Nissan plans to introduce the replacement for the current Leaf for the 2025 model year, a recent report from Autocar alleges. If the details in the report are correct, the new Leaf will be built in Nissan’s Sunderland UK plant and will use the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi group’s new CMF-EV platform. Oh, and it will also become a crossover, not a hatchback like the current Leaf.
Typically, we’d be upset to hear that any car that isn’t a crossover will become one after a redesign. Yet it’s hard to get too mad at Nissan here. The current Leaf is more attractive than its predecessor and fairly fun to drive, but it’s hard to recommend over many other EVs currently on the market. By the time the third-gen Leaf goes on sale, the current approach would probably make it an even more difficult sell.
Even today, the Leaf isn’t exactly selling like hotcakes. Back in 2020, Nissan sold less than one-third as many units as it did back in 2014. And while sales are up for 2021 following a price cut, more people probably buy a Model 3 in any given month than will buy a Leaf all year. The hatchback design certainly isn’t the only reason for that sales disparity, but considering buyers in the U.S. are almost completely disinterested in hatchbacks, it definitely doesn’t help.
Since we’re not working with a lot of details here, we’re not sure whether Nissan will simply give the next Leaf a small lift like Chevrolet did with the technically-a-crossover-but-we-don’t-believe-you first-gen Bolt or whether it will change the formula altogether. It’s also not clear how similar the crossover-ed Leaf will be to Nissan’s upcoming EV, the Ariya.
We’ve heard rumors that an electric Juke or at least a Juke-size EV is in the works, too. Will that be different than the Leaf-UV? Or is that electric crossover the replacement for the Leaf? And if there’s going to be a crossover Leaf, will Nissan offer a CrossCabriolet version, too?
Come 2025, I guess we’ll find out.