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2018 Nissan Leaf review

The first mainstream EV gets a significant update for 2018

2018 Nissan LEAF
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Gone is the bug-eyed Leaf of the previous generation. Now, we have the 2018 Nissan Leaf, a compact EV that takes on many of the design characteristics of the Nissan cars lineup which gently nodding to its heritage.

For 2018, the Leaf has gotten a longer range, a more sophisticated interior, and a mainstream design. It now has e-Pedal and ProPILOT Assist alongside other advanced safety, fuel-saving, and convenience technologies.

Can the Leaf truly compete in the world of Model3s and Bolts?

For this review, I drove the top grade 2018 Nissan Leaf SL. It was equipped with the SL Technology package ($650), which included ProPILOT Assist, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, an electronic parking brake, and high beam assist. Additionally, carpeted cargo and floor mats ($190) and splash guards ($190) were installed. Destination and delivery charges were listed as an additional $885. On top of the base price of $36,200, the total ended up as $38,115.

2018 Nissan Leaf exterior

The company’s signature V-Motion grille sits centered between boomerang lights that are clearly from the Nissan design team. A strong horizontal character line draws the eye backward toward the rear edge of the car’s floating roof. At the back is a fifth door and a tail end that is reminiscent of a 2002 Mercedes-Benz C230 Kompressor. Discreet badging clearly labels the Leaf as a Zero Emission vehicle but it’s nothing too showy.

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Written by Eileen Falkenberg-Hull

Eileen is the writer of the nationally syndicated column Automotive Minute in The Business Journals, which explores the automotive industry focusing on news, reviews, and interviews. She loves finding out about the business strategy, design, and drivability of vehicles. Eileen is a contributor to U.S. News & World Report Best Cars.

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