The Nissan Leaf has become the best-selling electric car in the world, with over 363,940 units produced since its launch in 2010. However, the second generation, introduced in 2017, raised the bar significantly in terms of performance and features, almost doubling sales to 81,840 units in 2018. The original model offered 110 horsepower and a 24 kWh battery, with a range of just over 62 miles. In contrast, the second generation came with a more powerful 147 horsepower motor, a 40 kWh battery, and a range of 167 miles according to WLTP standards. Now, Nissan has unveiled an improved 2.0 version with 214 horsepower, a 62 kWh battery, and an impressive range of 239 miles (385 kilometers according to the WLTP cycle). It is clear that the development of the Leaf is advancing significantly.
Although the Leaf offers comfortable seating and advanced autonomous driving systems, there is room for improvement. Limited adjustments for the steering position can be disappointing, and the navigation system graphics seem outdated. Despite these minor inconveniences, the Leaf remains a reliable and comfortable choice for daily use.
Nissan offers two options: the smaller 40 kWh model, starting from 397,000 kronor, and the more powerful e+ model, starting at 461,500 kronor. The latter comes with a stronger motor and a larger battery, with an additional cost of about 50,000 kronor. New additional features include an eight-inch entertainment screen and the ability to recharge energy from the grid.
A notable feature is the option to add a 100 kW fast charging capability for an extra 23,000 kronor. However, it is important to note that this function is not yet available in Sweden, making it useless for now.
In terms of driving performance, the Leaf offers smooth acceleration with a 0 to 60 mph time of 7.3 seconds, comparable to a BMW i3. However, it does not provide the same sporty experience as the i3 or the Hyundai Kona Electric. The maneuverability of the Leaf can feel a bit soft, especially when taking curves.
Despite its impressive power, charging speed on long trips can be slow. However, the Leaf is an excellent choice for daily use as it provides sufficient power for overtaking and merging on highways. It also excels in terms of autonomous driving features and safety equipment, positioning Nissan as a leader in this aspect.
In conclusion, the Nissan Leaf offers a compelling proposition for environmentally conscious buyers seeking a reliable and comfortable electric vehicle. However, alternatives such as the Kia e-Niro and the updated Hyundai Ioniq Electric may offer better value for money. Additionally, the upcoming Volkswagen ID.3 is expected to set a new standard for compact electric cars. The future looks promising for electric vehicles, and the Nissan Leaf continues to evolve to meet market demands.