Nissan has unveiled its 2022 Leaf with more standard features and a lower base price that makes it the cheapest EV in the US, the company announced. The most basic model, the Leaf S with a 40-kWh battery, now costs $27,400 or $28,375 including the destination charge — or $20,875 if you qualify for the $7,500 federal tax credit. That means it's less than the $29,900 Mini SE and can go farther, too, with 149 miles of range versus 114.
The 40-kWh Leaf SV drops from $34,935 to $28,800, while the longer-range 62-kWh Leaf SV Plus is now $32,400 compared to $38,245 (all prices exclude destination charges and federal incentives). The S and SV models deliver 147 horsepower, 236 pound feet of torque and up to 149 miles of EPA range, while the S Plus offers more powerful 160-kW motor that produces 214 horsepower, 250 pound feet of torque and 226 miles of range.
The $4,245 price drop for the basic S Leaf compared to the 2021 model, and even more dramatic $6,135 decrease for the SV model, sounds like a lot. However, the new prices essentially match what buyers were paying for Leafs last year if you count buyer incentives, as Motor Trend reported. And of course, the Leaf has essentially become passé as Nissan prepares to sell the Ariya early in 2022.
Still, the new prices will help buyers compare prices without having to jump through hoops. And the new models do have some useful improvements. The main thing is that all Leaf models now include a CHAdeMo quick charge port as standard, while Nissan's "Intelligent Around View" and ProPilot Assist are now standard on all Leaf Plus models, rather than being optional as before. .
The Leaf isn't as fun, nor as attractive, as a lot of other EVs out there. But $20,875 for the base model, (including federal incentives and destination charge) is the lowest number we've seen next to a brand new EV with decent range in the US, ever.
Update 8/4/2021 11:15 PM ET: The post has been updated to indicate that Nissan's "Intelligent Around View" and ProPilot Assist are now standard only on Leaf Plus models, not on the regular Leaf models.