- Reliable & Powerful EV
First launched in 2010, the Nissan Leaf is undoubtedly one of the most popular electric vehicles throughout the world. Nissan sold over 500,000 units of Leaf by December 2020 and it was also listed as the world’s all-time top-selling plug-in electric car until December 2019. After more than a decade, Nissan has finally launched the second generation of Leaf in Nepal at a price of Rs 5,999,000.
We were able to test drive the ever-popular Nissan Leaf and here is our take on the vehicle.
Nissan played it simple with the Leaf, giving it a well-liked five-seater hatchback design. The fascia of the car sports a V-shaped design housing sharp swept back headlamps and being an EV, it gets a charging port instead of a traditional grille. The lines and creases in the front of the car aren’t that aggressive giving it a simple and clean look that carries over to the sides as well; you will see a zero emission badge on the front doors stating that it’s an EV. The stylish 17-inch alloy wheel looks chunky and gives the car a bold look. The angular funky tail lamp makes the car look quite cool and sporty. The blacked out rear section and the rear air diffuser add to the sportiness of the vehicle. The car gets a boot space of 435 litres which is quite big for a hatchback.
Interior and Features
As soon as you get inside the car, you are welcomed into a spacious black-themed cabin. The smartly laid out dashboard looks up-market and the chrome accents give it a premium feel.
In the middle of the dashboard, you get a user-friendly 5-inch infotainment system supporting Bluetooth, USB and AUX input. However, the infotainment unit seems a bit dated as it does not support modern features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The automatic climate control is controlled by traditional buttons and knobs which are easy to use even while on the go. Integrated into the steering wheel, there are multimedia buttons, cruise control and navigation buttons for the instrument cluster.
Located ahead of the steering wheel is a semi digital-analogue supervision cluster that gives you information like remaining battery percentage, average speed, trip meter, range and many more. But the car misses out on features such as a wireless charging pad, rear A/C vents and USB charging port for the rear occupants.
Talking about the seat, on the front you get plenty of adjustments and it is well-cushioned making it quite comfortable. Both the front seats can also be heated so you don’t have to worry about cold winter days. Getting into the rear is very easy, thanks to its wide-opening doors. The rear seats felt very comfortable to sit in with good thigh support and decent leg and headspace. However, the third middle passenger on the rear seat can be a bit uncomfortable on longer journeys as the floor hump is relatively higher.
Driving and Handling
The new Leaf comes with a 40 kWh battery pack through which the company claims that the car can run up to 311 kilometres on a single charge. The electric motor generates a maximum power of 147hp and 320 Nm of torque. The car goes from 0-100kmph in under eight seconds and has a top speed of 155 kmph. As it’s an electric vehicle, you will not hear any engine sound, making the driving experience smooth and seamless.
Another good thing about an electric motor is the instant torque as soon as you put the foot down. After a high-speed run, the brakes on the Leaf were capable of bringing the car to a stop quickly. The Leaf gets an ‘e-pedal’ feature which will automatically bring the car to a halt if you are not accelerating the car making it easier to drive around the city traffic. Along with the drive mode, you will also see a ‘B’ mode on the gear selector. This mode enables a regenerative braking system which will add more range to the car. To maximise the range, there is also an eco-driving mode.
The car feels steady even at high speeds though you will feel a slight body roll going around corners. Driving in the city felt easy due to the lightweight steering wheel. The suspension setup is neither too soft nor hard and the car soaked up city potholes with ease. As there is a battery pack underneath the floor, you get a relatively low ground clearance of 155mm. However, it is more than enough to drive around on a gravel surface.
The Nissan Leaf is a very practical and comfortable electric vehicle. It offers an adequate range and power for the city and occasional highway drives. You also get a decent amount of smart features and it is quite known for its reliability. The Nissan Leaf can be a very good option if you are looking for a practical, reliable and powerful electric vehicle.
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