Nissan is making news in the electric car sphere at this year’s New York Auto Show, but it’s nothing to do with the much-hyped Ariya SUV. Instead, Nissan is showing us a refreshed Leaf.
The 2023 Nissan Leaf is getting slightly revised looks and a slimmed-down trim structure, but no real mechanical changes. It’s not a refresh that will put any pressure on the bevy of EVs that have hit production over the past year or two, but it does breathe a small breath of life into Nissan’s little, electric hatchback.
Outside, the Leaf gets a new front grille, different headlights, new 17-inch wheels and a new molding treatment. It also adds the new Nissan badge, but with a twist: This one lights up. Perhaps the most important of all the changes are some aero enhancements. Nissan redesigned the tire deflectors, gave it a new rear diffuser and a revised rear spoiler. All of these small changes result in better aerodynamics than before, Nissan says.
However, don’t get too excited about range, because Nissan says that it expects range to “be similar to 2022 models.” Both the standard and the longer-range Plus powertrain options are still going to be available. The smaller 40 kWh lithium-ion battery pack is now only available in the base S trim level (the SV is discontinued) and comes with the same electric motor that produces 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. Range for 2022 was rated at 149 miles. The only other trim level available for 2023 will be the SV Plus (the S Plus and SL Plus are discontinued), which upgrades you to a 60 kWh battery pack that for 2022 was rated at 215 miles of range. This bigger battery is paired with a more powerful electric motor that makes 214 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque.
The last area where Nissan made some changes for 2023 is inside. The old Nissan badges are gone, replaced by the new badge. Plus, the infotainment system is updated with a new start-up screen — the rest is the same as before.
Nissan says that range and pricing will be available closer to the 2023 model’s launch, which Nissan expects to be this summer. Do note that the $7,500 federal tax credit still applies to the Leaf when you look at those prices in a few months, too.