Nissan Leaf (2018-present)

The electric-powered Nissan Leaf is back for its second generation with a bang. Better range and innovative e-Pedal are the highlights

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Best range in class
Quiet, surprisingly fast
Less awkward looking than previous car

Weaknesses 

Range isn’t as good as advertised
Hard(ish) ride
Still not good looking
Best New Discount

Nissan Leaf Hatchback tekna 5dr auto

Total RRP £32,890

Your quote £26,108

You Save £6,782

The Nissan Leaf is the best-selling all-electric vehicle ever. The first generation proved to be massively successful, and helped bring electric cars to the masses.

And new for 2018 is the latest version. Nissan is hoping it can continue to be a runaway success. Just like the last one, it’s a pure electric hatchback, similar in size to the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus, and Vauxhall Astra.

Although, its main rivals on the electric car market are the Renault Zoe, Hyundai Ioniq, and the Volkswagen e-Golf.

On the outside it’s more-grown up looking than the (admittedly smaller) Renault Zoe, although not quite as normal looking as the Hyundai Ioniq or Volkswagen e-Golf. It’s an all together better looking affair than the previous-generation though. It’s lost its high-rising front lights that made it look like a surprised frog, and has an altogether more sombre and mature look.

Visia models do without alloy wheels - which can make it look a bit weedy and cheap.

The cheap-feel continues inside in some ways. There are some scratchy and flimsy plastics that you wouldn’t find in a Volkswagen e-Golf, but they would feel at home in a Renault Zoe. The media screen feels a bit outdated using just Nissan’s systems. However, most models have Apple CarPlay and AndroidAuto, which allows mirroring of your phone on the screen.

Top spec Tekna models get leather too, which helps lift an otherwise fairly dull interior. Rear space is impressive - there’s enough room for tall adults even if the driver is tall.

Boot space is an impressive 435 litres. To put that into context, the fossil burning Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus only have 380 litres and 318 litre respectively. It has a bit of a lip, and the Bose sound system gets in the way (on Tekna models) but it’s still big.

Back in the driving seat, you won’t find a traditional gearbox layout. Instead, there is a small ball, which can be slid into drive, reverse, or neutral. This is because the Leaf doesn’t use a traditional gearbox.

Instead, the 150hp electric motor is powered by a 40kWh battery. It’s super fast from 0-30mph because the power is instant, and there’s no waiting round for the car to build momentum.

The steering is light around town, which really suits the character of the car. It doesn’t have a clutch or gears, and driving it is a doddle. It’s almost silent inside - but it does emit a light buzz from outside to alert pedestrians to your presence.

Because the batteries are heavy, and mounted low in the car, the suspension needs to be stiffer than a normal car to cope. This means that the car can crash and judder over bumps, and it isn’t quite as comfortable as a Vauxhall Astra on long journeys.

Range is the big question in this car. In the real world it’ll achieve between 130 and 200 miles depending on how you use it. If you have access to a charger, the Leaf is an excellent first electric car.

Read more about electric car range

Last Updated 

Thursday, May 10, 2018 - 10:45

Key facts 

Warranty : 
Three years/60,000 miles
Boot size: 
435 litres
Width: 
1,788mm
Length: 
4,490mm
Height: 
1,530mm
Tax : 
£0

Best Nissan Leaf for... 

Nissan Leaf Visia
All Leafs are powered by the same battery and motor combination, so they all do the same amount of miles on a charge. However, the base spec Visia comes on 16 inch (not 17inch) wheels, which surely make some difference in economy.
Nissan Leaf N-Connecta
N-Connecta level gets you a raft of assistance features that will help with family life. This includes parking sensors and moving object detection, as well as the helpful Intelligent Around View Monitor, which essentially gives you a bird’s eye view of the car
Nissan Leaf Tekna
All Nissan Leafs come with the same power output, so in this instance, we're talking about technology performance. As expected, the most expensive spec car harbours the best technology. Top-of-the-range Tekna spec models get the ProPILOT semi-autonomous tech that will actively slow and speed up the car to match traffic, as well as help keep you in your lane.

Nissan Leaf History 

  • Nissan calls time on the first-generation Nissan Leaf
  • New Nissan Leaf on sale in UK. e-Pedal, longer range, and updated design separate it from the old one

Understanding Nissan Leaf car names 

  • Leaf
  • Trim level
    Tekna
  • Trim level
    There are four trim levels on the Leaf. Tekna is the most expensive, and has the most amount of toys. There is only one motor option, and no gearbox for the Leaf. So the only thing you have to pick is trim level.


Nissan Leaf Engines 

There aren’t any choices in this department. Every Leaf is propelled via a 150hp electric motor, that’s powered by a 40kWh battery.

It has roughly the same power as something Ford Focus or Vauxhall Astra sized. But it’s much quicker (0-60 in 8 seconds, whereas a a 1.5-litre diesel Ford Focus will take 10.2 seconds).

It’s quiet and responsive, and smooth too, especially when It’s teamed with Nissan’s e-Pedal, which decelerates the car when you lift off the accelerator.

Read about the e-Pedal here

 

Fuel

Fuel economy

Power

Acceleration (0-62mph)

Top speed

 

Petrol

415 km / 258 miles (WLTP range, city cycle)

270 km / 168 miles (WLTP range, combined cycle)

378 km / 235 miles (NEDC)

138 miles real world BuyaCar findings

150hp

8.0s

89mph

Nissan Leaf Trims 

Visia, Acenta, N-Connecta, Tekna

The Nissan Leaf is available in four trim levels, giving buyers plenty of options and price points. Even base spec cars are very well equipped though.

Equipment on the base Visia specification includes the e-Pedal, a host of electronic safety systems including ABS and hill start assist, and parking sensors. One notable thing missing from this is alloy wheels - you’ll have to settle with 16-inch steel wheels here.

Upgrading to Acenta gets you 16 inch alloy wheels, front fog lamps, and electric folding door mirrors. Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and a rear view monitor are also thrown in.

The next level, N Connecta adds 17 inch wheels, privacy glass, moving object detection, and LED lights with self-levelling capabilities.

Top spec Tekna cars get a snazzy Bose sound system and ProPilot parking assistance, that can park for you when parallel, and bay parking.

Nissan Leaf Reliability and warranty 

The Leafs we get in the UK are proudly made in Sunderland (although they are also built in Japan and the USA) and boast a standard 60,000 mile/three year warranty. But, they also come with a five-year/60,000-mile warranty on all EV (electric vehicle) related components. There’s also an eight year/100,000 miles battery warranty that covers capacity loss of more than nine of its 12 bars (as shown on the capacity gauge on the dashboard).

For a start, the car comes with a five-year/60,000-mile warranty on all the dedicated EV components; and, for eight years/100,000 miles, the battery warranty cover protects against capacity loss of more than nine of its 12 bars, as shown on the capacity gauge.

Used Nissan Leaf 

More expensive and better specced cars lose more money than lower specification cars. This means that the biggest savings can be found on top-spec Tekna models.

A new top of the range Nissan Leaf Tekna starts from £28,390, however, 2018 models with around 3,000 miles on them are beginning to start at just below £26,000. A worthwhile saving if you’re a cash buyer.

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