The third-generation Nissan Leaf is on the horizon, and it seems it won’t be just another run-of-the-mill EV. Set to go into development at the end of the upcoming year, this vehicle will undergo a remarkable metamorphosis, transforming into a high-riding crossover with a dash of concept styling. What's more, it's rolling out from the same British factory that will also be responsible for producing the next-gen electric Qashqai and electric Juke.
According to an insider source within the automaker, the forthcoming Leaf will bid farewell to its hatchback roots with hand-me-down parts and adopt a lower, sleeker profile compared to its siblings, the Qashqai and Juke. The design muse for this transformation? None other than Nissan's own Ariya and the eye-catching Chill-Out Concept unveiled in 2021. Gone are the days when Leaf's aesthetic left a lot to be desired.
Nissan's designers have taken a resolute stance against replicating the 'awkward proportions' that haunted the first and second-generation Leafs. This mission is bolstered by the decision to base the new Leaf on the CMF-EV platform, shared with the Ariya and Renault Megane E-Tech, rather than building upon a combustion car platform like its predecessor.
Nissan's Chill-Out Concept, celebrated for its sleek and flowing body panels with minimalistic lines and edges, set a new bar for automotive aesthetics when it was unveiled. Its front end, adorned with LED headlights, an LED light bar, and an illuminated Nissan badge, exudes modernity. If the new Leaf manages to capture even half the elegance of this concept, it will represent a monumental leap forward from its current incarnation.
Of course, an electric vehicle is only as good as its battery, and Nissan is not skimping in this department. The 2026 Leaf will be equipped with cutting-edge batteries manufactured by the Chinese battery company, Envision, right next to Nissan's Sunderland factory in the UK. These advanced batteries offer an impressive 30% increase in energy density compared to the current model's batteries. Translation: a substantial boost in driving range for Leaf enthusiasts.
The 2026 Nissan Leaf is shaping up to be finally an interesting option rather than a compromise that we are used to. With its sleek SUV makeover, design inspiration from the Chill-Out Concept, and a power-packed battery upgrade, it finally will have a chance to be competitive. Say goodbye to the quirky hatchback image of the past, and prepare for a Leaf that is both stylish and practical - two words that until now definitely did not belong in the same sentence when describing the Leaf.