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2018 Nissan Leaf: First Look

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New 2017 Nissan Leaf S
New 2017 Nissan Leaf
MSRP $34,005
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author photo by Brian Moody September 2017

Nissan's groundbreaking EV for the masses gets a serious update. The 2018 Nissan Leaf is essentially a new car, although some of the car's most basic mechanical bits are similar to the current Leaf. Let's just call it what it is: To the average person on the street and to most shoppers, this is a new Leaf that bears no resemblance to the original model.

And that look is probably one of the best things this car has going for it. In some ways, it looks more normal, and yet there are still details that give it a better-than-economy-car feel. The headlight treatment, grille, wheels, rear roof spoiler and rear pillar treatment (similar to the Maxima) are all little things that add up to a car that no longer looks odd but stands out for all the right reasons.

The interior is improved as well -- it also has a more premium look and feel than the original Leaf. Available features now include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as power seats. Nissan also says the new car is quieter and has improved handling.

The big news is what Nissan calls a 150-mile real-world driving range. That's a 40 percent increase. The 2018 Nissan Leaf is also quicker and has more charging options and a lower price. When you compare the various trim levels of the new Leaf to the old, the prices are actually lower. The most dramatic is the midgrade Leaf SV, which sees a roughly $1,700 price drop but now has the added benefit of smartphone connectivitiy and adaptive cruise control. Nissan laid this all out on a huge screen highlighting the increased value.

There are a host of new driving-assist technologies. Here's how Nissan describes that new tech:

"The all-new LEAF features two new intelligent driving technologies in the North American marketplace. ProPILOT Assist driver assistance technology, used during single-lane highway driving, helps makes a journey easier, less stressful and more relaxing.

The LEAF's revolutionary e-Pedal technology transforms the driving experience. It lets drivers start, accelerate, decelerate and stop by increasing or decreasing the pressure applied to the accelerator. When the accelerator is fully released, regenerative and friction brakes are applied automatically, bringing the LEAF to a complete stop. The car holds its position, even on steep uphill slopes, until the accelerator is pressed again. The reactiveness of e-Pedal helps maximize driving pleasure."

Look for the new Nissan Leaf to go on sale in early 2018. If this sounds like the perfect car for you, Nissan has a special page for you to reserve your 2018 Leaf.

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New 2017 Nissan Leaf S
New 2017 Nissan Leaf
MSRP $34,005
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2018 Nissan Leaf: First Look - Autotrader