Confirmed: New Zealand Nissan Leaf pricing to start at $59,990
Search Driven for vehicles for sale
With all the talk about the electric vehicles that are coming to New Zealand, a name that's been curiously absent from proceedings is Nissan. Which naturally odd, given they make New Zealand's most popular EV — the Leaf.
The Leafs (Leaves?) you see on Kiwi roads are all Japanese imports, but, with confirmation last February that the second-gen Leaf would be sold here new, that wasn't going to last for long.
It's been over a year since that news broke, and we'd heard very little about the new Leaf and how far away it would be. But today, finally, Nissan New Zealand has filled some of the blanks.
It's been confirmed that the Leaf will land here in August, in the form of Nissan's 40kWh battery model, which generates (pun not intended) 110kW and 320Nm with a claimed range of 270km per charge.
Pricing in its entirety has yet to be confirmed, but it has been announced that the Leaf will start at $59,990 for the aforementioned model. Nissan will start taking orders from mid-May onwards.
How does that stack up against the competition?
Well, curiously the Leaf arrives with exactly the same base price as the Hyundai Ioniq EV. We quite like the Ioniq (it's a former Driven Car of the Year segment award winner), but its 200km range and lower power and torque figures in theory hand the Leaf an edge.
The Ioniq's SUV cousin, the Kona EV, offers a much more respectable 400km of range from its large 64kWh battery. But, it's much pricier than the Leaf at $73,990. There's a smaller battery variant in the pipeline that will be a better match for the Leaf. But, we'll have to wait and see where that will sit on the pricing scale.
The Leaf's other noteworthy rivals will include the Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid and BMW i3 EV. While the Prime isn't an EV per se, it is much cheaper than the Leaf, at $48,490. The i3 is much pricier, starting at $77,200, but that's what you'd expect for a product with a more premium slant.
It's curious times for the EV. And the Leaf's (admittedly involuntary) longevity in the New Zealand market could give it an advantage when it lands in four month's time. We can't wait to test it.