2014 Nissan Leaf

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Nissan unveiled the Leaf in 2010, and there were no major updates until the 2013 model year when it was updated with a new, lower priced Leaf S grade, an array of new features for the Leaf SL grade, new option packages with available Around View Monitor and an available 6.6 kW onboard charger that reduces 220V charging time to four hours. Additionally, Nissan increased cargo space to 24 cubic feet with the 2nd row seat upright by relocating the onboard charger to the front of the vehicle.

For the 2014 model year, the model continues pretty much unchanged, with the only addition including a RearView Monitor standard on all grades and an updated EV-IT functionality with voice destination entry and SMS readout.

The 2014 Leaf will go on sale in late December 2013, and prices will be announced at a later date. As usual, the model will be offered three grades: S, SV and SL models.

Updated 01/08/2014: Nissan officially announced prices for the 2014 Leaf which is on sale now at Nissan dealers nationwide. Prices will start from $28,980 for the S version and will go up to $35,020 for the SL version.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Nissan Leaf.

Exterior

Nissan Leaf
Nissan Leaf
Nissan Leaf

No major changes were announced for the 2014 model year, so the 2014 Leaf continues to offer the same "smart fluidity" design launched back in 2010. The model is defined by a compact hood in an upright V-shaped design. The headlights have blue internal reflective material to give the Leaf a sharp nighttime signature and are equipped with LED technology that consumes just 50 percent of the electricity of halogen headlights.

The rear gets a slim-type aerodynamic LED taillight design, an aerodynamic rear bumper with an integrated rear diffuser.

Customers can choose between seven exterior colors: Metallic Slate, Glacier White, Brilliant Silver, Super Black, Cayenne Red, Pearl White and Blue Ocean.

2014 Nissan Leaf - Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase106.3 inches
Overall length175.0 inches
Overall width69.7 inches
Overall height61.0 inches
Track width (front/rear)60.6/60.4 inches
Drag coefficient0.28 Cd
Weight3,291 pounds

2014 Nissan Leaf - Standard Exterior Features

  • Aerodynamic halogen headlights
  • Rear spoiler
  • Body-color front and rear bumpers
  • Chrome door handles
  • Unique Zero Emission exterior badging
  • Aerodynamic underbody cover and rear diffuser
  • Dual power body-color heated outside mirrors
  • Front UV-reducing solar glass
  • Charge port with light and lock
  • One-touch rear hatch release

Interior

Nissan Leaf
Nissan Leaf
Nissan Leaf

The interior is typical to an electric car, as there is a high-tech instrument panel design, which is dominated by a twin combination-meter display in front of the driver and a center "floating" C-stack with a 4.3-inch color LCD display (S grade). This display offers features the Eco indicator, speedometer, state-of-charge meter, power meter, battery temperature gauge, multi-function display, remaining energy gauge, capacity level gauge and distance to empty display.

Standard features include: heated front bucket seats and a 60/40 split folding heated rear seat, a three-spoke, heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel with controls for the cruise (except S), audio system and standard Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System.

2014 Nissan Leaf - Interior Dimensions

Headroom (front/rear)41.2/37.3 Inches
Legroom (front/rear)42.1/33.3 Inches
Hip room (front/rear)51.7/50.0 Inches
Shoulder room (front/rear)54.3/52.5 Inches
Seating capacity5
Interior passenger volume92.4 Cubic Feet
Total interior volume (cu. ft.)116.4 Cubic Feet
Cargo volume with rear seat up (cu. ft.)24.0 Cubic Feet
Cargo volume with rear seat down (cu. ft.)30.0 Cubic Feet

2014 Nissan Leaf - Standard Interior Features

  • Nissan Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition
  • Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System
  • Automatic Temperature Control (ATC)
  • Trip computer
  • Power door locks with auto-locking feature
  • Power windows with driver’s one-touch auto-up/down feature
  • Variable intermittent windshield wipers
  • Rear intermittent wiper with washer
  • Center console storage
  • Rear window defroster
  • Two front map lights
  • Front door pockets
  • 6-way manual adjustable driver’s seat
  • 4-way manual adjustable front passenger’s seat

Drivetrain

Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf is built on a special EV platform with batteries housed in the floor for optimum vehicle packaging and weight distribution. The model uses a 24 kWh lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery that includes 48 compact modules of four cells each (192 cells total), which allows for compact packaging. The battery sends its power to a 80kW AC synchronous motor that delivers 107 horsepower and 187 pound-feet of torque.

The Leaf is rated at 129 MPGe city drivings and has a driving range of 75 miles on a single charge. The model comes equipped with a Quick Charge Port that allows charging to 80-percent capacity in 30 minutes at public charging stations, using a DC fast charger. If you are in a big hurry, you can charge the model for only 10 minutes and you will get a driving range of 31 miles.

Suspension and Brakes

Nissan Leaf

The 2014 Leaf will be equipped with the same suspension system offered last year, which is an independent strut system with a stabilizer bar in front and a torsion-beam rear suspension with integrated stabilizer bar. The model also gets power-assisted, vented disc brakes up front with solid rear discs. Helping leep this stable when braking is an anti-lock braking system (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist.

As standard, the Leaf comes with 16-inch steel wheels with full wheel covers.

Prices

Nissan Leaf
Model 2013 MSRP 2014 MSRP
Nissan Leaf S$28,800$28,980
Nissan Leaf SV$31,820$32,000
Nissan Leaf SL$34,840$35,020

Packages:

Charge Package$1,300
Premium Package$1,050
LED Headlights and Quick Charge Port Package$1,630

Competition

Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Mitsubishi i-MiEV

The i-MiEV is another electric car offered on the North American market, but with a rather odd appearance.

Mitsubishi’s model is powered by a small electric motor that delivers a total of 66 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. This motor takes its power from a lithium-ion battery that ensures a driving range of 62 miles between charges.

The i-MiEV has the advantage of being priced at only $15,495 - after applying the $7,500 credit.

Chevrolet Volt

Chevrolet Volt

A model for the clients with more money and a little concern about the range of an EV is the Chevrolet Volt. It has the advantage of offering a range-extender, but it is also considerably more expensive at $34,995 — $27,495 with the federal tax credit.

The Volt also gets an in-line, four-cylinder engine that kicks in when the batteries are about to go flat, a big advantage over its two competitors.

Conclusion

Nissan Leaf

If you ask us, the Nissan Leaf is the perfect electric car out there: it looks good, delivers the right driving range and comes at a reasonable price. Of course, it is not the only one on the market, but we find it pretty fun to drive.

LOVE IT
  • Good look
  • Powerful electric motor
  • Good driving range
LEAVE IT
  • Competition is cheaper

What is your take?

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