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2020 Nissan LEAF

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Expert Rating
3.5 (Good)

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

Select a Trim
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2020 S 4dr Hatchback
most popular
Price:   -  From $31,600
2020 SV 4dr Hatchback Price:   -  From $34,190
2020 S PLUS 4dr Hatchback Price:   -  From $38,200
2020 SV PLUS 4dr Hatchback Price:   -  From $39,750
2020 SL PLUS 4dr Hatchback Price:   -  From $43,900


What's New

The 2020 Nissan LEAF receives some noteworthy changes. Most notably, the Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite of active safety aids is standard across the lineup, bringing front and rear automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and more.

Additionally, the base model receives an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, bettering the formerly-standard 5-inch unit that lacked smartphone integration. Driver and front passenger knee air bags and rear seat-mounted outboard side air bars have been added.

Choosing Your Nissan LEAF

The Nissan LEAF is available in three trims: S, SV, and SL. Pricing starts at $35,115 including destination for the base S and climbs to $44,825 for the SL.

Engine Choices

Every LEAF is fully electric, but there are two battery options. The S and SV trims start with a 40-kWh lithium-ion battery, while the S, SV, and SL can be had with a 62-kWh battery and are branded "PLUS" by Nissan. The S PLUS is $6,600 more expensive than the standard S, while the SV PLUS is $5,560 more than its counterpart.

The less powerful battery is paired with a 110-kW electric motor that makes 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. While the EPA hasn't released official numbers for the 2020 LEAF yet, last year's model with this setup got 150 miles of range.

LEAF PLUS models with the 62-kWh battery feature a 160-kW electric motor with 214 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque. The base S with this setup gets 226 miles of range, while the SV and SL can go 215 miles.

Both versions feature a 6.6-kW onboard charger, but the PLUS gets a 100-kW quick charge port.

Nissan’s e-Pedal, which is found on all versions, renders the brake pedal largely redundant, harnessing braking power and supporting one-pedal driving around town.

Passenger and Cargo Capacity

The LEAF has a five-person seating capacity. It's hatchback shape offers up 23.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat, or 30 cubic feet with it folded down.

Nissan LEAF

Safety Features

The introduction of standard Nissan Safety Shield 360 across the LEAF range means every model has a wealth of standard safety features. Front and rear automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, and automatic high beams are included.

Flagship SL models get a surround-view camera system, a driver alertness monitor, and ProPILOT Assist as standard. The latter brings advanced versions of adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist for autonomous in-lane freeway driving.

These three are available on the SV through the Technology Package ($2,000, or $1,600 for PLUS models), which also includes many other features.


All LEAF models receive an 8-inch touchscreen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, satellite radio, four USB ports, and a four-speaker audio system.

SV trims benefit from navigation, voice recognition, HD radio, and two extra audio speakers. The SL gets a seven-speaker Bose audio system as standard – something that's not even an option lower in the range.

Nissan LEAF

S - From $32,525

The base LEAF S comes with many safety features, but its specifications otherwise look a little sparse. It rides on 16-inch steel wheels, with manual front seats, and cloth upholstery. The headlights are automatic, there’s automatic temperature control, and push-button start is standard, however.

SV - From $35,115

SV models ride on 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and have front fog lights. The driver benefits from a leather-wrapped steering wheel and navigation.

It’s possible to add an All-Weather Package to SV models for $900, which bundles heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, heated outside mirrors, a hybrid heater system, and rear underseat heat ducts.

The $2,000 Technology Package ($1,600 on PLUS) brings an eight-way power driver's seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, LED headlights, an electric parking brake, a portable charging cable, a surround-view camera, a driver alertness monitor, and ProPILOT Assist.

SL - From $44,825

Available exclusively with the 62-kWh battery, the SL trim upgrades in many areas. Standard fare includes leather upholstery, an eight-way power driver's seat, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. On the outside, it features 17-inch wheels, LED headlights, and heated side mirrors with turn signal indicators,

Compare LEAF Trims Side-By-Side

CarsDirect Tip

The near-$45,000 cost of the 2020 Nissan LEAF SL makes it hard to recommend, yet the SV doesn't offer many upgrades over the S model despite the $2,590 price jump. We'd recommend sticking with the base S model unless your budget permits moving up to the range-topping SL.

author image
Automotive Editor
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Expert Review

  • Zippy drive
  • Modern features
  • Strong range
  • Cramped rear seat
  • Front-wheel drive only
  • Interior trim is only OK
Expert Rating
3.5 (Good)

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

author image
Automotive Editor

More normal than ever. Electric cars once flaunted their rarity, embracing futuristic designs and loud styling. As electric powertrains become more common, the cars that bear them have drifted toward the mainstream, and the 2020 Nissan LEAF is a prime example.

In our eyes, it’s not a bad thing. The Nissan LEAF looks more normal than the bulbous models of years past, wearing Nissan’s corporate grille on a more conventional shape. Aside from the charging port and badging, you might not know that it’s electric at all. The body is dressed up with a floating roof and clever black panels, which add appeal without distracting.

The features are mainstream, too. For 2020, every LEAF comes with a full suite of active safety features and a smartphone-compatible infotainment system. Especially in long-range PLUS form, family buyers might genuinely consider the LEAF a contender.

More fun, too. As the styling grows more conservative, the handling has grown less so. The LEAF is far from a sports car, but it makes the best of all the instantly-available electric torque. It’s a heavy car, but the low center of gravity helps keep it planted in the corners.

The powertrain comes in two forms, with 147 horsepower in the standard LEAF and 214 hp in the LEAF PLUS. The PLUS's larger battery pack also extends its range, which jumps to 226 miles against the LEAF's 150, according to the EPA. Either number will drop about 10% in cold weather.

In either form, the LEAF is perky around town and manageable on the highway. We prefer the PLUS powertrain for its range and power, but the base model is competent enough.

Both versions come with several drive modes, including one that turns the car into a one-pedal driver by pulling energy when the accelerator is lifted. This is the most efficient way to drive the car, and it’s more fun than you’d think.

Nissan LEAF

Back to the basics. The LEAF's powertrain may be futuristic, but its interior is Economy Car 101. The LEAF never feels like a luxury car, even in upper trims. The base trim is as basic as they come, and the hard plastics feel cheap in places.

Upfront, the seats are supportive and the cabin spacious. The rear seats themselves are less accommodating. An upright seating position helps make the most of the available space, but 33.5 inches of rear legroom will leave taller passengers cramped.

One bonus of an electric powertrain is the lack of noise – this is a quiet ride. The trunk is also generous, with 23.6 cubic feet available behind the seats. That’s strong even for a hatchback, and the rear seats fold for extra room.

Electric economy. With a starting price not too far past $30,000 before incentives, the LEAF remains among the most affordable electric cars on the market. Luxury entrants from BMW and Tesla are far more expensive, but even rivals like the Hyundai Ioniq Electric and Chevrolet Bolt EV start well above the Nissan.

The base trim still gets the 8-inch touchscreen, but not much else. We like the LEAF SV, which adds adaptive cruise control and 17-inch wheels along with opening up a few useful options. We like it even better in LEAF PLUS form, where a fast-charger is included along with the extra batteries.

Nissan is unusual among mainstream manufacturers in offering a driving assistant that approaches autonomy. Their ProPILOT Assist system comes on the upper trims, and while it’s helpful, it’s not as polished as software from the likes of Tesla. Don’t expect to zone out on the ride home.

Final thoughts. The Nissan LEAF (and its ilk) are the future, and we’re glad to see it becoming more approachable and affordable. The new look is handsome, and the technology is up to modern standards. It isn’t as luxurious or spacious as some competitors, but if you’re not trying to spend up, that’s a good thing.

Especially in long-range PLUS form, the 2020 Nissan LEAF is as versatile as any hatchback on the road. If you’re ready to make the leap to electric, we recommend checking one out.

Check prices for the 2020 Nissan LEAF »

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Specs & Features

Overall Crash Safety Rating
Engine - Horsepower/Torque
147 HP / 236.0 ft.lbs. / @ 3,283
1-spd auto
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
123 / 99 / 112 Mpge
Passenger Capacity
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Horsepower/Torque
147 HP / 236 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
123 / 99 / 112 Mpge
4-wheel Disc
Front Suspension
Rear Suspension
Semi-independent Torsion Beam Beam
Spare Tire And Wheel
Fuel Tank
Recommended Fuel Type
Average Cost To Fill Tank
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
30.0 Cu.ft.
Passenger Volume
92 Cu.ft.
Exterior Length
176.4 "
Exterior Width
70.5 "
Exterior Height
61.4 "
Front Headroom
41.2 "
Rear Headroom
37.3 "
Front Legroom
42.1 "
Rear Legroom
33.5 "
Front Shoulder Room
54.3 "
Rear Shoulder Room
52.5 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
3,538 Lbs.
Wheel Base
106 "
Turning Radius
17.4 '
Exterior Features
Door Count
4 Doors
16.0 " Steel
Clearcoat Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Power Remote
Front Body-colored With Chrome Insert
Grille Moldings
Rear Spoiler
Interior Features
Passenger Capacity
Seat Trim
Front Seat Type
Heated Front Seats
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
Front Armrests
Rear Armrests
Rear Seats
60-40 Bench
Radio & Infotainment
Siriusxm Am/fm/satellite, Seek-scan
Radio Steering Wheel Controls
Apple Car Play
Android Auto
Bluetooth w/ Hands-Free Connectivity
Convenience Features
Steering Wheel Type
Telescopic Tilt
Climate Control
Automatic Air Conditioning
Cruise Control
With Steering Wheel Controls
Sun Roof
Rearview Mirror
One Touch Open Window
Tinted Windows
Vanity Mirrors
Remote Keyless Entry
Keyfob (all Doors)
Power Outlets
Safety Features
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Seat Mounted
Knee Airbag
Driver And Passenger
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Seat Mounted
Rear Side Airbag
Rear Side-impact Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Front And Rear
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Intelligent Forward Collision Warning With Aeb Forward Collision Mitigation
Blind Spot Sensor
Intelligent Blind Spot Intervention Blind Spot
Lane Departure Warning
Intelligent Lane Intervention (i-li) Lane Departure
Autonomous Cruise Control
Pedestrian Detection
Pedestrian Automatic Emergency Braking (paeb) Front Pedestrian Detection Prevention
Driver Attention Alert
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
High Beam Assist (hba) Auto High-beam
Adaptive Headlights
Parking Sensors
Security Systems
Security System
Panic Alarm
Ignition Disable
Bumper To Bumper Months Miles
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Major Components Months
60 Months / 60,000 Miles
Included Maintenance Months
Roadside Assistance Months
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Corrosion Perforation
60 Months / Unlimited Miles
Accessories Months

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