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The Nissan Leaf is the original mass-market EV. Well into its second generation, it remains one of the best value buys in the all-electric car market. Affordable pricing, useable driving range, and modern tech features make it an appealing choice in entry-level EVs.

The 2024 model year Leaf has two trims available. Naturally, one has to be more popular than the other, so which are most shoppers choosing, and what do critics recommend instead?

The base S trim is the more popular of the two models in the 2024 Nissan Leaf lineup. It starts at only $28,140, making it one of the only EVs on the market that starts at under $30k. This affordable price tag is undoubtedly one of the biggest selling points of the Nissan Leaf S.

The Leaf is powered by an electric motor generating 147 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. A 40 kWh lithium-ion battery gives it a driving range of 149 miles on a full charge. That’s a pretty low range by today’s standards, but it’s plenty if you only need the Leaf to do urban commuting and errand-running duties.

The EPA-estimated 111 MPGe rating gives the Leaf S an estimated annual fuel cost of only $650. According to EPA estimates, you save a whopping $6,250 in fuel over five years compared to the average new vehicle. So, the Leaf S isn’t just a bargain at the dealership but also saves you a bundle in fuel costs compared to a similar gas-powered compact car. Even the Nissan Sentra, a pretty efficient compact, costs an extra $1,000 per year in fuel costs.

What features come with the 2024 Nissan Leaf S?

On top of its electric powertrain, standard features in the 2024 Nissan Leaf S include the e-Pedal one-pedal driving system, an 8-inch touchscreen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, SiriusXM, Siri Eyes Free, and automatic climate control.

The standard Safety Shield 360 safety tech suite bundles safety features like forward and reverse automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keep assist, rear parking sensors, and automatic high beams.

The base S trim has no factory options other than paint. There are five paint options, one interior color option (black and gray with blue stitching), and that’s it. You get a handful of dealer-installed options like all-weather floor mats, a cargo net, and a first aid kit.

Which Leaf trim is the best?

Although the affordable S trim is the most popular Nissan Leaf model, critics think the SV Plus trim is worth the extra cost. It starts at $36,190 but has many upgrades over the S model. For starters, it has a 60 kWh battery and an extended driving range of 212 miles. There’s also a performance upgrade; 214 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque. So, it achieves better range and performance while retaining the same estimated annual fuel cost as the S trim.

Additionally, it comes with upgrades like 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, navigation, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and ProPILOT Assist safety tech, including adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree camera, and more.

“The best deal here is the SV Plus,” Car and Driver says, “because it carries a reasonable price, the longest driving range, the more powerful electric motor, and offers a decent package of standard equipment.” Edmunds’ own review agrees, stating, “We recommend the SV Plus because it offers a more powerful electric motor and a larger battery with a longer driving range. In addition, the Leaf SV Plus adds numerous comfort, convenience, and safety features.”

So, the SV Plus is an excellent upgrade if you can afford it, but we can’t blame consumers for preferring the more affordable S model.

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