Nissan Leaf Review 2023
Nissan Leaf 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 Nissan Leaf went on sale in 2018, bringing with it an improved interior and more tech for your money. But even then it was starting to feel dated, and there's now a much broader range of very competent electric cars on sale. The Nissan Leaf's £27,000 start price will get you an MG ZS EV or Volkswagen ID.3, while top-end models are straying dangerously close to cars like the Hyundai Ioniq 5.
So what has the Nissan Leaf got in its favour? Well, a new longer-range model arrived in 2019. Badged the Nissan Leaf E+, this has a bigger 59kWh battery providing an official WLTP range of up to 239 miles. It's not quite as impressive as the longest-range electric cars but it should be more than adequate for a lot of drivers.
Not everyone needs an electric car capable of travelling from Land's End to John O'Groats without stopping, though. It's easy to go chasing numbers but remember, the bigger the battery the longer it'll take to charge (and the more that'll cost). If you're only wanting to bimble about locally, even the cheapest Nissan Leaf will be more than adequate – with its 39kWh battery and 168-mile range.
No matter which Nissan Leaf you buy, you'll find it easy and relaxing to drive. Refinement perhaps isn't quite as impressive as newer (more soundproofed) alternatives, but it's no noisier than an MG ZS EV. Turn the e-Pedal on and the Leaf's regenerative braking is ramped up to the max. This simply means that, as soon as you lift off the accelerator, the car will use the electric motor to slow down. With a bit of practice, you'll barely need to use the brake pedal for around-town driving.
The Nissan Leaf's interior feels almost boringly conventional, while there's a distinct lack of plush materials. The standard-fit eight-inch infotainment system looks dated but it's functional, while Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. That's a good thing.
There's loads of space in the Nissan Leaf, especially if you're comparing it to compact electric cars like the Renault Zoe. You could actually use it as your main family car, thanks to enough space for carrying four adults in comfort. The boot's capable of carrying up to 435 litres of luggage, which is pretty good, although the MG 5 EV is an electric estate car that trumps the Leaf on outright space.
While it's difficult to get excited about the Nissan Leaf in a rapidly expanding market, it could still make a very sensible electric car purchase. Its slight lack of showroom appeal will help you bag a nearly-new bargain (as well as skip waiting lists), while Nissan's electric car expertise means it ought to be a very reliable introduction to eco motoring.