Appearance-wise, the 2023 LEAF features a revised front fascia, with a refreshed grille, bumper molding and headlights, featuring a new black interior finish. The Nissan badge is now illuminated and has been updated to reflect the brand's new visual identity.
Likewise, the shape of the tire deflectors at the four corners, the rear under diffuser and the rear diffuser have been completely changed to improve aerodynamics. The new LEAF also comes standard with new 17-inch 5-spoke aluminum alloy wheels.
In the exterior, the 2023 Nissan Leaf has front and rear wrap-around bumpers, mirrors with electric controls, folding, heated and dipped lights, new design and dual-tone wheels, and a bodywork to which they add new shade options in red, pearl white and grey, contrasting with a black roof.
Inside, changes include new Nissan badging on the steering wheel and a new start-up video on the dashboard screen. Black cloth is standard on SV and SV PLUS models, with gloss black finishers. The SL PLUS version is fitted with leather upholstery.
Generally speaking, inside, the 2023 Nissan Leaf keeps things rather unchanged, but the driving experience and interior enjoyment have been enhanced with new items and standard equipment, including automatic air conditioning, an intelligent rearview mirror that can support a rear camera and is activated by moving the window up or down. The infotainment system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for playing applications such as Spotify, navigation on Maps or Waze and to answer text messages.
The 2023 LEAF is now be available only in two trim levels: SV and SV PLUS. There was another version, that is now gone in the 2023 model year. Out of these two, I would recommend the SV Plus version, which Torque News is reviewing this week. I make this recommendation because of its reasonable price and about 245 miles of range. This range is not very competitive if you compare to the Tesla Modoel Y, Hyundai Ioniq and the KIA EV6, but it's better than the SV trim's range. And the SV Plus trim of the 2023 Nissan Leaf is still available with a reasonable $37,750 MSRP with all options included.
In 2022, Nissan reduced the price of the LEAF to provide the best value to customers, as competition has been stiff.
The 2023 LEAF S and SV PLUS will continue this popular positioning, with both models maintaining similar starting prices for 2023. Qualifying buyers may also be eligible for a potential federal tax credit of up to $7,500.
The LEAF SV is once again equipped with a 40 kWh lithium-ion battery and a 110 kW electric motor with 147 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque, as in 2022. The SV Plus features a larger capacity 60 kWh lithium-ion battery and 160 kW AC Synchronous electric motor, boosting output to 214 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque.
Last fall, Nissan confirmed that the LEAF will disappear by 2025, when it will make way for a new small SUV designed on the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance's CMF-EV platform. The changes that will be made from now on will therefore probably be of the order of what we see here, that is to say minor.
Remember that the LEAF was born for the model year 2011 and that until March 2020, it was the best-selling all-electric car in history. It was then overtaken by the Tesla Model 3. If the first generation did not offer a very high autonomy, the second, which appeared in 2018, did much better with a maximum range of about 226 miles per single charge.
Driving the 2023 Nissan Leaf
The new LEAF is much more fun to drive than the first generation model. On the road, the vehicle behaves well as long as you don't rush her too much. In other words, if you treat it kindly, the LEAF drives smoothly and calmly.
When the model was redesigned in 2018, the big news was the e-Pedal function. It allows the driver to slow the car considerably just by taking some pressure off the accelerator. It takes a bit of getting used to. It's a function that we like or that we do not like, quite simply.
Each time I try a new vehicle I love it, but you have to get used to the vehicles systems. Once that's done, (in this case with the Nissan Leaf's e-Pedal) the car drives perfectly well just by adjusting the accelerator, either to accelerate or to slow down. It is thus possible to drive for miles and miles without touching the brake pedal. Of course, the latter retains its primary function if emergency braking is required. The LEAF uses the energy harvested by the system to recharge the battery, which greatly helps to maintain its range in the city.
The other very interesting option is the set of driver assistance systems ProPILOT. These allow, for example in motorway traffic, to follow a vehicle at a good distance and to brake to a stop and restart without any human intervention except holding the steering wheel. This really allows you to de-stress in traffic and arrive in better shape.
Among the other new features, the Nissan Connect application which allows you to monitor several parameters of your LEAF. In addition to viewing the battery status, it is possible to activate the air conditioning or heating systems remotely.
The 2023 Nissan LEAF, despite the arrival of several models in a segment it has long dominated, remains an interesting choice. It has many qualities and I loved driving and reviewing this electric vehicle, especially because it is fun to drive. In addition, it offers a lot of interior space for a vehicle of this size. Finally, there are enough options to make you feel safe on board. I particularly liked the rather competitive price compared to other electric vehicles in the market, the space in the cabin and the pleasure of driving.
Armen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded TorqueNews.com in 2010, which since then has been publishing expert news and analysis about the automotive industry. He can be reached at Torque News Twitter, Facebok, Linkedin and Youtube.