If you’re about to do something big, a guaranteed way to coax failure would be to not take half measures. Is that what Nissan is doing with the second-gen Leaf? Based on the latest spy shots of the new electric hatch, it’s quite likely.

The vehicle has been spotted heavily disguised out in the streets doing its thing, but no matter how much Nissan has tried to hide its shape, the Leaf’s proportions still show. And what does it show? More of the same, sadly.

Its outline doesn’t deviate much from the first-gen model, which is why it’s so easily identifiable. But that’s not the whole story – there are improvements to speak of, which are mostly concentrated around its face.

For one, the new Leaf has a grille. Not just any grille, it’s the one plucked from the Nissan IDS Concept. The same can be said for its sharper front lights. They no longer protrude out awkwardly but instead look straight ahead with purpose. No more bug’s eyes.

All in all, the Leaf actually looks alright, at least as far as its test mule goes. Having said that, Nissan wasted a fantastic opportunity to make the most of its 60kWh battery for its beloved EV. By the time it’s released, the Chevy Bolt would already have a major head-start.

And let’s not forget that the Tesla Model 3 is going into production this July, which means that by the time the Leaf rolls out, Tesla would be hogging all of its spotlight regardless of whether its publicity is good or bad. Nissan could be filling the current lull in the plug-in market and probably even steal some sales from the Chevy Bolt.

Besides, by the time it debuts, its 200-mile+ range would be less of a novelty than it is now, a novelty that’s being exploited by the Chevy Bolt because no other EV in its class can compare. In fact, there have been reports claiming that the Bolt is capable of wringing 300 miles from a single charge of its battery.


Regulus Black · February 23, 2017 at 3:39 pm

“Biggest Waste Of 60kWh Battery” What does that mean?

Leptoquark · February 24, 2017 at 2:11 pm

I also don’t get what the “biggest waste of a 60 kWh battery” is. You say it “looks alright”, so is the problem the release timing?

As far as looks, I think people actually want distinctive-looking cars. The first generation Toyota Prius was a dumpy looking sedan, but when the redesigned it into the design we now know, people we really attracted to it. I think the Bolt is actually rather blobby, but looks are subjective.

You have a point on timing. Every Bolt and/or Leaf sale is one less potential Model 3 sale. Of course, the Model 3 is very nice, but with options it’s going to be more in $50k territory. Don’t forget, in computer stores, people love to play with the Mac, but they walk out with Windows, since it’s cheaper and does things about as well.

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