The Nissan LEAF is one of the most recognizable electric vehicles today. Since its debut, now a decade ago, over 500,000 models have been sold. And it’s with this momentum that the 2021 Nissan LEAF cruises into town. Here is a quick look at what to expect if you are shopping for a new LEAF.*
2021 Nissan LEAF Trim Levels
The new LEAF comes in two versions: the standard and the extended-range LEAF PLUS. The standard LEAF comes in either an S or SV trim, while the LEAF PLUS has three trim levels: S, SV, and SL. Across the lineup, there are four new option packages: the S Charge Package, SV Technology Package, SV PLUS Technology Package, and the Cargo Cover Package.
Preformance & Driving Range
Although every Nissan LEAF is front-wheel drive, there are differences in the powertrain between the two versions.
Standard LEAF models come with a 40 kWh lithium-ion battery and 110-kW electric motor. The combination delivers 147 horsepower, 236 lb-ft of torque, and up to an EPA-estimated 149 miles of driving range. Per the name, the LEAF PLUS offers up to an EPA-estimated 226 miles of range. The PLUS variant also has a more robust 62-kWh lithium-ion battery and 160 kW motor that produces 214 horsepower and 250 lb-ft. of torque.
Drivers can pick between three different modes: Normal, Eco-Mode, and B-Mode. The latter increases the amount of regenerative braking and is useful when moving downhill. Every LEAF is standard with an e-Pedal system too, which allows a driver to operate the vehicle using just the accelerator. The video below explains how it works.
2021 Nissan LEAF Charging Times
According to Nissan, both models will charge to 80 percent in about 40 to 45 minutes when using the quick charge port. A portable charging cable (120V / 240V EVSE), compatible with a 120-volt outlet or any 240-volt outlet, is also available. Like the total vehicle range, charging times may also vary depending on driving habits, weather conditions, and battery age.
Exterior Features & Options
The 2021 Nissan LEAF relies on its aerodynamic body (0.28 coefficient of drag), complete with a rear spoiler and flat underbody to help increase efficiency. Standard exterior features include the power heated outside mirrors and a unique blue grille. Fog lights, LED headlights, and LED daytime running lights are optional.
As for colors, the new LEAF offers eight different options: Sunset Drift ChromaFlair, Brilliant Silver Metallic, Gun Metallic, Super Black, Scarlet Ember Tintcoat, Pearl White Tricoat, Glacier White, and Deep Blue Pearl. A Pearl White Tricoat and Super Black two-tone option is also available.
Interior Features & Options
Nissan’s “Gliding Wing” design makes another appearance, this time in the 2021 LEAF (fans may recognize the same look in other sedans like the Versa and Maxima). The idea is that it creates a stylish, driver-centric cabin where all of the controls are within easy reach. In this instance, those controls include the standard eight-inch touchscreen display and trip computer, which shows the charging state, instant and average ranges, and outside temperature.
Black or light gray cloth seats are standard, although heated leather seats are optional. A six-way manual driver’s seat is standard, while an eight-way power option is available. The standard 60/40 rear seat drops down for a total of 30 cubic feet of cargo space.
Optional interior features for the 2021 Nissan LEAF include a heated steering wheel, auto-dimming inside mirror, a HomeLink programmable garage door opener, and a seven-speaker Bose premium stereo.
Tech & Connectivity Features
The 2021 Nissan LEAF is standard with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Siri Eyes Free, streaming audio via Bluetooth, and Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant. Optional features include SiriusXM, NissanConnect with door-to-door navigation, and the NissanConnect EV telematics system.
2021 Nissan LEAF Safety Features
Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 suite is standard on every new LEAF. The advanced safety package includes Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Warning, Rear Automatic Braking, High Beam Assist, Blind Spot Warning, and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert. Other available advanced safety features include Intelligent Driver Alertness and Intelligent Cruise Control, among others.
ProPILOT Assist, an additional hands-on driver-assist system, is standard on the SL PLUS and available for the SV PLUS. ProPILOT Assist combines the Intelligent Cruise Control and steering systems and a separate “stop and hold” function. Together, this allows the LEAF to come to a full stop if and when traffic does. Once traffic begins moving again, the LEAF will also start moving when ProPILOT Assist is engaged.
Other standard safety features include front airbags with seat belt sensors, front seat-mounted side-impact supplemental airbags, roof-mounted curtain side-impact airbags for occupant head protection, driver and front passenger knee airbags, and rear seatbelt pre-tensioners. The LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system, child rear door locks, an energy-absorbing steering column (to mitigate the force of a frontal impact), and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System are also standard.
2021 Nissan LEAF Warranty
Every LEAF comes with a limited lithium-ion battery warranty covering defects in materials or workmanship for eight years or 100,000 miles. Nissan also provides a warranty against battery capacity loss below nine bars, as shown on the vehicle’s battery capacity level gauge for the first eight years or 100,000 miles.
If you anticipate doing more driving than average, an extended warranty may be of benefit. For more information on Nissan’s factory warranty, and to help you determine if you need additional coverage, see this free and helpful guide.
2021 Nissan LEAF Pricing
Here is the starting MSRP for each trim level. The figures below include the $925 destination and delivery fee.
|Model||Powertrain & Range||MSRP|
|LEAF S||40 kWh / up to 149-mile est. range||$32,545|
|LEAF SV||40 kWh / up to 149-mile est. range||$35,835|
|LEAF S PLUS||62 kWh / up to 226-mile est. range||$39,145|
|LEAF SV PLUS||62 kWh / up to 215-mile est. range||$41,395|
|LEAF SL PLUS||62 kWh / up to 215-mile est. range||$44,845|
If you are in the market for a new LEAF, take a look at this helpful search tool* or the form below the gallery. That will show you all of the inventory in your area and which dealers are giving you the best price.
Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and the Society of Automotive Historians. He serves on the board of directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, is a past president of Detroit Working Writers, and a loyal Detroit Lions fan.
2021 Nissan LEAF Gallery
Photos & Source: Nissan North America.
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