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First Drive: 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus

2019 Nissan Leaf Plus

Extra Than Retaining Up with the Occasions

 Editor’s Word: Nissan needed us to drive the New Leaf Plus so dangerous that they flew us right down to San Diego, put us up in a pleasant lodge and fed us and gave us a brand-new Leaf to drive.

Because the Nissan Leaf enters its ninth yr of manufacturing, it stays the best-selling battery electrical car (BEV) in historical past with greater than 360,000 models bought globally since 2010. The electrical automotive world is sort of a bit totally different than it was again when there have been solely two EVs available on the market. Nissan has upped its recreation to remain aggressive within the close to future when there are anticipated to be over 20 BEVs available on the market globally.

Extra vary, higher journey, extra high-tech options

The 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus builds on the second era of the Leaf launched final yr, making it very aggressive with each different BEV within the mainstream market. When contemplating a BEV, its vary is all the time the primary metric; the Leaf Plus joins the 200-mile vary membership with an EPA score of 226 miles from a brand new 62-kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery. Just like the at present obtainable 40-kWh battery Leaf, the Plus has the identical three trim ranges—S, SV and SL. The American-made Leaf Plus shall be manufactured alongside the 40-kWh Leaf in Smyrna Tennessee.

At press time Nissan had nonetheless not but launched pricing, however the Plus is extensively anticipated to be priced very competitively with its two major 200 mile+ rivals, the Chevy Bolt, and Hyundai Kona EV. As quickly as we obtain pricing, we’ll replace this story.

What’s New

The 2019 Leaf now is available in two battery sizes, the 40-kWh, 150-mile-range model, which stays unchanged, and continues to be the lowest-priced BEV available on the market at the moment, beginning beneath $30,000, and the brand new 62-kWh, 226-mile-range model. However the battery wasn’t the one change.

2019 Nissan Leaf Plus

Extra battery in virtually the identical package deal

The brand new battery matches into the prevailing undercarriage battery area and is simply 40 millimeters taller. It’s nonetheless passively cooled, however makes use of a brand new structure and battery chemistry that permits decrease cell resistance and cooler battery working temperatures. The cell spacing is far denser with 288 cells within the battery pack, and stacks of cell pouches are three excessive vs. two excessive within the 40-kWh pack. Nissan has adopted a brand new cell laser welding course of and lowered the cell resistance by dividing output/enter present by a 3rd to scale back pack warmth. This new pack is an evolution of Nissan’s passive battery thermal administration that has continued to extend pack reliability and long-term sturdiness. The brand new pack structure reduces its elements rely and is cheaper to fabricate.

Extra Highly effective Motor

2019 Nissan Leaf Plus

The motors’s obtained extra oomph

The 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus motor is identical measurement because the 40-kWh Leaf, however has been tweaked so as to add 46 % extra energy. The brand new motor clocks in at 214 Horsepower (160-kilowatts) and 251 pounds-feet of torque. This additional grunt is instantly noticeable; placing the pedal to the metallic crates a wholesome dose of neck-snapping. Whereas we weren’t capable of examine Zero-60 in our check drive, we anticipate it to be at the very least 10 % quicker than the 40-Wh’s 7.Four-second occasions. That would put the Plus in 6.6-sec. territory, which isn’t exactly Mannequin three Efficiency mode, however is half as quick, which is sensible because the Plus will in all probability are available at half the price of a Mannequin three Efficiency (presently beginning at $50,350). We should wait and see in case you can truly purchase two Leaf Plus’ for the worth of 1 Mannequin three Efficiency! Now that might be an actual efficiency in your pocketbook. E-Pedal and a number of choices for vary or energy management are normal on all Leaf Plus trim ranges.

Quicker DC Fast Charging Velocity

2019 Nissan Leaf Plus

Quicker fast-charging comes alongside for the experience

The 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus is suitable with the most recent 100-kW peak CHAdeMO requirements. This extra highly effective CHAdeMO is simply now being rolled out. Whereas it will possibly supply peak charging of 100 kW, its nominal energy is extra like 70 kW. This added energy will optimally permit the 62-kWh Leaf Plus to cost to 80 % in 45 minutes vs. 1 hour with the previous 50-W CHAdeMO chargers. The Leaf Plus additionally has the revised battery administration system software program that makes use of a much less aggressive cost taper to make quick charging as environment friendly as attainable. All Leaf Plus trim ranges obtain this new quicker CHAdeMO functionality. Degree 2 240 V charging stays the identical at 6.6 kW, and all Leaf Plus trim ranges come outfitted with the 110v-240 V EVSE normal.

Security, Driver Help, and Autonomous Options

The SL trim of 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus is absolutely outfitted with each attainable function obtainable on a Leaf at present, together with ProPILOT Help (steering help, clever cruise management), emergency braking with pedestrian detection, clever lane intervention, high-beam help and rear cross-traffic alert. These options are non-compulsory on the Leaf Plus SV.

New infotainment methods

2019 Nissan Leaf Plus

The infortainment unit will get an improve, too

For all trim ranges, the Leaf Plus presents an upgraded infotainment system that gives over-the-air (OTA) software program and navigation updates. This replace functionality is step one in Nissan providing car software program updates OTA. The infotainment head models supply a bigger eight-inch display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto commonplace. The Infotainment interface is extra customizable now with a greater icon-based interface. The human-machine interface (HMI) is extra intuitive with multi-touch gesture management like a smartphone. A function of the infotainment system is Nissan Join, which permits management of the car for charging, cabin preheating and cooling, locking and unlocking in addition to different non-compulsory subscription options. Nissan Join EV is obtainable by way of a smartphone or watch, and from house via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

A brand new Leaf driving expertise

The primary-generation Leafs weren’t precisely scorching rods, although the moment torque and 100 % energy availability at Zero rpm compensated for that. The brand new 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus has recalibrated its driving dynamics. Not solely is off-the-line efficiency a lot better (the place you’ll get pinned in your seat on takeoff), however all the dealing with and street dynamics are improved, too. The automotive is 286 kilos (130 kilograms) heavier and is barely larger off the bottom, however with these modifications, the suspension was modified to offer a a lot firmer, however not harsh, journey. Steering really feel is far improved, however could possibly be a bit firmer for our style. Particularly improved are driving dynamics within the 50-75 mph vary to permit you to make that move or fast lane change. Slicing and slicing via visitors with the Leaf Plus could be very satisfying. On-ramp acceleration and merging into visitors is noticeably quicker than with the Gen one and 40-kWh Leaf. We didn’t get to quantify Zero-60 occasions, however our calibrated tush-o-meter indicated that it was within the mid-to-high six seconds. The drive high quality on the brand new Leaf Plus can also be improved. The automotive is considerably quieter than the 2018 40-kWh Leaf, not solely in wind noise, but in addition street noise. The SV and SL nonetheless use Michelin tires, however they could be an improved compound. The SL and SV journey on 17-inch rims and the S stays with 16-inch rims and Bridgestone Ecopia tires.

2019 Nissan Leaf Plus

The three trim-level lineup is all American-made

The Leaf Plus may even be cheaper to function with its distinctive reliability and high quality, plus an excellent guarantee that covers not solely workmanship, but in addition battery degradation. If public charging is important for you, the Leaf Plus consists of three years of free-charging with Nissan’s No Cost to Cost (NCTC) program that’s obtainable in 57 nationwide Leaf markets with over 2,194 fast-charge places. That covers over 92 % of the place Leaf’s nationwide put in base is. There are additionally 792 Nissan dealerships within the U.S. which are Leaf-certified sellers; they’ve virtually 400-fast chargers and 1,860 Degree 2 chargers obtainable for buyer use.

Our brief time with the 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus was pleasant. With the elevated vary, higher driving dynamics and a quieter and extra snug cabin, we consider Nissan has a winner on its arms.

As Clear Fleet Report did with the 2018 Leaf, we will probably be doing an prolonged vary check with the 2019 Leaf Plus quickly. We will hardly wait to inform you what we discover.

The Competitors

As of this writing, there are solely three 200+ mile-range BEVs that may be thought-about options to the Leaf Plus.

Chevy Bolt

2019 Nissan Leaf Plus

Chevrolet Bolt


Barely longer vary

Extra compact measurement

Extra torque


Smaller measurement and harsher journey

Much less cargo area with seats down

Barely smaller inside

Much less refined semi-autonomous and security techniques

Slower charger

Greater worth vs. commonplace gear

Hyundai Kona EV


2019 Nissan Leaf Plus

The Kona is latest on the scene

Longer vary

Extra torque

Extra compact measurement

Wider monitor

Longer guarantee


Costlier for equal options

Barely smaller inside

Harsher journey

Much less refined semi-autonomous and security techniques

Much less cargo area with seats down

Much less efficiency and hpHP

Costly public charging

Tesla Mannequin three


2019 Nissan Leaf Plus

Costly, however promoting properly

Refined Autopilot choice

Longer vary

Bigger battery

Extra highly effective motor

Bigger passenger compartment

Nationwide propriety public charging community

Quicker acceleration

Longer wheelbase and wider monitor

Bigger driver and infotainment show


Considerably costlier

A much less succesful infotainment system

Much less cargo area

Trunk, no hatchback

Minimalist passenger compartment

Inconsistent car reliability and high quality of development

Expensive public charging


The mainstream BEV buyer is the Nissan Leaf Plus goal buyer. As with the 40-kWh Leaf, the Leaf Plus provides the most effective mixture of worth, worth, options, measurement, vary, sturdiness and reliability. The 2019 Leaf Plus will begin displaying up at Nissan sellers nationwide on March 1. In case you are contemplating a battery electrical car, then you should put the Leaf in your listing to take a look at.

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Clear Fleet Report is loaned free check automobiles from automakers to guage, sometimes for every week at a time. Our street checks are based mostly on this one-week drive of a brand new car. Due to this we don’t tackle points resembling long-term reliability or complete value of possession. As well as, we are sometimes invited to producer occasions highlighting new automobiles or know-how. As a part of these occasions we could also be provided free transportation, lodging or meals. We do our greatest to current our unvarnished evaluations of automobiles and information irrespective of those inducements.

Our focus is on automobiles that provide the perfect gasoline financial system of their class, which leads us to emphasise electrical automobiles, plug-in hybrids, hybrids and diesels. We additionally function these environment friendly gas-powered automobiles which might be among the many prime mpg automobiles of their class. As well as, we goal to supply critiques and information on superior know-how and the choice gasoline car market. We welcome any suggestions from car house owners and are devoted to offering a discussion board for various viewpoints. Please tell us your views at [email protected]


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