Nissan Leaf review

Ahead of its rivals

2016 Nissan Leaf: First Drive Of 107-Mile Electric Car
That being said, battery technology is dropping in price quickly, and capacity is increasing quickly too. Thanks for the review MMM! You might also like: You make a great point about road trips. Schorschi October 7, , 8: Gold Leaf for Hotels.

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Long-Term 2018 Nissan Leaf: Electric Autonomy—Putting Nissan’s Pro Pilot Assist to the Test

No doubt, ProPilot has some limitations. My findings on this road trip confirmed that that perhaps the best use of the tech is in rush hour commuting. ProPilot made me way more patient during the drive and way less irritated afterwards. I have put around half of the plus miles so far on our Leaf and in general I really like it.

The mile range makes a huge difference, especially considering the miserable mile range of my own personal, sagging, six-year-old Mitsubishi iMiEV electric car.

However, I gotta wonder what they were thinking when they designed the ProPilot Assist. You have to hold onto the steering wheel with both hands and grip it like you mean it the whole time. If you do that, the wheel turns itself as it determines the road is curving. Of course, that's in the future, and another level of autonomy up from this.

I usually wind up just putting the Leaf on cruise control without the ProPilot Assist and steering the thing myself. Like I say, in general I am very happy with the Leaf in almost every way. The Leaf is coming with a rumoured miles range, so we've read, but this one here is plenty handy at Ben Stewart - Ben Stewart has spent the past two decades reviewing cars and reporting on automotive culture and technology. Inexpensive autonomous driving tech, quick acceleration, smooth ride.

Car news, reviews, motorsports, auto shows and stunning photography delivered right to your mailbox. Turn on JavaScript from your settings to fully experience the site. Nissan Leaf long-term update 3 Photo 1 1 of 6 This month, we take a more in-depth look at the new Leaf's semi-autonomous ProPilot Assist feature.

Here it is chillin' at the beach in L. Indeed, electric cars cost only one-fifth to one-third as much per mile to run as gasoline cars do, depending on how much the owner pays for a kilowatt-hour of electricity. The Nissan Leaf comes in three trim levels.

It also has a slower 3. It generates just enough power to run two ventilation fans that pull hot air out of the cabin while parked in the sun--reducing the load on the air-conditioning system when the car is used. All Leafs sold in the U. But local assembly has helped Nissan steadily boost the pace of Leaf sales, often a hard trick to pull off with a car that's nearing the end of its product life. And the Leaf has settled into its role as the quiet, smooth, affordable electric car that costs just pennies a mile to run--far less than any comparable gasoline car.

The Leaf now sells well in multiple locales: The design of the Nissan Leaf, even in its fifth year, remains polarizing and controversial.

Nissan's goal of making the car "iconic, but not weird" may have skewed a bit too much toward the weird end of the scale, to judge by reactions from at least some electric-car advocates.

In form, it's a standard five-door compact hatchback, tall enough to accommodate a thin battery pack under the cabin floor--but it's the details that startle people who've never seen one before.

Get close to a Leaf and you'll see the nose angling down to the bumper, with no grille no radiator, remember? Angular headlights up high sweep back almost to the corners of the windshield, with a distinctive clear fin sticking up that smooths airflow around the body.

The side doors are conventional, but the base of the window line rises toward the rear. The liftgate is all but hexagonal, and it protrudes a bit below the beltline, giving the Leaf a rounded bustle. The taillights are vertical strips of LEDs, again mounted up high just outboard of the hatch opening. A spoiler on top of the tailgate extends the line of the roof--again, it's to smooth airflow and reduce energy-consuming aerodynamic drag--and the top-level Leaf SL model has a small photovoltaic solar panel embedded in it.

That panel only generates enough power to run a couple of ventilation fans that cool the cabin, though Leaf owners will likely get a lot of questions about whether their car runs on sunlight. Inside, the cabin is a mix of standard Nissan economy-car and radical design touches. The instruments are split in two levels, with a digital speedometer, temperature gauge, and clock on a panel above the digital gauges in a cluster behind the wheel. A large rectangular display in the center of the dash shows energy usage, driving range, maps, nearby recharging points, and more in real time, although a simpler, smaller dash display is used on the base Leaf S model.

One thing that may perplex novices: Putting a Leaf in "gear" requires a gentle tug back and left on a mouse-shaped driving mode selector sitting on the console. Most of the Leaf was engineered from the ground up to operate silently--including specially quiet windshield wipers--but some interior fittings are shared with more basic Nissan models.

We're not fond of the pendant parking-brake pedal, a throwback to the Eighties that replaced the electric parking brake on earlier Leafs.

Of the available colors, we like the rarely-seen rich Cayenne Red color, and there's also a distinctive Leaf blue. But you'll want to avoid ordering black if you live in a warm or hot climate; using the air conditioning to cool the cabin chews through battery energy and reduces the Leaf's effective range. The Nissan Leaf is a perfect example of why electric cars are simply nicer to drive: It's a quiet, smooth five-door hatchback that delivers drama-free driving despite acceleration that's only average.

Its handling and roadholding is adequate but far from engaging; rather than involving the driver in the car's abilities, it makes the process as low-effort as possible. Driving a Leaf is notable only for its calm and simplicity.

When required, the Leaf will accelerate briskly, but the driver has to push hard on the accelerator--an energy-saving measure to ensure that degree of power is really wanted. The kilowatt horsepower electric motor that powers the front wheels draws energy from the kilowatt-hour battery pack just under the cabin floor; the motor produces a healthy lb-ft of torque. It's in the handling and roadholding where the Leaf may disappoint those who enjoy the process of driving.

There's nothing inherently wrong or dangerous, but the electric steering is numb, with light weighting, and it provides very little feedback from the road. No matter which way a driver turns the wheel, its centering force seems to remain the same. The Leaf does provide an incredibly tight turning circle of just 17 feet--possibly the lowest of any car on the market today--due to the lack of an engine up front between the wheel wells.

There's little body roll in the Leaf, because the heaviest component the battery pack is carried at the car's lowest point. Because it's a tall car on small tires especially the Leaf S base model, which uses inch wheels , we found the Leaf sensitive to side winds. But the lack of road feel or control feedback makes "appliance-like" the most suitable adjective for the Leaf.

It's fine, but it's the antithesis of anything sporty. The EPA-rated electric range this year is quoted at 84 miles combined. Still, buyers need to know that any car running on battery power is sensitive to driving habits and temperature, both of which affect range in a major way. Drivers learn to accelerate gently, coast down to stops, and plan ahead to avoid sudden acceleration or hard braking, all in the name of conserving energy.

There's also a Eco mode for greater efficiency, which cuts maximum available power by 10 percent--although the effect feels much greater. Flooring the accelerator thankfully overrides Eco mode, temporarily, for safety in sudden emergencies. In the Leaf, Eco mode is somewhere between slow and frustrating, and we avoided it in our road tests. As well as temperature--the lower it gets, the less range the battery delivers--high speeds burn through battery energy, reducing range as well.

High-speed travel in a Leaf feels breathless, with the steering feel getting heavier and acceleration declining noticeably above 50 or 60 mph as aerodynamic drag rises. Top speed is capped at 90 mph. While the Leaf is fine for freeway commuting, it may be most useful in around-town use up to 50 mph or regular commutes of predictable distances. To get the Leaf underway, a driver taps the Start button, pushes the mouse-like Drive Mode Indicator on the console left and back, and simply presses the accelerator.

The result is motion in virtual silence. We also check eye sizes and various other things to make sure you get a quality product. Springs are either usa or mexican made. Both the usa and mexican springs are made to OUR standards and tested to be meet or exceed what came in your car originally. Every spring we sell has the same quality no matter where the parts are manufacturered.

None come from China or Japan. We have had to make some changes in order to keep some springs looking original. The ones which are mexican are not made in the same place that has been making substandard springs for over 20 years for one of the big-name companies. All our springs are still made with premium quality high alloy spring steel and must meet our high standards for what we sell.

Used Nissan Leaf By Year