The Nissan Leaf. Not welcome by most auto enthusiasts. So far here on Oppo, I haven't got too much hate for it, so that's a good sign! Because it's Earth day I though it might be a good day to post a formal post about it.
The Nissan leaf came onto market in 2011. It was the first mass produced BEV (batter electric vehicle). It only has 107 hp and 187 pound feet of torque, but all that torque is available from zero RPM, this makes the Leaf quite a zippy car. The torque number was reduced for 2013, from 207 pound-feet to only 187.
(Full Disclosure: I'm too young to drive. Therefore this is a passenger review.)
The Leaf is a polarizing car. You either love it or hate it. Lets start up front. The defining feature here is the headlamps that are huge and pop out of the hood. The reason for their shape is to deflect wind over the wing mirrors. The side is nothing special really. The back 3/4 view is the one I don't like. The car looks like it has been stung by a bee. Not good. I do like the back straight on though.
The interior is decent. The seats are comfortable, the arm rest and the doors are padded with leather which is a nice touch. The dashboard lacks any kind of soft touch material though. The layout is logical. Everything is within reaching distance. The four outboard seats and steering wheel are heated. That's a nice touch that you usually don't find in a car at this price class.
What I'm about to tell you is based on how it felt from the passenger seat. This car has good get up and go. 0-40 is where it shines. 40-60 it begins to fall of a cliff. This is good for the Leafs preferred environment, the city. Bro trucks have been beaten by the little Leaf. Giving them a little bit of their own medicine.
I can't really judge here, after all, I've never touched the break pedal! If you want more information on the brakes you could read this.
Again, here I really don't know how to judge. The car feels
GROUNDED TO THE GROUND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Seriously though, it feels planted. It rides over bumps better than our 2008 Odyssey. Driving, the car is very quite as you might have expected. Wind noise is noticeable on windy days.
Can't judge here either as I'm not driving it.
How do you score a reduction gear?
It's a tech-y car, so it has some cool toys. It has car wings, something that Nissan has had in the JDM market for awhile. It includes functions like Google POIs, Google send to car, and RSS feeds. There also is an App for the car as you may have expected. The two main functions of the app are Checking state of charge, and turning on the climate control. The AT&T 3G data connection is pretty reliable, but there are times when the connection is weak. Oh, and the solar panel on the roof. People seem to be amazed by it! It only charges the 12v battery, so it's really more just for show.
We didn't opt for the premium package (Bose stereo and around view monitor) because the dealer had the SL in the color we wanted already on the lot. We kind of regret that decision looking back, but that's life! The base stereo isn't that great, it's simply lacking. Under hard acceleration it sounds like a jet!
Yes, EVs do come at a premium. We got our SL in the $34,000 neighborhood. The federal tax credit of $7,500 plus the $3,000 from the state of PA (no longer in effect) got it theoretically down to $24,000, which is attainable for most people. The tax credit takes $7,500 of your taxes for the tax year you bought the car. If you want to take advantage of the full $7,500 your taxes must be over $7,500, our taxes are way over $7,500 so this was no problem for us. It would've been a tougher sell if there was no tax credits or rebates. For 36k you could have a BMW X1, Mercedes Benz CLA, Volvo C30 (was on sale the time we bought our Leaf). Electricity for charging the car each month comes to around $30.00. That's less than half of what it cost to fill up the Liberty! Running costs are very low as you might have expected from an electric car.
So, that's a little bit about the Leaf! Sorry about the bold sections. I got Kinja'd.