Hatchbacks

Nissan puts bigger battery in every 2017 Leaf, adjusts price to suit

This move puts every Leaf's range above 100 miles.

Extra range is always a good thing, and the price bump to account for it seems quite sensible here.

Nissan

When Nissan showed off the largely unchanged 2016 Leaf, it offered a larger battery on its higher trims. Now, for 2017, it's making that battery standard across all trims, but it comes with a cost, albeit a smallish one.

Nissan now offers the 30-kWh battery as standard equipment across all three Leaf trims, which increases range from 84 miles to 107. It also increases the price. Whereas the 2016 Nissan Leaf S started at $29,010, its 2017 MSRP is $30,680. The battery itself is not larger, but rather, Nissan adjusted the battery's internals to provide for increased capacity.

The 24-kWh battery pack has been discontinued, a move that started in the 2016 model year.

Otherwise, the Leaf is largely unchanged. The electric motor still puts out 107 horsepower and 187 pound-feet of torque. The charge time is estimated at 6.6 hours with a Level 2 (240 volt) charger. It still looks weird. The shifter on the console still looks very weird.

If you opt for the higher SV ($34,200) or SL ($36,790) trims, you'll get Nissan's touchscreen navigation system with a 7-inch screen. You also get the NissanConnect EV system, which requires a free subscription. That allows you to access the vehicle remotely, monitoring charge state and managing the charging itself. You can also pre-condition the cabin to be nice and toasty when you're ready to depart.

When we drove the 30-kWh 2016 Leaf earlier this year, we enjoyed its nimble handling and flat torque curve. Sadly, the car is a bit behind the times when it comes to active and passive safety systems, with its only true standout feature being Around View Monitor, which provides a top-down look at the area around the car.

Nissan