Nissan’s second-generation all-electric LEAF — which made its debut in 2018 — now offers an additional, longer-range model identified as LEAF PLUS. It features all of the comfort and convenience of the redesigned version, but has been enhanced with a larger, more powerful battery that can deliver up to 226 miles.
With the literal power to go further between charges, the LEAF PLUS gives you the freedom to focus on the tasks and adventures ahead, instead of worrying about driving from charging station to charging station.
Let’s explore the pinnacle of Nissan Intelligent Mobility with a closer look at our 2019 Nissan LEAF SL PLUS test model.
2019 Nissan LEAF SL PLUS Exterior
Building upon the fully-redesigned aesthetics of the second-generation LEAF, the 2019 LEAF SL PLUS offers subtle hints of its upgraded offerings, utilizing a special front fascia, additional electric blue highlights, and unique trim badging.
The overall exterior styling will be familiar to Nissan fans thanks to the brand’s signature V-Motion grille and streamlined silhouette. These fan-favorite elements work together with the roof spoiler, aero-design wheels, and rear underbody diffuser to give the LEAF SL PLUS a very aerodynamic body. In fact, air travels around the LEAF PLUS so well that it has a 0.28 coefficient of drag. For comparison, the base model 2019 Nissan 370Z sports coupe has a 0.30 drag coefficient (lower number is better).
With seven different exterior colors to choose from, the LEAF can be an on-road expression of your personality, from an eye-catching Scarlet Ember to a stealthy Gun Metallic. Our test model came in a dazzling Pearl White Tricoat that shimmers in the sunlight. Other exterior features — like LED headlights, fog lights, and signature daytime running lights — come standard for the 2019 model year, in addition to 17-inch alloy wheels and dual powered (as well as heated) outside mirrors.
Bringing together an exciting blend of sportiness, versatility, and elegance, the 2019 LEAF stands out as a personable vehicle that’s ready to complement any lifestyle.
2019 Nissan LEAF SL PLUS Interior
Nissan has been doing a great job of upping the bar for what the industry considers “standard equipment” inside its vehicles, utilizing lots of premium materials, advanced technologies, and expert craftsmanship. For example, the 2019 LEAF SL PLUS offers way more luxury and comfort than what one would expect from a mainstream all-electric vehicle.
Every occupant is treated to leather seating surfaces, and front passengers are further pampered by heated seats along with multi-way adjustment — 8-way powered for the driver with 2-way lumbar support, 4-way manual for the passenger. Automatic temperature control is standard for the 5-passenger interior, and can be set on a timer to preheat/precool the cabin before any drive.
Entertainment and navigation is delivered via an 8-inch color touch display that’s compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. This intuitive and responsive system is also where you’ll find access to information like weather, parking locations, and movie listings, as well as SiriusXM satellite radio, Bluetooth phone connectivity, and vehicle settings. All LEAF SL PLUS models come with a complimentary 3-year trial to NissanConnect EV services powered by SiriusXM for enhanced customization and remote vehicle controls.
During our time with the 2019 LEAF SL PLUS, what kept standing out to us was the interior’s overall comfort and thoughtfulness. For every situation that presented itself, whether it was needing to haul over-sized cargo or find a charging station, the LEAF always had an answer at the ready. Small details dotted throughout the cabin, like a dedicated phone space, ample USB ports, and lots of storage nooks, make this electric vehicle more than just a transportation solution — it’s a truly livable space.
Additional interior amenities include a heated steering wheel, 60/40 split fold down rear seats, cargo cover, 7-speaker Bose sound system, and 12V power outlet.
2019 Nissan LEAF SL PLUS Performance
The most significant performance enhancement of the 2019 LEAF SL PLUS is its EPA estimated range of up to 215 miles (up to 226 for non-SL trims), which is 65 miles further than the base LEAF model. The PLUS’s 62 kWh battery translates to 214 horsepower via the standard 160kW motor, and the result is exciting accelerations, lots of low-end torque, as well as high levels of driver-confidence on the highway.
In terms of piloting the LEAF PLUS, Nissan’s innovative E-Pedal mode makes its return to offer intuitive throttle controls using just the “gas” pedal. With E-Pedal mode activated, letting up on the accelerator automatically activates the regenerative braking system, which has been further refined for the 2019 model year to deliver the ideal amount of deceleration while simultaneously recharging the battery. With just a bit of practice to get the timing and distance correct, we were able to execute perfectly smooth stops simply by lifting off the accelerator pedal at the right moment. And once the LEAF is stopped, E-Pedal mode continues to hold the vehicle in place so you don’t have to keep your foot on the brake pedal.
When it’s time to get more spirited, the LEAF PLUS’s powertrain offers 100-percent of its 250 lb-ft of torque every time you press the accelerator, launching off the line with the same urgency as a sports car. A natural low center of gravity — thanks to the floor-mounted battery — along with a specially-tuned suspension provide excellent handling characteristics through turns; we were very impressed with the lack of body roll during fast maneuvers. The end result of all of this engineering is a smooth ride and excellent responsiveness.
Need to recharge the LEAF’s battery? That’s easy. Just use the supplied cable and plug in to any household power outlet for a Level 1 charge. This is the slowest charging method, but it gives you the freedom to add range wherever you have access to electricity. Adding a Level 2 charger to your home (or visiting a public charging station) allows you to replenish an empty battery in just under 12 hours for the LEAF PLUS. And depending on where you live, there may even be Level 3 public charging stations (the fastest charge) which can bring an empty battery back up to 80-percent in as little as 45 minutes. We tried Level 3 charging at our local shopping mall, and could top off the LEAF’s battery in the time it took to grab a quick bite at the food court.
“Fuel economy” for the 2019 Nissan LEAF SL PLUS is an EPA estimated 114 mpge city and 94 mpge highway**.
2019 Nissan LEAF SL PLUS Safety
The 2019 LEAF SL PLUS comes standard with a comprehensive suite of standard safety features, like Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and much more. These advanced technologies are usually only available as optional equipment on many luxury vehicles, but for the LEAF SL PLUS, they’re all included at no additional cost as part of Nissan Intelligent Mobility.
ProPILOT Assist, Nissan’s signature driver assistance system, also comes standard on the SL PLUS model, and is, by far, our favorite traffic-fighting tool. When activated, ProPILOT Assist can automatically maintain a set distance from the car ahead and help keep you centered in a lane (straightaways and gentle curves). It handles all of the tedious, repetitive tasks of driving so you can arrive at your destination way less tired or stressed out.
Other notable safety highlights include: Intelligent Around View Monitor, Intelligent Driver Alertness, Intelligent Lane Intervention, and Vehicle Dynamic Control.
2019 Nissan LEAF SL PLUS Overall
The LEAF SL PLUS is proof that being eco-friendly doesn’t mean things have to be boring. With tons of convenience features, instantaneous torque, and athletic handling characteristics, the only aspect missing from the excitement of driving this all-electric vehicle is a roaring exhaust note.
Starting MSRP for the 2019 Nissan LEAF SL PLUS is $42,550, and our test model came fully equipped for $44,315*.
Experience the intelligence and thoughtfulness of the LEAF by visiting your local AutoNation Nissan dealership.
*MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.
**Based on 2019 EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.