2019 Nissan Leaf e+ tries to play catch up by offering 226 miles of range

The Nissan Leaf was the first modern battery-electric car to be sold in large numbers, but Nissan’s rivals have caught up. Other automakers now offer electric cars with at least 200 miles of range at relatively affordable prices, while the current-generation Nissan Leaf could only muster 150 miles of range upon its launch. Now the Leaf is getting an upgrade.

Unveiled at CES 2019, the 2019 Nissan Leaf e+ not only offers more range, but also more power. The new model has 226 miles of range, courtesy of a 62-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack (up from 40 kWh in the base Leaf). It also produces 214 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque, compared to the 147 hp and 236 lb.-ft. of the base model. Drive is still to the front wheels, and no other major changes were made to the car.

The e+ may be a better Leaf, but its performance is only adequate compared to rival electric cars. The Chevrolet Bolt EV offers 238 miles of range from a 60-kWh battery pack. The Chevy has less horsepower (200 hp) but more torque (266 lb.-ft.) than the Nissan. Both the Hyundai Kona Electric and upcoming Kia Niro EV use the same 64-kWh battery pack and electric motor, which produces 200 hp and 290 lb-ft of torque in the Kona (the Niro is rated at an extra lb.-ft. of torque). The Kona boasts 258 miles of range, while the Niro EV gets an estimated 239 miles per charge. The Tesla Model 3 could also top the Leaf e+, if Tesla ever gets around to making the cheaper $35,000 version.

It’s important to mention pricing. The base Leaf may have less range than the cars mentioned above, but it’s also less expensive than most of them. Nissan won’t reveal pricing for the Leaf e+ just yet, but customers will have to pay a premium for that extra range and power. That could close the pricing gap, without offering segment-leading range.

The Leaf does at least have a couple of unique tech features. Like the base model, the Leaf e+ will be offered with e-Pedal, which blends regenerative braking with the conventional friction brakes, allowing the driver to pretty much avoid using the brake pedal. Both the base Leaf and the e+ are also available with ProPilot Assist, a driver-assist system that basically combines adaptive cruise control with automated lane centering.

The 2019 Nissan Leaf e+ will go on sale in the United States within two to three months, Denis Le Vot, head of Nissan North America, said at the car’s Las Vegas unveiling. We’re eager to see how it stacks up against other electric cars in the real world.

Cars

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.
Cars

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.
Cars

Nissan IMs concept teases a future long-range, autonomous electric car

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Nissan IMs is an electric car with a 380-mile range, autonomous-driving capability, and a backseat designed for being chauffeured. Too bad it's just a concept car.
Cars

Move mountains with the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty and its 1,000 pound-feet of torque

Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty pickup truck boasts 1,000 pound-feet of torque -- outgunning rival trucks from Ford and Chevrolet. The new Ram goes on sale later this year.
Cars

In McLaren’s 600LT Spider, the engine is the only sound system you’ll need

The McLaren 600LT Spider is the inevitable convertible version of the 600LT coupe, itself a lighter, more powerful version of the McLaren 570S. The 600LT Spider boasts a 592-horsepower, twin-turbo V8, and a loud exhaust system to hear it…
Cars

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.
Cars

Driving Daimler’s 40-ton eCascadia big rig isn’t just fun, it’s electrifying

Daimler Trucks brought its all-electric eCascadia semi-truck to the 2019 CES, and invited us to take the wheel. What does it feel like to drive one? Simply electrifying, of course.
News

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.
Cars

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.
Cars

Boutique carmaker Karma Automotive, legendary design firm Pininfarina team up

Karma Automotive is partnering with legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina on future luxury cars. The first product of that partnership will appear later this year, Karma said, without offering other details.
Cars

Tesla cuts workforce by 7 percent, ends referral program to trim costs

Tesla has announced plans to trim its workforce by seven percent, and it will end the referral program that rewards customers who help it sell cars. These measures are ways to cut costs and boost profits.
Cars

Worried about commuting in winter weather? Nissan has the answer

The Nissan Altima midsize sedan is now available with all-wheel drive. To advertise that fact, Nissan's Canadian division slapped some tank-like tracks on an Altima to create a one-off show car.
Emerging Tech

Too buzzed to drive? Don’t worry — this autonomous car-bar will drive to you

It might just be the best or worst idea that we've ever heard: A self-driving robot bartender you can summon with an app, which promises to mix you the perfect drink wherever you happen to be.