Elon Musk's entry-level Tesla offers an estimated 220 miles of range. With the battery taking up space underneath the cabin, you and your passengers sit high, but there's plenty of room and comfort for everyone. Try One of These Top GPS Devices, GMC's New Hummer EV is 'World's First All-Electric Supertruck', Google Ends Support for Trusted Contacts App, GM Cruise Approved to Test Fully Driverless Cars in San Francisco, Waymo Launches a Fully Driverless Taxi Service in Phoenix. It exhibits barely any body roll, with controlled cornering characteristics. Still, the Chevrolet Bolt EV is more engaging to drive, as are the Leaf's Korean competitors. The Leaf Plus carries a $37,445 starting price, and lifts that range all the way up to 226 miles. Turns out, that's legit, but not for every trim level. The 2019 Leaf Plus hits dealers this month, priced from $37,445, not including $895 for destination. She was on the launch team of Car Audio and Electronics, Mobile Office, Portable Computing, and the first publication for the internet, NetGuide. With the Leaf Plus adding longer range, faster charging, improved performance, and more tech amenities, Nissan is well-positioned to increase its EV market share and keep its sales crown. Now, however, Nissan's electric hatch has to battle a wider range of competitors, with cars like the Chevrolet Bolt EV, Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia Niro EV (and upcoming Soul EV) and the infamous Tesla Model 3 all boasting well over 200 miles of range. Nissan tweaked the propulsion system software to boost the maximum output of the Leaf Plus to 214 horsepower, an increase of 45 percent compared with 147-horsepower in the regular Leaf. This is slightly more than the Bolt's 201-horsepower motor, although at 238 miles, the Chevy EV still has more range from a battery with roughly the same capacity. The 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus, which will reach dealerships this spring, finally offers more than the 200 miles that many Americans seem to see as the new minimum for driving range. Even with Tesla's uncertain future as a consideration, the Model 3 is the EV I'd pick. © CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. Get today's most important stories delivered to your inbox. That said, the Leaf Plus is still mildly entertaining to drive. Sure, electric propulsion may lack the piquant visceral boisterousness of a blaring V8, but there's nothing quite like the way electrons can move a car forward. In the interest of economy, though, I'd forgo all that and step down to the midtier SV at $39,405. : Printed in the U.S.A. OM19EA 0ZE1U1 ‘19 Cabin materials aren't the greatest, but there's lots of cargo space out back, with 23.6 cubic feet behind the rear seats. It also gets a 100kW quick-charge port and an updated infotainment system with a larger screen, and Nissan's ProPilot Assist semi-autonomous feature as an available option, putting it in a good position to retain its lead. Taking the Leaf Plus to a more common 50-kW DC charger will get its battery to 80% in just an hour. The Bottom Line Nissan’s Leaf Plus is a better Leaf, but not as compelling as many other EVs. The battery is also charged through regenerative braking and the Leaf Plus has a single-speed transmission that drives the front wheels. The 62-kilowatt-hour battery also means the electric motor produces a bit more oomph than the standard Leaf: 214 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque, compared to 147 and 236 in non-Plus models. Still, the Leaf Plus has a lot to offer, including a comfortable on-road demeanor and lots of driver assistance and infotainment tech. I'm not keen on the Leaf Plus' exterior design, so, aside from saving money, the darker color hides lines that don't really agree with me. Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. The nav system also shows charging locations. The only exterior changes to the new model are a small chrome Plus below the trim badge on the rear and a blue lower front bumper trim. Standard interior features include a 6-way manual driver's seat, a 4-way manual front passenger seat, Bio Suede upholstery, a 60/40 split fold-down rear seat, a digital instrument cluster, automatic climate control with pre-heat/pre-cool functions when the car is charging, and a charging timer. For a starting price of $30,885 (including $895 for destination and before tax credits), the standard Nissan Leaf will give you an EPA-estimated driving range of 150 miles. 2018 Nissan Leaf S. 167.8 mi / 270.0 km: As I'd spec it, we're looking at $41,205 out the door -- about three grand less than my tester. We delete comments that violate our policy, which we encourage you to read. The 2019 Nissan Leaf is a compact electric hatchback available in two versions: the regular Leaf and the Leaf Plus.The two differ mainly in their battery. 4.0. With the weight of the heavy battery sitting underneath the passenger compartment to keep the center of gravity super low, the Leaf handles twisty roads pretty well. What separates the Plus from other Leaf models is its battery. But for folks who are new to the electric vehicle scene, many of the Nissan's competitors offer more fun, more style and -- most importantly -- more range. The 226-mile range only applies to the base Leaf S Plus trim. The Bolt was the first affordable, 200-mile EV, and it's still quite a contender. Kia's all-electric Niro hatchback is fun to drive and boasts great range. The Leaf Plus is pricey when compared against other longer-range EVs. Purchase the new 2019 Nissan Leaf SV PLUS, starting at $49,973 . The top-of-the-line Nissan SL Plus trim starts at $42,550 and adds all the features of the SV Technology Package and SV All Weather Package options plus a cargo cover, a seven-speaker Bose audio system, and Nissan's Around View Monitor. That's in contrast to the base Leaf, which uses a 40-kilowatt battery, with 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet. She’s also written for automotive and technology outlets such as Edmunds.com, MSN, Style+Tech for Men, and Buick ReDiscover. It also doesn't hurt that the Model 3 looks a lot sleeker than the Leaf Plus. Higher trims of the extended-range Leaf actually decrease overall range because of their added, power-sapping options. The Good The 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus offers a smooth, quiet ride, plenty of comfort and up to 226 miles of all-electric range. Even so, the Leaf Plus falls behind competitors like the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Hyundai Kona Electric, which are EPA-rated at 238 and 258 miles, respectively. The better-equipped SV and SL models see an official rating of 215 miles. The Bottom Line. Thankfully, phone mirroring comes standard. OK, so the Leaf Plus isn't as insane as a Tesla Model 3 Performance, with its 3.2-second 0-to-60 sprint time, but the Nissan's acceleration still feels plenty urgent. That's significantly better than the Chevrolet Bolt EV's 16.9 cubic feet. But most are only available as standard equipment on the top-trim Nissan SL Plus. When the Nissan Leaf initially went on sale at the end of 2010, it was the first all-electric, mass market, highway-capable, five-door hatchback from a major manufacturer. The Leaf Plus' steering is not one of its best touch points. The 2020 Toyota Highlander gets a new platform... 2020 Hyundai Sonata brings arresting style... the possibility of this range discrepancy. 226.0 mi / 363.7 km: WLTP driving range, other Nissan models Driving range (WLTP) of the 2019 Nissan Leaf SV and other Nissan electric vehicles with comparable driving range. The E-Pedal essentially turns the Leaf's regenerative braking up to 11 so that the regen can slow the car all the way to a stop without the driver needing to use the brake pedal. Currently, she is exploring the intersection of smart mobility and resiliency to provide mobility solutions for global population diaspora caused by climate change, and political and economic upheaval. The S Plus trim starts at $36,550 and comes with such standard exterior features as 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, automatic on/off halogen headlights, LED taillights, power mirrors, a charge port light and lock, and keyless entry. For me, ProPilot almost makes traffic fun. Sure, the Leaf goes where it's pointed, but if you want feedback or any kind of road feel, short of opening the door and touching the asphalt, you're flat out of luck. The higher trims' reduced range is simply due to their more robust set of amenities, and therefore, added weight. The 2019 Leaf Plus hits dealers this month, priced from $37,445, not including $895 for destination. With as much as 226 miles of range on offer in an easy-to-like package, Nissan hopes this extended-play Leaf will only broaden its EV's already strong appeal. Nissan’s Leaf Plus is a better Leaf, but not as compelling as many other EVs. My well-optioned tester at $44,270 also includes Nissan's ProPilot system, which combines adaptive cruise control with lane-keep assist to form one of the best partially automated, hands-on-wheel assistance systems available. When the Leaf hit the scene, EVs were few and far between. This is especially true when you're accelerating at speed -- punching the throttle when you're already doing 35 mph reveals a huge thrust of forward momentum.