Nissan Announces 2018 LEAF Debut Date, Offers To Extend Leases Until That Time — But Should You?

After a wait that many will view as being far too long, Nissan has finally confirmed that the next-generation LEAF electric car will debut this fall as a 2018 model year car. Far behind the launch of the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, the next-generation LEAF is expected to have a similar range to the Bolt EV, sell for a similar (or slightly higher) price (depending on the specifications) and come with at Nissan’s second-generation ProPilot driver assistance package.

Yet September’s promised launch date is still several months away, and Nissan knows that some existing LEAF customers will be tempted to leave the brand for the Chevrolet Bolt EV if their lease expires before the 2018 LEAF goes on sale. To encourage those lease holders to stay with the brand, Nissan is offering to extend existing LEAF leases due to expire between April 1 and September, essentially ensuring existing customers stay with Nissan and pick the next-generation 2018 LEAF as their next car when it becomes available at the end of the year.

It seems like a win-win solution on paper, but is it? Watch the video above, and leave us your thoughts in the Comments below.

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  • Martin Lacey

    Looks like Nissan (Leaf 2) are coming to market around the same time as Tesla (Model 3) – coincidence? I think not. If they are losing Leaf (gen 1) owners to the Bolt they have to stop the rot before Model 3 steals the show. Looks like a race to market!

  • Jeanne K

    The lease on my 2015 Leaf isn’t up until December, but Nissan salespeople were lobbying me hard to trade up early to a 2017. When I told them I’m looking at the Bolt they got quiet. Details/specs on the 2018 are so guarded it makes me skeptical. Nissan is obviously (still) trying to unload older inventory before letting the public know what’s coming, but are (maybe) finally realizing that is a losing tactic as customers migrate to other brands with better range. There was also the customer betrayal when the Carwings app stopped working and dealers (at least mine) did not step up with a solution. And hopefully they have solved the brake problem. There was a recall and I have had my Leaf in to the dealer four times about my brakes – each time they work better for awhile and then revert to the same problem (occasionally feeling gone until you step very hard on the pedal). Maybe I should look for a different Nissan dealer? Anyway, I’m excited about the 2018 but wonder what the price point is going to be. Again, no info from Nissan!

  • WayneC

    My lease on my 2015 Leaf is coming due next month, and my understanding is that even though the 2018 will be announced in Sept, it will not actually be available to purchase until “Spring 2018.” My reading of the 2018 announcements, and the spy shots captured in Japan, is that Nissan will not be offering a range comparable to the Bolt, but will have a maximum range of only 160 miles, with a maximum 40kWh battery. My bet is that they will offer two batteries – the current 30kWh battery (with a 107 or so mile range) on the S trim level, and the 40kWh battery on the SV and SL trims (with a 160 mile range, through improvements in the aerodynamics over the original Leaf). If Nissan could match the Bolt range, don’t you think they would have been shouting that from the rooftops to keep people from defecting to Chevrolet?

    I also have an early Tesla Model 3 reservation just to keep my options open, and Tesla tells me to expect my delivery date between Jan – Mar 2018. I’m going to extend my lease on the Leaf for at least 6 months (with 3 months free), essentially getting my Leaf at 1/2 price for 6 months. I’m going to keep an open mind on the new Leaf, but if they don’t have a 60kWh battery, I’m going to stick with the Tesla. I expect the base model Tesla to be $36k (with my color choice), and I will have the opportunity to upgrade to full autonomy in the future. I’m betting that the highest-range Leaf won’t match the Tesla’s 220-mile range, and will cost somewhere in the low US$40k range (which would match the Tesla Model 3 with the “premium package”). Nissan may not catch up until 2020 range-wise, and it may take even longer for the charging network and autonomy to catch up to Tesla. I certainly wouldn’t pay more for a Nissan Leaf than a Tesla. This is my second Leaf, and I have been very satisfied with both. It’s unfortunate that Nissan let their early lead dissipate, and now it will take them years to catch up.