The 2018 Nissan Leaf now looks more like a mainstream car than some futurist styling exercise like previous versions. Not only does it look better, range is improved. EPA rates it at 151 miles and we got 140 miles, even during a hot week of heavy air-conditioning use.
The top of the line SL model is one of three trim levels.
The interior is quite good, although a telescoping steering wheel adjustment would accommodate more driver sizes. A simple gauge keeps track of electric charge, both in miles and percentage-wise.
Otherwise, it’s a pretty conventional dash layout. A $650 tech package includes driver aids like steering assist. The unusual stubby gear selector works well.
Row two has about as much room as conventional hatchbacks of the same wheelbase. Since the battery pack is low in the floor, cargo space is also quite good. The only thing intruding is the long Bose audio sound box.
The charge port includes a 440-volt fast-charge socket, and the port is nose-mounted. The central location means it’s easy to charge the car from either side, depending on where the power source is.
It takes more than a day to fully charge the Leaf on conventional household current. Most owners will install a 240-volt line for overnight charging.
Driving manners are quite good and the Leaf does not feel underpowered.
So, for the 2018 Nissan Leaf SL, I say thumbs up to the improved range, improved styling, and a roomy interior; thumbs down to no telescoping steering column.
The as-reviewed sticker is $38,510.