The Nissan LEAF is a landmark car. When it was launched in 2010 it became the first electric car made by a major manufacturer, and since then it has become the best-selling electric car of all time. Now Nissan has applied 100 changes based on real world feedback, demonstrating its commitment to LEAF development.
Amongst the more significant changes is the switch from a conventional electric heater to a heat pump, which is 70% more efficient, helping the real world range in winter. The combination of improved aerodynamics, regenerative braking and E-powertrain increases the official range whilst practicality has been improved with a bigger boot now holding 370 litres.
The LEAF won’t be suitable for everyone but with the official range of 124 miles with the 24 kWh battery and 155 miles with the 30 kWh battery it does make sense for many journeys. The range will reduce if you use equipment such as the heater, but even so you can reasonably expect to get 80 miles. The key is to think how many times you drive further than this in a day.
Many people will think that the LEAF will be slow, but while its 0-62 mph time of 11.9 seconds puts it firmly in the respectable camp, it is the 206 lb.ft. of torque that defines the driving experience. Electric motors deliver maximum torque instantly which means that the LEAF is surprisingly brisk off the mark, making it ideal for urban use.
If you have off-road parking for safe recharging and don’t regularly travel over 100 miles a day the Nissan LEAF offers massive savings in running costs thanks to zero road tax and electricity costing about 80% less than petrol or diesel. Well specified, decent to drive and practical, the LEAF is a genuine alternative to the mainstream.
Official range: 24 kWh 124 miles; 30 kWh 155 miles
Official electricity consumption: 150 Wh/km
Battery pack: 24 kWh / 30 kWh
Recharge time 24kWh: 240V charge 12 hours; Optional 6.6 kW on-board charger 4 hours; rapid 50 kW charge 30 mins (0-80%)
Recharge time 30 kWh: 240v charge 15 hours; Optional 6.6 kW on-board charger 5.5 hours; rapid 50 kW charge 30 mins (0-80%)