Nissan Leaf (2018) Review
Nissan Leaf (2018) At A Glance
When the Nissan Leaf arrived in the UK in 2011, it was revolutionary. An all-electric car with a usable range, as much practicality as a family hatch and a relatively affordable purchase price helped it secure the title of the world's best-selling electric car.
The latest model features a sleeker design, a bigger battery and therefore a longer 168 mile range under new 'real world' WLTP tests. Power has been increased to 110kW - equivalent to 150PS - while torque has been increased to 320Nm, improving performance.
From 2019, there's also a higher-powered version badged the E+. This has 217PS and can cover up to 239 miles between charges, meaning it's a genuinely useable electric car. With prices starting at more than £35,000 (after the government's plug-in car grant), it's expensive, though.
No matter which Leaf you opt for, one interesting feature is the e-Pedal. With this turned on, the electric motor automatically slows the car down, pumping energy back into the battery. Although many electric cars feature regenerative braking, this is more extreme - braking harshly enough for most situations and even allowing you to resort to one pedal driving most of the time.
This contributes to a very relaxed driving experience. It's pokey around town - although the standard Leaf soon starts to run out of breath at motorway speeds and the lack of an engine means you'll notice more road noise than usual. It handles fairly well, with a low centre of gravity thanks to the batteries positioned underneath the floor, although it's more suited to urban driving than rural roads.
The interior feels more conventional than the old Leaf with higher quality materials, but it's far from premium. An improved version of Nissan's eight-inch infotainment system looks dated but is easy to use, providing access to the navigation and audio systems, as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
There's plenty of space in the cabin, with enough room to carry four adults in relative comfort. The boot floor is flatter than before, while there's a generous 435 litres of luggage space with the rear seats left up.
Although the Leaf's a very competent electric car, it doesn't shine in any particular area and there's an increasing amount of very impressive competition. It's a perfectly likeable introduction to electric motoring, though, with a big boot and a very useable electric range.
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