2021 Nissan Leaf: A Trim Comparison

The Nissan Leaf is growing strong. Long gone is the futuristic styling with the bulging bug eyes at the front. Unless you looked carefully at the badging, you might think this is simply another run-of-the-mill hatchback cruising down the road.

Comparing the Nissan Leaf Trims

More conventional styling, small footprint, and great price point have made the Leaf a very capable city car. It has also made it the world’s best-selling electric vehicle of all time. So let’s break down these different trims and what’s included at their individual price points.

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Previous versions of the Leaf focused specifically on city driving. Its smaller size meant that it had a smaller battery and, therefore, a smaller total range. But all that changed in 2019. Now each trim level has a “Plus” version that ups the battery pack from a 40 kWh size to a 62 kWh size. That puts the Leaf’s range into the same ballpark as competitors like the Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3.

S

The 2021 Nissan Leaf S is the cheapest trim you can purchase, with a starting MSRP of $31,620. That’s actually a cheaper starting price than previous years. The base version of the Leaf comes with a 40 kWh battery pack. According to EPA testing, it’s capable of traveling about 150 miles on a single charge. While that’s more than enough for daily commutes and errands, it falls much shorter than other competitors’ standard ranges.

Some EVs with longer range include the Hyundai Kona Electric (258 miles), the Chevrolet Bolt (238 miles), and the Tesla Model 3 (220 miles). While these competitors have non-luxury pricing like the Nissan Leaf, they all land around a starting MSRP of $40,000. The standard Leaf, on the other hand, is just under $10K less than that.

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With the Leaf S, you’ll also get a 6.6 kW onboard charger and a portable trickle-charge cable in addition to the usual charge port. The Leaf S trim has 16-inch steel wheels and comes with a tire repair kit, just in case something happens while you’re out-and-about. Its standard features include a NissanConnect infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen display, four speakers, a USB port, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto,  and Bluetooth. You’ll also get cloth seating, proximity keyless entry and automatic climate control.

The Nissan leaf also offers several key safety features. There’s, of course, a review camera, as well as rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist. You’ll also find pedestrian detection to be quite useful given that running over pedestrians is probably the number one rule of the road. Automatic emergency braking, rear door alert and automatic high-beam headlights help eliminate human error.

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S Plus

For EV drivers with range anxiety, the 2021 Nissan Leaf now offers “Plus” versions with larger battery packs and longer range. With a starting MSRP of $38,220, the Leaf S Plus has a 62 kWh battery pack that lasts for an EPA-estimated 226 miles before needing a recharge. This is much closer to the competitors mentioned above while also remaining the least expensive option of the bunch.

The Leaf S Plus also comes with DC quick charging capability. New Level 3 DC quick charging stations can regenerate 80% of battery life in as little as 45 min. The Leaf S Plus also  Otherwise, the Leaf S and the Leaf S Plus are dimensionally and aesthetically similar. However, the S Plus generates 214 horsepower, which is a significant power upgrade.

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SV

The 2021 Nissan Leaf SV offers plenty more in this upgraded trim level. The Leaf SV starts at $34,910. The vehicle features a 50-kW quick charge port, so you can get back on the road a lot sooner. There are fog lights, adaptive cruise control, heated outside mirrors and navigation included.

Interior luxury additions featured in this trim are a heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats and a six-speaker stereo system.For another $2,000, you can add a ProPilot assist system, along with a surround-view parking camera system and driver attention alert.

SV Plus

Similar to the upgrades found on the previous trim, the Leaf SV Plus adds a larger lithium-ion battery for a greater range. Most other features are carried over from the SV model.

As before, “Plus” versions upgrade the battery pack to a 62 kWh configuration. On the SV Plus trim, this is good for 215 miles per charge. That’s a little bit less than the Leaf S Plus but still within striking range of other competitors. Otherwise, it carries over the majority of the standard features from the standard SV trim. The starting MSRP is $40,470.

SL Plus

The Leaf SL Plus starts at $43,920 and features the upgraded 62 kWh battery pack with 215 miles of range. It also includes the ProPilot Assist, a surround-view parking camera system, and driver attention alert. The higher price tag provides additional features like LED headlights, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and leather upholstery. Enjoy the ultimate audio immersion with a seven-speaker Bose premium audio system.

(Featured image via Nissan)

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