Cotswold Mo­tor­ing

The sec­ond­gen­er­a­tion Nis­san Leaf

Cotswold Life - - INSIDE - WORDS: Andy Rus­sell

It’s seven years since Nis­san launched the all-elec­tric Leaf and also in­tro­duced me to range anx­i­ety when its 90-mile range on a full charge nearly left me stranded af­ter 60.

Now the world’s best-sell­ing pure elec­tric car, with more than 350,000 sales, Nis­san has launched the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion, push­ing per­for­mance, power and range bound­aries. The orig­i­nal model’s dumpy, jelly-mould styling makes way for a bolder, eye-catch­ing de­sign more in keep­ing with driv­ing the fu­ture.

UN­DER THE BON­NET

An elec­tric mo­tor, mated to an au­to­matic gear­box, now has a 40kwh bat­tery and, with 320Nm of torque all the way to 3,283rpm, then the max­i­mum 150PS of power to 9,795rpm – this is a mean ma­chine in ev­ery sense. New real-world MPG test­ing gives a range of 168 miles in nor­mal driv­ing – 242 miles in ur­ban driv­ing with eco mode.

A flap in front of the bon­net re­veals charg­ing points – one for a do­mes­tic three­pin plug, tak­ing up to 21 hours, and a 7kw home wall charger which takes 7.5 hours, and the other for 50kw pub­lic fast charg­ers tak­ing 40 to 60 min­utes for an 80pc top-up.

HOW IT DRIVES

The Leaf cor­ners flatly, with good grip and steer­ing feel, to carry mo­men­tum through cor­ners and avoid wast­ing bat­tery power get­ting up to speed again, but the ride is on

the firm side on rough sur­faces.

The unique e-pedal, which can be switched on and off, makes driv­ing easy and re­lax­ing – press the throt­tle to go, lift off to slow to a com­plete stop, rather than use the brake pedal.

Three-quar­ters of own­ers opt for Propi­lot semi-au­ton­o­mous driv­ing sys­tem, stan­dard on range-top­ping Tekna, which main­tains speed, dis­tance from the ve­hi­cle in front and within the lane mark­ings. There’s also Propi­lot Park for hands-off, feet-off for­wards or back­wards par­al­lel and bay park­ing.

SPACE AND COM­FORT

It will seat five adults, but the back seat cush­ions are high to ac­com­mo­date the big bat­tery, legroom is at a pre­mium and there’s lit­tle foot­room un­der the front seats.

The 385-litre boot is use­ful, but range­top­ping Tekna has an ex­tra speaker for the Bose sound sys­tem on the floor. Rear seat backs fold down 60/40, but there’s a big step up from the boot floor.

AT THE WHEEL

A con­ven­tional speedo, eco-power gauge in­stead of a rev counter and bat­tery life and range read­outs are easy to read. Con­nec­tiv­ity is a strong point and the in­fo­tain­ment screen in­cludes se­lectable data dis­plays about en­ergy use – techie own­ers will love them.

FI­NAL SAY

This award-win­ning new Leaf is so good, when it comes to elec­tric mo­tor­ing, it can win hearts and minds. And no wor­ries about range with a bit of plan­ning ahead.

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