2023 Nissan Leaf: Everything we know so far

Introduced in September 2017, the second-gen Nissan Leaf has received its long-overdue facelift. The 2023 Nissan Leaf with the improved styling has debuted at the 2022 New York International Auto Show.

Design

The 2023 Nissan Leaf has no significant design changes. The subtle revisions include a new closed grille without a V-shaped chrome strip, a new, illuminated Nissan logo, headlights featuring a new black inner finisher, and more aerodynamic tire deflectors, rear under diffuser, and rear spoiler. The most noticeable exterior change is the new 17-inch five-spoke alloy wheels.

The interior is also barely any different from the 2022 Leaf. There’s nothing new in the cabin beside a new start-up video and the new Nissan logo. Nissan has introduced the 2023 Leaf in two grades – S and SV Plus. Both grades have cloth upholstery, but while the S grade has gray finishers, the SV Plus has gloss black finishers for more premium styling.

2023 Nissan Leaf interior dashboard
The 2023 Nissan Leaf interior is nearly identical to the current model. Image Source: Nissan

Specifications

The outgoing 2022 Leaf is available with 40 kWh and 62 kWh lithium-ion battery packs that deliver an EPA-est. range of 149 miles and up to 215 miles, respectively. The 2023 Nissan Leaf will come with 40 kWh and 60 kWh battery packs (the latter is unlikely to be different from the current version), in the S and SV Plus trims. Nissan says it’s expecting the range of the standard-range and extended-range variants of the 2023 Leaf to be similar to those of the 2022 Leaf, and more information will follow closer to the model’s summer launch.

Like the outgoing model, the 2023 Nissan Leaf is a strictly-FWD EV. The motor options are the same, with a low-output motor producing 147 hp and 236 lb.-ft. of torque and a high-output motor delivering 214 hp and 250 lb.-ft. of torque.

2023 Nissan Leaf release date

2023 Nissan Leaf facelift front three quarter
The 2023 Nissan Leaf’s prices could start at around USD 28,000. Image Source: Nissan

The 2023 Nissan Leaf will go on sale in the U.S. this summer. Expect prices to start at around USD 28,000 in the 40 kWh variant and around USD 33,000 in the 60 kWh variant.

Nissan Leaf and Ariya to run in parallel in the U.S.

Nissan is deploying resources into getting its Ariya electric SUV to customers as soon as possible despite the global chip shortage. Deliveries of the Ariya in the U.S. are slated for fall 2022, and the Ariya will co-exist with the Leaf for at least two years. According to a report on Green Car Reports, which spoke with Aditya Jairaj, Director for Marketing and Sales for Nissan EVs in the USA, it will be essential for the carmaker to have the Leaf (which is currently the cheapest electric car model in the United States) with the Ariya positioned above it as customers need options depending on their budget.

Nissan Ariya front three quarters
Ariya’s CMF-EV platform will generate the future Nissan EV range for the U.S. market. Electrification of SUVs and sedans is “very important,” Nissan COO Ashwani Gupta told Bloomberg in March 2021. Image – Nissan

Nissan cut prices of the Leaf in the U.S. by a few thousand dollars to further the gap between the Ariya. As a result, an entry-level Nissan Leaf with tax credits starts at USD 19,900 while an entry-level Ariya is nearly double, starting at USD 39,625 (with tax credits).

And speaking of the tax credit, Nissan is nearing the 200,000 EV sales mark (the federal tax credit applies only to the first 200,000 EV units from a manufacturer), having sold 165,710 EVs (in other words, the Leaf!) cumulatively since its launch. Hence, from around 2023, when the 35,000 EV sales have been accounted for, Nissan will no longer be eligible for the USD 7,500 credit.

Nissan Leaf Sales

Nissan sold 14,239 units of the Leaf in the U.S. in 2021, making it one of the slowest sellers in its lineup. The consolation is that it significantly improved its YoY performance following the pandemic year, but the competing Chevy Bolt family sold 24,828 units last year despite the recalls and the faulty battery.

In Q1 2022, Nissan sold 4,371 units of the Leaf were sold in the first quarter, marking a nearly 50% year-over-year growth. The Leaf is faring better than the Bolt EV, of which 358 units were sold in the U.S. this year—a 96% nosedive compared to Q1 2021. Now that the Chevy is back in production, it would be interesting to see how sales in Q2 and Q3 compare.

Future of the Nissan Leaf nameplate

Nissan Chill-Out concept front three quarter
Nissan is looking to replace the Leaf, their first-ever electric vehicle, with a crossover body style in 2025. With the rise of electric cars, it seems like the popularity of the pioneering Leaf has declined. Image: Nissan

In July 2021, Nissan announced plans to build a new EV crossover at its UK plant in Sunderland starting in 2025. Nissan Europe CEO, Guillaume Cartier, suggested to Autocar that the crossover EV will replace the Leaf.

2023 Nissan Leaf FAQs

What is the 2023 Nissan Leaf release date?

Nissan has said that the refreshed Leaf will be on-sale this summer in the U.S. market.

What is the 2023 Nissan Leaf price?

Expect prices to start at around USD 28,000 in the 40 kWh variant & around USD 33,000 in the 60 kWh variant.

What are the alternatives to the Nissan Leaf?

The MINI Cooper SE (MINI Electric) and the Chevrolet Bolt are worthy alternatives to the Leaf.

Featured Image Source: Nissan