Nissan Leaf e+

N-Connecta with

ProPILOT

Nissan Leaf e+, 2022, front, static
Nissan Leaf e+, 2022, nose
Nissan Leaf e+, 2022, front
Nissan Leaf e+, 2022, side
Nissan Leaf e+, 2022, rear
Nissan Leaf e+, 2022, tail
Nissan Leaf e+, 2022, rear
Nissan Leaf e+, 2022, interior

THE Nissan Leaf was the first mass-produced all-electric family car and has found its way into the homes of nearly 600,000 drivers worldwide.

A new version arrives on these shores shortly so buyers might find some great deals on the current version, which is certainly the best-looking yet.

There are several trims available to suit differing budgets but potential buyers might find themselves looking at the Leaf e+, which sits at the pinnacle of the range, and delivers better performance and a longer range than the ‘normal' Leaf.

With the Leaf e+, the 62kWh battery pack offers 55 per cent more capacity while keeping a similar shape and size to the 40kWh Leaf, all without compromising the car's exterior and interior space. Other than a minute increase in the car's overall height, its dimensions are unchanged. It remains a five-door, five-seat hatchback with an ample 400 litres of luggage space.

Fold the 60/40 split folding rear seats down and this is increased to a load-lugging 1,176 litres. Of course, the more you load it up, the more it affects the Leaf's electric range.

This has given the Leaf e+ an increased driving range of up to 239 miles on a single battery charge, up from 168. Maximum power and torque have also been improved to 214bhp - up from 148 - and an ample 340Nm.

Ironically, the N-Connecta trim here also comes with automatic aircon, heated front and rear seats, and a heated steering wheel - all gadgets which sap its electric range.

With the more powerful motor, acceleration from 50mph to 75mph is nearly 13% quicker - handy for overtaking. The new top speed of 98mph is also 10% quicker than the 40kWh version.

All new Leaf versions come as standard with the brand's latest NissanConnect infotainment system, with larger eight-inch touchscreen. Features include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto allowing for seamless smartphone connectivity. Customers also benefit from an upgraded navigation system, which features TomTom LIVE premium traffic and route optimisation.

There's also electric folding door mirrors, LED daytime running lights, tail lights, headlights, and footlights with cornering function, auto wipers, high beam assist, intelligent cruise control, speed limiter, front and rear USB ports, a rear view camera and front and rear parking sensors.

The Leaf e+ is also equipped with Nissan's impressive ProPILOT advanced driving assistance technology - an advanced driving assistance technology which, on single lane highways, allows the car to stop, restart and stay centred in its lane in higher-speed cruising and lower-speed congested traffic scenarios.

The Leaf isn't bad to drive - its battery sits in the floor so its low centre of gravity helps with handling - and Nissan's engineers have stiffened up the vehicle's springs so its steering is precise and any body roll well-contained.

It's not the greatest drive you'll ever experience but it will handle city scenarios very well indeed, especially with the instant power delivery you get from an electric car.

Like many of its successors the Leaf has automatic transmission, with ‘D' and ‘B' settings, the latter simulating engine braking and capturing more power through regeneration - useful for driving through Devon where I live, which has plenty of hills and corners.

It also has an ‘e-pedal', which, when activated, provides even more electrical regeneration - even to the extent that, with a little practice, ‘one-foot driving' is possible. Lift off the accelerator and the car will practically brake itself.

FAST FACTS

Nissan Leaf e+ N-Connecta with ProPILOT

Price:£30,445

Mechanical:214bhp,62kWh electric engine driving front wheels via an automatic gearbox

Max Speed:98mph

0-62mph: 6.9 seconds

Combined MPG:239

Insurance Group:25

C02 emissions:0g/km

Bik rating: 2%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000miles

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