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When Nissan introduced its dedicated electric Leaf almost a decade ago, it wasn’t the first EV of the modern era, but it can be said to have kick-started the move to electric cars that’s now gained considerable impetus. It could be described as the first successful mass production EV and a vehicle that heralded a new era of what automotive marketing people like to call “electro-mobility.”


Now in its second generation, the Leaf has been refreshed and upgraded for the 2023 model year and the move is likely to give the product a useful boost. The second-generation model (introduced in 2017) marked a major update in styling and the car lost the “jelly bean” look of the first Leaf. The current car is very handsome from any angle and places the Leaf more in the mainstream of today’s most stylish 5-door hatchbacks. Exterior enhancements for 2023 are few but one feature everyone will see is an illuminated version of Nissan’s new logo. Inside, the car is impressively roomy, the designers having taken full advantage of the “wheel at each corner, flat floor” layout available to creators of EVs.



You can order your 2023 Leaf in three grade levels – Leaf SV, Leaf SV Plus and Leaf SL Plus. There’s also a choice of two batteries and the larger one gives the car a range of 363-km. While the top model does have an impressive spec sheet, most of the features buyers seek in an EV are standard on the SV entry-level variant. All versions have new 5-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels.



Basic power comes from a 110-kW electric motor backed up by a 40-kWh lithium-ion battery. Top trim levels get a 160-kW motor and a 60-kWh battery for increased power and range. The latter package provides 214-horsepower and the entry-level motor and battery, 147-horsepower. As is common with EVs, there’s just one transmission speed so this is more or less a “switch-and-go” vehicle.



Standard on the Leaf  SV is ProPILOT Assist, a hands-on driver assist system that combines Nissan's Intelligent Cruise Control and steering assist technologies. For stop and go traffic, ProPILOT Assist includes a stop and hold function that can bring the vehicle to a full stop, hold it in place and then bring the vehicle back up to speed when traffic starts moving again. This is all part of the quest by today’s automakers towards self-driving cars.


While most automakers now have a similar EV on offer, Nissan is one of very few that can claim a full ten years of market experience out there in the real world. The 2023 model incorporates a great deal of user knowhow and promises to be a worthwhile combination of performance, practicality, economy and fun. And best of all, your Nissan Leaf produces zero emissions.



BODY STYLE: 5-door hatchback

ENGINE: 110-kW electric motor, 147-horsepower. 160-kW motor optional

TRANSMISSION: 1-speed, fixed gear ratio

PERFORMANCE: Zero to 100 km/h in approx. 7.5-secs

RANGE: 363-km, depending on battery option

PRICE: $37,498 base MSRP

Categories: Drive News, Nissan, EV's, 2023 Car Reviews, New Car, Car Reviews

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