2019 Nissan Leaf Assessment: Quick Drive

2019 Nissan Leaf Assessment: Quick Drive

You’ve decided you want to purchase an electrical vehicle, and the 2019 Nissan Leaf has positioned itself as the smartest, most affordable option on your shopping list. Tesla product is just too expensive – or, ahem, unavailable – and the BMW i3 is just that little bit too far past what you may justify.

This preliminary, temporary native drive isn’t about assessing the Nissan Leaf towards its non-electrical competitors. Think Hyundai i30, Toyota Corolla, Mazda three or Volkswagen Golf. You’ve already determined you wish to buy and drive an electrical vehicle, so comparing it to conventional hatches just isn’t relevant.

Fairly, this test will focus on – if the pricing lands where we think it can – whether the Nissan Leaf continues to be the most compelling option in a phase that will get somewhat crowded fairly quickly. The Leaf was always the frontrunner; it’s straightforward to overlook that. Can it retain its position at the head of the real-world queue?

While the common punter can’t hope to simply afford Tesla’s current providing, the BMW i3 is, nevertheless, closer to the price more people can justify forking out for a every day driver. The entry-level i3 electrical-solely mannequin begins from $68,seven-hundred and steps as much as $69,900 for the i3s. Due to this fact, if the Leaf can sit around that essential $50K barrier, it’s a compelling value point for the common buyer.

There’s an entire different argument to be had about how we generate our power, and whether it's really green to personal an electric vehicle in Australia in 2018. You'll be able to, nevertheless, go for solar energy, build sufficient storage into your home system and handle your electrical energy use carefully to minimise the impact on the grid. And for those who’ve decided you undoubtedly need an electric automobile, the perceived reliability and high quality that include the Nissan badge are worth something earlier than you even start.

First up for me, there’s the Leaf’s styling. Or lack of the usual quirkiness, more to the point. Electrical automobiles have usually had an inclination to look somewhat bizarre, edgy or sharp for no reason aside from they're electric. The Leaf, not so much. It looks just about exactly how you’d anticipate a small Nissan Leaf 2011 hatch to look.

It’s a clear benefit to my manner of thinking that the Leaf doesn’t look like some strange stick insect with wheels. You could possibly argue that the Leaf could look more futuristic in case you needed to take the contrary view, however I like the relatively normal styling and I think it should broaden the appeal. Just because you’re an early adopter doesn’t essentially mean you want to appear to be one.

Nissan additionally claims a huge 400km battery range for the new Leaf. We’ll test the accuracy of that assertion once we get a Leaf in the AutomobileAdvice storage for a full week of testing, but on face value, with the average commute being less than 50km return, most Aussies could have more than enough range within the Leaf.

(NOTE: The above figure of 400km was primarily based on preliminary particulars drawn from the Japanese unveiling of the new Leaf. Nissan has now confirmed the native range, primarily based on the new WLTP testing system, might be 270 kilometres. In our view, this range will get most city families through just a few days of unplugged motoring

The Leaf will recharge in a single day at home from just about zero too, with the included pack. Use a quick charger like we did on the NRMA head office in Homebush, approximately 20km outside the Sydney CBD, and you’ll get to 80 per cent capability in 40 minutes – just sufficient time to have a coffee and check some emails.

Weighing in at 1500kg, the Leaf is someplace in the range of 200–300kg heavier than a petroleum-powered hatch of the same segment dimension, but with 320Nm available from zero, it’s spritely enough. There’s 110kW on offer as well, and 0–100km/h comes up in eight seconds so it’s not lightning fast, however it’s more than snappy sufficient to satisfy urban dwellers. There’s little question the immediacy that we’ve come to expect from electrical vehicles is there.

The Leaf does start to plateau out somewhere between 60 and 80km/h, however I ran it up to 100km/h on the motorway and it sat there effortlessly. Up to 60km/h, acceleration is really effortless and linear. And silent, after all, which brings its own new tech-targeted sensation. Single-speed gearing is something you’ll need to get used to. It’s a strange sensation initially, however like the feel of the brake pedal, it will quickly turn out to be second nature.

As regards to the brake pedal and the texture of same, Nissan is eager to advertise the intelligent ‘e-Pedal’ system. It’s activated via a swap on the console, so you need to use the brakes as normal in the event you favor, however I quickly grew to become consolationable with e-Pedal activated. It delivers energy recuperation and deceleration as quickly as you lift off the throttle too, bringing the car to a cease without using the brake. It only took corners for me to work the system out and not want the brake at metropolis speeds.