• 2013 Leaf adds energy efficient Bose audio
  • Audio system optional on Leaf SV, SL
  • Uses smaller amp, lighter components

Nissan is adding a more efficient stereo to its all-electric Leaf hatchback for the new model year. The automaker recently announced the 2013 Nissan Leaf will offer a stereo from the Bose Energy Efficient audio series.

According to Bose, the energy-efficient stereo is 30 percent smaller and 40 percent lighter than the system that's currently in the Leaf. It also uses half the energy. That should make Leaf drivers feel better about turning on the radio -- even if they have range anxiety.

Several factors make the new stereo more efficient than today's system. One is a smaller amplifier, which Nissan and Bose say runs cooler and uses less power than traditional amps. The new stereo is also far lighter than the current one, which means it doesn't add as much to the Leaf's curb weight. But, despite the smaller amp and lighter speakers, Bose says sound quality isn't compromised.

Unfortunately for energy-minded audiophiles, the new stereo isn't standard on the 2013 Leaf. Shoppers who want the feature will first have to get a mid-level SV or SL model, as the stereo isn't offered on the base-level Leaf S. Then they'll have to pay $1,050 extra for the hatchback's Premium Package, which also includes Nissan's handy Around View Monitor camera system.

Around View, which uses several cameras to give drivers a clear look at their surroundings, is also a new feature for 2013. Other new items for the new model year include available 17-inch alloy wheels, leather seats and a 6.6 kW charger. The charger, which is standard on the 2013 Leaf SV and SL, nearly cuts charge times in half. That means a Leaf can be fully recharged in around four hours using a 220-volt charger.

The 2013 Leaf starts at $29,650 with shipping. The mid-level SV model starts at $32,670, while the upscale Leaf SL starts at $35,690. The 2013 Leaf is in dealers now.

What it means to you: The Bose Energy Efficient audio system lets drivers enjoy a more efficient stereo in the 2013 Nissan Leaf without compromising sound quality.

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Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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