2013 Nissan Leaf
While the EV market is still in its trial and error period, a few models have come out the other side that are worthy of praise. And the 2013 Nissan LEAF, now made in the U.S.A, is certainly one of them.
Styling changes little for its third model year; there’s fresh aerodynamic sculpting, and 17 inch wheels are available. The awkward look still screams EV, but we’ve gotten used to it.
Leather covered seats and steering wheel have been added to the top SL trim, increasing both comfort and appeal. Legroom, both front and rear, remains tight, though rear cargo room increases with the majority of charging hardware moved up front. The ride is familiar, which is to say: small car compliant; but the LEAF’s light steering and instant power response make it quite fun to drive.
PATRICK LUCAS: It’s a strange feeling driving the LEAF, I mean that in a good way, though…you get this gliding sensation…but it still feels planted like a car; everything’s very familiar. The instant torque is definitely a nice little bonus…but it’s just a perfect daily driver, and the improvements they made this year make it that much better.
JOHN DAVIS: And those improvements include a 6.6 kW charger that cuts 220 volt charging time from eight to four hours. A standard 110 volt trickle charger is included. With the optional DC fast charge port, an 80% charge takes only 30 minutes.
Under new rules, the government says expect a range of 75 miles. That’s based on an 84 mile range with a 100% charge, and a 66 mile range at 80%, the recommended level for long battery life.
Now an IIHS Top Safety Pick, the 2013 Nissan LEAF sports a much lower starting price, about $21,000 after incentives, for the new entry level S-trim model.
Price: Starting about $21,000