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2013 Nissan LEAF – a first look at the best-selling EV

The Nissan LEAF is currently the best-selling battery electric car on the market and for the 2013 model year, Nissan made several adjustments to the vehicle to better serve customer requests and to improve the LEAF’s performance overall. One major improvement was moving manufacture of the LEAF for North America to Nissan’s plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, which allowed them to lower the price with a new, base model trim level.
The manufacturer says

“The refinements and enhancements for 2013 hit at the core of customer requests during LEAF’s first two years – available features providing quicker charging, improved range expectations and the ability to fine-tune the equipment levels to exact owner needs, whether they desire fewer standard features for an even more affordable car or more luxury amenities like leather-appointed seating and premium audio.”

Manufacturer: Nissan
Year, Model: 2013 LEAF
Class, Type: 5-door hatchback
Propulsion system: Electric
Vehicle range: 75 miles
Time to refuel: 4+ hours
Base Price: $28,800



The LEAF sees several changes and improvements for the 2013 model year, taking what we saw in our review of the 2012 model and improving on the economics of the vehicle with a new base trim level and a few other convenience upgrades. Significantly, the LEAF now has an improved range thanks to aerodynamic and efficiency improvements, though the EPA numbers don’t change much. That has more to do with the EPA’s tweaking of the MPGe measurement process than it does with lack of improvement on Nissan’s part.

Our introduction to the 2013 LEAF was at the Denver Auto Show in Colorado, where Nissan showcased the EV at its booth. The LEAF literally took center stage for Nissan, who is rightfully proud of this best-selling electric car and promoting it in order to keep it that way in the face of renewed competition from the Ford Focus Electric and others who’ve recently entered the EV fray. During Press Day at the event, I had the chance to talk with Nissan’s Lisa Farrar, Senior Planner for EV Marketing and Sales Strategy, about the new car. Video of her giving highlights for the new LEAF is below.


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