Eclipsed because of the Chevrolet Bolt EV’s 200-mile-plus range, the Nissan Leaf is better enjoyed along with the substantial discounts dealers are eager to offer.
For what’s apt to be its recently before a main redesign, the main mass-market electric car largely stands pat.
The 2017 Nissan Leaf does many things well, but it’s certainly start to show its age—especially as Chevrolet jumps up into the best leagues using its 238-mile range Bolt EV. Still, the Leaf, accessible in S, SV, and SL trim levels, remains worth a look.
We score it a 5.8 due to 10 overall.
It becomes an icon included in the own time, albeit a single hasn’t been nearly as successful as its maker intended. Blame no infrastructure, persistently fluctuating gas prices, or simply the compromises it will take from some consumers, however,the key Leaf will nonetheless drive down among the most important cars of the 21st century.
Leaf styling and also gratifaction
The battery-electric five-door hatchback sits to the footprint of an compact car, but has the interior room of an mid-size vehicle under federal rules as it would be especially well-packaged. For instance the Toyota Prius, that is a hybrid that will need gasoline in order to operate, the all-electric Leaf’s shape is distinctive and unique, which translates to polarizing for numerous shoppers and buyers. A sloping front replaces the grille a rectangular hatch over the electrical charging ports, and bug-eyed headlights sweep back almost with the windshield pillars. At the back, vertical ribbons of LED taillights flank the tailgate.
Inside, the Leaf is a lot more conventional besides a chintzy gear knob that will need a bit of acclimation. The camp S trim level isn’t exactly opulent, but higher end models include a big infotainment screen and surprisingly nice leather trim.
On the highway, a Leaf operates and drives like a typical compact car—albeit an abandoned one—though most of its controls employ a slightly remote feel, since virtually these folks control a tool that’s electrically actuated. Although its 0-60 mph sprint of an hair as few as 10 seconds isn’t impressive, the Leaf’s immediate torque is appreciable around town, where it’ll beat even sports cars off the line. It’s really quiet at lower speeds since its electric motor transmits no rumble in to the cabin.
The Leaf keeps with traffic, is straightforward to push, carries four people comfortably—and five when needed—and goes along with gambling features and accessories entirely on any compact car.
Leaf comfort, safety, and features.
You might be surprised along with the Leaf’s interior room. Merit to its flat battery and that experts claim it doesn’t need a vehicle’s gas tank, it offers more space inside than its compact dimensions might suggest. Front seat passengers are treated to upright thrones which don’t adjust for height to the base S trim level but you are heated on all models. Your back seat offers good room for two adults or three inside of a pinch, and in some cases the Leaf’s cargo deck is deeper than you might consider expect.
On the safety front, however, the Leaf is disillusioned partly by its humble roots and partly by its age—its basic design has changed little since 2011. The NHTSA gives it four stars overall, although the IIHS scores it a disconcerting “Poor” in your challenging frontal small overlap test. The Leaf offers no active safety tech, like automatic emergency braking.
S models are fairly skimpy with features, that can be a surprise considering they’re over $33,000 once the important Charge Package is added. That package is standard on SV and SL models, and it also slices Level 2 (240-volt) charging to about 5 hours from 8 hours and it also provides for Level 3 charging.
The main change for 2017 is always all models now feature 107 miles of all-electric range, depending on the EPA, as a consequence of a 30-kwh battery that is made standard on every trim level very late in your 2016 model year.
2017 Nissan Leaf
Homely—there is absolutely no better strategy to describe the Leaf. It’s better inside.
The Nissan Leaf remains distinctive inside and out, however it’s achievement the type of car that are going to have you stopping in your tracks to stare at it.
We’ve scored it a 4 outside of 10, taking a point away for its interior best termed “homely.”
One thing’s for certain, the Leaf hasn’t changed simply because it was unveiled all the way the government financial aid 2010. Sure, Nissan has substituted a few color shades in the past, possesses redesigned the Leaf’s wheels, but a 2017 looks as being a 2011—and, given its appalling resale value, a second hand Leaf is amongst the cheapest cars money can buy.
The tall Leaf casts a longer shadow than a typical compact hatchback, but its design is generally aero-driven to save lots of fuel. Big bug-eyed headlights are startling (and look startled, for your matter). There’s no grille, just a wedge-shaped snout that angles down toward the bumper with a boxy hatch in the middle that reveals either one or two charging sockets, dependant upon in case you have selected the Charge Package. The headlights that be noticed do it to comb air around the top fascia to scale back aerodynamic drag.
At a corner, tall tail lamps flank a traditional hatch. Unlike a lot more style-driven cars, Nissan has seen fit to have a low belt line within the Leaf which helps by helping cover their visibility on the driver’s seat.
The Leaf’s interior feels typical economy car, apart from surprisingly nice material within the front door panels. It can be an electric car, but its controls are logical and easy to find out, apart from a wart of any gear lever sprouting from the middle console. Ergonomically, there aren’t many quirks apart from some secondary switches gathered on the left with the steering wheel.
The Leaf’s interior blends radical design touches and conventional Nissan economy-car hardware. The two-level instrument panel comprises a cluster behind the wheel with be sure you speedometer, temperature gauge, and clock, plus a sizable rectangular touchscreen monitor down the middle of the dash that displays driving range, energy usage, maps, nearby recharging points, plus much more in actual time. The base Leaf S features a smaller music system which doesn’t display any car functions but includes a volume knob—something SV and SLs lack.
2017 Nissan Leaf
Zippy, but essentially an economy car, the Leaf isn’t an exceptionally great riding or handling car.
The Nissan Leaf isn’t the type of car with which an enthusiast will bond, however it’s especially quiet and refined and it’s more entertaining to pilot than its eco-friendly credentials might suggest.
We’ve scored it a 6 outside of 10, awarding extra point to its stellar drivetrain.
Refinement can be a Leaf forte; it’s smooth, quiet, and calm under all circumstances—even high-speed highway driving which will rapidly deplete its charge. As well as some tire rumble, it makes little noise. That’s as much a testament to the electric powertrain as things are towards the efforts Nissan’s engineers made to quell wind roar. In the gas car, wind whistle is hidden from the thrum with the engine. But in a stainless steel, every noise has to be suppressed.
Driving the Nissan Leaf
Novices may be perplexed with the Leaf’s mouse-esque driving mode selector that sits on its center console. A tug back and left puts the car into drive, and another tug puts it into brake regeneration mode (which many Leaf drivers find yourself using as a way to squeeze the best from a charge).
If you have to, you have can brisk acceleration out of the Leaf, but you should push difficult on the accelerator—an energy-saving measure to make certain that penetration of power is very wanted. Eco mode, selected via buttons on its leader, retards the accelerator even further. The 80-kw (107-horsepower) electric motor that powers leading wheels produces a proper 187 pound-feet of torque, drawing its energy from the 30-kwh lithium-ion battery power just under the cabin floor.
Regarding range, Leaf buyers need to find out that battery-powered cars are highly responsive to driving habits and temperature, every may affect range inside of a major way. Accelerate gently, coast right down to stops, and plan ahead to avoid sudden acceleration or hard braking, and will also be fine. Nissan has tuned the Leaf’s regenerative braking to simulate the behaviour of the standard automatic-transmission car. The “B” mode adds to the regeneration to mimic engine braking.
Last year’s smaller battery is fully gone, meaning all Leafs sign in at 107 miles of range. That was impressive last year, these days that Chevrolet boasts 238 miles by reviewing the Bolt EV, the Leaf appears like yesterday’s news.
There’s an Eco way of greater efficiency, which cuts maximum available power by 10 percent—although its effect feels much greater. For safety in sudden emergencies, flooring the accelerator overrides Eco mode, temporarily.
But there is however no hiding that the Leaf is undoubtedly an economy-oriented car. Its electric steering is nicely weighted but numb, with limited road feedback. It supplies a removed experience, although we commend its 17 foot turning circle since there is absolutely no engine to acquire in terms of leading wheels.
Which consists of heaviest component (the battery pack) carried at the car’s lowest point, the Leaf has little body roll. But we found it responsive to side winds, presumably because it’s a tall car on small tires (especially the Leaf S base model, which utilizes 16-inch wheels). Overall, the Leaf’s absence of road feel or control feedback makes “appliance-like” best option adjective for your Leaf. It’s fine, but it’s the antithesis of anything sporty.
When you wish torque to give other cars, it’s there when you floor the accelerator, but it is still definately not lightning-fast in the important 40-to-70-mpg range. Higher speeds inside of a Leaf make the car feel breathless; in addition they burn through battery range. Steering feel gets heavier and acceleration falls noticeably above 50 or 60 mph as wind drag rises. As the Leaf is acceptable for freeway commuting, it could be most useful in around-town burn up to 50 mph or regular commutes of predictable distances. Top speed is capped at 90 mph.
Despite some handling shortfalls, the Leaf feels just like a regular car that happens to be very, very quiet. It is a convincing sales tool for some great benefits of electric cars, many Leaf owners become de facto evangelists for the thrill of plug-in travel, offering rides and drives to friends, relatives, neighbors, and colleagues.
2017 Nissan Leaf
Comfort & Quality
The Leaf’s seats are comfy in all four places, but its interior feels downmarket.
What’s most impressive in regards to the Leaf is its silence, nevertheless it generally does a good job of convincing other passengers that it is “normal” compact car, with room for four adults along with their luggage.
We’ve scored it a 6 beyond 10, granting extra points for comfort and silence, but dinging it for a cheap overall feel.
Front seat passengers have chair-like buckets that offer good support even on the beds base Leaf S. Cloth upholstery covers the S and SV, while the SV’s trim is constructed from recycled material and feels a bit richer as opposed to budget grade S material. A back corner seat offers good space for adults at the outboard positions, and limited driveline intrusion signifies that perhaps the occasional middle seat passenger will be satisfied.
The motorist has a wide view out thanks to a large windshield and perhaps little windows round the side mirrors, but the rooftop pillars in advance are surprisingly thick (especially because of the Leaf’s subpar safety ratings). The dashboard is covered in cheap, hard plastic, that’s echoed in the middle console and high of it panels, although it’s worth noting that leading seat passengers have an overabundance soft touch material to the doors as opposed to those inside rear.
S models feature a basic speakers with a tiny 5.0-inch LCD screen, while SV and SLs have a full infotainment system by using a 7.0-inch touchscreen—albeit without a volume knob.
Chintzy carpet plus a budget headliner improve the low-rent feel inside, especially because of the Leaf’s hefty sticker prices. Fortunately, big discounts are around every corner, hence the Leaf’s sticker price isn’t close as to the savvy consumers will pay.
2017 Nissan Leaf
The Leaf is without a doubt behind the occasions in regards to safety.
Given that the Leaf still boasts the most sophisticated powertrains available on the market, we’re surprised at its subpar safety ratings. They’re an indication that, engine, battery, and transmission aside, the Leaf is really a financial budget compact car with the protection, unfortunately, to match.
It loses points for lousy showings in both the IIHS along with the NHTSA testing, however the Leaf does a minimum of incorporate a standard rearview camera.
The Leaf is merely adequate included in the safety ratings, with all the IIHS having given its performance on its tough small-overlap front crash test the group’s lowest rating of “Poor.” Before that test was instituted, the Leaf’s other ratings—all the greatest “Good”—had earned it a Top Safety Pick designation, but times change and standards evolve.
The NHTSA increases the 2016 Leaf four stars out of five, but not only as a generally rating, but in addition for frontal crash, side crash, and rollover safety tests. The 2017 model has been only partially tested.
While six airbags and stability control are standard, the Leaf doesn’t exactly wow featuring a additional safety equipment. There is not any adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, or automatic emergency braking.
At the very least pedestrians might be alerted towards the Leaf’s approach; it produces a solid below 20 mph to warn bystanders that it’s creeping through them, something that’s necessary given its engine makes basically no sound.
2017 Nissan Leaf
Base models are this, but the SL comes all around approximating an extravagance car.
The Leaf largely carries over from previous years into 2017, with the same three trim levels—albeit with one notable improvement for the reason that all models now feature the same 30-kwh battery giving the car 107 (versus 84) miles of range.
While the bottom Leaf S isn’t exactly luxurious, the SV and higher models offer a decent amount of features including a huge infotainment system, netting 6 away from 10 available points.
The S rides on 16-inch steel wheels with hubcaps, a 3.3-kw onboard charger, Bluetooth phone (but not streaming audio) connectivity, a proximity key, as well as a rearview camera, a 5.0-inch display for infotainment, plus heated front seats included to make sure that buyers can conserve some battery charge by not while using the cabin heater. An optional Charge Package adds a 6.6-kw charger.
Following that, the SV adds a heated and leather-wrapped leader (which was included about the S), alloy wheels, as well as a 7.0-inch infotainment system that features navigation and a few apps that really help owners keep active in their cars via a smartphone app. The SV includes the 6.6-kw charger but offers as an option a package that groups a surround-view camera system that has a Bose-branded audio system.
The SL, meanwhile, tops the product range with leather upholstery, heated rear seats, LED headlights, and fog lights, and it also supplies the same surround-view camera system and Bose stereo as an option.
Owners can control every Leaf except the bottom Leaf S that has a smartphone app that shows real-time information about the car’s operation and charging status. Sophisticated owners can set a Leaf to charge provided that energy rates are cheapest, usually from the wee hours—though they should enter their local rate structures manually. Notably, Leafs don’t get in touch with electric utilities about rates.
2017 Nissan Leaf
It lags the Chevy Volt, but the Leaf continues to very efficient.
Until Chevrolet released the Bolt EV, the Leaf was seen as being the sensible, sober, affordable alternative towards the undeniably faster and sexier Tesla Model S.
Climax the highest-volume electric car ever built, it’s now yesterday’s news—a minimum of until a new model comes out. Still, we rate it a 10 away from 10 because you might never see one at a gas station—unless the actual is stocking through convenience store snacks.
The Leaf has another distinction: it’s definitely the highest-volume electric car ever built.
The EPA rates the efficiency of most Leafs at 112 MPGe, that has a 107-mile overall range.
Using grid electricity for driving brings enormous cost savings. Every 100 miles, a 25-mpg gasoline car consumes $8 of gasoline (assuming $2/gallon prices). Covering the same 100 miles in an electric car costs just $3 at the typical U.S. electricity rate of 12 cents per kilowatt-hour. All Leafs, except the lower-range base Leaf S, possess a 6.6-kw onboard charger which will recharge a totally depleted battery in approximately four hours from a 240-volt Level 2 charging station. The 3.3-kw charger about the Leaf S takes roughly doubly long.