By on May 12, 2014

2011_Nissan_Leaf_SL_--_10-28-2011

Nissan’s next iteration of the Leaf EV will hang on to its hatchback styling, but it will look more like a conventional car.

According to Automotive News, Nissan EV product chief Andy Palmer said that the next version of the Leaf would conform more closely to the latest Nissan design language seen on cars like the Rogue – that means Nissan’s new V-shaped grille opening, rather than the completely flush front end used on the current Leaf.

What the next Leaf won’t be is a sedan. That will be reserved for a now-delayed Infiniti EV, which is expected to debut in 2017. The Infiniti EV will arrive first, and may even be able to exceed the Leaf’s range, due to its sedan shape, which allows for different packaging. Palmer said that 300 km (186 miles) is the internal target for the next-gen EVs, versus the current Leaf’s 84 mile range.

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48 Comments on “Next Nissan Leaf Will Look Like A Normal Car...”


  • avatar
    FormerFF

    I’ve heard a lot of people say the current LEAF looks like a frog. I personally think it looks more like a tadpole.

  • avatar

    How bought you put all that plug-in stuff into an ALTIMA. (or Maxima) and simply sell either for less than $50,000.

    Tesla can’t compete with that. The Macima’s interior is better.

    • 0 avatar
      gtrslngr

      .. or how ‘ABOUT’ they simply drop the whole EV thing completely [ the LEAF is not a PlugIn hybrid BT .. its an EV ] or … if they feel they need to have an EV in their lineup … to finally create a bespoke EV from the ground up .. such as … well .. (in the reality the only one) … the BMW i3 [ seeing as how even the TESLA S is just a now decades old BMW Z8 ICE in EV drag ] rather than yet another ICE-EV conversion with all the compromises and problems that entails .

      BTW BT … in case this little news flash has escaped you … more used TESLA S’s have been sold over the last 2 quarters than new … albeit with Elon claiming the ‘used’ sales as new … so in reality TESLA cannot legitimately ‘compete’ with anyone ! Hell … pre-orders of the more expensive BMW i8 already exceed TESLAs claimed 2014 sales . BMWs i3 having surpassed TESLAs numbers within the first three weeks of its introduction forcing BMW to up production on both .

      • 0 avatar

        I have no illusions that TESLA – with all their spam email and constant shareholders updates to my account is full of themselves.

        The EV ordeal isn’t going to make sense until technology improves.
        These cars have excellent ride quality and excellent sound deadening, but what needs to improve is battery charging speed, battery capacity, chargepoints and range.

        • 0 avatar
          Compaq Deskpro

          They don’t make sense yet but one day they will. Better be like Toyota and have something ready to go before it blows up. Here’s an idea, how about a Tesla with a Volt style system. Would be cheaper, longer range, just to hold over until the tech catches up. Have pure electric only as the beautique model.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Yeah, I agree. Someday, maybe a couple hundred years from now, they will make sense.

            Which begs the question, does anyone keep track of exactly how many vehicles of each type are currently on the road IN THE USA?

            A single source that monitors by class gasoline-powered vehicles, diesel-powered vehicles, natgas, CNG, LP, PEVs, Hybrids, Fuel-Cell? If there was, I would think they would be jumping through their @ssholes trying to publish this rich data for all the people to see.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I don’t understand. Even with the Leaf’s bootylicious rear end, I think it already strikes an excellent balance between flaunting its EV underpinnings and looking conventional enough to not alienate customers. I like the current Leaf.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I don’t get it either. It’s not currently offensive, but is individual. Why bother to make it match everything else? People will assume it’s a Sentra hatch.

    • 0 avatar
      Compaq Deskpro

      I don’t think anyone has a problem with the Leaf’s styling, its the range which is a dealbreaker. The only people who don’t like the Leaf’s styling are probably don’t like the Pruis’s either, and aren’t in the market.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Yeah. If they can get the range up to a guaranteed 150 miles and keep it decently priced, I’ll have one. But I hope they don’t ruin the design, because I really like the looks of the current one. I like the current Leaf so much that if they want to do one of those half-assed Ford redesigns that involves reusing the body-shell, I wouldn’t complain one bit.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree with the general thrust of your statement, but–forgive me!–I strongly disagree with your use of the adjective “bootylicious” to describe the Leaf’s posterior. The Leaf has the “excellent balance” you describe, and I would be sorry to see it lose that. But I’m simply not about to do a Snoopy Dance over it, although I suppose if one’s baseline is this era of underwhelming styling, and one has never seen cars from the classic era (from the end of WWII to the first Arab oil embargo) then maybe “bootylicious” is applicable.

  • avatar
    DIYer

    LEAF = Leading, Environmentally friendly, Affordable, Family car. Nissan advertises the LEAF in all capital letters.

    • 0 avatar
      gtrslngr

      The LEAF in reality is a pretentious , cheaply built little toy pretending to be Environmentally friendly [ research all the damage created by the manufacturing of the LEAFs Li batteries as well as its electric motors and all the electronics needed to support the thing ] … with all the driving dynamics of a Boat Anchor on wheels along with abysmal sales and terrible customer reviews due in part to all the short comings of the Li batteries Nissan has chosen to source for the LEAF

      Oh … and by the way … up and until Nissan drastically reduced the price as well as the cost of leasing the LEAF due to the complete lack of sales … the LEAF was anything but ‘cheap’

      Making the LEAF … pretty much a leaf in Fall from its inception . e.g. An utter failure on the ground about to become mulch

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        The….. Leaf has a…………. “gamification” system, thus….. encouraging…………………….. you to drive………… more than………….. necessary, thus…….. consuming more electricity than necessary, thus requiring more charging, and this………. electric companies…….. using……. more energy.

        And …………………….yet …………………..the name alone is……………………….. supposed to convince…………………………… me that………… the cars …………………………..environmentally…………….. friendly?

        Don’t mind the dots, its a legitimate writing style!

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        I drive a Leaf. Once again, you are completely wrong on every point.

        The Leaf (or LEAF for purists), is the world’s best-selling EV, with over 110k sold. So much for ‘abysmal’ sales. But maybe you can conjure another conspiracy theory (…wink…wink…) to make it so.

        It’s not a converted ICE design, although it shared a few parts with other Nissans, like brakes.

        And it pulls out like it has a small V6 under the hood, with a pretty solid, quiet ride.

        The vagaries of living with a lithium ion battery are well-known, but not anything like what you’ve described in other posts.

      • 0 avatar
        Compaq Deskpro

        The Leaf makes sense, but only if it costs $10,000 or less, or the tech catches up.

        You’re right about the environmental factor though, batteries are pretty worthless and harmful junk, compared to old iron and aluminum motors, which can be reused repeatedly. The grid runs off of coal anyway, so dino oil is still being consumed. CFL bulbs are full of mercury, which is much worse for the environment than the empty glass bulbs, or the dino oil they consumed. It’s all a gimmick.

        • 0 avatar
          KixStart

          Wow.

          - Your $10K cutoff is ridiculous. The Leaf is a fully functional car, although it lacks long-range convenience. At any competitive price, it makes a good 2nd or 3rd car for almost any multi-car family. Fuel costs will be low and there’s almost certainly reduced maintenance costs, as well. No more oil changes every 5K miles.

          - Batteries can be recycled, same as anything else. Every Prius pack has a phone number on it and a bounty is paid for them. Li-Ion may be less toxic than lead-acid.

          - Coal is not dino oil.

          - If your electricity has a normal proportion of coal, CFL bulbs actually reduce mercury pollution because coal contains a significant amount of it and it goes straight to the atmosphere. If you’re still concerned about your CFLs, which will save you considerable money on your electric bill, drop them at your local hazardous waste facility instead of dropping them into the trash (that’s what I do).

          • 0 avatar
            dolorean

            What I find amazing KixStart is that a contributor tagged CompaqDeskpro is bloviating about worthless junk. CFL bulbs have no more mercury in them then a can of tuna fish.

          • 0 avatar
            Compaq Deskpro

            Okay, that makes sense. Opinion amended.

            I maintain that 10K (maybe more like 15) is a fair cutoff, if you can’t drive it to the beach or the state’s big city then its going to be considered a toy rather than a car, and it has to cost toy prices.

        • 0 avatar
          FormerFF

          The grid is increasingly run on natural gas. My electric supplier (Georgia Power) was 62% coal as recently as 2011. In 2012 coal had dropped to 39% and has dropped considerably farther in 2013. They have applied to decertify 2 gigawatts of coal over the next three years, in favor of more natural gas, and in 2017 or 2018, more nuclear. They are also purchasing a good amount of wind and solar.

          • 0 avatar

            Nationally, coal fired 50% of the US electricity supply until maybe a decade ago–whenever the natural gas boom started. Now it’s maybe slightly more than 33.3%.

            I would say that any car with a range like the LEAF’s is strictly niche. I refill my tank when I have around a LEAF’s range left in the tank.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    We test drove a Leaf several times, I didn’t find it cheaply built or bad to drive, it drove pretty nicely actually, not like I expected. The ride was better than a Prius or a Fit, on par with a Civic. And I don’t think its a bad looking car, especially in the up-level trim with the larger blacked-out wheels. The lease deals are especially good too. My only problem with getting one is when I drive into the city I need just about 80-85 miles round trip, sometimes a bit more depending on which client I am going to. And even though many owners claim they can get over 100 miles, I am not so sure that will work for me in the Florida heat, or as the car’s batteries age. If they can get the range over 150 miles it would be pefect for the price.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    “…said that the next version of the Leaf would conform more closely to the latest Nissan design language seen on cars like the Rogue.”

    In other words, it will still be ugly.

  • avatar
    fozone

    why so much hostility toward the leaf?

    on the west coast, it is literally the cheapest car you can get right now — it leases for $99/month. Charge it off-peak, and the ‘fuel’ is cheap as dirt. And there’s almost zero maintenance.

    For the vast majority of people who couldn’t care less about what they drive, this car is the perfect commuter.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      SCE to AUX has provided great reportage of his actual Leaf ownership.

      I think I’ll go with his assessment over that of a dying hippie naysayer.

    • 0 avatar
      Master Baiter

      Another plus is HOV lane access.

    • 0 avatar
      TheyBeRollin

      If that lease price was available (can’t find it anywhere) and the garage in my condo tower had an outlet for charging, I’d jump on one of these immediately and the only thing I’d miss is my gearstick. 84 miles is further than I go on all but road trips (I already rent larger vehicles for these), I live in ecotopia so there are tons of charging spots (it might be possible to get away with only charging in these), and that is dirt-cheap for a brand new car with a warranty ($1200 a year?!). With my 5-mile commute, you’d have to work at it to exceed the annual mileage allotment, too.

      • 0 avatar
        fozone

        the lease price is all over here in oregon –
        http://www.beavertonnissan.com/Special/new/2014-Nissan-LEAF-4dr_HB_S-2220005533-$99.61_PER_MONTH-Beaverton-OR/34429020

        I’m not sure if that sort of pricing is available outside of california and oregon — it seems like we get all of california’s electric models at similar prices.

        But $99 a month, almost no maintenance & not having to worry about fuel costs… Very interesting.

        Assuming a teenager could get on their parent’s insurance, it seems almost doable for a kid with a part-time job. Who says cars are out of reach?

        • 0 avatar
          mnm4ever

          That’s $99 a month AFTER $3500 down on a 24-month lease. In reality that is $244/mo with zero down. And that’s the base model, which doesn’t have the “good” charger. It make’s more sense to get the middle model, which is an extra $50 or so a month on the lease deal IIRC, though that might be slightly less in PCW. Plus taxes every month too. Still a decent deal, but not really $100.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I’ve never quite warmed up to the Leaf’s nose, but it’s distinctive like the Prius but with its own flair.

    The look of the next Leaf will be a very important key to its success, in addition to its range. It can’t diverge too much from today’s design, lest it become as nondescript as the Coda: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/26/CODA_sedan_WAS_2012_0835.JPG

    The real trick will be to compete with the mythical Model Y from Tesla, which is proven to build a good-looking car.

    I can’t say much for style; my last car was an xB1.

    • 0 avatar
      This Is Dawg

      SCE, do you know what this panel is? Is it a solar panel? It seems too small to do much.

      http://www.digitaltrends.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/2012-Nissan-Leaf-review-exterior-roof.jpg

      • 0 avatar

        I didn’t bother to look at your link, but a solar panel on an ordinary commercial car might give you enough power to run the accessories, which would probably give you a few extra miles of range. But it’s not going to run the car.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    If they get 180 miles out of it and it costs roughly the same, tesla will be in serious trouble. I will consider buying one at that point. I actually like the styling direction on the leaf after having seen it in person, I would rather see a refresh than going towards common Nissan design language. Its a mistake to take away the uniqueness, just like Prius, its a selling factor.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      I don’t see Tesla as Leaf’s competition. It’s like the old Coke vs. Pepsi ads: they don’t care which one you pick, as long as it’s not tap water.

      Tesla is fighting for market share in the over-$60k-sedan segment. Leaf is fighting in the $30k segment (less if you get incentives). If anything, Tesla benefits more from the Leaf, because once you’ve committed to electric, you may as well get a nice car with all the money you’re “saving.”

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        The concern for Tesla shouldn’t be for the Model S, which the Leaf clearly does not compete against, but for their upcoming midsize discount model that they’ve promised is coming. Nissan has the scale and the bucks to push them, even if it’s at a loss. Tesla can’t.

        If I were Musk, I’d focus on high end cars and SUVs, as it appears they will be doing first. They just don’t have scale or the network to move enough cars in anything close to the average price range to make money.

  • avatar
    RHD

    It looks like a Prius, swollen with some nasty infection.
    That said, there are always those who attack electric cars as if trying to kill them by the death of a thousand cuts. Arguments about the environmental damage done in its manufacture conveniently ignore that done to manufacture and fuel gasoline and diesel vehicles
    For most trips made by most people, the LEAF would be just fine. Considering how many bland Camrys are exciting enough to make it a perennial best-seller, this should be doing better in the marketplace.
    Is it more sensible to use a pickup or SUV to transport one person?

    • 0 avatar
      fozone

      I suspect if Nissan can actually live up to that 150+ mile range, then this car is going to be over-the-top popular in certain markets. Because their current sub-100 range gives many people pause, but once you clear triple-digits, it seems like range anxiety drops for most (especially in the face of $4 gas).

      and IF they can keep up the $99 lease, they will be running around like cockroaches in northern california and the PNW.

    • 0 avatar
      This Is Dawg

      RHD, your one-person pickup comment reminds me of a question I’ve had about Tesla’s mention of replaceable battery packs to speed up/ replace recharging. I wonder if they’d consider making some bizarre pickup model like an el camino that could stop at designated locations to have the bed loaded with battery bricks. I’m imagining rows of large 300ish pound dominoes standing on end, placing the first against the middle of the car, with the last against the tailgate. That way, a person who commutes in a pickup could still do so with one replaceable pack, and have bed left over. Then for roadtrips, you load 8 packs and drive 1000+ miles.

      Obviously this would weigh a hilarious amount and I doubt many pickup drivers would want a plug in pickup to begin with, but it’s what occurred to me when I heard of Tesla’s “battery swap” idea.

      Edit: Upon watching Elon’s video on their website of an underground automated process swapping the underside of the Model S in 93 seconds, wow. That is huge.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Nissan could improve its nex-gen Leaf by providing a more truthful gas gauge, and by discarding their worthless navigation system. They are really my only complaints about the car. Tesla has these details right.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    There’s no need to change the Leaf. Vehicle styles are always changing. The Leaf looks normal enough.

    We no longer think the lack of running boards is abnormal, do we?

  • avatar
    stanczyk

    Leaf looks ‘oryginal enough’ so Nissan should leave it that way ..

    Elegant & quirky & futuristic is the way to go with EV’s design ..
    .. and because of the ‘small capacity’(low range) of the nowadays batteries EV’s should be possibly small and light ..
    Renault ZOE is probably the closest to ‘my’ definition(small,stylish city-car) of a succesful EV that works in a ‘real world’..

    Companies still must work on ‘range’, though:
    Good urban commuter should get at least! 250km range(you would charge ‘that thing’ once/twice a week , .. not every day!..)

    BTW: What is the ‘real cost’ of Tesla S(without gov’t subsidiaries:)?


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