The 2021 Nissan Leaf is an electric compact hatchback that debuted for the 2011 model year. Now in its second generation, the Leaf remains a popular model at the Salinas area Nissan dealership, thanks to its fast acceleration, spacious cabin and affordable price tag. Buyers also appreciate the Leaf’s comfortable seating and long list of standard driver-assistance features. Buyers looking for an affordable, well-equipped all-electric vehicle should place the 2021 Nissan Leaf at the top of their shopping list.
The Nissan Leaf comes in five trim levels: S, SV, S Plus, SV Plus and SL Plus. According to the Nissan dealership serving Salinas, the S and SV trims are equipped with a 110-kW AC synchronous electric motor that runs on a 40-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. This motor puts out 147 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque and has a range of 149 miles on a full charge. The Plus models employ a 160-kW AC synchronous electric motor that utilizes a 62-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The Plus’s motor generates 214 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque and provides a range of 226 miles.
Owners can plug the Nissan Leaf into either a standard 120-volt outlet or a 240-volt outlet. With the 240-volt outlet, the battery in the standard Leaf and the Leaf Plus’s battery can be fully charged in seven hours. The S trim gets an available DC fast-charging connection that’s standard in the other models.
The Leaf gets excellent reviews from the automotive press. Autotrader writes: “Bolstering the Leaf’s desirability is its array of standard active safety features, a good infotainment system, a more conveniently located charge port, LED taillights, e-Pedal technology and available ProPILOT Assist. Altogether, it makes for quite the value package.”
The Leaf S may be the base trim, but it comes with many standard features, including 16-inch steel wheels with plastic covers, E-Pedal mode, keyless entry/start and automatic climate control. The infotainment system features an 8-inch touchscreen, a four-speaker audio system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite radio, Bluetooth and four USB ports. Standard safety features include a rear door alert, automatic high beams, forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, automatic rear braking, and blind-spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert.
The SV trim gets the Quick Charge Port, 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, navigation, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats, heated side mirrors, adaptive cruise control, an upgraded infotainment system, a six-speaker stereo and HD radio.
The S Plus adds 16-inch alloy wheels and a portable 120-volt/240-volt cable, while the SV Plus comes with identical features as the SV.
Step up to the range-topping SL Plus trim, and you’ll get leather seats, LED headlights, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, heated outside mirrors, a universal garage door opener, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a seven-speaker Bose premium audio system, driver attention monitoring, ProPilot Assist and a surround-view parking camera system.
The 2021 Nissan Leaf is a safe vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2021 Leaf its top overall safety rating of five stars. As of this writing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety hasn’t tested the 2021 Nissan Leaf.