2021 Nissan Leaf Electric

2021 MODEL
$31,600 - $43,900
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7.4

Overall Rating

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2021 Nissan Leaf electric Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: July 20, 2020

John Bedrow's image
John Bedrow

Automotive Journalist


As long as electric vehicles persist in this era, Nissan Leaf remains as a remarkable electric vehicle. After the facelift of the 2018 Leaf model, it now drives into the third generation. Nissan once again onsets the Leaf model in 2021 with more advanced features to extend to the peak in the electric vehicle market.

See detailed review »

Pros

Standard features

Instant acceleration

Ample interior spaces

Silent and serene driving experience

Loads of Driver-Assistance Features

Cons

The telescoping steering wheel is absent

Poorly configured dashboard controls

Limited storage of small items

Back seats don't fold flat

What's New?

Added standard features

Added safety equipment


Pictures & Videos

exterior
interior
Videos
2021 Nissan Leaf electric Review video

Styles

2021 Nissan Leaf electric in Brilliant Silver Metallic color 2021 Nissan Leaf electric in Deep Blue Pearl color 2021 Nissan Leaf electric in Glacier White color 2021 Nissan Leaf electric in Gun Metallic color
Brilliant Silver Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

8.0

Interior

7.0

Safety

6.0

Competition

8.0

7.4

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2021 Nissan Leaf electric S

S

power
147 hp @ 3282 rpm
fuel
Electric
mpg
112 combined

$31,600


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
S 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) Starting at $31,600 MSRP (124/112/99) 147 hp @ 3282 rpm, electric, electric
Single Speed Reducer front wheel drive 5

2021 Nissan Leaf electric SV

SV

power
147 hp @ 3282 rpm
fuel
Electric
mpg
112 combined

$34,190


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SV 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) Starting at $34,190 MSRP (124/112/99) 147 hp @ 3282 rpm, electric, electric
Single Speed Reducer front wheel drive 5

2021 Nissan Leaf electric S PLUS

S PLUS

power
210 hp @3750 rpm
fuel
Electric
mpg
112 combined

$38,200


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
S PLUS 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) Starting at $38,200 MSRP (124/112/99) 210 hp @3750 rpm, electric, electric
Single Speed Reducer front wheel drive 5

2021 Nissan Leaf electric SV PLUS

SV PLUS

power
210 hp @3750 rpm
fuel
Electric
mpg
112 combined

$39,750


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SV PLUS 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) Starting at $39,750 MSRP (124/112/99) 210 hp @3750 rpm, electric, electric
Single Speed Reducer front wheel drive 5

2021 Nissan Leaf electric SL PLUS

SL PLUS

power
210 hp @3750 rpm
fuel
Electric
mpg
112 combined

$43,900


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SL PLUS 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) Starting at $43,900 MSRP (124/112/99) 210 hp @3750 rpm, electric, electric
Single Speed Reducer front wheel drive 5

Expert Review

7.4

Overall Rating


The base trim of Nissan Leaf is available for $31,600. It is available in two categories—Leaf and Leaf plus. The leaf models have a 110 kW AC synchronous electric motor good enough to provide a Horsepower of 147 hp and a Torque of 236 lb-ft leading to combined mpg of 123. In comparison, Leaf Plus models emerge with extra potential 160 kW AC synchronous electric motor to generate high power of 214 hp and a Torque of 250 lb-ft.

The race among Nissan Electric Leaf, Chevrolet Bolt EV, Kia Niro and Tesla Model 3 endures to 2021. Its ProPILOT Assist and Intelligent Around View Monitor are the high spots of the SL Plus model, which lacks in Leaf’s competitors.

 


8.0/10
Features

7.0/10
Interior

6.0/10
Safety

8.0/10
Competition


2021 Nissan Leaf electric Features

8.0/10

Nissan Leaf is available in 5 trims viz. S and SV of Leaf group, and S Plus, SV Plus and SL Plus of Leaf plus group. Base trims are powered by 110kW AC electric motor while Plus trims are powered by 160kW AC electric motor. The car comes equipped with numerous standard safety features even in its base trim.

The 2020 Nissan Electric Leaf was steered with more airbags supplemented to front and rear occupants along with standard Nissan Safety Shield 360, 8-inch touch screen Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and few driver assistance features. 

Trim

S

SV

S Plus

SV Plus

SL Plus

MSRP

$31,600

$34,190

$38,200

$39,750

$43,900

Key Features

40 kWh lithium-ion battery

Adds these features from the S Trim

Adds these features from the S Trim

Adds these features from the S Plus Trim

Adds these features from the SV Plus Trim

 

110 kW AC synchronous electric motor

Quick Charge port - 50 kW

62 kWh lithium-ion battery

Intelligent Cruise Control

ProPILOT Assist6

 

e-Pedal

Intelligent Cruise Control

160 kW AC synchronous electric motor Start

17" Machine-finished aluminum-alloy wheels

Intelligent Around ViewMonitor

 

16" Steel wheels with covers

17" Machine-finished aluminum-alloy wheels

Quick Charge port - 100 kW

AM/FM audio system with six speakers

Auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink Universal Transceiver

 

NissanConnect 8" touch-screen display

Fog lights

16" Aluminum-alloy wheels

NissanConnect EV & Services powered

by SiriusXM

BoseEnergy Efficient Series Premium Audio System with seven speakers

 

Nissan Intelligent Key with Push Button Start

Leather-wrapped steering wheel

Front bumper chin spoiler

SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link

Heated steering wheel

We Recommend

The Nissan Leaf S is the best suited because it carries a reasonable price, the longest driving range, the more powerful motor, and still offers a decent set of standard equipment. The 2021 Nissan Leaf Electric Hatchback will be the best electric sedan well-suited for all eco-friendly commuters. The 2021 model gets hold of a few minor upgrades which booms its starting price to $32,000. It is expected to be released in the last quarter of 2020.

2021 Nissan Leaf electric Engine and Performance

2021 Nissan Leaf Electric’s leaf models have a 110 kW AC synchronous electric motor good enough to provide 147 hp and a 236 lb-ft of torque with a 40 KW Lithium-Ion battery. Its Leaf Plus models emerged with extra potential 160 KW AC synchronous electric motors to generate high power of 214 hp and a Torque of 250 lb-ft with the aid of 62 kWh lithium-ion battery. These electric motors provide a single-speed direct transmission.

2021 Nissan Leaf may have some upgrades on the battery while still allowing the two-mode selection –Eco and B mode leading to better air conditioning performance with a 5-10% increase.

Models

2021 Nissan Leaf Electric (Expected)

2020 Tesla Model 3

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2020 Kia Niro

MSRP

$32,000

$37,990

$37,495

$39,090

Engine

160 kW AC synchronous electric motor

Electric motor

Permanent magnet drive motor

44.5 KW electric motor

Drivetrain

FWD

RWD

FWD

FWD

Transmission

Single speed direct drive

Single speed direct drive

Single speed direct drive

Single speed direct drive

Power (hp @ rpm)

214 @ 3280

283 @ 5900

200 @ 0

201 @ 3800

Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)

250 @ 0

306 @ 0

266 @ 0

291 @ 0

Tesla Model 3 is the most influential electric vehicle among rivals. It generates an extraordinary amount of torque that no opponents can assault. Nissan Leaf falls in second place with a powerful engine at a low cost.

How quickly does the 2021 Nissan Leaf Electric accelerates?

It’s a known fact that electric cars accelerate quicker than their gasoline counterparts because of the availability of torque on the tap but Nissan Leaf is an exception. Its 160 kW AC synchronous electric motor renders 8.4 seconds to travel from zero to 60MPH which is a little on the slower side. Also, It takes 16.5 seconds to cover the quarter-mile.

2021 Nissan Leaf Electric may not assimilate advanced acceleration but still maintains lively acceleration.

Models

2021 Nissan Leaf Electric (Expected)

2020 Tesla Model 3

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2020 Kia Niro

0-60 MPH

8.4 sec

5.3 sec

6.5 sec

6.7 sec

Quarter mile

16.5 sec

12.3 sec

15.3 sec

15.1 sec

Top Speed

98 MPH

140 MPH

NA

104 MPH

Engine

160 kW AC synchronous electric motor

Electric motor

Permanent magnet drive motor

44.5 KW electric motor

2020 Tesla Model 3 is the swiftest and liveliest electric sedan that no rivals can beat up. It is ranked top with a high top speed that no competitors can touch. Nissan Leaf Electric is the slowest with the least top speed among the rivals.

How well does the 2021 Nissan Leaf Electric brake?

With the aid of Front and rear vented disc brakes, Nissan Leaf Electric offers great braking features. It's Front, and rear brake rotors are of 11.1 inch and 11.3 inch respectively, along with the fact that it ceases at 128 ft on the brake, shows its powerful braking function. It encompasses an automatic braking system for a safe driving experience. 

It is integrated with pedestrian detection and brakes swiftly without any delay. It also employs rear mechanical brakes and an electronic parking brake system for enhanced safety.

Models

2021 Nissan Leaf Electric (Expected)

2020 Tesla Model 3

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2020 Kia Niro

Brake Front (in)

11.1

12.6

11

11

Brake Rear (in)

11.5

13.2

10

10.3

Curb Weight (lbs)

3538

3549

3563

3106

60-0 MPH (ft.)

128

119

132

122

Tesla Model 3 again stands top among the rivals in brake rotor size. Kia Niro has low curb weight and least braking efficiency while Chevrolet Bolt has the largest.

How well does the 2021 Nissan Leaf Electric Handle?

The massive battery pack gives the Leaf peppy handling. It successfully takes corners with no trouble, and the car has controlled manoeuvring and body gestures. The Leaf transports an unruffled and serene driving sensation. Nissan LEAF's 100% electric drivetrain supplies swift acceleration the instant you touch the pedal.

Nissan's e-Pedal regenerative braking function makes the braking system feel like traditional brakes and aids in extending your range. The system also consents the driver accelerate and slow the car using only the accelerator pedal, viable for recurrent stop-and-go circumstances.

2021 Nissan Leaf electric Fuel Economy

Nissan Leaf Electric offers impressive MPG figures. It is eco-friendly and green and gives loads of driving range. With its 160 kW AC synchronous electric motor and 40-kWh battery, Nissan Leaf provides a range of 150 miles, and by using a larger 62-kWh battery pack, 226 miles can be unlocked in Leaf Plus models.

Models

2021 Nissan Leaf Electric (Expected)

2020 Tesla Model 3

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2020 Kia Niro

MPG (City)

114

148

128

123

MPG (Highway)

94

132

110

102

MPG (Combined)

104

141

119

112

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

NA

NA

NA

NA

Range (City/Highway/Combined, in Miles)

226

250

259

239

Nissan Leaf gives an economy-car vibe among the competitors but has the least mileage. Chevrolet Bolt stands top in the distance, and Tesla is not as eco-friendly as other models.

2021 Nissan Leaf electric Interior

7.0/10

The Nissan LEAF's driver-centric environment provides comfort and convenience when driving. The cabins of Leaf models include a wide range of plastic materials but the well-structured and compiled textures along with the leather-wrapped steering wheel save it from reduced expression. Upper trims offer better quality materials. Telescoping D-shaped leather-wrapped steering wheel, distinctive centre console, a large analogue speedometer and a touch-screen display gives an eccentric touch.

The Leaf's extremely cushioned, leather-appointed seats to make it comfortable for the passengers and driver. Due to the absence of engines and transmission tunnels, there is plenty of region inside the Nissan Leaf. Leaf provides zero gravity seats for a comfy journey. There is plenty of legroom for taller passengers. An 8-way power-adjustable driver's bucket seat with 2-way adjustable lumbar is available for only SL Plus Trim.

Other models have a 6-way manual adjustable driver's bucket seat and 4-way manual adjustable front-passenger's bucket seat. There aren't many advances in seating, infotainment and controls from previous variants. Nissan keeps on maintaining its interiors in every option.

Models

2021 Nissan Leaf Electric (Expected)

2020 Tesla Model 3

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2020 Kia Niro

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

41.2/54.3/42.1

40.3/56.3/42.7

39.7/54.6/41.6

40.1/56.0/41.7

Rear Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

37.3/52.5/33.5

37.7/54.0/35.2

37.9/52.8/36.5

37.7/55.1/36.0

Trunk Capacity (cubic feet)

23.6

15.0

16.9

18.5

Nissan Leaf Electric offers significant front headroom and legroom, but the top position for shoulder room was taken by Tesla Model 3. Chevrolet Bolt EV positions first in Rear headroom and legroom while Kia Niro takes the top shoulder room position. Nissan Leaf Electric beats up its rivals in trunk capacity. The Tesla Model 3 has more tech than Nissan.

Interior features included are:

  • Automatic Temperature Control
  • Tilt and telescoping steering column
  • Hybrid heater system
  • 6-way manual adjustable driver's bucket seat
  • 8-way power-adjustable driver's bucket seat with 2-way adjustable lumbar
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink Universal Transceiver
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Heated front seats
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Heated steering wheel
  • 60/40 Split fold-down rear seats

What about the infotainment system of the 2021 Nissan Leaf Electric?

2021 Nissan Leaf Electric onsets with a standard 8.0-inch touch screen along with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration for all trims. Apart from these, it includes Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System and optional navigation features. For melodious and tuneful travel, Nissan SL Plus offers Bose Energy Efficient Series Premium Audio System with seven speakers. S and S Plus get a standard AM/FM audio system with four speakers while SV and SV Plus gain AM/FM audio systems with six speakers.

Several buttons are bordering the screen for infotainment controls and logging on to the surround-view parking camera system. Of these, volume and tuning controls are of conventional rotary knobs, but climate control and other functions use hard switches that you have to press to continuosly to adjust. Nissan's latest Nissan Connect software interface is not much user-friendly but provides instinctive and nippy responses to the inputs.

Some of the infotainment features are as follows:

  • 7" Information display (in gauge cluster)
  • NissanConnect 8" touch-screen display
  • Nissan Door to Door Navigation System with Premium Traffic
  • NissanConnect EV & Services powered by SiriusXM 
  • Nissan Voice Recognition
  • Apple CarPlay integration and Android Auto
  • SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link
  • Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant
  • Bose Energy Efficient Series Premium Audio System with seven speakers
  • Radio Data System
  • HD Radio
  • Streaming Audio via Bluetooth
  • Three USB ports and one USB-C port
  • Steering wheel-mounted audio controls

How much cargo can the 2021 Nissan Leaf Electric carry?

Leaf's back seat doesn't fold to obtain a flat load floor, but it yet provides ample cargo spaces. It can store items up to 23.6 cubic ft when the rear seats are down and are broadened to 30 cubic ft with the possibly folded rear seats.

Models

2021 Nissan Leaf Electric (Expected)

2020 Tesla Model 3

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2020 Kia Niro

Standard Cargo Capacity (ft³)

23.6

15.0

16.9

18.5

Maximum Cargo Capacity (ft³)

30

58.1

56.6

54.5

Nissan Leaf Electric has the best trunk capacity among the rivals with all seats in position while Tesla Model 3 moves to the last place. But when the rear seats are down, all these facts just drive backwards. Tesla scores top here, and Nissan moves to the previous. We locate seven carry-on suitcases following the back seat and massive 19 bags with the back seat folded in Nissan Leaf. Chevrolet Bolt EV can carry five of the same behind the rear seats and is elevated to 16 with their back seats folded up. The Niro EV held slightly more cargo in this testing, but 

none of these can beat Tesla Model 3.

What are the other storage spaces inside?

Nissan Leaf Electric provides a small part of its storage region to hold two cup holders and four bottle holders for all the trims.

2021 Nissan Leaf electric Exterior

Nissan Leaf comes in classy, modern-day appearance and distinguishes it from other non-EV cars in Nissan's outlet. The long hood at the frontage gives a sense of the presence of an internal combustion engine ahead. The blacked-out C pillar furnishes an expression of a floating roof to its posterior.

Outside mirrors with integrated LED turn signal indicators to give the Leaf an outstanding look during hours of darkness. Variable intermittent windshield wipers and intermittent rear window wiper and UV-reducing solar glass provide a comfortable travelling.

Models

2021 Nissan Leaf Electric (Expected)

2020 Tesla Model 3

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2020 Kia Niro

Curb Weight (lbs)

3909

3554

3563

3854

Length (inches)

176.4

184.8

164

172.2

Width (inches)

70.5

72.8

69.5

71.1

Height (inches)

61.6

56.8

62.8

61.4

Ground Clearance (inches)

5.9

8.2

NA

6.1

Wheelbase (inches)

106.3

104.7

102.4

106.3

Chevrolet Bolt EV is the shortest EV among the rivals while Tesla Model 3 is the longest and tallest. Chevrolet has the shortest wheelbase while Nissan and Niro rank the top.

Some of the exterior features include:

  • Halogen headlights
  • LED headlights with LED signature Daytime Running Lights
  • Automatic on/off headlights
  • Fog lights
  • Aerodynamic underbody panels and rear diffuser
  • A front bumper chin spoiler
  • Rear spoiler
  • Dual power outside mirrors
  • Heated outside mirrors
  • Outside mirrors with integrated LED turn
  • signal indicators
  • Charge port with light and lock
  • UV-reducing solar glass

2021 Nissan Leaf electric Safety

6.0/10

Nissan Leaf comes into sight with standard Nissan Safety Shield 360 as a part of Nissan Intelligent Mobility. It encompasses Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Rear Automatic Braking, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Warning and High Beam Assist to armour the vehicle, passengers and the pedestrians. Its driver assistance features are out-dated compared to other EV cars like Tesla Model 3.

One of the highpoints of safety features is the optional ProPILOT Assist which assists in highway driving, helping you to keep a preset distance from the car ahead or to keep the vehicle centred in the lane. It also adjusts car acceleration according to the traffic flow leading to a safe drive. More airbags are added in the front and rear occupants for heightened protection. The front airbags tweak the inflation rate based on the gravity of crash, and side bags tunes based on seat position.

2020 Leaf secured the peak rating of Good in the head restraints and seat evaluation steered by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). IIHS gave the LATCH System with lower anchors and tethers for children the second-lowest rating of Marginal.

2021 Nissan Leaf electric Competition

8.0/10

2021 Nissan Leaf vs 2020 Tesla Model 3

The Tesla Model 3 starts at $37,990. Although it is slightly more expensive than Nissan Leaf, it provides a powerful motor leading to high mileage. Its base model arises with 250 miles of range. A long-range Model 3 can go 322 miles on a single charge that no EVs can stab but with an increase in expense to $49,000, and features all-wheel drive, which Leaf models lack.

cargo capacity is less than its rivals, but when the seats are folded, capacity surprisingly bounces to beat all the competitors. Model 3 drives and handles like a sports car with astounding interiors and techs that is not available in many EVs.

2021 Nissan Leaf vs 2020 Chevrolet Bolt

TeslaThe Chevrolet Bolt's base price is around $37,495 offering a 259-mile range that no EV can achieve within this budget. More cargo space than Leaf can be gained with seats folded. 

It also acquires useful infotainment features like a 10.2-inch touch screen and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Between the two, Nissan Leaf is a sensible choice.

2021 Nissan Leaf vs 2020 Kia Niro

Kia Niro arrived at a starting tag of $39,090 and is expensive among the rivals. It comes with a range of 239 miles and beats Nissan Leaf. It offers smart space management yielding more cargo spaces when the seats are folded. But it has less braking efficiency compared to other models.

Nissan Leaf comes with a long list of standard safety technology and descent infotainment features – all available at low cost. Between the two, Nissan Leaf makes for a better choice.

2021 Nissan Leaf electric Final Verdict

Nissan Leaf is a budget electric vehicle available in the market with tons of standard safety features. It offers useful infotainment features which most of the EV lacks. The 2021 model will get only minor interior upgrades and may start with a potential motor to provide excellent mileage. Cargo space is the major downside of the 2020 model, which may be covered up in the upcoming variants.

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