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2018 Nissan Leaf: First Look

If you’re looking for information on a newer Nissan Leaf, we’ve published an updated review: 2019 Nissan Leaf Review

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. See the 2018 Nissan Leaf models for sale near you

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."

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Brian Moody
Brian Moody is an author specializing in transportation, automotive, electric cars, future vehicles as well as new, used, and certified pre-owned advice. He also specializes in liking ridiculous cars like the Buick Reatta, Studebaker Lark, and the GM A-Body wagons from the late 80s and mid-90s. Why? You'd have to ask him. Brian graduated from Cal State Long Beach and has been creating written and video content about cars and transportation for more than 15 years. Brian has contributed to such outlets as Autotrader, The Huffington Post, Kelley Blue Book, and MarketWatch.

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