2018 Nissan Leaf Review: A Detailed Look

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2018 Nissan Leaf Review

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Car manufacturers have started to move away from internal combustion engines and have begun to embrace the concept of electric vehicles. With significant improvements in battery technology and in the efficiency of electric motors, electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf are quickly becoming more popular and are finding new takers. In this 2018 Nissan Leaf review article, you will get to know more about the vehicle, its features and technical specifications, its price range, and how it stacks up against other similar electric vehicles.

What Is the 2018 Nissan Leaf?

Before we get into the 2018 Nissan Leaf review, let us first learn more about this all-electric car. Manufactured by the Japanese multinational automobile company Nissan, the 2018 Nissan Leaf is the second iteration of the electric vehicle. Arguably the best-selling electric automobile, the 2018 version of the Nissan Leaf features several functional and aesthetic updates when compared to its predecessor.

2018 nissan leaf s sideview

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Sporting a 5-door hatchback body style, the Leaf comes in a single front-wheel-drive configuration, with the electric motor placed conventionally in its front. And while the 2018 version retains the sharply raked front end of its predecessor, it is considerably more aggressive in terms of styling with sharp cuts and angles. Even the headlights and the taillights are sharp and look menacing, which supplements the car’s aggressive character perfectly.

2018 Nissan Leaf Review: Specs

leaf

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Powered by a 110kW permanent-magnet synchronous AC motor, the Leaf puts out a maximum of around 147 horsepower with around 236 pound-feet of torque. Power to the motor is delivered by a large 40 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which bestows the vehicle with around 150 miles of total range on a single charge. However, most 2018 Nissan Leaf reviews will agree that it can be very tough to extract the specified range of 150 miles when subjecting the car to hard acceleration and high speeds.

Featuring up to three different charging options, the Nissan Leaf is highly versatile and can be charged either at home or at public charging stations with varying degrees of speed and efficiency. Also, the vehicle supports both 120-volt and 240-volt outlets, making it a truly flexible and adaptable electric car. Furthermore, the car’s all-electric powertrain comes with an added incentive of lower maintenance due to fewer moving parts. It also includes several user-friendly features, as you’ll discover in the coming sections of this 2018 Nissan Leaf Review.

nissan leaf

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How It Compares

In order to bring a little perspective to this 2018 Nissan Leaf review, we picked a few similar electric vehicles available for sale on the market to see how they compare with the Leaf.

  • 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV
  • 2018 Kia Soul EV
  • 2018 Ford Focus Electric

Features

At the heart of the interiors of the Nissan Leaf is the Nissan Intelligent Mobility system that seamlessly connects with your smart device and offers navigation, hands-free calling, and music playback capabilities. With support for both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, the car can be operated through voice commands using Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri.

Furthermore, with the NissanConnect app, you can remotely control several functions of the car through your smart device. The car comes with an LCD display just beside the speedometer, and it can be customized to display information just the way you want it. Widely stressed by many 2018 Nissan Leaf reviews is the fact that the car comes with an overload of technological advancements, which make driving the car a sheer pleasure.

Performance

Moving on to the performance segment of this 2018 Nissan Leaf review, the 147 horsepower all-electric motor packs a punch when it comes to acceleration. Thanks to the instant torque delivery of the electric motor, the car reaches 60 miles per hour from a standstill in less than 8 seconds. With a top speed of around 89 miles per hour, the car is powerful enough to leave several gasoline-powered cars in the dust.

One of the main highlights is the incredibly low noise levels of just around 65 decibels, which is considerably lower than cars with internal combustion engines. Also, its adequate steering feedback and the slightly low slung chassis make the car engaging to drive in the canyons, with the torque kicking in at the right time when coming out of a corner.

Safety

During the 2018 Nissan Leaf review, we were astonished to discover the level of safety features and driver assistance the vehicle came with. With features like automatic emergency braking, intelligent cruise control, intelligent lane intervention, and high beam assist, the vehicle inspires a lot of confidence in the driver. Additionally, with the optional Nissan ProPilot Assist package, the car shares a lot of the tasks with you, helping you steer, accelerate, and brake.

The Leaf also comes with rear cross traffic alert that senses cars creeping up on you and helps you back up with confidence. Also, with the blind spot warning system, you are always kept informed of vehicles in your blind spots on either side. Equipped with 6 airbags as the standard, the Nissan Leaf provides adequate protection in the case of a crash. The anti-lock braking system and the electronic brake force distribution system help you keep the car always under control even under hard braking.

Warranty

The 2018 Nissan Leaf comes with basic coverage of 36 months or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. In addition to that, it also receives a powertrain and EV system coverage of 60 months or 60,000 miles. Furthermore, the car’s lithium-ion battery is covered by the warranty for up to 6 months or 100,000 miles, whichever is earlier.

Pros

  • Quiet powertrain
  • Comes with fast charging ability
  • Great performance
  • Longer driving range

Cons

  • Lacks telescopic steering wheel adjustment
  • Intrusive driver-assist systems

Manufactured by Chevrolet, the Bolt is meant to be an affordable all-electric vehicle that competes directly against the Nissan Leaf. Sporting a funky and head-turning design, the Chevrolet Bolt elegantly combines smooth lines and curves with sculpted body panels for a strong road presence.

As stated in the 2018 Nissan Leaf review, the Chevrolet Bolt also comes with a sharply raked front end, which, when combined with a flat and enclosed underbody, improves the aerodynamic ability of the car by streamlining the airflow. And thanks to the 60/40 rear split-folding seats, the Bolt offers a maximum of up to 56.6 cu. ft. of maximum cargo space.

Features

Right at the center of the dashboard of the Chevy Bolt is a large, tablet-sized 10.2-inch color touch-screen infotainment system. In addition to this, there’s another 8-inch secondary electronic display in the driver cluster. Both of these displays relay real-time information like the remaining battery level, an estimation of the range, climate control settings, and location and navigation data. And just as we saw in the 2018 Nissan Leaf review, the Bolt also comes with support for both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Performance

Powered by a sprightly synchronous AC electric motor, the Bolt puts out roughly 200 horsepower with around 266 pound-feet of torque. A heavy-duty 60kWh lithium-ion battery pack provides power to the motor with a maximum range of around 238 miles on a single charge. With so much power under the hood, the Chevy Bolt races from 0 to 6 miles per hour in an astounding 6.5 seconds, with the top speed limited to around 93 miles per hour. The low center of gravity combined with the car’s aerodynamic design enhances the stability of the vehicle at high speeds.

Safety

Featuring plenty of ultrasonic, radar, and camera-based sensors, the Chevrolet Bolt provides maximum safety for its occupants by reducing the chances of potential collision. In addition to the technological aids, the car also comes with 10 airbags and a high-strength steel frame that drastically reduces the chances of fatalities in the event of a crash. Four strategically placed cameras in the car combine to create a bird’s-eye view, enabling you to see everything that’s happening around you.

Warranty

The 2018 Chevrolet Bolt comes with a limited bumper-to-bumper warranty of 3 years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. In addition to that, it is also covered by a limited rust-through corrosion warranty of 6 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. Furthermore, there’s battery and electric components coverage that lasts up to 8 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Pros

  • Multiple driver-assistance options
  • Generous passenger space
  • Adequate cargo space
  • Includes a teen driving system

Cons

  • Average cabin material quality
  • High price tag

Sporting a boxy SUV design, the 2018 Kia Soul EV is an all-electric five-door compact crossover vehicle. Based on the highly popular Kia Soul, the EV version retains all the goodness of the Soul and effectively combines it with a bright and exciting engine with absolutely zero emissions. One of the main talking points of the Soul EV is its unmatched cabin and cargo space. Also, the car is equipped with plenty of features while still staying affordable and inexpensive for the average consumer.

Features

Emphasizing comfort above everything else, the Kia Soul EV offers class-leading interiors that are not just cozy and plush, but also contemporary and modern. Featuring the popular UVO infotainment system, the car provides access to real-time telematics and information irrespective of whether you are in the car or not. When paired with a compatible smart device, the vehicle allows you to access the car remotely through the UVO app.

Performance

The all-electric Kia Soul EV comes with an electric motor that outputs around 109 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque. Although slightly lower than the competition, it is enough to propel the car from standstill to 60 miles per hour in just 9.5 seconds. However, the quiet and efficient motor provides aggressive regenerative braking that helps you bring the car down to a stop in a flash. The most disappointing aspect of this EV is the fact that it has a very low range of just 111 miles, which is way behind what we saw in the 2018 Nissan Leaf review.

Safety

Safety is one aspect where the Kia Soul EV scores high. Bestowed with full-length side curtain airbags and dual front and side airbags for the driver and co-passenger, the car keeps the occupants safe in the event of a collision. In addition to this, the vehicle also possesses passive safety systems such as a traction control system, electronic stability control, vehicle stability management, and hill-start assist control.

Warranty

The 2018 Kia Soul EV is covered by a basic limited warranty of 5 years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first. In addition to this, there is also a Powertrain limited warranty of 10 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first, and an EV system warranty, which includes the battery pack and is valid up to 10 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Pros

  • Roomy cabin
  • Good infotainment system
  • Excellent audio system
  • Heated seats for added comfort

Cons

  • Unappealing design
  • Lacks many features

The 2018 Ford Focus electric is a compact all-electric hatchback that utilizes the mature and well-aged design of the gasoline version of the Ford Focus. Unlike other electric vehicles, the Ford Focus electric comes in just a single variant with limited customization and optional packages. As the Focus electric shares a lot of its components with its gasoline counterparts, the sourcing of components and maintenance is a lot easier when compared with other EVs.

Features

The driver cluster of the Ford Focus electric features patented SmartGauge with EcoGuide technology that provides the driver with real-time telemetry data and driving metrics. This information can then be used by the driver to cultivate proper driving habits that help maximize the efficiency of the vehicle. The display also provides vital information like the battery life remaining and estimated total range to keep you informed at all times. The list of other standard equipment includes heated mirrors, auto headlamps, a rear window defroster, and dual-zone electronic automatic temperature control, among others.

Performance

A combination of a 107kW electric motor and a 33.5kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack power the Ford Focus electric. With 143 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, the car catapults to 60 miles an hour from a standstill in roughly 10 seconds, with the top speed capped at 84 miles per hour. However, the overall range of 115 miles is quite low when compared with other electric vehicles. Due to the heavy component-sharing between the electric and gasoline variants of the Ford Focus, the driving dynamics remain unchanged.

Safety

With respect to safety, the Ford Focus electric comes with dual front and side airbags and side curtain airbags along with electronic stability control and a tire pressure monitoring system. However, the car lacks active driver assist systems like the ones present in the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Bolt.

Warranty

The 2018 Ford Focus Electric comes with a bumper-to-bumper warranty of 3 years or 36,000 miles, a Powertrain warranty of 5 years or 60,000 miles, a warranty on the safety restraint system for 5 years or 60,000 miles, a warranty on corrosion (perforation only) for 5 years or unlimited miles, and a roadside-assistance program for 5 years or 60,000 miles.

Pros

  • Precise and smooth handling
  • Good rear and front visibility
  • Effortless steering
  • Quiet and well-insulated cabin

Cons

  • Not enough storage compartments
  • Rear seats are slightly cramped

Conclusion

The 2018 Nissan Leaf is a very capable electric vehicle that has the potential to replace conventional gasoline-powered cars. Equipped with several class-leading features and safety systems, the Leaf is a joy to drive around the city. With the built-in fast charging feature, you can get up to 90 miles of range by simply plugging it in for 30 minutes.