The Nissan Leaf is is the best-selling electric car in the world. If you are speaking about mainstream electric automobiles, the Leaf has been it for years.
Now there’s an all-new model of the Leaf with extra subtle styling and extra vary than earlier than. And its $30,000 price ticket nonetheless undercuts the competitors from Tesla ( and )General Motors ( — though these vehicles nonetheless go farther on a cost. )
The greatest benefit of the Leaf is that you simply will not have to attend till someday subsequent yr to get one. Just saying.
The Leaf is not notably enjoyable to drive, the means most EVs are. The Leaf is the “mild sauce” model of an electric automobile. Part of that is as a result of it has much less energy. With electric vehicles, greater batteries imply extra driving vary, however additionally they imply extra energy and punchier acceleration. So it could be no shock the Leaf feels much less thrilling.
To be trustworthy, most Nissan vehicles are fairly uninteresting nowadays. I am unsure why however over the previous few years, Nissan has determined to place all the pleasure into its vehicles’ exterior design — they appear fairly sharp. The engineers appear to focus purely on gasoline financial system and luxury, and in that respect the Leaf matches proper in. The suspension is tuned for consolation and the steering feels as sharp as a Play Doh knife. If you do not thoughts that, and many individuals will not, you will not thoughts the Leaf.
Its 151 miles of vary is not as a lot as dearer EVs, however I used to be in a position to comfortably get via a whole weekend of extraordinary errand operating, plus a round-trip commute to work, with out recharging. (One factor you study driving electric vehicles is that almost all of us do not journey almost as many miles every day as we predict.)
The Leaf’s inside design is additionally much less thrilling than the Model three’s and even the Bolt EV’s. Beyond a shiny puck-shaped gear selector, most of the it feels prefer it may very well be in any Nissan financial system car. There is a pleasant and pretty giant touchscreen, however there’s nothing that makes you are feeling such as you simply leaped into the future.
The Leaf does have the ProPilot Assist characteristic, which is out there as an choice on the Leaf and another Nissan fashions. Think of it as Tesla’s Autopilot on a price range. It’s additionally largely much like driver help methods from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Lexus and others.
The driver has to maintain arms on the steering wheel, however ProPilot will do the work of holding the car in the heart of its lane. (It will not change lanes for you want methods on some dearer vehicles will.) It additionally maintains a distance behind visitors forward. By itself, it is not revolutionary — dearer methods are smoother and really feel extra pure, however what’s spectacular is to search out it on such an inexpensive automobile.
The Leaf is roomy for its dimension, snug, sensible and a great worth at its value, notably when tax advantages are factored in. Is it thrilling? No. But it offers a view to the future when individuals will purchase electric vehicles simply because they make sense not as a result of they’re cool.
CNNMoney (New York) First revealed April 25, 2018: 11:02 AM ET