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UPDATE: Nissan Confirms LEAF Pricing, Under $19K With Tax Incentives

Sections: Fuel Economy, Powertrain

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A Nissan LEAF electric vehicle rolls down the Smyrna, TN assembly line.

Nissan teased that its new “S” trim would bring LEAF pricing to a new low thanks to adjusted trim appointments and U.S. manufacture. At the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Nissan delivered on that promise by announcing the LEAF S would sticker for $28,800– less than $19,000 with applicable tax incentives in some states. (Photo courtesy Nissan North America.)

We told you we’d keep an eye out for official word on Nissan LEAF pricing since the automaker teased its new LEAF S base trim would be the cheapest LEAF yet. To kick off the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Nissan finally revealed the price: A LEAF can now be yours for less than $20,000 after tax incentives.

According to Nissan’s press release, pricing for the LEAF S starts at $28,800. With a $7,500 federal tax incentive, that brings the LEAF to roughly the base price of the Nissan Altima, and with further tax incentives offered by individual state governments, it dips into Versa and cube territory. Consider the California example: With a $2,500 state tax rebate and the $7,500 from the feds, and you’re staring at $18,800, or about the same as the MSRP of a cube SL.

Other LEAF pricing notes:

  • LEAF SV starts at $31,820
  • LEAF SL starts at $34,840
  • LEAF SV is $3,380 cheaper than the similar 2012 model
  • LEAF SL is $2,410 cheaper than the similar 2012 model
  • LEAF S is more than $6,000 cheaper than the cheapest LEAF from 2012

I’ve been saying to friends and family who ask about the LEAF that I think the $20,000 mark has the potential to be a magic one for the LEAF. At the price of a well-loaded Sentra or cube, the LEAF will start to make sense for a whole lot more people as a simple-to-use commuting machine.

Even with a paid-off 29 MPG pickup truck sitting in my driveway, I’d consider a LEAF just for the fuel savings. As it is, I spend about $1,500 a year in fuel, or about $125 per month. A LEAF can be leased as cheaply as $199 per month for 36 months. Taking into account the $1,999 initial payment, the LEAF would cost me $254.52 per month. Subtract the fuel cost I currently spend on my gasoline-powered ride, and I’m looking at a few quarters more than $125 per month for a brand-new car lease.

Tempted? Yes. Yes I am.

Note: One piece of information Nissan has yet to release is the EPA range rating and MPGe. According to the press release, the automaker is “awaiting EPA test cycle verification.” We’ll keep our eyes peeled for the official word on what Nissan says will be improved overall range and MPGe ratings and pass the info along when we get it.

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