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Up close with the 2018 Nissan Leaf

Today Nissan finally unveiled the 2018 Leaf, its next-generation electric vehicle set to take on a new breed of mainstream competitors like the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3.

The final production model has turned out to be pretty conventional; before the avalanche of leaks, many were expecting the next Leaf to take its cues from the aggressively angular IDS concept car that Nissan brought to Tokyo Motor Show 2015.

The main advances with the Leaf, then, are technical — a new 40 kWh battery that provides 150 miles of range; the debut of Nissan’s ProPilot system for autonomous parking and highway driving; and a single “e-Pedal” that can handle starting, accelerating, and braking.

The new Leaf’s somewhat staid design might be divisive among electric vehicle enthusiasts, but it won’t run the risk of turning off a lot of people altogether with a radical new approach. Tesla’s Model 3, with its lack of grille and, well, anything at all on the dashboard beyond a giant touchscreen, is the kind of car that makes you feel like you’re buying into the future. The new Leaf? It’s a reasonably attractive regular car with a few neat flourishes, which may well prove to be the safer call.

See for yourself: here are photos straight from Nissan’s launch event in Tokyo.

2018 nissan leaf

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