Nissan’s iconic best-selling LEAF turns ten this year. And some say a car launched in 2010 is passed it, and in spite of all the updates and upgrades through the years, it is an autumn LEAF that has to fall.
Not so, said Nissan. This is a spring LEAF, new to the season and full of life. The 2020 Nissan LEAF has just budded in the big Northern Hemisphere markets. Although not here yet, we can at least look at what has changed.
For 2020, every model in the range gets extra features as standard equipment. Its safety and driver-assist features now include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear automatic braking, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, forward collision warning and high beam assist.
Also added are the driver and front passenger knee airbags and rear seat-mounted outboard side-impact airbags. In short, the full help-you-drive/keep-you-safe Nissan toolkit.
The LEAF S and SV models now boast the 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and all models have as standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The S model was even upgraded to include driver alertness monitoring and a 360-degree camera system.
The 2020 Nissan LEAF is available in five models, the S, SV, SV Plus and SL Plus.
The S and SV have a 40kWh battery pack that generates 110kW and 320Nm of torque and a range of 240km. The Plus models have a 62kWh battery giving you 160kW and 339Nm, and a range of 346km to 364km, depending on the trim level.
All the new LEAF models come with a 100kW quick charge port that lets you charge at DC fast-charging stations, taking about 45 minutes to reach an 80% charge. Most cars are mostly used in a daily commute and seldom even approaches the battery limit. The LEAF can be effortlessly charged overnight at home using your AC power. You can even set a timer to take advantage of if and when your electricity provider gives price breaks to certain hours.
The Plus model LEAFs come standard with features you would expect in an upmarket car. These include heated front seats and steering wheel, eight-way power-adjustable driver seat, seven-speaker energy-efficient Bose audio, LED headlights, four USB ports, navigation, intelligent cruise control and satellite radio.
The LEAF is fun to drive, the eerie silence loudly proclaiming that you are cruising with no petrol and only a modest bump in your electricity consumption. The international 2020 LEAF is not yet here, but the South African model is. Why don’t you have a look at the delightful local Nissan LEAF?