Nearly two months ago, Nissan confirmed that the two top trim levels of its popular LEAF electric hatchback would be available with a larger-capacity, longer-range battery pack for the 2016 model year. Offering 107 miles of EPA-approved range thanks to a 30 kilowatt-hour pack, the 2016 Nissan LEAF will be Nissan’s last major revision to the original first-generation LEAF before it is replaced in 2016 or 2017 with an all-new, second-generation model.
Last month, we learned the pricing for the European-specification 2016 LEAF at a recent press launch event in Nice, France. We also learned that Europeans wanting the larger 30 kWh, longer-range battery pack will have to pay somewhere around £1,600 (€2,200) for the optional upgrade on top of the costs associated with picking a Nissan LEAF Acenta or Tekna.
Today, Nissan followed suit, announcing the new 24 kWh 2016 Nissan LEAF S will start from $29,010 before incentives, with the mid-range 30 kWh 2016 Nissan LEAF SV starting from $34,200. Nissan’s top-spec 2016 Nissan LEAF SL, which also comes with the 30 kWh battery pack as standard, will retail from $36,790 before incentives.
As we’ve explained in the past, the 2016 Nissan LEAF is visually identical in most respects to last year’s 2015 Nissan LEAF. It also uses the same 80 kilowatt electric motor, inverter system and on-board charger as last-years models. In the case of U.S.-specification cars however, SV and SL trims come with 30 kWh battery packs as standard. Unlike Europe, there’s no 24 kWh option for these higher-trim models.
While that’s great news for anyone wanting the larger battery pack and the increase 107-miles of EPA-approved range it brings, it’s worth noting that while the entry-level, 24 kWh 2016 Nissan LEAF S remains the same base price as the 2015 Nissan LEAF S, the longer-range 2016 Nissan LEAF SV and SL are substantially more expensive than the outgoing 2015 model year car.
Indeed, at $34,200, the 2016 model year Nissan LEAF SV is a full $2,100 more expensive than last year’s model, which may put some buyers off. Similarly, the 2016 Nissan LEAF SL, with its larger, long-range battery pack, is $1,670 more expensive than last year’s 2015 Nissan LEAF SL.
Despite being included as standard then, that extra 6 kWh of energy offered by the 30 kWh pack costs about the same to the end user in the U.S. as it does in Europe: the only difference is that it’s an optional extra in Europe and part of the base model price in the U.S. As with European-spec cars however, the larger 30 kWh pack comes with an enhanced eight-year, 100,000 mile warranty, which will protect against battery capacity loss below nine bars of capacity, versus the first five years or 60,000 miles on the 24 kWh LEAF.
As always, the Nissan LEAF should be eligible for Federal and local incentives, depending on where you’re buying the car and your overall Federal tax liability for the year.
In announcing its pricing for U.S. customers, Nissan North America also confirmed that its replacement to Carwings — NissanConnect EV — would come as standard for Nissan SV and SL customers, with subscription to the remote monitoring and information service available for no charge.
In terms of packages, Nissan says customers with the entry-level LEAF S can upgrade their car’s on-board charger to 6.6 kilowatts and DC quick charging capability thanks to the optional $1,770 charge package. However, a 30 kWh battery upgrade is not available for the LEAF S.
With 30 kWh battery, 6.6 kW on-board charger and DC Chademo quick charging as standard, the Nissan LEAF SV and SL can be specified with the optional Premium package for an additional $1,570. Adding Nissan’s Around View Monitor system and seven-speaker audio system, the Premium Package will be a popular upgrade for many, although we note that leather trim and heated rear seats are only available on the high-end SL.
There are also new paint options for 2016, including Forged Bronze, Colis Red and Deep Blue Pearl joining the existing Super Black, Glacier White and Pearl White.
In the meantime, we’re keen to see what you think of U.S. specifications and pricing. Do you think the price lists are fair, or does the additional cost of the Nissan LEAF SV and SL put you off buying one?
Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.
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