Nissan Motor Corporation debuted the 2023 model year versions of the LEAF today for the US market, sharing updated exteriors to the LEAF S and LEAF SV Plus – the only EV trims of the long-tenured EV to be sold when they arrive this summer.
The LEAF is Nissan’s lone BEV offering for sale, despite its reign as one of the longest-running electric models in the US, debuting back in 2010. In fact, the Nissan LEAF held the title as the best-selling plug-in EV for years, but times have certainly changed.
Despite its slim BEV fleet, Nissan has recently shown a larger commitment to future electrification. The Japanese automaker has a second EV on the horizon with the Ariya and has joined the UN’s “Race to Zero” campaign, striving to be 100% electric by the early 2030s. This strategy includes the launch of 15 BEVs over the course of the next eight years.
This past February, Nissan shared cosmetic updates to its 2022 LEAF models for the EU and UK including new alloy wheel options and exterior branding. At the time, there was no mention of these (limited) changes coming to the US market, but we now see many of them on the 2023 Nissan LEAFs that were just announced.
That being said, the US fleet of 2023 Nissan LEAF offerings is beginning to dwindle stateside.
2023 Nissan LEAF on sale in US this summer in just two trims
The official US newsroom of Nissan Motor Corporation shared details of the 2023 LEAF lineup coming to the United States this summer. While the exterior will see a revamp similar to the 2022 models currently launching overseas, not much else has changed compared to previous years.
The biggest takeaway is Nissan’s slimming down of LEAF trims for the 2023 model year, dropping the LEAF SV, S PLUS, and SL PLUS in favor of the LEAF S and SV PLUS only. According to the automaker, these two trims reflect the most customer-requested features and offer the best value.
The LEAF S has long been lowest-priced option for US consumers, while the SV PLUS has been the second most expensive. Here are some of the new features available on both trims of the 2023 Nissan LEAF:
- Refreshed front grill, bumper molding, and headlights that feature a new black inner finisher
- Nissan badge is now illuminated and has been updated with new brand design.
- The shapes of the tire deflectors at all four corners, rear under diffuser, and rear spoiler have all been modified for better aerodynamics.
- New Nissan badge on steering wheel and new start-up video on instrument panel screen
- Black cloth standard on both trims – Gray finishers for LEAF S and gloss black finishers for LEAF SV Plus
- 2023 LEAF SV PLUS only – New five-spoke, 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels
Additionally, Nissan’s ProPILOT Assist comes standard on the 2023 LEAF SV PLUS. ProPILOT combines Nissan’s Intelligent Cruise Control and steering assist technologies into a hands-on driver assist system. The system also includes a stop-and-hold function that can bring the LEAF to a complete stop, then back up to speed when traffic starts moving again.
2023 Nissan LEAF pricing
While Nissan has not shared specific numbers for US pricing of its 2023 model year LEAFs, it has said they will have similar MSRPs to the 2022 models, which saw price slashes last summer. For perspective, the 2022 LEAF S starts at an MSRP of $27,400, while the LEAF SV PLUS currently sells for $35,400, thanks to its 62 kWh battery pack compared to 40 kWh on the S.
According to Nissan, those battery capacities will remain the same for the 2023 LEAFs (again). The (semi) updated LEAF will make its debut at the NY Auto Show ahead of sales in the United States this summer.
Poor LEAF. This long-running model will forever be engrained in the history of early EV adoption, and it’s sad to watch it slowly drift into obscurity among a growing talent pool of competitors that are bigger, sexier, and provide better range.
The Nissan LEAF is still one of the best deals in autos, EV or not, as long as you know what you’re buying. Cosmetic updates be damned, these 2023 LEAFs have virtually no performance upgrades compared to the year prior, or the year before that, or the year before that, and so on.
Not to mention the CHAdeMO fast charging port, which is becoming a plug that’s harder to find than a 2014 Toyota RAV EV. Nissan plans to switch to CCS ports beginning with the Ariya, but it’s apparently not worth it for the LEAF.
Add the fact that Nissan is eradicating three of its five current LEAF trims for 2023, and you have further evidence that this vehicle’s days are numbered – at least in its current form.
The Nissan LEAF is and always will be a staple in EV adoption, and it still makes for a wonderful first EV. But in an EV world that has taken off down the road that the LEAF helped pave, how long before it’s time to retire?
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