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The Pros, The Cons and The Bottom Line of the 2019 Nissan Leaf PLUS SL

Last week I was reviewing the 2019 Nissan Leaf PLUS SL trim. Here are my pros, cons and the bottom line. The 2019 Nissan Leaf PLUS SL trim has a long EV range. It has a great infotainment system operable with a touchscreen. It has a spacious interior and provides a comfortable drive. Plus, it also has an over-the-air update.

However, the most driver assists are only available on top trim and it has one of the least range from its top competitors with a slightly higher price. My bottom line is that the 2019 Nissan Leaf PLUS is a great EV. It can be a both first or second family car. If it adds longer range and faster charging it can easily increase it's electric car market share.

The original Nissan Leaf came out in 2010 and since has sold nearly half a million Leafs. The newer, second generation Nissan Leafs were introduced in 2018. This model had more equivalent horsepower and torque, 147 hp and 236 lb-ft respectively. This is an increase. The HP has increased by 37 percent, while the torque power has increased by 26 percent over the outgoing Leaf.

Watch Torque News review of the 2019 Nissan Leaf PLUS SL and click to subscribe to Torque News Youtube channel for daily Nissan and automotive news analysis.

Nissan engineers have done a great job with the battery. Look what they did. They reengineered the lithium-ion battery pack so that it takes up the same amount of space as the previous one, but provides an estimated range of up to 250 miles depending on the trim. The 2019 Nissan Leaf PLUS SL that I am writing about showed 225 miles at 91 percent charge. At this range the notion of "range anxiety" is largely quelled in the current Leaf model. While driving the car I averaged 3.7 mi/kWh.

2019 Nissan Leaf PLUS SL deep blue pearl rear view

The 2019 Nissan LEAF has a very beautiful and dynamic exterior styling. It looks much appealing than the first-generation Nissan Leaf. Particularly, the back of the car looks very stylish. It has a good body design for effective aerodynamics, which provide a low center of gravity. LED headlights with "Direct Lens" system provides high illumination combined with stylish design.

2019 Nissan Leaf PLUS SL deep blue pearl rear light

The 2019 Nissan Leaf PLUS has “Intelligent Driving,” which consists of two functions. It encompasses the ProPILOT Assist system, which is automatic lane-keeping and braking functionality. The second function is the “e-Pedal,” which is the means by which the driver, by using the accelerator pedal alone, can control the speed of the vehicle, including deceleration. I just want to let you know that there is a brake pedal, too. Nissan estimates that the e-Pedal can handle more than 90 percent of daily driving velocity conditions. Using the ePedal takes some learning, but once you get used to it you will like it and use it.

2019 Nissan Leaf PLUS SL deep blue pearl front view2019 Nissan Leaf Battery Cooling and Warranty

The 2019 Nissan Leaf's batteries are air cooled. The lack of thermal battery temperature management is why so many reviewers and automotive enthusiasts put this car down and discard it as a viable electric car. However, many others applaud Nissan for being different and pushing air cooled possibilities. Still, the 2019 Nissan LEAF PLUS has a warranty for eight years or 100,000 miles against excessive loss of capacity. Speaking of warranty, take a look at my previous story discussing how to protect your Nissan Leaf against corrosion.

As I drove the car, the Leaf feels very stable. It provides a comfortable drive with a very quite interior. The acceleration is reasonably good and it has got a great touchscreen-enabled infotainment system.

2019 Nissan Leaf PLUS SL infotainment system2019 Nissan Leaf Infotainment System

Speaking of the 2019 Leaf's infotainment system. I didn't spend much time with the audio system, but the sound quality to me was excellent. The Bluetooth is very easy to set up. In the 2019 model the infotainment system's display has grown to 8-inch from the previous 7-inch display. The interface of the infotainment system allows good level of customization so you can arrange your favorite features to make them easily accessible. As mentioned above the Nissan LEAF PLUS allows over the air updates, has one USB, voice assisted controls as well as amazon Alexa and Google Assistant capability.

2019 Nissan Leaf PLUS SL USB portCharging The Nissan Leaf
I plugged the car in every few days when I got back from work using a regular outlet in my garage. It's a slow charging, but it's more than enough for my daily commute. I could use fast chargers or trip planning if I had longer trips to take. The 2019 Leaf Plus comes in three trim levels—S Plus, SV Plus and SL Plus and a new quick-charge port can get the car's lithium-ion battery to 80 percent capacity in 45 minutes. The 2019 Nissan Leaf PLUS is also charged using the regenerative braking.

The interior of the 2019 Nissan Leaf is spacious and comfortable. The seats were very comfortable and offered a good support. The surfaces on the dash and the doors have a soft touch and the steering wheel is heated. This could be very handy in winter times.

2019 Nissan Leaf PLUS SL dash2019 Nissan Leaf PLUS SL fron interior2019 Nissan Leaf PLUS SL rear seats

Starting at $36,550, the Leaf Plus is in the same ballpark as the Chevy Bolt. But the upper trims can go up and are priced in mid 40 thousand. Take a look at my previous analysis comparing the range and the price of the 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus with Tesla Model 3 and the other top EV competitors.

You may ask what the Nissan Leaf's advantage is if it costs more than some of its competitor electric vehicles. If you look at any car just for the range, that car, including the LEAF will yield some of its competitors. The same will also happen if the price is your only decision-making factor. Yet, one needs to look at many factors when buying an electric car.

Nissan Leaf is a great EV. Although it hasn't generate the press Tesla has, I would recommend this vehicle for those who are in the market for an electric car. Depending on your driving needs the 2019 Nissan LEAF can be a great first or second car for your family. I drove my family of 5 in this car, did the daily commute, dropped and picked up kids from school, drove to church on Sunday and the wife and 3 children also give the thumbs up for the 2019 Nissan Leaf PLUS SL model.

Watch the typical morning of a Nissan Leaf owner and click to subscribe to Torque News Youtube Channel for daily Nissan and automotive news analysis.

About The Author

Armen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded 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.


Al (not verified)    September 24, 2019 - 6:50AM

The Nissan LEAF is becoming the Honda Civic of electric cars, some may say the VW Beetle. With that, it’s hard to imagine Nissan replacing it with an all-new model but it might actually replace it with a whole new different name and car.

If it does it’s sad to say it’ll be a marked improvement. The LEAF never was a handsome car, to begin with, even though Nissan did try a bit to improve the styling. But it’s one of the reasons why electric cars have the horrible reputation of being ugly. It almost seems as if the industry is sabotaging them with bad styling.

Whether as a step up or stand-alone to LEAF you can agree that the Nissan Leaf-based SUV, scheduled for 2021 release, is an improvement. It’ll be slightly larger, powerful, faster, and more versatile as a crossover than the now-iconic most affordable electric sedan hatch, and its lines are much more conservative than the car we’ve become used to. The CUV LEAF replacement/addition is scheduled for 2021.

DeanMcManis (not verified)    September 25, 2019 - 2:38AM

I am actually surprised that the Leaf sales are not higher than they are. Just viewed objectively the new model costs about the same, is nicer inside and out compared to the previous model, has more EV range, and new features not offered previously. Plus Nissan still qualifies for the full federal and state EV subsidies that bring down the final price when compared to Chevy and Tesla rivals. But the top Leaf Plus model can edge up to base Model 3 pricing, and I find the Model 3 far more appealing despite the new Leaf's improvements. Plus the older used Leaf models have taken a big pricing hit over time (as have the other 1st generation BEVs and PHEVs) which I think affects the perceived resale value over time of this new model.