Nissan Leaf Tekna

Nissan Leaf, front
Nissan Leaf, front
Nissan Leaf, front
Nissan Leaf, 2018, rear, static
Nissan Leaf, 2018, interior
Nissan Leaf, 2018, rear seats
Nissan Leaf, rear
Nissan Leaf, front

THE Nissan Leaf is frequently top of the pops in those ten best electric car charts that get regularly rolled out - and it's easy to see why.

Nissan was an early adopters in terms of the electric car revolution, with the original all-electric Leaf being launched in 2011.

It's come on leaps and bounds since then and certainly represents a tempting option to those considering taking the plunge into all-electric motoring.

Of course the term early adopter is a relative one. Electric cars were around at the dawn of car making but they ended up be sidelined in favour their internal combustion rivals.

Now the roles are being reversed as car makers increasingly make the migration from internal combustion to electric power.

In the interim most people's only experience of an EV would have been the milk float that brought their pints to the doorstep each morning.

These days electric vehicles are big business and car makers left, right and centre are clambering to get their creations to market.

The sense of urgency has been heightened by the demonisation of diesel but for the first time one is starting to get a sense that electric is the way of the future.

Undoubtedly Nissan has a head start and been a pioneer of sorts. The Leaf has moved on considerably since it was launched seven years ago and the all-new 2018 version is a consummate and capable creation.

It looks smarter and sharper for a start, more of a sleek and purposeful hatchback than the toy car-like stature of its predecessor.

It still manages to look different though, which is undoubtedly a good thing. Electric cars are ‘different' and emphasizing that difference via individual looks makes sense.

The futuristic design lines do not diminish the Leaf's practicality. On the inside it is spacious and more than up to the job as a family car.

There's 435 litres of boot space, which increases to 1,176 litres with the rear seats folded.

If the Leaf's looks have been improved then the technology which powers it has been transformed.

One of the great problems with electric vehicles thus far has been a limited range, which, coupled with a patchy charging infrastructure meant people could be reluctant to buy into the idea.

The latest Leaf has an average range of between 168 and 250 miles - depending on whether you are using it for mixed road motoring or city work.

One of the unusual things about EVs is that they're more economical in an urban setting.

The extended range (47 per cent more than its predecessor) is thanks to a number of developments, chief among them the more powerful 40kWh battery as opposed to a 30kWh one.

The new version is also noticeably more powerful in performance terms than the model it replaces.

It will take you from 0-62mph in just 7.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 89.5mph.

The Leaf's handling is much improved too, due to a number of engineering enhancements and in particular the fact it sits 5mm lower than its predecessor.

Putting your foot to the floor round a sharp-ish bend and enjoying the surge offered by the instant torque the Leaf can start to feel like a positively warm-ish hatch.

There are options as to how you actually drive the Leaf. It is automatic and the accelerator feels very different to a regular petrol or diesel-powered vehicle.

If you use the B mode it maximises regenerative braking, meaning you can essentially use the accelerator to drive the car. It's a little unusual at first but something you quickly get used to.

Press the e-pedal button then this is even further enhanced, meaning you can virtually forget about the brake if you wish.

One of the key things about any electric vehicle is charging, so how does the Nissan fare in that regard.

If you're going to use a standard domestic socket it will take 21 hours to fully charge it.

A full charge takes seven-and-a-half hours with a 7Kw wallbox, which Nissan will fit at your home for free.


Nissan Leaf Tekna

Price: £28,390

Mechanical: 150bhp and 40kWh electric motor driving front wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 90mph

0-62mph: 7.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 180 miles

Insurance Group: 20

C02 emissions: 0g/km

Bik rating: 13%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles


WE all know the old joke about how many people does it take to change a light...

Read more View article

THE cost of buying an electric car can vary by as much as £60,000 depending on...

Read more View article

THE pros and cons of electric cars are well-documented and the choice as to...

Read more View article