Street Take a look at: 2019 Nissan Leaf 40kWh

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A Finest Purchase for a BEV with a Massive Asterisk

It’s been an extended highway for the Nissan Leaf. Launched in 2011, the Leaf was the primary mass-market all-electric car and, regardless of different EV upstarts making positive factors, the best-selling electrical automotive in historical past with greater than 450,00Zero offered worldwide. It’s received about each award for inexperienced vehicles, together with the World Inexperienced Automotive award twice.

The 40 kWh Leaf is again

In 2018, Nissan delivered a completely up to date and improved Leaf that included a brand new 40 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery structure with extra energy, extra distinctive sturdiness, and vary. We examined a 2018 Leaf to see the way it did on a 526-mile spherical journey drive, and whereas the outcomes have been blended, general we felt it was an fulfilling and high quality car .

A Nice Automotive Carries On

For 2019, the Nissan Leaf 40 kWh continued with no apparent modifications, however with many small modifications which might be a fact-of-life with automobiles at the moment. Regardless that automobiles look the identical, and will price the identical or much less, there are often lots of of small enhancements that improve the general high quality or tweaks that enhance the driving expertise. The 2019 Nissan Leaf is not any exception. The vary is unchanged with an EPA score of 150 miles, and it’s the perfect BEV accessible for below $30,000.  

We wished to see how the 2019
model of the 40kWh Leaf stacked as much as the 2018 Leaf, so we requested Nissan to
present us with the latest model to test it out. They obliged and delivered
a Leaf SL full with ProPilot Help to our door.

2019 Nissan Leaf 40kWh
Contained in the 2019 Leaf carries on with little change

It’s onerous to see any
variations between the inside and exterior of a 2018 and 2019 Leaf. The
inside of the Leaf continues to be one of the spacious ones accessible for a
mid-priced BEV and leads the pack on the subject of cargo house.

The standard dashboard
and controls stay untouched from 2018. Many loved the quirky inside sprint
of the unique Leaf over the newer one, however it’s practical with an in depth
quantity of knowledge accessible to the motive force. The seats within the Leaf are constructed
round Nissan’s “Zero-G” seat structure and are adjustable sufficient
to be very snug for a variety of driver and passenger sizes. The 2019
Leaf can also be one of many quietest BEVs available on the market at the moment with inside cabin
noise of solely 62 dB at 65 mph. That’s Rolls Royce quiet, higher than different
BEVs costing twice as a lot. Improved door sealing, Michelin LRR tires,
wonderful aerodynamics and additional cabin insulation hold highway and wind noise at a
minimal.

2019 Nissan Leaf 40kWh
The Leaf is the house captain

In 2018 Nissan launched two
new driving aids for the Leaf—e-pedal, and ProPilot Help. The e-Pedal permits
for one pedal driving by integrating motor regeneration, friction brakes and
entrance security methods to handle braking and acceleration. It’s been described as
like driving a golf cart and doesn’t take any time in any respect to grasp.

ProPilot Help is Nissan’s
Degree 2 autonomous driving suite, very similar to Autopilot for the Tesla. It
contains adaptive cruise management, lane protecting help, blind-spot-assist and
ahead collision emergency braking, to call a number of. For 2019, ProPilot has been
improved with higher lane protecting help, and the adaptive cruise management can
higher deal with heavy visitors conditions. For instance, within the 2018 model, ProPilot
Help may get confused if a motorcyclist who was lane splitting would drive
by too quick or too shut. This may trigger the Leaf to begin to speed up to
match the pace of the motorbike solely to jam on the brakes as soon as the bike had
handed to keep away from hitting the automotive in entrance. For 2019, that conduct has been
mounted. How the adaptive cruise management accelerates and slows down in visitors is
extra refined, and arguably within the prime 5 L2 methods accessible at the moment.

Beneath
the Hood and Beneath the Ground

In 2018, the Leaf obtained a
new, extra highly effective 110-kilowatt AC synchronous electrical motor with 147
horsepower, up 37 % over the earlier mannequin, and extra torque, up 26
% at 236 pounds-feet. This offers the 40kWh Leaf a 0-60 time of round 7.4
seconds in comparison with the 9.0-10 seconds of earlier variations. This motor stays
unchanged for 2019 and is a really clean and compliant powertrain. The
transmission additionally stays as a single-speed reducer gear driving the entrance
wheels. This whole powertrain system stays unchanged for 2019.

2019 Nissan Leaf 40kWh
Beneath the hood the strong 2018 motor stays in identical

In 2018, the large information for the
Leaf was a brand new battery pack with a capability of 40 kWh (the actual worth was
round 39.5 kWh, and solely 37 or much less was accessible). The battery was additionally a lot
extra highly effective than earlier variations with output energy now at 110kW vs. 80kW in
the sooner automobiles.

That further energy carried over
to 2019 unchanged, with the brand new battery chemistry, construction, and module
format. Earlier variations of the Leaf’s battery used a lithium manganese oxide
cathode materials in a spinel construction. The brand new 40 kWh battery makes use of a lithium nickel
cobalt manganese oxide cathode in a layered construction. The battery nonetheless has
192 cells, however the module format of the 40kWh battery is new with 24 modules of
eight cells every vs. 48 modules of 4 cells every within the older 24 and 30 kWh
batteries.

A difficulty raised by some 2018 Leaf
homeowners is that the pack appears to run hotter than earlier variations of the Leaf
battery, and there was a priority that the brand new battery could also be extra liable to
degradation than the sooner variations of the 24 and 30 kWh batteries. This
appeared counter-intuitive, that the main producer of BEVs would make a
much less dependable model of their battery, so we reached out to Nissan for
clarification. We spoke with Owen Thunes, who’s Nissan’s senior supervisor for powertrain
administration and who has been concerned with the Leaf’s battery and motor improvement
since its earliest days.

2019 Nissan Leaf 40kWh
Nissan says the Leaf can deal with the warmth

When requested about why the brand new battery appeared to
run hotter than earlier variations and Thunes mentioned “One factor that try to be
conscious of is that the ability throughput into the 40kWh automotive is far increased than in
earlier automobiles. You’re really placing in additional power in a shorter quantity
of time than you do within the 30kWh or 24kWh battery that preceded it. Consequently,
it’s a a lot bigger power switch in the identical or much less time, so the enter load
to a thermal mass is increased. In the event you deal with the battery as a thermal mass,
there’s going to be a better load enter. So consequently, it might register as
extra of a temperature acquire to the battery itself. However the battery itself is designed
to handle it. From a chemistry standpoint, it’s constructed for that.”

Thunes went on to say “The underside line is that the chemistry and the
development of the 40kWh battery are designed in order that it could possibly deal with this further
energy and the additional warmth that was generated by it with none concern for
harm to the battery as a result of it’s too sizzling. The automotive will actively handle itself
to guarantee that it’s protected, and it’ll restrict as wanted to guard the
batteries each from short-term and longer-term concern. There’s additionally one other
distinction between the 40kWh battery and the older batteries that preceded it,
which is that the variety of cells per module is modified to eight within the 40kWh
battery. The 24 and 30kWh batteries have 4 cells per module with 48 modules
whole, however the 40kWh has eight cells in every module, with solely 24 modules.”

The temperature gauge of the Leaf
is like most different mid-range automobiles—a easy presentation with a area within the
center that’s its regular vary. When requested to specify the precise numerical
temperature vary it represented, Nissan deferred to reply, however within the proprietor’s
handbook, there’s a trace that this vary is between 30 levels and 120 levels
Fahrenheit.

2019 Nissan Leaf 40kWh
Out of sight, some main modifications improve the battery pack

We requested if the Leaf limits energy to the motor
because the automotive will get into or previous the higher fringe of the traditional vary, and Thunes responded:
“The deeper you get towards the crimson, the extra energetic the engagement. It impacts
each the cost facet and the discharge facet. However there’s numerous margin
particularly on the discharge facet and precise driving efficiency feeling within the
decrease finish of the crimson to be very troublesome to detect any explicit concern. However
as you get to the far finish of the crimson, it’ll get doubtlessly extra restricted
because the automotive is taking good care of itself and can routinely handle the load on
the battery.”

The
Asterisk: *Is the 40-kWh Leaf best for you?

That is extra of a
philosophical query than an empirical one. The final Leaf group appears
to have embraced the Leaf wholeheartedly, however are divided.

Those that say Sure cite these
positives:

  • -Value
  • -Reliability
  • -First rate vary
  • -Consolation
  • -Security
  • -Cost primarily at dwelling with occasional public charging
  • -Nice for infrequent in a single day highway journeys of below 200 miles in every path

Those that say No are inclined to cite
these negatives:

  • -Not sure about battery cooling
  • -Takes too lengthy to cost
  • -Suspicious about battery reliability
  • -Not sufficient locations to cost
  • -Not sufficient vary

How the automotive is used performs a
main position within the equation. If the Leaf is used for commuting or simply basic
use, and the common driving is lower than 150 miles per day, the responses have a tendency
to be constructive.

If the Leaf is used as half
of an individual’s job or career, akin to exterior gross sales, service, help or
supply, and the Leaf is pushed on an unpredictable schedule or route with day by day
driving of 150 miles or extra at speeds which might be with visitors, however above the
pace restrict, the response is much less favorable.

If the car is used as a
ride-share car, a service that’s paid on a piece-rate foundation, or a job
the place being idle whereas charging is cash misplaced and day by day driving calls for simply exceed
150 miles, the reply could be very unfavorable. One other frequent attribute for
these with an unfavorable response is the reliance nearly solely on public
charging.

2019 Nissan Leaf 40kWh
The 40 kWh Leaf has a spot, nevertheless it’s not for everybody or each job

We agree with drivers whose
job is on the highway all day and driving lengthy, unpredictable distances nightfall to
daybreak. The 40 kWh Leaf will not be your best option, and they’d be higher served
in a long-range BEV like a Tesla
Model 3
or a PHEV (plug-in hybrid electrical car) like a Toyota Prius
Prime
. In the event you match this second class, then this Leaf will not be for you.
Driving this Leaf will arrange a sizzling mess that may depart you annoyed and
indignant.

However should you match into the primary class, which is what most individuals do who’re
in search of a value-priced BEV, then the Leaf 40kWh is a wonderful alternative. The
writer of this evaluation is a type of within the first class, who has been
driving a 2018 Leaf SL for greater than a yr with zero points, zero guarantee
claims and nil prices for charging. 

For 2019, the 40 kWh Leaf
pricing within the US is:

  • $29,990
    for the S
  • $32,600
    for the SV
  • $36,600
    for the SL
  • $895
    for vacation spot and dealing with for all fashions.

Associated
Tales You Would possibly Take pleasure in—Trying Past the Leaf

Street Journey: 2018 Nissan Leaf

For Comparability, Street Journey: 2019
Nissan Leaf
Plus

Flash Drive: Tesla
Model 3 Long Range

Street Take a look at: 2018
Toyota Prius Prime

Street Take a look at: 2019
Chevrolet Bolt

Street Take a look at: 2019 Kia
Niro

Street Take a look at: 2019
Hyundai Kona

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Disclosure:

Clear Fleet Report is loaned free check automobiles
from automakers to guage, sometimes for per week at a time. Our highway assessments are
primarily based on this one-week drive of a brand new car. Due to this we don’t handle
points akin to long-term reliability or whole price of possession. As well as,
we are sometimes invited to producer occasions highlighting new automobiles or
know-how. As a part of these occasions we could also be supplied free transportation,
lodging or meals. We do our greatest to current our unvarnished evaluations of
automobiles and information irrespective of those inducements.

Our focus is on automobiles that provide the perfect gasoline financial system in
their class, which leads us to emphasise electrical automobiles, plug-in hybrids,
hybrids and diesels. We additionally function these environment friendly gas-powered automobiles that
are among the many prime mpg automobiles of their class. As well as, we purpose to supply
evaluations and information on superior know-how and the choice gasoline car
market. We welcome any suggestions from car homeowners and are devoted to
offering a discussion board for different viewpoints. Please tell us your views at [email protected]