Added: 5th of December 2023
My experience with the Nissan Leaf has been nothing short of a surreal odyssey into the realm of impracticality and inefficiency. Claiming to be a modern marvel of electric vehicles, it falls drastically short of its promises. The advertised range of a heroic 160 miles per full charge is a mere fantasy, as in the harsh light of reality, it dwindles shockingly to an abysmal 90 miles! This drastic shortfall feels like the car has an insatiable thirst for electricity, demanding a charge almost as frequently as a smartphone - imagine plugging in your car every night next to your phone! Moreover, the Leaf, in my eyes, resembles less of a vehicle and more of a whimsical toy - a plaything pretending to be a car. It’s like owning a miniature electric train set: charming but utterly impractical for real-world applications. The countless hours I've lost, stranded and waiting for the car to charge, have bordered on the absurd. It's like watching paint dry, but more frustrating. I've found myself in ludicrous situations, such as missing important meetings, getting stranded in the middle of nowhere, and constantly living in fear of the 'low battery' warning, which seems to appear with a frequency that rivals the rising and setting of the sun. In conclusion, the Nissan Leaf, while a noble attempt at an electric future, plays out more like a tragic comedy of errors in the realm of efficient and practical transportation. It's a car that tests your patience and time management skills more rigorously than any high-adrenaline sport could ever hope to. I hope that by spending an hour writing this I save many many hours to come.
Added: 4th of December 2023
My experience with this car is that the car is not suitable for real life driving purposes. The battery drains out extremely quickly compared to other electrical vehicles I drove. This car is suitable for play and entertainment or just a demo but not actual driving.
Added: 23rd of November 2016
Note, no engine although the review asks for a cc of 400-plus A new adventure with the Leaf which is a second car. It is very well equipped, spacious inside, plenty of headroom, comfortable and easy to drive and a lot of fun. The 30kw battery is advertised by Nissan as giving up to 155 miles range but practically it is more like 110; but that is more than adequate. Useful communication via App to turn on heating etc remotely on a cold morning while still plugged into the charger; timer ensures it charges using off peak electricity; you can even plan a route remotely and it loads on to the car's sat-nav; keyless entry; instant warmth from the heaters/demisters; excellent air-con all make for a very comfortable and easy car to own. We lease ours (and the car isn't cheap) although the Government subdsidy of £4,500 helps and there is also an OLEV grant of £500 towards the cost of installing a home charger (ours is from Chargemaster). And of course zero road tax (even after the new tax regime expected to start in April 2017) is a big incentive. Many public charging points are free (if you subscribe to Ecotricity for your home energy you get a cashback if you own an electric car and free use of the 50kw motorway chargers which pump in around 80% charge in half an hour. Many Chargemaster points at shopping centres for example, are free) so you can undertake a long journey at pretty much zero cost. And while a long journey might need a little planning to ensure you reach charging points this hasn't been a problem although if there are more electric cars on the road it might be. One issue can be that some internal combustion engine cars use charging points to park which is a nuisance. Performance is excellent - the top speed of 98mph is more than adequate and as all of the torque is applied to the motors at once if you floor the accelerator, acceleration from the lights is astonishing for a car of this size. And it does it in total silence. We have the Tekna version with Bose sound system which is superb, even better given the only sound is a little tyre noise from some road surfaces and muted wind noise. No sound from the engine, because it doesn't have one... However, if you are using aircon or the comfy heated seats and steering wheel for example, that will shave half a dozen miles off the range while if you drive aggressively, your range will drop pretty dramatically. Take it easy though, select 'B' drive for maximum regenerative braking and you can cover a considerable distance at normal traffic speeds. If you are low on power you can select 'Eco' drive which restricts power and ekes out a few more miles. And if the worst comes to worse, you can always ask a householder or trader if you can pinch some electricity to get you to a proper charge point, it comes with a 13-amp plug!! The Leaf has been in production for five years now and its design in my view is beginning to look a little dated and the dashboard displays are slightly gimmicky (such as the tree saver icon) but that doesn't take away the fact that this is an excellent car. We compared it when looking for an electric with the BMW i3 - and while the latter is quite funky, has smarter performance and sharper regenerative braking, it doesn't have a lot of space (especially for things like pushchairs) and only two back seats - while the pillarless doors are not terribly easy. The Leaf however is of a conventional hatchback design - it is a genuine five-seat saloon with plenty of boot space, although the boot sill is a bit awkward. I believe Nissan are re-vamping the car and will relaunch it some time in 2017 or early 2018 with a 200 mile-plus range. That is something to look forward to and once range passes the 200-mile mark on a single charge for Leaf-sized vehicles, it begins to make the all-electric choice more mainstream in competing with conventional cars. Exciting times for electric cars - there are some interesting developments from the likes of Tesla, JLR, VW and others, as well as Nissan. All in all, there is little to dislike about the Leaf - we absolutely love it. You will too, you just need to be brave and take that first step. A test drive will convince you...
Added: 12th of October 2016
Surprisingly easy to live with, the Nissan Leaf is quick and responsive. It's highly practical for running around in towns and short journeys, but the range is an issue if going on longer journeys. The infrastructure for recharging is improving all the time but having to have a range of different provider cards is annoying.
Added: 12th of October 2016
Probably the best car I have ever owned, and in 50+ years of motoring that's a lot of cars! It's also the only car I have ever bought without first taking a test drive. I bought this one, and subsequently another one for my wife, secondhand through the Nissan dealership. Fabulous cars, ideal for short journeys of up to around 80 miles - depending on how you drive. Extremely cheap to run, tax and maintain. Only downside is the initial purchase price (hence me buying used low mileage examples) and the limited range. If you regularly use a car for shortish trips then it's no problem. Grants are available for installing a charger at your home (use off-peak electricity to charge overnight) and there are some free charging points - though these seem to be disappearing in the UK. In terms of performance, handling, comfort, it compares very well with other cars of a similar size. After several years of ownership, the cars are still just like new and they are a pleasure to drive - no gears, super acceleration too! NOTE THAT THE ENGINE SIZE IS INCORRECT AS THE SURVEY WON'T ACCEPT A FIGURE LOWER THAN 400.IN FACT IT DOESN'T HAVE AN ENGINE - BUT AN ELECTRIC MOTOR INSTEAD. SOMEBODY NEEDS TO RE-WRITE THE SURVEY PARAMETERS!
Added: 11th of October 2016
Not sure anyone can support two cars without one being electric. Ultra reliable, environmental friendly and cheap to run. What's not to like?
Added: 11th of October 2016
I've been driving a Leaf now for two and a half years and it is very suitable for London. When my current lease runs out in just over a year from now I will be interested in a model with a longer range. I have been forced to rate it as 1600cc in order to complete the questionnaire which has clearly been designed by someone who doesn't drive an electric car yet.
Added: 12th of October 2013
This car has exceeded our expectations. We were fully aware of its limitations in terms of battery charge and mileage and despite this, it is superb. A super drive, great visibility, comfortable, fun gadgets and of course, very cheap to run. It is great to think that there are no emissions and that each journey is virtually free!. It was expensive to buy and we have retained a second car for longer journeys.
Added: 12th of October 2013
This car has exceeded our expectations. We were fully aware of its limitations in terms of battery charge and mileage and despite this, it is superb. A super drive, great visibility, comfortable, fun gadgets and of course, very cheap to run. It is great to think that there are no emissions and that each journey is virtually free! It was expensive to buy and we have retained a second car for longer journeys.