We Drive A 2020 Nissan LEAF SL Plus At A Constant 70 MPH To Test Its Range

The top-spec LEAF Plus falls short of 200 miles.

The 2020 Nissan LEAF SL Plus has an EPA rated range of 215 miles per charge, but we wanted to find out how far it would go traveling at constant highway speeds, in relatively mild temperatures. 

So we secured a LEAF SL Plus on media loan, fully charged it up, and headed out to the test loop on the New Jersey Turnpike that we recently used for our MINI Cooper SE highway range test. The MINI Cooper SE made it 108.2 miles, nearly matching its EPA rated range of 110 miles per charge.

We understand that there is no perfect range test, and even when you do your best to control as many variables as possible, there will still be some out of control. However, we think real-world driving range tests like this are valuable to potential future owners of these EVs. It won’t tell you everything, but it does give another data point to consider. 

We’ll be driving our EVs on the same course when we do highway tests, and they will all be done at a steady 70 mph. That way we have a basis to compare the vehicles, although not perfect, it will give a good indication of how the vehicles compare to each other at a constant 70 mph. 

We set the tires to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure, which, in the case of the LEAF was 36 psi in the morning before driving. We noticed that they did heat up to 38 psi while we were driving. The NJ Turnpike does have some minor elevation changes of about 100 feet which is why we drive in a loop and finish very close to where we begin.

There was a crosswind coming from the west for pretty much the entire drive at about 8 to 10 mph and the temperature fluctuated between 70 and 75 degrees. I had the air conditioning on 68º F and the low fan setting the entire trip. Had the car in Eco Mode and the e-pedal turned on, although I didn’t need to use braking much as the highways were clear and I only had to slow down to exit the highway and turn around.