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To help members understand the latest automotive technology so they can purchase vehicles that best suit their needs, the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center (ARC) began testing and reviewing vehicles over a decade ago

For the 2024 edition, we include testing and ranking cars and light trucks with the latest technology, including having at least one advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) feature. In addition to vehicle evaluation, the guide covers a number of pertinent automotive topics in detail—for example, the latest advanced safety features, how to properly maintain your vehicle, and new vehicles coming to market in the next few years.

2023 Nissan Leaf SV Plus

Vehicle Type: Small Electric
 overall score
Category Ranking: 4

Vehicle Price

Base Price: $35,800
Price as Tested: $37,750

Fuel Information

Fuel Type: Electricity
120V Charge Time: 4.2 miles per hour
240V Charge Time: 19.3 miles per hour
DC Fast Charger: 60 minutes to 80%
EPA City MPGe121
EPA Highway MPGe98
EPA Combined MPGe109
EPA-Est. Electric Range (mi): 212

Advanced Safety Features

  • Adaptive Cruise Control [O]
  • Advanced Headlights [S]
  • Automatic Emergency Braking [S]
  • Blind-Spot Warning [S]
  • Driver Monitoring [O]
  • Forward-Collision Warning [S]
  • Lane-Departure Warning [S]
  • Lane-Keeping Assistance [S]
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Warning [S]
  • Reverse Automatic Emergency Braking [S]
  • [S] Standard, [O] Optional
NHTSA Rating:

Overall Observations

In a number of ways, the EV world has passed the Nissan Leaf by. One of the original Evs—its first generation debuted in 2011—the Leaf retains some of its virtues, but other qualities keep it from being a serious competitor. The Leaf has a smooth, quiet drivetrain with decent acceleration and easy drivability and maneuverability. The drivetrain is efficient (109 MPGe combined), and all Leafs come with a complete set of ADAS features, including several sophisticated features such as blind-spot intervention. It also has standard one-pedal driving. But that's about where the good news ends. Yes, you can buy a Leaf with a base price under $30,000 before tax credits. But that Leaf has a 147-hp engine and a range of just 149 miles. The Leaf SV Plus, with its 214-hp motor and 212-mile range—still low by 2023 standards—starts around $36,000. Even worse news is the Leaf's driving experience. The ride quality is poor, the rear seats are uncomfortable, the steering is too loose and light, the brake pedal feels spongy, and torque steer is present. On top of that, the interior fit and finish feels cheap, and the infotainment system is outdated. Finally, the Leaf also uses a less-available CHAdeMO charging protocol, and the large rear roof supports create a blind spot that hampers rear visibility.

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Pros and Cons


  • Smooth, quiet drivetrain, decent acceleration
  • Good MPGe efficiency
  • Complete set of ADAS features
  • Easy maneuverability


  • Extremely uncomfortable ride
  • Limited range, even in the SV Plus trim
  • Outdated infotainment system
  • Cheap-looking, plain interior

Vehicle Specifications

Model year tested: 2023
Number of passengers (F/R): 2/3
Curb weight (lbs): 3900.0
Exterior L / W / H (in): 176.4 / 70.5 / 61.7
Wheelbase (in): 106.3
Number of air bags: 10
Warranty (months/miles): 36/36,000
Tire manufacturer and model: Michelin Energy Saver A/S
Front and rear tire size: 215/50 R17
Max towing capacity (lbs): Not recommended
Headlight type: LED
Transmission type: Auto 1-speed
Drivetrain type: Front wheel
Engine/motor: Single electric motor
Electric motor horsepower: 214

Test Data

Test Vehicle Scores

Advanced Safety Features:


Fuel Efficiency:


EPA Emissions Score:





Handling: 5.56
Quality and Drivability: 6.00

Ride Quality:


Interior Size:


Easy of Entry and Exit:




Interior Noise:


Cargo Capacity:

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