EPA Says the 2018 Nissan Leaf Goes the Extra Mile - Literally

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

What a difference a mile makes. Or does it? In the case of the 2018 Nissan Leaf, the second-generation model’s newly enlarged driving range might not sway a single buyer or suddenly place the model ahead of a close challenger, but any improvement in an EV’s travel radius is worthy of a celebration at the company’s HQ.

If you haven’t heard the news, the 2018 Leaf’s range now stands at 151 miles, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s just-released official rating. What was it before? Well, Nissan estimated 150 miles. Hardly shocking, but it’s nonetheless good news as the automaker waits for next year’s arrival of a longer-ranged, more competitive model.

It’s worth noting that the 2011 Leaf, the first real mainstream EV on the U.S. market, stayed close to home out of pure necessity. With a paltry range of 73 miles, long road trips were something a Leaf owner could only dream of. Subsequent versions grew in range, but only to 84 miles. The biggest leap in the first-gen model’s lifespan came after an optional 30 kWh battery joined the line in 2016, pushing range to 107 miles.

The 2018 model makes use of a 40 kWh battery pack, pushing its horizons further. Interestingly, the model’s overall efficiency (112 MPGe) is less than that of the old 24 kWh models (114 MPGe), likely due to added weight.

Despite the upgrades, the Leaf lags the segment’s headline grabbers. Chevrolet’s Bolt travels 238 miles between charges, and the yet-unreleased Tesla Model 3 in base form carries a 220-mile rating. Neither rival, of course, can top the Nissan’s hidden perk: value. A base Leaf S carries a pre-delivery MSRP of $29,990 before the federal tax credit, making it thousands of dollars cheaper than a Tesla or Chevy.

Next year, a 60 kWh Leaf variant shows up to properly challenge these fresh-faced models. Expect a range of over 200 miles. The long-legged Leaf’s appearance comes not a moment too soon, as the model dropped U.S. buyers every year since its 2014 high water mark, finishing 2017 with 11,230 units sold — almost a third of its former volume.

2018 Leafs are currently arriving on dealer lots.

[Image: Nissan]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Sub-600 Sub-600 on Jan 31, 2018

    Look at the proboscis on that thing, 151 mile range to boot? Why must the virtuous suffer so?

  • Robbie Robbie on Feb 01, 2018

    When I drove an older Leaf - 2012 or 2013 - I thought it was quite comfortable and quiet in city driving, but on the freeway, it had a lot of road noise and didn't handle well. Do you guys share this experience, and is this the same for new Leafs?

    • Glwillia Glwillia on Feb 02, 2018

      I have a 2014 Leaf, and that's my experience as well. It's great around town, especially in Seattle traffic, but relatively unstable and loud above about 65mph. Then again, the range is limited enough (and the battery capacity drops fast enough at freeway speeds) you won't be spending much time at all on the freeway in it. Doesn't bother me, I have an E39 for road trips/long freeway trips.

  • Probert No, they're not the future. BEV sales are growing every year, and, along with sound energy policy, result in cleaner air, lower CO2, foreign policy not based on oil, and will continue to drive like a smooth powerful nearly silent turbine. Some 19% of new car sales in 2023 were BEVs - this will continue.
  • Mishab Agree with you. Thanks for sharing this insightful update about the upcoming Mini Cooper models! It's fascinating to see Mini's shift towards electrification and the unique design elements they're incorporating into the new John Cooper Works edition.Speaking of Minis, if you're a Mini Cooper owner in Sharjah looking for spare parts or considering common repairs, you might find this article on 7 common Mini Cooper repairs quite useful. ( for reading it). It covers some of the typical issues Mini owners might encounter and offers valuable insights into maintaining these iconic cars.Looking forward to more updates on Mini's electrified lineup and the exciting changes they're bringing to the automotive industry
  • Redapple2 Love/lust a 110 diesel defender. Should buy one since the INEOS is gas only (and double the price). Had a lightweight in Greece. Wonder how this rides.
  • Ajla There is inventory on the ground but as pointed out it is generally high dollar trims of high-dollar models and at least around here dealers still aren't budging off their mandatory nitrogen tires and Summer weather protection packages.You aren't paying '21-'22 prices anymore but it's still a long way to go.
  • Slavuta Every electric car must come with a film about lithium mining