The Nissan Leaf saw a huge improvement when it entered its second generation in the 2018 model year. It came with thoroughly revised styling, a longer electric range and some interesting new technology, but some of that technology didn’t work quite as well as we hoped it would.
While we appreciate the big improvement over the previous-generation Leaf, we were annoyed by a few things in our 2018 tester. For example, the Leaf is now available with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which we love to see, but these features don’t work quite the same as they do in most other cars with this tech. Our editor, Dwight, noticed that in order to make CarPlay work, you have to plug in your iPhone via USB, select the smartphone connect app on the Leaf’s infotainment screen and disconnect and reconnect the iPhone. In most other cars, you just plug in your iPhone and CarPlay starts working. Luckily, this annoyance can be turned off by going into the car’s settings and selecting the “always start CarPlay” option. It’s just odd that that isn’t already the default.
Our other editor, Ben, had a different issue with the Leaf’s radio. Occasionally when listening to SiriusXM satellite radio, the car would play the station it was on but wouldn’t display the information of the station or the song. It also wouldn’t let Ben change the station. It was fixed by simply turning the radio off and back on again, but it was still a notable hiccup.
Ben also pointed out that the Leaf’s armrest was annoyingly small. It’s narrow and it doesn’t extend forward far enough for most people to comfortably rest their arm, which kind of defeats the purpose of having an armrest at all. Granted, this is a compact car and most compact cars have pretty small armrests, but the one in the Leaf was subpar even for its segment.
None of these minor things are enough to be a deal-breaker for the new Nissan Leaf, however. Ben especially loved the much-improved styling and pointed out how many people commented on how much better the second-gen model looks over the first-gen Leaf. We all also like it as a strong value proposition in the growing EV segment. If you can get past the minor annoyances, the Leaf is a more attractive offering than ever. Find a Nissan Leaf for sale
Check out our 2018 Nissan Leaf New Car Review