The Nissan Leaf is the most popular electric car in the UK
Introduction to the Nissan Leaf
The Nissan Leaf is a very capable electric car.
The 2018 model – which has a 40 kWh battery – is based on 10 years of EV development. Nissan took all the good points of the original Leaf, eliminated most of the bad areas, and introduced brand new technology. It was officially the top-selling electric vehicle in Europe in 2018.
In 2019, Nissan updated the Leaf again, offering the Leaf e+ model. It comes with a larger 62 kWh battery.
Scroll down for details of range, prices, features, USPs, official website, and video reviews.
- Good value for money
- ProPILOT Advanced Driver Assistance System
- e-Pedal = one pedal driving
- e+ model has very good range
- Steering column not fully adjustable
- No active thermal management system for the battery
Nissan Leaf – Range
The base model Nissan Leaf has a 40 kWh battery and a real world range of about 151 miles.
The Nissan Leaf e+ version, with its 62 kWh battery, can go about 215 miles on a single charge. That’s really decent range.
Nissan Leaf – Price
This Nissan electric car costs from £27,995 for the 40 kWh version, including the PiCG grant.
This is a fair price, considering what you get in return. It’s a 5-seat, family-sized, sensible EV. The Renault Zoe costs less, but is more cramped in the back row.
The Leaf also enjoys advanced technology, with a special mention for the ePedal and ProPILOT – more details below.
The larger battery 62 kWh version, the Leaf e+, costs from £35,895 including the grant. That’s a fair whack more than the 40 kWh model. However, it’s not as bad value as it might appear, when you consider it has 65 miles more range than the 40 kWh model.
The 2018 Nissan Leaf introduced the e-Pedal.
All electric cars are like ‘automatics’. There is no gear shift to move around to change gears. They have therefore just two pedals for your feet: a brake on the left and an accelerator on the right. You switch from one to the other, as required, while driving.
Nissan’s e-Pedal, on the other hand, allows you to drive using just one pedal. How on earth does that work?
When you press the e-Pedal, the car starts to accelerate. Once up to speed, if you then hold the e-Pedal steady, the car maintains its speed.
If you want to brake, you simply let the e-Pedal come up a little bit. The car will start to slow down. The more you let your foot off the e-Pedal, the harder the braking.
One pedal driving is clever in itself. But the really clever bit is what is known as ‘regenerative braking’. As you lift your foot off the e-Pedal, there are no actual brake pads pressing against your car wheels. Instead, the e-Pedal causes the electric motor to go in reverse and act as a generator. This charges your battery.
So slowing down the new Nissan Leaf using the e-Pedal actually charges its battery via regenerative braking. Now all EVs now employ this technology.
ProPILOT is available on some models of the Nissan Leaf.
It’s full name is ProPILOT Advanced Driver Assistance System. ProPILOT is a form of intelligent cruise control. It will basically drive the car for you on motorways.
You set the speed and the distance between you and the vehicle in front, and ProPILOT does the rest. It will keep you at your desired speed, automatically braking or speeding up as necessary, to keep the programmed distance with the car in front.
You need to keep your hands on the steering wheel, but you will feel the wheel moving automatically in your hands. ProPILOT will warn you if you take your hands off the wheel.
To overtake in the Nissan Leaf, put the indicator on and pull out. ProPILOT will disengage and allow you to take full control. Once back in your lane, press the ProPILOT button and enjoy the ride.
Tesla has its own form of cruise control called Autopilot. Autopilot is very sophisticated and is as close as you can get to fully automated driving.
Nissan’s ProPILOT is not as advanced as Autopilot, but it does an excellent job for the money.
Who is the Nissan Leaf for?
The front-wheel drive Leaf is a very versatile hatchback. It will appeal to a lot of different people.
For example, it could be your next family car. It has 5 seats and a fairly big boot. It drives well and, as with nearly all EVs, has excellent acceleration.
You can drive it into work every day with pride. It’s a better looking car than the original Leaf and you won’t look out of place in the corporate car park.
The real world range of the 40 kWh model of about 151 miles on a single charge means it’s a genuine contender to replace your petrol / diesel car. Unless you are a salesperson driving up and down the country every week, 151 miles is plenty of range for the vast majority of daily drives.
If you want to extend the range by about 65 miles, go for the Leaf e+.
The base model Nissan Leaf has a 50 kW rapid charging socket using the CHAdeMO system. The e+ model increases the top charging speed to 100 kW.
Please note: the Leaf has no active thermal management system for the battery. What does that mean? Basically, on long trips, if you have to rapid charge more than once in the day, the Leaf’s software slows the charging rate down in order to keep the battery temperature lower. This means the second fast charge of the day – if you need to do one – will take considerably longer than the first. Most other EVs, except for the VW e-Golf, have an active thermal management system which avoids this rapid charging issue.
- If you would like more information about EVs in general, please see our main Electric Cars page.
- For specific details about the Leaf itself, see the main Nissan UK Leaf website.
- Otherwise, please scroll down to the Reviews section below for independent analyses.
Nissan Leaf – Reviews
We have trudged round the web and brought all the main video and text reviews to you here in one place.
Click on the links below for independent reviews of the Nissan Leaf from well-known car reviewers:
> Fully Charged Live
- Reviewer: Robert Llewellyn
- Organisation: Fully Charged Live
- Date published: 22 March 2018
- Length: 17 minutes 7 seconds
- Reviewer: Mat Watson
- Organisation: Carwow
- Date published: 21 March 2018
- Length: 15 minutes 31 seconds