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Don't want to buy a Chinese electric car? 2025 Nissan Leaf-succeeding SUV set for big range boost that will finally make it a competitive EV

The Nissan Leaf successor will morph into a small SUV borrowing styling cues from the Ariya EV. (AI-generated image)

Nissan’s Leaf-succeeding electric car could be set for a significant boost in range that would make it much more competitive against models like the Hyundai Kona Electric and BYD Atto 3.

As a reminder, the current Leaf is available in two forms – the base car with a driving range of 270 kilometres and the e+ version that boosts range to 385km.

However, Automotive News is reporting that dealers have been given a glimpse of the new model, which will morph from a small hatchback to an SUV to better compete against hot-selling EVs.

Also on the cards is a 25 per cent boost to driving range, meaning up to 481km from a single charge that eclipses the BYD Atto 3 Extended Range’s 420km range, as well as the Mazda MX-30 EV’s 200km offering.

Nissan’s new model is also set to adopt the Ariya’s styling, only shrunken to match its small SUV proportions, according to a dealer who saw the car, while Automotive News describes it as “crossover coupe-styled”.

But while the Leaf successor will be built on the same platform as the Aryia, the CMF-EV architecture, the Nissan’s mid-size electric SUV might not be the best indication of what to expect.

For that, we would need to turn to the Renault Megane E-Tech, which shares the same underpinnings and small SUV sizing of the mooted next-gen Leaf replacement.

Measuring 4199mm long, 1768mm wide, 1505mm tall and with a 2685mm wheelbase, the Megane E-Tech is significantly smaller than the Ariya, while still boasting a driving range of 454km thanks to a 60kWh battery in Australian spec.

With a single electric motor driving the front wheels, the Megane E-Tech also punches out a sizeable 160kW/300Nm, while pricing starts at $64,990 before on-road costs.

And with the same technology and sizing as the Megane E-Tech, Nissan could easily follow the same path blazed by the Renault for its Leaf successor, meaning potentially similar pricing.

This would place the new Nissan model right in amongst the Kia Niro EV (from $66,590) and Tesla Model 3 (from $57,400), but also push it more upmarket than the current Leaf that starts from $50,990.

Either way, the new model isn’t due until around 2025, while the Aryia is locked in for Australia, but timing is still unclear.