Improved aerodynamics and better regenerative braking help boost the driving range. A new S trim level has very few options but allows the 2013 Leaf to slip below the $30,000 barrier.
Sales may not be living up to Nissan’s optimistic goals, but the Leaf is proving that many drivers can live with an EV on a day-to-day basis. It can perform like a normal car, exhibiting brisk acceleration from its instantly available 187 lb-ft of torque. To attract even more buyers, the 2013 Leaf has a lower entry price and an S trim level that slips below the $30,000 mark. It does without navigation and cruise control and rides on steel wheels. SV and SL models get an updated infotainment system with Pandora Internet radio, and a more efficient heater. The car is now rated at 75 miles of battery range per charge, up from 73 miles in prior years. Fully charging the battery still takes twenty-one hours on a household 120-volt outlet, but a new onboard charger cuts the time to four hours with a dedicated 220-volt outlet. The lack of engine noise makes the Leaf extremely quiet, so much so that it has a sound generator to alert pedestrians to the car’s presence at low speeds. With seating for five and generous headroom, the Leaf is fairly roomy inside. Its hatchback design provides a decent amount of cargo space, and the rear seats fold to accommodate larger loads. The Leaf abounds with technology. LED headlights, push-button start, Bluetooth connectivity, and touch-screen navigation are all standard. If you can get over the fear of running out of juice, the Leaf is an outstanding car for short urban commutes.
Front, side, and side curtain air bags are standard, as are stability and traction control, ABS with brake assist, and a tire-pressure monitoring system.
- Nearly silent driving experience
- A usable all-electric
- Quick, smooth acceleration
You won't like:
- Limited driving range
- Long charging time
Key Competitors For The 2013 Nissan Leaf
- Chevrolet Volt
- Ford Focus Electric
- Mitsubishi i-MiEV
- Toyota Prius
Perfect for short, eco-friendly commutes.