Nissan Leaf e+ Tekna

with ProPILOT Park

Nissan Leaf, 2023, front, action
Nissan Leaf, 2023, nose
Nissan Leaf, 2023, side, action
Nissan Leaf, 2023, side
Nissan Leaf, 2023, rear
Nissan Leaf, 2023, rear, action
Nissan Leaf, 2023, rear, static
Nissan Leaf, 2023, tail
Nissan Leaf, 2023, interior

NISSAN gave a fresh look to the world's first mass-market electric vehicle last year with the iconic model offering more eye-catching style and innovative technology.

The Leaf received a refreshed exterior design, which, I think we can all agree, instantly made it the best-looking model so far.

From the wheels up, the facelifted Leaf introduced intricate exterior styling refinements, enhancing the dynamism of the model's distinctive appearance. The model also featured Nissan's new brand logo on the wheels, front grille and rear.

New 16- and 17-inch alloy wheel options - I was riding on the 17-inch alloys - bring an increased element of sportiness, with a slick black fascia enhancing their premium feel.

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

With the Leafe+, the 59kWh battery pack offers 55 per cent more capacity while keeping a similar shape and size to the 39kWhLeaf, all without compromising the car's exterior and interior space.

Maximum power and torque remain the same as the e+'s predecessor at 214bhp and an ample 340Nm.

It remains a five-door, five-seat hatchback with an ample 426 litres of luggage space. Fold the 60/40 split folding rear seats down and this is increased to a load-lugging 1,167 litres. Of course, the more you load it up, the more it affects the Leaf's electric range.

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

Nissan's tried-and-tested ProPILOT technology enables the car to automatically stop, start and maintain a safe distance to the vehicle in front, while the innovative e-Pedal provides the option to accelerate, decelerate and stop with only one pedal for maximum comfort on the move.

Having driven from Swindon to Plymouth in torrential, vision-reducing rain and spray recently, I can attest how good the ProPILOT system is, and how much faith you can put in it. It made a frightening drive much easier.

All newLeaf 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 and satnav.

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.

TheLeaf isn't bad to drive - its battery sits in the floor so its low centre of gravity helps with handling. It's comfortable, roomy, nippy, and refined on the motorway. It will handle city scenarios very well indeed, especially with the instant power delivery you get from an electric car.

You won't want to throw it around sharp corners but the front does go where you point it much better than in earlier models. However, I'd recommend moderation.

Like many of its successors theLeafhas 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.

FAST FACTS

Nissan Leaf e+ Tekna with ProPILOT Park

Price:£38,975

Mechanical:214bhp, 59kWh electric engine driving front wheels via automatic transmission

Max Speed:98mph

0-62mph: 6.9seconds

Combined MPG: 239

Insurance Group:21

C02 emissions:0g/km

Bik rating:2%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000miles

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