The Nissan LEAF e+ Tekna
With the electric vehicle craze continuing and growing more competitive - does the Nissan LEAF still have it?
The original Nissan LEAF was launched in 2011 so is now a decade old. The latest generation LEAF is definitely improved whilst retaining its original design features such as the design lines. The LEAF doesn’t look ‘different’ because it’s electric which personally is a positive thing.
The exterior has seen subtle upgrades from the previous generations with the biggest improvement on the front bumper. The interior has some luxury items with a part leather interior and Bose® sound system. * The centre console is raised with the driving controls being controlled by a ball-like gear selector
The difference between the entry level model and the top specification (which Leasing Options had) is visually very different. The entry level LEAF Acenta grade comes with 16-inch wheels with standard headlights. The N-Connecta is the happy medium with price and specification as this comes with bigger wheels, electric operated mirrors, part leather interior, heated seats and some useful technology features which we will explain more about in the ‘Technology’ section below.
The Nissan LEAF is as practical as a normal hatchback and is a great family car. The boot is big and very deep for an electric vehicle with big pockets down the side to store the electrical cables. However, the model we test drove had the Bose® sound system* and it has a big base speaker in the boot.
Engine and Gearbox
This is where the biggest improvement has been made from the original LEAF. The original LEAF had 24kWh whereas the new LEAF has up to 62KWh – an astonishing 258% increase!
The power is instant, you certainly don’t need for any more power. In the inner city this is where the LEAF shines and is extremely easy to drive.
Like all electric cars there are no gears, so the delivery of power is seamless.
The WLTP pure electric range (miles) combined was 239** and I think this is very accurate with us doing mainly motorway miles and our range was showing 217 when fully charged. Around town you would expect this to increase due to less power consumption and a large amount of regenerative breaking.
The e~+LEAF model does 0-62 in 6.9 seconds, this used to be hot hatch territory not so long ago and the LEAF can do it time, after time. There is 217PS so you put your foot down at any point and instantly you will pull away.
Suspension and braking
This is another area where the LEAF has no complaints. The suspension is soft and does hide the LEAF weight very well.
There are two settings on the LEAF, the standard way which acts like a normal combustion engine car and the ‘e-Pedal’. Activate this setting and your accelerator acts like a brake also. It does get some getting used to, but I think it is the best way to drive the LEAF and get the most of out of the regenerative braking system.
The Technology inside is massive improvement on the previous generation.
The Nissan LEAF e+ Tekna includes the very best of both the Acenta and N-Connecta in terms of technology - (Nissan Connect Services 8” touchscreen entertainment system, intelligent around view mirror, front and rear parking sensors, the Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto® Smartphone App Integration) as well as the ProPILOT advanced driver assistance, BOSE premium audio system with seven speakers.
Everything about the LEAF feels better - more feedback from the steering, better suspension a much comfier ride and the power delivery which does make it stands out against some of the competition.
The 62+kWh battery is the model we had, and we charged it at up to 50kWh, meaning that we could charge it from 20%- to 80% in 90 minutes, a game changer for people bothered about range***.
The Nissan LEAFe+ Tekna is much improved from the original generation and it has improved in all areas but most importantly its range. In addition to this, Nissan has also made it, better to drive, bigger inside and more engaging.
Nissan was the first mass market 100% electric vehicle to launch, and it really appealed to the early adopters. As of March 2021, Nissan are still continuing to see success with the LEAF as the 2nd most popular electric vehicle behind Tesla. The LEAF is a capable car, offering company car drivers the vehicle range, technology and a smooth ride all at a reasonable price.
Check out the deals we have on the Nissan LEAF e+ Tekna here
* Part leather interior and Bose sound system standard on LEAF Tekna grade
** Laminated lithium-ion e+ 62kWh battery with 239 miles range. WLTP figures shown are for comparability purposes. Actual real-world driving results may vary depending on factors such as the starting charge of the battery, accessories fitted after registration, weather conditions, driving style and vehicle load.
*** Figures quoted are for 62kWh (LEAF e+) batteries. Time dependent on charging conditions, including charger type and condition, battery temperature as well as ambient temperature at point of use. Indicated rapid charging time requires use of a CHAdeMO rapid charger. The Nissan LEAF is designed to support the majority of journeys in daily life and is equipped with charging safeguards to protect the battery during repeated rapid charging sessions in a short period of time. The time taken for successive rapid charging can take longer if the battery temperature activates the battery safeguarding technology.