Crazy Blogger takes Nissan Leaf For A Joy Ride and this is what he thinks

Crazy Blogger Takes Nissan Leaf For A Joy Ride And This Is What He Thinks

Crazy Blogger takes Nissan Leaf Electric Car (that belongs to a blog reader) for a joy ride

I recently had the opportunity to drive a Nissan Leaf which belonged to blog readers of mine, considering the local Nissan dealer were not able to supply me a demonstrator’s car. Demand for this car seems to be increasing. The car is very nice and comfortable to drive. It is quiet to the point where you mainly hear tire and wind noise. With features like a reversing camera and a nice LCD screen in the middle, it makes it easy to drive both forwards and backwards.

The gear selection takes a bit of getting used to as it feels more like an artistic joy stick and with a hand brake. The steering wheel felt very nice in my hands and in my opinion the quality is like what you would expect when driving a Mercedes-Benz.

What is a Nissan Leaf?

Nissan Leaf Electric Car

Nissan Leaf Electric Car

The Nissan Leaf is an all electric medium size car. It has no gasoline or diesel engine. It is a 5 seater car around the size of a Toyota Corolla or Nissan Tiida. It is a 5 door hatch. In my opinion, the Nissan Leaf feels more luxurious with its nice seats and the fantastic LCD screen in the center. The LCD screen has that many functions to keep a geek occupied for days, maybe weeks.

How would you use the Nissan Leaf?

The Nissan Leaf is a versatile car that can be used to do the shopping, pick up kids from school, drive to work and do normal activities that anyone with a Toyota Corolla would do.

How could other people use the Nissan Leaf?

This car would make an excellent candidate for various forms of motor sport competition. The car drives well, it feels sure footed and stable.

How did I evaluate the Nissan Leaf?

When evaluating this car, I looked at how it drove, how comfortable it was and how easy it was to drive.

What results did my evaluation get?

Nissan Leaf's Steering Wheel has a nice feel to it

Nissan Leaf’s Steering Wheel has a nice feel to it

The Nissan Leaf drove very nicely and a pleasure to drive. With a reversing camera, it makes reversing easy and safe. The seats were comfortable and had a nice feel, despite being made from recycled plastic bottles instead of leather. This car exudes luxury and refinement with it’s nice interior. Also, the Leaf did not rattle or vibrate which makes it less stressful for occupants.

What are good/bad points?

Good points:

  • Luxury feel;
  • Easy to drive;
  • Comfortable seats – can seat 4 large adults comfortably and is capable of seating a 5th person;
  • Excellent handling, although the front wheel drive wheels can loose traction;
  • Powerful and high torque electric motor;
  • Fast acceleration;
  • Nice in car infotainment system.

Bad points:

  • Initial up front purchase price;
  • External styling, although I think I’ve acquired a taste for this car as it has grown on me.

What would you change/improve?

I would change the styling of the Nissan Leaf. I’ve seen on the web a Nismo version of the Leaf and that would be very attractive. Also, the range is around 100 miles (160km) and I would like to see an optional battery pack that could be put into the trunk and plugged into to the car to deliver an extended range of 150 miles (240km) for the occasional longer trip. The other thing I would like to see is a budget entry level version as not everybody needs all those nice luxury buttons, but the buttons probably keep the geeks happy.

What alternatives are out there?

In terms of Electric Cars, there are not many alternatives out there. The Mitsubishi i-MiEV which seats 4 people is significantly smaller than the Leaf. The Tesla Model S is a much bigger car. If your typical daily commute is under 100 miles, I have to ask why would you bother with gasoline or diesel powered cars?

Value and affordability?

In Australia, the Nissan Leaf hovers around the $60,000 (including on road costs) price range, although, buyers have been known to get them down below $50,000. In USA, the price is around US$35,200.

In my opinion, the entry price of the Nissan Leaf is a bit high, but your servicing and weekly running costs are significantly lower than an equivalent gasoline or diesel powered car. Having said that, the Nissan Leaf comes with many luxury features commonly associated with a Lexus or Mercedes-Benz. In fact, there were that many buttons I did not have time to explore what they all did. The steering wheel felt really nice in my hands and the seats were fantastic.

Final verdict

If your typical daily commute is less than 100 miles a day and you need a 5 seater family hatch, then you should seriously consider the Nissan Leaf. If you don’t like the price tag, then the other option available to you is to do your own Electric Car Conversion.

I would like to thank Phil and Amanda, who are one of the many blog readers, for lending me their Nissan Leaf.

This is Crazy Al signing out.

P.S. Please subscribe to my newsletter (located on the right) where I discuss the pitfalls of doing your own Electric Car Conversion and how to avoid them.

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