glance. If you look closer at the Model 3, though, you'll notice some build quality issues here and there-- cheap plastics, things that don't fit quite right. We've had some issues with things falling off our car. But it is built to a higher price point, certainly than the Bolt or the LEAF is. CALVIN KIM: The Nissan LEAF is a hatchback which means, obviously, it's got a big hatch. A lot of interior cargo room with the seats folded up. The rear seats do fold 60/40. You'll find that once you do fold them up, there is a bit of a shelf from the seatback to the cargo floor. But I'd say that between its comp competitors, this general cargo area is very useful-- the low-loading height, and the nice, deep floor, and the tall ceiling height. So you can fit taller cargo, bulkier cargo in a little bit easier. DAN EDMUNDS: Of the three, the Bolt does have the least cargo-carrying capacity on paper. But it is very flexible, because of the way the seats fold, the way the floor can be set into two positions. And because you can put roof racks on it. JASON KAVANAGH: The Model 3 might look like a hatchback from the outside, but surprise, it's a sedan, which means it has a traditional sedan trunk. But that's no bad thing, because the Model 3's cargo space is pretty huge. Not only is the trunk really deep and a good width, there's extra bonus storage in the floor of the trunk and an additional trunk at the front of the car. So you're not hurting for cargo space at all in this. Another thing it has is a 60/40 folding backseat, which goes basically completely flat. You could sleep in the back of the Model 3 if you fold the seats down. That's how much space there is. CALVIN KIM: Compared to its competitors, the LEAF prices pretty well. Now, in this SL trim with the Pro-PILOT Assist and everything like that, that'll set you back a little over $37,000. That's a little bit less than the Bolt Obviously, a lot less than the Model 3. And the federal tax credit is still available for this car, so you can get out the door for a lot less than that. You do get a lot of car for your money. The biggest attractor, though, will be the range. Both the Bolt and the Tesla Model 3 have a lot more range than the LEAF does. Now, for those that are truly range conscious that really do want to go on longer trips, rumor has it that the Nissan LEAF-- bringing out a higher range LEAF next year-- one with a 60-kilowatt battery that cracks the 200 barrier. Even if you're on the fence about that, this standard range LEAF with 150 miles is nothing to sneeze at. DAN EDMUNDS: The thing about this car is you can buy it with a premium package, or you can get the lower-priced base model that does everything as far as the driving experience. It just doesn't have as many bells and whistles for a lot less money. The Model 3-- right now, the mythical $35,000 one doesn't exist. It's vaporware. Certainly, this is a lot less money than the Model 3. If the $35,000 one ever comes out, well, we may have to re-evaluate that. JASON KAVANAGH: When the Model 3 was launched, it was purported to be the $35,000 entry-level Tesla. While that might be the case, Tesla is not shipping the $35,000 variant of the Model 3. They're only shipping a long-range variance. And once you have even a bare minimum of options like this one-- I mean, this one's sticker price is $55,000. So we're in a totally different segment than the other two cars, which are substantially less expensive than this one. Tesla's Autopilot system makes Nissan Pro-PILOT Assist look like it's in diapers. And in a way, it is. It's Nissan's first attempt at a semi-autonomous driving mode, whereas Tesla has had several years now of real-world use of Autopilot. And they've accumulated a lot of data. With that said, it's not a perfect system. We've discovered some issues with it in the past. But the continual software updates are a means to address limitations, not just in Autopilot, but in any system in the car. So again, pros and cons with being at the leading edge of things. CALVIN KIM: Definitely one of the coolest features of the LEAF is Pro-PILOT Assist. Now, it's not an autonomous driving system. What it is, though, is a very, very connected driver-assist system. Now, just one button push on the steering wheel enables the system. And then to turn it on, you just activate your cruise control. Now, what that gives you is adaptive cruise control, which keeps the distance from ourselves and the car in front. It does lane centering to-- keeps the car in the center of the road. And it'll even bring you to a complete stop. It's not a self-driving car. All it's doing is just keeping it in the center and at a safe distance from the car in front. In an interesting twist of fate, this system actually works pretty darn good, even alongside the Tesla's Autopilot system. Now, the Tesla has the advantage of a GPS and a connected system, where it knows road conditions to a certain extent. The Nissan does not have that feature set. But considering the price premium that Autopilot has and that Tesla has, we believe Pro-PILOT is a fantastic addition to the Nissan LEAF. DAN EDMUNDS: The thing about the Bolt EV is while I like the way it drives, I'd trade some of its range for a nicer interior and better seats. JASON KAVANAGH: Yeah. And while the Model 3 is definitely the best driving, most capable EV here, you're going to pay for the privilege. The least expensive Model 3 you can get is $50,000. The $36,000 version just doesn't exist yet. CALVIN KIM: Speaking of price, that's the Nissan LEAF's forte. It's the least expensive. But it's also one of the more comfortable out of the three, which begs the question, which of these three EVs is the right one for you guys? DAN EDMUNDS: Well, for me, 151 miles of range is enough. And I do like those seats, so yeah, the LEAF. JASON KAVANAGH: Yeah. For me, the cost is the single overriding factor. And while I don't think the Nissan LEAF is necessarily the best driving one here, its price point is really attractive. So that's the one for me. CALVIN KIM: Well, we're unanimous. It's the LEAF for me also, thanks to its price and practicality. DAN EDMUNDS: But I do reserve the right to change my mind when the $36,000 Tesla Model 3 becomes available. For more videos, click Subscribe. [MUSIC PLAYING]

EV Comparison Test -- Chevy Bolt v. Nissan Leaf v. Tesla Model 3

NOTE: This video is about the 2018 Nissan LEAF, but since the 2021 Nissan LEAF is part of the same generation, our earlier analysis still applies.


FAQ

Is the Nissan LEAF a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2021 LEAF both on the road and at the track, giving it a 7.9 out of 10. You probably care about Nissan LEAF energy consumption, so it's important to know that the LEAF gets an EPA-estimated 104 mpg-e to 111 mpg-e, depending on the configuration. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the LEAF has 23.6 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Nissan LEAF. Learn more

What's new in the 2021 Nissan LEAF?

According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2021 Nissan LEAF:

  • The Leaf is unchanged for 2021
  • Part of the second Leaf generation introduced for 2018
Learn more

Is the Nissan LEAF reliable?

To determine whether the Nissan LEAF is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the LEAF. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the LEAF's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2021 Nissan LEAF a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2021 Nissan LEAF is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2021 LEAF and gave it a 7.9 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2021 LEAF is a good car for you. Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2021 Nissan LEAF?

The least-expensive 2021 Nissan LEAF is the 2021 Nissan LEAF S 4dr Hatchback (electric DD). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $31,670.

Other versions include:

  • S 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) which starts at $31,670
  • SV 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) which starts at $34,960
  • S PLUS 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) which starts at $38,270
  • SV PLUS 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) which starts at $40,520
  • SL PLUS 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) which starts at $43,970
Learn more

What are the different models of Nissan LEAF?

If you're interested in the Nissan LEAF, the next question is, which LEAF model is right for you? LEAF variants include S 4dr Hatchback (electric DD), SV 4dr Hatchback (electric DD), S PLUS 4dr Hatchback (electric DD), and SV PLUS 4dr Hatchback (electric DD). For a full list of LEAF models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2021 Nissan LEAF

2021 Nissan LEAF Overview

The 2021 Nissan LEAF is offered in the following submodels: LEAF Hatchback. Available styles include S 4dr Hatchback (electric DD), SV 4dr Hatchback (electric DD), S PLUS 4dr Hatchback (electric DD), SV PLUS 4dr Hatchback (electric DD), and SL PLUS 4dr Hatchback (electric DD). Nissan LEAF models are available with a undefined-liter electric engine, with output up to 214 hp, depending on engine type. The 2021 Nissan LEAF comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 1-speed direct drive. The 2021 Nissan LEAF comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What do people think of the 2021 Nissan LEAF?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2021 Nissan LEAF and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2021 LEAF 4.8 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2021 LEAF.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2021 Nissan LEAF and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2021 LEAF featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our 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.

What's a good price for a New 2021 Nissan LEAF?

2021 Nissan LEAF S 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)

The 2021 Nissan LEAF S 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $34,725. The average price paid for a new 2021 Nissan LEAF S 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) is trending $1,196 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $1,196 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $33,529.

The average savings for the 2021 Nissan LEAF S 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) is 3.4% below the MSRP.

2021 Nissan LEAF SV 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)

The 2021 Nissan LEAF SV 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $37,670. The average price paid for a new 2021 Nissan LEAF SV 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) is trending $1,218 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $1,218 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $36,452.

The average savings for the 2021 Nissan LEAF SV 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) is 3.2% below the MSRP.

2021 Nissan LEAF S PLUS 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)

The 2021 Nissan LEAF S PLUS 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $39,715. The average price paid for a new 2021 Nissan LEAF S PLUS 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) is trending $911 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $911 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $38,804.

The average savings for the 2021 Nissan LEAF S PLUS 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) is 2.3% below the MSRP.

2021 Nissan LEAF SV PLUS 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)

The 2021 Nissan LEAF SV PLUS 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $42,510. The average price paid for a new 2021 Nissan LEAF SV PLUS 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) is trending $927 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $927 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $41,583.

The average savings for the 2021 Nissan LEAF SV PLUS 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) is 2.2% below the MSRP.

2021 Nissan LEAF SL PLUS 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)

The 2021 Nissan LEAF SL PLUS 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $45,890. The average price paid for a new 2021 Nissan LEAF SL PLUS 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) is trending $1,392 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $1,392 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $44,498.

The average savings for the 2021 Nissan LEAF SL PLUS 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) is 3% below the MSRP.

Which 2021 Nissan LEAFS are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2021 Nissan LEAF for sale near. There are currently 1 new 2021 LEAFS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $34,780 and mileage as low as 2740 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2021 Nissan LEAF.

Can't find a new 2021 Nissan LEAFs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Nissan for sale - 6 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $14,635.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

What is the MPG of a 2021 Nissan LEAF?

2021 Nissan LEAF S 4dr Hatchback (electric DD), 1-speed direct drive, electric fuel
111 compined MPG,
123 city MPG/99 highway MPG

2021 Nissan LEAF SV 4dr Hatchback (electric DD), 1-speed direct drive, electric fuel
111 compined MPG,
123 city MPG/99 highway MPG

2021 Nissan LEAF S PLUS 4dr Hatchback (electric DD), 1-speed direct drive, electric fuel
108 compined MPG,
118 city MPG/97 highway MPG

EPA Est. MPG111
Transmission1-speed direct drive
Drive Trainfront wheel drive
DisplacementN/A
Passenger Volume116.0 cu.ft.
Wheelbase106.3 in.
Length176.4 in.
WidthN/A
Height61.4 in.
Curb Weight3501 lbs.

Should I lease or buy a 2021 Nissan LEAF?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Nissan lease specials