Last year, I drove the Tesla Model 3 in several different versions. I also sampled an updated version of the Nissan Leaf.
The Leaf has been in the electric-vehicle market for longer, but the Model 3 was among the best cars I drove in all of 2018.
I recently tested a new, longer-range version of the Leaf, the Leaf SL Plus.
You can buy the Model 3 and the Leaf for around $40,000, so I decided to compare the cars.
The Tesla Model 3 is better, but the Leaf Plus has a lot going for it.
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Nissan beat Tesla to market with a practical, all-electric vehicle when in 2010 it launched the Leaf.
Tesla caught up, but with the expensive Model S sedan.
The arrival of the Model 3 in 2017 signaled a new era. Now, consumers could choose between the proven Leaf and the stunning new Model 3; the Model 3 had better performance and longer range, but the Leaf was a known quantity.
This year, I tested a longer-range version of the Leaf — the Leaf SL Plus — and was impressed. So I thought I’d compare it with the Model 3.
Here’s how the cars stack up:
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Here’s the 2019 Nissan Leaf SL Plus! Looking sharp in “Deep Pearl Blue.”
Read the review.
Pretty much the same Deep Pearl Blue as the Leaf that was a Business Insider Car of the Year finalist in 2018. That car had a single electric motor, producing 147 horsepower, a 40-kWh battery pack, and delivered 151 miles of range on a full charge.
The SL Plus trim level has a 62 kilowatt-hour battery. The larger pack adds roughly 70 miles of range compared to the standard Leaf’s 151-mile battery.
The Leaf is the top-selling EV globally, which makes sense as the car has been around since 2010. Over 300,000 have been sold.
The SL trim level is the top-of-the-line version. That’s why my test car cost $44,000. The base Leaf, with a smaller battery a less range, starts at under $30,000.
The goal when the Leaf was launched was for the Japanese automaker to embrace a “zero emission” future. It hasn’t quite worked out that way, but the company is making progress, and Leaf is still with us.
Hatchback silhouettes aren’t typically associated with automotive aggression, and EVs tend to project a mostly virtuous vibe. But the Leaf’s fascia is rather bold.
The 2019 Leaf, like the second-generation 2018 car, is much sleeker than the original. However, we’re talking about a practical hatchback here, so let’s not get too excited.
Aerodynamics play a role in increasing EV range, so while the hatch design favors utility, the Leaf’s front end has been engineered for airflow: the car has a 0.28 drag coefficient.
The LED headlights are a standout feature.
Overall, the Leaf projects a fairly European identity. That perhaps has turned off some US customers, who have basically abandoned small vehicles in favor of large SUVs and pickups.
The Leaf’s “Light …read more
Source:: Businessinsider – Finance