Nissan Leaf Gets The "Taurus G" Treatment
With sales of the third-generation Ford Taurus lagging, the Blue Oval decided that an entry-level variant would be just what was needed to help kickstart sales. Faced with slumping sales of their Leaf EV, Nissan is apparently taking the same route.
Without the $7,500 tax credit, a Leaf costs $36,050, and there’s no indication of how much the entry-level trim will knock off the sticker price. The new base model will forgo the high-tech, energy-efficient LED headlamps in favor of traditional HID units, as well as some unspecified features integrated into the car’s GPS system. The LED lamps are considered integral to the Leaf’s battery performance, since they use far less energy than traditional headlights.
Nissan will also switch production of the Leaf and its battery components to Tennessee, allowing the Leaf to escape the unfavorable exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the yen. Leaf production hasn’t started Stateside, but battery production at the Smyrna, TN plant is set to begin shortly.
The Taurus was available in loss-leader trim from 1986. What was different about it happening on the 1996 model? The only difference is that 1986-1995 base models were called L, not G.
I find it belligerent to knock the Leaf for range. No one has ever even tried to hint that the Leaf would have the same range as a normal car. There is no lie here, no misdirection, no falsehoods, the car has a range that it is as it is. And, I don't think any one with more than 4 brain cells to rub together should be shocked and appalled that the battery only lasts 2 years, less in a ridiculously hot climate like Arizona.
I've had my leased Leaf for a bit over one month and 1000 miles now. I live in the midwest and would never step foot in Arizona or Texas unless my family was being held hostage there. For my purposes, the Leaf has been fine. The cost of my 24 month lease is $185 including state and local taxes (minus personal property tax). Using CarWings, the app that comes with the Leaf, it appears I have paid a bit over $18 in electrical charges (.10 per kwh summer rates and .77 for winter rates) for one thousand miles of driving. This compares to around $200 that I would have paid for gas in my Volvo. Given I am a driver who follows a pattern, drop my son off at school, drive to work, drive home, drive to gym, drive to Costco on weekends, drive to movies or restaurant or relatives, drive other son to hockey, drive first son for allergy shots one time per week, go out for a drink one time per week with friends . . . I have never had any range anxiety. I have driven up to 73 miles in one day, making 11 separate trips. My average is less than 50 miles per day. When my lease is up, I will have the choice of buying the car for around $21k or turning it back in. If the 2014 is an improvement, I will lease again, provided equally good deals are available. I also have a second gasoline fueled car, for longer trips out of town.
I just bought (leased) a Leaf SL last week. Nissan's problem is the price; changing the content this way won't really help. Note - the Leaf is somewhat cheaper, but it doesn't contain the solar panel to run the accessories, and no dealers stock them. Proof of their price problem was the surprising - and unadvertised - discount from Nissan I received without even asking, of $7500 off MSRP. That's cash on the (bulbous) hood. This is NOT the $7500 Federal tax incentive nor is it the surprising $3500 Pennsylvania rebate I'm applying for today. So I got a $38k car for under $20k (well, after my 2012 taxes are done), and that's before my modest company discount and trade-in. The Leaf is a slow seller, and I think Nissan is just trying to get more of them on the streets.