The new Leaf might seem to be an enticing electric vehicle at first blush. It offers decent--albeit limited--driving range and a low entry price. The base model is thousands less than the entry-level versions of the Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3, even before federal or state tax incentives.
And even though this redesign improves on the original, it offers little beyond an attractive price to distinguish it from its EV competitors.
The Leaf’s 40-kWh battery gives it a range of 140 miles, which should be enough for typical commuters. It takes about eight hours to charge from empty on a 240 volt connector. While the range is an improvement compared with the original Leaf, the competition has moved ahead: The Chevrolet Bolt can comfortably go 250 miles between charges, and the range of the upcoming base Tesla Model 3 is estimated at 220 miles. Shoppers may want to wait for the 2019 Leaf, which will offer a 60-kWh battery with a promised range of more than 200 miles.