Review: 2019 Nissan Leaf

Posted by Motorama in Vehicle Reviews

The Nissan Leaf is the top-selling Electric Vehicle globally, which makes sense as the car has been around since 2010. Over 300,000 have been sold and now the next generation is here. The new 2019 Leaf has a modern look while its interior fit and finish convey an almost premium air. It’s also packed with infotainment and driver’s-assistance technology. And the most important: it's range is up from just 170km to 270km! Say goodbye to 'range-anxiety', because with the charging stations rolling out all over the country you'll be able to take the Leaf for a road trip without any hassle.

Initial Impression

Truth be told, when it launched in 2010 (and became available in Australia in 2012), the Nissan Leaf had limited range and was sort of unimpressively designed. But it was the start of a lot of buzz around Electric Vehicles (EVs), especially like Nissan intended. The Leaf was the cornerstone of a Nissan “Zero Emission” strategy and it stays there for almost a decade already. Now the all-new Leaf not only looks better but also has a range that is definitely not limiting anymore. It's a very practical hatchback that surprisingly has more room inside than the shown from the outside. It's aerodynamic design makes it use less electricity and with all the on-board tech helping out you feel like driving in the future. 100% emission free!

Driveability

Every accelerated quickly in complete silence? That's what you'll experience when you drive away from a traffic light in the Nissan Leaf. You'll leave pretty much everybody else behind - 0-100km/h in just under 8 seconds thanks to 110kW of power and 320Nm of torque - yet there is no engine roar or squeaking tyres. Instead it's quiet, composed and controlled, but fast. The torque is instant, even when you're already at speed and need to overtake a slower vehicle. It's the power of the electric engine. Of course it will cost you a bit more battery life, but you'll easily win this back when you use the e-Pedal, which does take some getting used to. What is does is 'aggressive regenerative braking' and with the e-Pedal engaged it allows for one-pedal driving in most situations, because the Leaf will bring itself to a halt. You've got to plan the distance right, otherwise you'll have to accelerate again, but once you've got the hang of it you'll notice it works.

Though the Leaf can now go the distance on the highway it does its best work around town. Light steering makes cornering easy and the suspension is tuned to filter out potholes, speed bumps and pimply surfaces we can find all too much around SEQ. The overall ride and handling are refined and easy, which combined with the complete silence of the engine make for a very peaceful drive.

Liveability

Now of course the most important question for many people will be: how is it to live with an electric vehicle? The answer is simple: great! Imagine never having to visit a petrol station anymore... The Leaf is fitted with a 40kWh battery pack, which can be fully charged in just 7.5 hours when using a 7kWh garage wallbox (needs to be installed separately) or 24 hours with a conventional home wall socket. If you're driving along the Queensland Electric Super Highway however you can charge it at a 50kWh DC fast-charger and have the battery back at 80 percent within the hour. Enough time for a well-deserved brake, drink a coffee or have a bite to eat. And that will be after a few hours anyway, so great for safety reasons as well.

The standard features on the Leaf are plentiful: LED headlamps, privacy glass, electric folding mirrors, automatic headlamps and wipers, and keyless entry are all standard. There's also seating heating front and rear, and a heated steering wheel - very useful in the harsh Queensland winter. And finally we have the first Nissan to get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These features are controlled from the 7-inch display which also houses all the information about the range, how much power you're using, speed, and the car's active driver assists. It's all easy to use and very well organised inside, with ample storage and proper seating for 5 adults.

Cost

The price of the Nissan Leaf is about $55,000 with some additional features and options to add. Servicing takes place every 12 months or 20,000km (brake fluid every 40,000km and 24 months), and the first six services cost $237, $317, $247, $330, $257 and $343 respectively. It comes with 5 year unlimited kilometer warranty and the Nissan LEAF Lithium-Ion battery State of Health guarantee protects against battery capacity loss (less than 9 bars out of 12) as shown on the in vehicle capacity gauge for a period of 8 years or 200,000 kilometres, whichever comes first.

Conclusion

When you're looking for an Electric Vehicle there aren't many options out there, but the Nissan Leaf is definitely a good one. It's affordable, trusted and comes standard with great (safety) features. As a hatchback by itself it competes with the best, but because of the 100% electric motor and zero emissions it stands on its own. The range isn't an issue anymore and with satellite navigation and a reversing camera with predictive-path technology you know that technology and safety wise (it also has a 5-star ANCAP safety rating) you're on top of the hill. A smooth powertrain which is impressively smooth and quiet need to be driven to believe. Book your test drive at Motorama Nissan now!

Interested in a test drive? Motorama Nissan is the place to be - so make sure you come and see the Motorama Nissan team in Hillcrest .

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