2018 Nissan Leaf: Full Details by September, Sweetened Lease Terms in the Meantime

Nissan IDS Concept

Deliveries of the long-anticipated 2018 Nissan Leaf are expected by the end of the year. And while there’ve been some spy photos, hints from executives, concept cars, and healthy speculation, Nissan still hasn’t confirmed much about the completely new, second-generation version of its all-electric hatchback.

Except now, it has disclosed that the world premiere for the 2018 Leaf will be in September. According to Brian Maragno, director of Leaf sales and marketing for North America, the automaker plans to reveal full specs, pricing, trim levels, and features at that time. And until the new car’s launch, it’s offering some sweetheart deals for many of those leasing the current Leaf.

To give Leaf drivers more incentive to stay in the fold, Nissan is offering easy lease extensions for those with leases expiring in 2017—for a year in some cases, or until taking delivery of a new 2018 Leaf—and a chance to waive three monthly payments. This extension is risk-free. Maragno says they’re only asking that lessees hold on to the car until the premiere; then, after they’ve had a chance to see the new one, if they still want to turn in an older Leaf and take their business elsewhere, they can. Existing Leaf lessees may also purchase their cars at a reduced price; Nissan will treat it as a certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle, which extends the limited warranty and roadside assistance.

Asking the Leaf Loyal to Have Faith

Maragno, who pointed to the especially strong relationship Nissan has with Leaf owners, says that these incentives aim to help bridge existing drivers to the new model. “We’re asking them to extend without knowing all the information about the new car yet, so it only makes sense for us to help with that extension.”

Given the dearth of information, those who drive a Leaf now might understandably be tempted not only by the Chevrolet Bolt EV that is already on sale, offering a 238-mile range and starting at $ 37,495, but by the upcoming Tesla Model 3, which is expected to offer at least a 215-mile range in its base $ 35,000 guise and begin arriving this fall (assuming Tesla meets its target date). There’s also the Hyundai Ioniq Electric, with a lower $ 30,335 base price and a 124-mile range that, while significantly shorter than Bolt or  Model 3’s range, can still go father on a charge than the 2017 Leaf’s 107-mile range. The Ioniq Electric arrives in April.

Nissan IDS concept

The 2018 Nissan Leaf is expected to remain an affordable compact hatchback but to purge some of its EV weirdness. Several battery packs will likely offer a choice of longer driving ranges up to and over 200 miles. And in design, the new Leaf is expected to closely follow the design themes and details teased in the automaker’s Sway concept from the 2015 Geneva auto show and to feature some of the autonomous technology previewed in the IDS concept from the Tokyo auto show last fall.

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“When we deliver this car to customers, we’re very confident that the all-new Leaf is going to exceed their expectations in terms of range, tech, design, and value,” said Maragno.

Current owners and lessees are urged to call Nissan North America’s concierge service at 855-467-3214, to discuss their options; as the deal might also extend to those who have newer cars with more time left on their leases.


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