The new Leaf is safe as can be, according to European standards -- with US testing still to come.
The Nissan Leaf is the world's best-selling electric car, and with the host of updates that were made for the 2018 model year, that seems unlikely to change. What also seems to be sticking around is the Leaf's high level of crashworthiness, at least according to Euro NCAP testing where the new Leaf received top marks.
While we're still waiting on the release of ratings for the 2018 Leaf from our the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Europe's NCAP test results look promising. The Leaf performed well in crash tests against vehicles of its own size and type, enough to get the testing agency's highest rating.
Comparatively, the first-generation Leaf scored a four-star crash rating from NHTSA and predominantly "Good" ratings from IIHS with the exception of a "Poor" rating for the driver's side small overlap crash test, which Euro NCAP doesn't perform. Euro NCAP gave the first-generation Leaf five stars as well, though the new model performs slightly better for adult occupants, slightly worse for child occupants, and slightly better for pedestrians.
The Euro NCAP results also place the 2018 Leaf ahead of cars like the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera-e, which we know and love as the Chevrolet Bolt, a car that only managed a four-star rating in Europe. The Bolt hasn't been rated by NHTSA but received the IIHS Top Safety Pick and only received a "Poor" rating for its headlights.
The 2018 Leaf also compares favorably to other non-electric vehicles such as the current-generation Honda Civic, which secured five stars from Euro NCAP after Honda changed the way its side curtain airbags worked following an initial rating of four stars. The Honda Civic and the 2018 Leaf both scored within one percent of each other for adult safety, while the Leaf handily beat the Civic by 11 percent for child occupant safety.
It will be interesting to see how the results stack up once the American crash ratings come in, so keep your eyes on Roadshow for that update.