Nissan Sort of Redesigned the LEAF EV for 2023

Last fall, we believed that Nissan was discontinuing the LEAF, intending to retire it before reintroducing the LEAF as an all-electric crossover. But, Nissan recently issued a press release teasing the updated 2023 LEAF ahead of the 2022 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS). The 2023 LEAF will go on sale this summer.

Will this new LEAF be the best electric cars of 2022? Probably not—but it’ll likely be one of the cheapest EVs to buy. And cheap, fuel-efficient new cars are definitely in demand right now.

2023 Nissan LEAF trim levels and price

Nissan is releasing only two trim levels for the 2023 LEAF: the new LEAF S and LEAF SV PLUS. More trim level features and options will likely be released when the 2023 model debuts this coming week. However, Nissan says it’s equipped the new models with “the most customer-requested features and technologies.”

Specs haven’t changed, so far. The front-wheel-drive 2023 LEAF S offers just 147 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque from a 110-kW electric motor with a 40-kWh lithium-ion battery. The 2023 LEAF SV PLUS offers 214 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque from a 160-kW electric motor with a 60-kWh lithium-ion battery.

The LEAF’s trim levels offer a lot of value, which made it one of the best electric cars in 2020 for the money. Specific pricing details haven’t been released, but Nissan claims it will be offering both trim levels of the new 2023 LEAF at “the best value.” The brand lowered prices for 2022 models, so we expect similar pricing for the newest models along with some federal tax credits.

New 2023 Nissan LEAF EV charging at an electric car charger on a sunny day
2023 Nissan LEAF | Nissan News

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The new Nissan LEAF EV range shouldn’t change much

Nissan LEAF reviews have never been wildly thrilled about its EV range—and the updated model will likely be seeing the same numbers. Numbers which, by today’s standards, are starting to look a little disappointing.

The top-level 2023 LEAF should see up to 215 miles from its larger battery, but the entry-level LEAF S gets only about 149 miles on a charge. In comparison, the new 2023 Nissan Ariya could see 265 – 300 miles on a single charge.

This cheap electric car could still be a great buy for drivers with an average commute. Being aware of your car’s charging capabilities and EV range is important when buying an electric car.

Nissan makes minor changes to the LEAF’s interior

Are there changes for the new 2023 Nissan LEAF? Technically. 

Nissan isn’t sharing too many details about specific features just yet, but we imagine they’ll be budget-friendly. A clean and simple cabin has made the LEAF one of the most popular used electric cars for years.

The interior brings touches like slightly new badging on the steering wheel. Standard interior features include black cloth seats, with a grey finish on the LEAF S and a gloss-black finish on the LEAF SV PLUS.

Black interior of the 2023 Nissan LEAF electric vehicle, with contrast piping on the seats and a wide touchscreen infotainment system
2023 Nissan LEAF interior | Nissan News

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Exterior changes to the 2023 LEAF

The outside of the LEAF sees about as many changes as the inside, which is to say, not many.

This compact electric car brings a new grille design with an updated, illuminated Nissan badge and updated molding on the bumper. A slick black inner finish on the headlights does make the LEAF’s otherwise-homely face look a little more intrigued. The EV also gets modified air deflectors, diffusers, and spoilers for improved aerodynamics.

Is this the death rattle of the Nissan LEAF as a compact car?

We are still waiting for full details on the 2023 LEAF when it debuts at the NYIAS, but what we know so far is a little disappointing. These minor changes to the updated electric car may mean that Nissan won’t be investing all that much into maintaining the EV as a compact car for the long term.

This may be the death rattle of the LEAF compact. Maybe it really will slip away quietly to return as an electric crossover.

Rear angle view of the new 2023 Nissan LEAF EV, one of the cheapest new electric vehicle you can buy
2023 Nissan LEAF | Nissan News

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