The 2020 Nissan Leaf Wears Some Nifty Upgrades—But Only in Japan
The electric vehicle (EV) to beat gets even more difficult to challenge for 2020, as Nissan plans to imbue the Leaf with better driver assistance technologies and connected features for the upcoming year. Sadly, all these cool new additions are limited the Japanese market.
Still, it’s worth discussing what these features are, because it could eventually trickle down to other markets, maybe even the Philippines, as the Nissan Leaf is scheduled to arrive here next year.
Changes include the introduction of Nissan’s Intelligent Blind Spot Intervention system, as well as tweaks to Nissan’s ProPilot driver assistance tech, ProPilot Park feature and NissanConnect.
Two additional exterior paint options are also now available: Vivid Blue and Stealth Gray.
As for the changes to ProPilot, the system now gives the driver enhanced control to reduce travel-induced fatigue and stress. Even in inclining terrain, the system can maintain the driver’s set speed, balancing the output as it detects the car returning to flatter road surfaces. The speed control has also been optimized for smoother braking.
The ProPilot Park feature also receives some improvements, reducing the time it takes for the car to park itself. ProPilot can maneuver, accelerate, brake, steer, gear shift, and even apply the parking brake for truly efficient fits-like-a-glove parking.
The 2020 model year also marks the first time that Nissan’s Intelligent Blind Spot Intervention (I-BSI) will appear in the Leaf. When I-BSI detects a vehicle approaching the rear of the driver’s vehicle—a common blind spot area—it alerts the driver with an indicator light. If the driver starts to veer into the oncoming vehicle’s lane, the system notifies the driver with a chime while continuously flashing the indicator light to warn the driver. The system will also apply a slight braking force to give the driver ample control of the vehicle and return it to its original lane.
The new LEAF will also be equipped with Canto, Nissan’s signature projected sound that alerts pedestrians and other road users that the EV is approaching when it’s being driven at city speeds or reversing.
Nissan Door-to-Door Navigation feature, which links the car’s navigation system your smartphone for seamless navigation, now has a specific EV function that shows the driver a recharging plan, informing the driver when it’s time to recharge to ensure the vehicle reaches its intended destination. Map updates can also be made in real time, made possible by the Docomo app in Car Connect, which converts the cabin into a Wi-Fi zone to eliminate smartphone data usage while driving.
Locating your destination is also easier in the 2020 Leaf with the integration of Google Search Tools to the onboard infotainment app. Meanwhile, the Remote My Car Check/Remote Door Lock app informs you whether the car is locked or not, and lets you do so remotely. Another app also lets you know when the car being driven by someone else, such as a family member, helping you ensure their safety and responsibility on the road by providing you with speed, location and curfew alert information.
Speaking of infotainment, a 9-inch screen now comes standard, offering a crisper, clearer view of maps and menus along with a more user-friendly interface.
Nissan also gives the latest Leaf a few design changes. With the help of Autech Japan Inc., a Nissan subsidiary, the Leaf will come in an Autech edition that gives the car a new body color unique to Autech – a two-tone Aurora Flare Blue Pearl with Super Black roof, with matching interior to boot.
There’s no word yet on when the Nissan Leaf will electrify the local vehicle market. Hopefully, the one that makes it to our shores come with all these smart and useful additions.