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.
Let’s analyse how that range compares to other family-size, electric 5-seaters below £30,000:
- Peugeot e-2008: 185 miles
- Kia e-Niro 2: 163 miles
- Hyundai Kona Electric 39 kWh: 162 miles
- Nissan Leaf: 151 miles
- MG ZS EV: 147 miles
- Volkswagen e-Golf: 130 miles
It’s not one of the leaders on range, but not the worst either.
The more expensive Nissan Leaf e+ version, with its 62 kWh battery, can go about 215 miles on a single charge. That’s really decent range. Here’s the competition in the £30,000 to £40,000 segment:
- Kia e-Niro 3: 254 miles
- Kia e-Niro 4+: 254 miles
- Ford Mustang Mach-E: 252 miles
- Kia Soul EV: 252 miles
- Hyundai Kona Electric 64 kWh: 250 miles
- Nissan Leaf e+: 215 miles
- DS 3 Crossback E-Tense: 185 miles
- Hyundai Ioniq Electric: 175 miles
Here the Leaf e+ is under more pressure: a number of rivals above it with outstanding range capabilities.
Nissan Leaf Price
This Nissan electric car costs from £26,845 for the 40 kWh version, including the government grant.
Competitive? Here are the price statistics for its main rivals sub £30k:
- MG ZS EV: from £25,495
- Nissan Leaf: from £26,845
- Volkswagen e-Golf: from £28,075
- Peugeot e-2008: from £28,665
- Kia e-Niro 2: from £29,595
- Hyundai Kona Electric 39 kWh: from £29,900
Conclusion: the price is not bad at all. It’s in second place, and only beaten by the MG ZS EV which has slightly lower range. 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 £33,295 including the grant. Here are the comparisons:
- Hyundai Ioniq Electric: from £30,950
- DS 3 Crossback E-Tense: from £30,990
- Nissan Leaf e+: from £33,295
- Kia e-Niro 3: from £33,850
- Kia Soul EV: from £34,295
- Hyundai Kona Electric 64 kWh: from £35,900
- Kia e-Niro 4+: from £36,145
- Ford Mustang Mach-E: from £37,350
Here the Leaf e+ is under serious pressure. It’s got cheaper rivals in the Ioniq and the brand-new DS 3 Crossback E-Tense. For a very similar price, you then come up against a couple of stand-out EVs in the form of the e-Niro 3 and the Soul EV.
To compare and contrast the Nissan Leaf against all the electric cars currently on the market, try our EV Car Selector tool.
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