Nissan’s LEAF has seen itself become the most popular electric vehicle in the world thanks to its sales of over 60,000 units since it came to market a few years ago.
The car is extremely popular among the electric vehicle brigade and rightly so.
However, Nissan has decided to make a number of changes to the LEAF – over 100 hundred in fact and a new version has just been released on our roads.
Built in the UK, the new European LEAF has used insight from customers, tweaks from engineers and information from the cars cumulative 178,000,000 miles of driving to improve it – or so Nissan hope.
The new version of the car is a lot prettier than the old one and unlike the previous car;
the charging point is now positioned on the bonnet, though this is nearly the most obvious change.
Nissan has made a number of alterations to other areas of the car that are unseen.
The car now comes with a lighter battery, weighs in at 32kg less and a heater that’s 70% more efficient than the old one.
There are also a number of nice additions such as BOSE speakers and built in satellite navigation.
The car has had a few changes inside too and there are now a trio of options as regards trim levels – Visia, Acenta and Tekna.
The car now comes with a range of different colour options and seats have been given different shapes to the previous model to create more room in the car.
Behind the Wheel
The LEAF did get some stick for its build quality initially however, Nissan seem to have made significant in-roads here and the car is a lot better than before.
It’s sturdy, has a better tuned suspension and the ride and handling are still very good.
It’s also quite sturdy as a car and a very nice auto to drive if you ask us. It is notably heavy, but this is down to the battery involved in any car of this nature.
The Nissan LEAF has also got extra kick under the bonnet and the car now has a range of around 124 miles, up 15 miles on the previous version.
The car also comes with a new 32amp charger which can hit 80% charge in half an hour – something that those fearing dying batteries will be eased by.
This makes it almost as convenient as many of the alternatives.
It’s also cheaper to lease the battery now than it used to be. This saves the average user around £70 a month on the cost of the LEAF.
However, the change in the nature of the leasing of the battery makes leasing and residual values hard to calculate.
The LEAF has improved a lot and the extra range and the fact the car is more refined and better built mean it is more usable and a better car than ever before.
It’s a practical car, that’s easy to live with and provides the cleanest possible private motoring – not so bad.
Martin Sheen has written a variety of web articles on the subject of cars and is an automotive journalist.