Ride and han­dling

Wheels (Australia) - - Drives -

The taut Leaf isn’t ham-fisted. It’s fun to duck in and out of traf­fic – just don’t ex­pect an elec­tric hot hatch at 1594kg. A down­side to the New­tons is torque steer and trac­tion is­sues. The e-pedal re­gen­er­a­tive brak­ing is strong and takes some ac­cli­ma­tis­ing, but the Leaf, on its 17-inch al­loys, drives rel­a­tively ‘nor­mal’. Ride qual­ity errs on the firm side, the damp­ing could use at­ten­tion and there’s steer­ing rack rat­tle, but NVH lev­els are im­pres­sively quelled. 16/ 25 Com­fort and ease of use gain pri­or­ity over ul­ti­mate dy­nam­ics. And that’s a good thing. The ride qual­ity is sup­ple in both ur­ban and coun­try en­vi­ron­ments thanks to chunky-pro­file tyres and well-tuned sus­pen­sion. There are four lev­els of re­gen­er­a­tive brak­ing, from none to a lot, but the steer­ing lacks feed­back. Sound dead­en­ing also could def­i­nitely be im­proved, as roar from the 16-inch Miche­lin En­ergy Saver tyres is present at high­way speeds. 18/ 25

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