2020 Nissan Leaf packs updated infotainment, safety gear

The electric car also gets a corresponding price increase.

Still a solid EV choice.

The 2020 Nissan Leaf will house far more standard equipment than before, but shoppers will find a price increase for every single trim grade available.

Nissan on Friday said the 2020 Leaf will start at $32,525 after a $925 destination charge. That's $1,610 more than the 2019 model. However, even base cars will now get goods such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Previously, the Leaf S trim left them out and buyers needed to jump into a Leaf SV trim, which costs $35,115 -- a $1,590 increase. There's also an eight-inch touchscreen standard for infotainment actions, up from a seven-inch display, and Nissan's suite of active safety systems is also now standard. As for passive safety, even more airbags are onboard to keep passengers safe.

That makes the price increase far easier to swallow because there's a lot of new stuff here.

One notable thing missing from the 2020 Leaf is a whole trim level. The standard Leaf drops the SL trim, which leaves the SV as the fanciest electric hatchback for those looking at the entry-level car. From there, buyers will be shown a 2020 Leaf Plus, which packs a larger battery, and thus, a longer driving range.

The standard Leaf will go an EPA-estimated 149 miles with its 40 kilowatt-hour battery pack. The Leaf Plus pushes the car into more competitive ranks with an estimated 226 miles of range from a 62-kWh battery pack. Power figures also differ, with the smaller battery juicing the electric motor to spin out 147 horsepower. The Leaf Plus will provide drivers with 214 hp.

Speaking of the Leaf Plus, its cheapest form will cost $39,125, up $1,650 from the last model year. The SV Plus now costs $40,675, up $1,240, and the range-topping SL Plus rings in at $44,825, an increase of $1,350. Not much else changes for the Leaf across the board save for an updated pedestrian alert tone. The latest "Canto" tone is now onboard, which is Nissan's corporate tone selected to meet "quiet-car regulations" swinging into effect. Translated from Latin, it means "I sing." Nissan also made the car sing a Christmas carol this past holiday season to show the tone off. Weird, but kind of neat.

The latest Leaf should be shipping out to dealers shortly where it'll keep doing battle with the Chevrolet Bolt EV and the like.

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