Nissan Leaf best reason to go all-electric
You don't get to be the top-selling electric car in the world by not being the best.
Worldwide, 300,000 Leafs have been sold and so far in 2019 in Ireland the Leaf has sold more than Jaguar, Mitsubishi, Fiat, Lexus, Mini, Alfa Romeo and Tesla selling 779 cars. Those are household names needing no explaining which is a space the Leaf now occupies in the minds of Irish motorists when we think electric cars.
This latest 2nd generation model has none of the looks we used to associate with electric cars as a differentiator. That’s because it was designed as an electric car from the outset. No conscience-pleasing conversion here for Nissan. As manufacturers try everything to tempt us different looks isn’t a tool for electric cars anymore. They must stand on their own merit and the Leaf could just as easily be a petrol or diesel “looking” car. It’s edgy, angular and futuristic - all combining to be appealing.
The electric engine is smooth, fast and silent. In bends because the batteries are stored underneath the car it is very stable and grippy. At speed the absence of noise is wondrous with only a faint hiss of wind noise. The interior is all high tech and comfort is on the right side of plush.
Acceleration is the drug that the Leaf has in spades and once exposed to it we are instantly hooked. To get the most from a charge Nissan have given us an e-Pedal. It provides one pedal driving. Press to accelerate and as you ease off it introduces progressive braking. It’s brilliant.
Range is always the first question I’m asked and overrides the questions usually asked of other cars - ride, performance and handling? So, I’m not going to feed the monster other than to record that for my regular use that translated into me charging the Leaf after three days. I can live with that easily. If stats are to be believed, so can you, as 80% of us can fit an electric car seamlessly into our lives based on our regular use. The tide has certainly turned and all electric driving is growing in Irish popularity.
It’s no longer acceptable to review a car and concentrate on it being electric. The Leaf has brought this about for motorists and is one of, if not the best reason to go all-electric.
Under the Hood
Model Tested - Nissan Leaf SVE
Engine - 40kW, 150HP, 320Nm
0-100km/hr - 7.9s
Top Speed - 144 km/hr
Urban Fuel Consumption Range - 378kms
Price - €42,500 (From €35,800)