2022 Nissan LEAF

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The Nissan LEAF returns in a big way for model year 2022. Not only does this latest iteration feature a significantly lower starting price than the outgoing model, but it also gets a standard fast-charger, and the SV Plus trim level receives the equipment from the Technology Package as standard fare. The ’22 LEAF still boasts the same excellent driving range and spacious, tech-laden interior as before, but with those notable upgrades it’s able to contend with some of the bigger and more expensive names in the EV segment (we’re talking about you, Tesla). So, for the budget-conscious driver who’s had their eyes peeled for an accessible alternative-fuel vehicle, the ’22 LEAF is certainly worth checking out.

Versions, Trims, and Powertrains

The Nissan LEAF is an all-electric hatchback made in two versions (LEAF and LEAF Plus) and three trim levels (S, SV, and SL). The SL is sold exclusively as a Plus model, while the Plus packaging is an optional upgrade for the S and SV. The regular LEAFs come with a 40-kWh battery that gives 149 miles of all-electric range. With the LEAF Plus you’ll get a 62-kWh battery that provides 226 miles of range in the S and 215 miles in the SV and SL. The LEAF Plus models also have a more powerful electric motor that makes 214 hp; the regular LEAF’s motor produces 147 hp.

Standard and Available Equipment

The S trim is nicely equipped with the likes of automatic headlights, an illuminated charge port, automatic climate control, a 12-volt power outlet, four USB ports, keyless entry, push-button start, and a 60/40-split fold-down rear seatback. The SV is more loaded, getting fog lights, NissanConnect Services (which allows you to keep tabs on your vehicle from your smartphone), heated side mirrors, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats, and a more efficient hybrid heater system. A Technology Package is available for the regular LEAF SV but is standard in the LEAF SV Plus. It includes ProPilot Assist (adaptive cruise control with lane centering), a power-adjustable driver’s seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with a built-in garage door opener, LED headlights and daytime running lights, an electronic parking brake, a surround-view camera system, and driver attention warning. The SL adds a cargo cover and leather upholstery.

Technology for Safety and Infotainment

Every 2022 LEAF has the Nissan Safety Shield 360 bundle of advanced driver aids. In the S, that means forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, reverse automaking braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, rear parking sensors, rear cross-traffic alert, and blind-spot intervention. The SV’s package also includes adaptive cruise control, and with the Technology Package, it gets a surround-view camera system, ProPilot Assist, and driver attention warning.

On the infotainment front, the S gets a unit with an 8-inch touchscreen, voice recognition, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio streaming, and a four-speaker audio system. The SV gains satellite radio, a six-speaker audio system, and integrated navigation, while the SL will please music lovers with a premium seven-speaker Bose sound system.

LEAF vs. Chevy Bolt

More and more drivers are embracing the conveniences of electric vehicle ownership. One of the most popular EVs is the Nissan LEAF, which is back for 2022 with a lower starting price and some new standard features. While the LEAF might well be in a league of its own, it still must contend with another EV stalwart: the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt. Despite the Bolt EV’s valiant effort to outshine the LEAF, it has a difficult time matching up to its rival’s all-around appeal. Let’s take a closer look below at how Nissan’s latest LEAF comes out on top.

Pricing and Features

Many people assume that because a vehicle is electric it will wear a hefty price tag, but that’s not so: the LEAF has a starting MSRP of just $27,400 while the Bolt EV’s base MSRP is $31,995. The LEAF gets some standard active safety features too, many of which are optional on the Bolt EV – meaning the buyer has to pay an added cost for them. The LEAF’s standard driver-assist technologies include reverse automatic braking, blind-spot intervention, intelligent lane intervention, and rear cross-traffic alert. While the Bolt EV has similar safety aids, its rear park assist, blind-spot, and lane departure systems lack intervention, and they’re only included in the $495 Driver Confidence Package and the range-topping 2LT trim level, which carries an MSRP of $35,195.

The LEAF SV – which has an MSRP of $28,800 – can be ordered with a $1,490 Technology Package that issues an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a surround-view camera system, and driver attention warning, among other niceties. Even with this add-on, the LEAF still comes out less expensive than the base Bolt EV, which doesn’t even have those features. To get the auto-dimming rearview mirror in the Bolt EV, you’ll need to order the $945 Comfort and Convenience Package; for a surround-view camera system, you’ll need to opt for the 2LT trim level. The LEAF SV’s standard equipment includes heated front seats, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, and adaptive cruise control. These features are more expensive to get in the Bolt EV, since they’re either bundled in a package or included in the costly 2LT trim level.

Performance and Range

Unlike the Bolt EV, the LEAF is eligible for two different batteries. The first is a standard 40-kWh unit that generates 147 hp, and the second is a 62-kWh that’s issued in the LEAF Plus trims. This larger battery allows for a punchier 214 hp. The Bolt EV comes with a 65-kWh battery which, although it’s larger, is slightly less powerful than the LEAF’s available battery since it only makes 200 hp. It should also be noted that the LEAF Plus models can travel up to 226 miles on a single charge, which ought to be plenty sufficient for daily commutes to the office or for running errands across town. Although the Bolt EV has a longer range (259 miles), this difference should be negligible considering all the other ways the newest LEAF rises above the competition.