2022 Nissan Leaf electric car review: Leaf e+ long-term test – range, charging, driving!
This one is the e plus long range version which launched earlier in 2021 in australia and ive, been living with this exact car for several months to find out what its like to live with an electric car in australia and whether this particular one has enough range To go on a bit of a longer journey, too youll be able to read what i found out along the way over at my long term, review over on carsguy.com dot, a u in the ev site. Section weve also got lots of advice and news in there that should hopefully answer all of your ev questions as well, and if you are watching on youtube – and you are enjoying our videos remember – to hit those like subscribe and bell notification icons just to stay up To date, with all of our latest content and before we get going, were just going to throw some time codes up on the screen now those are our eight review sub heads you can skip ahead to the part that interests you lets get into it Music. This is the more expensive of the two nissan leaf variants: the long range e plus it has what i would consider to be decent range for an ev in our market, but its also not cheap, wearing a price tag of 64.90 to prove how rapidly the ev Market is changing during my time with the leaf it went from being not so bad value in the ev space to one of the cars which represents the least value of its peers.
I really want to give the leaf more credit here, its worth, remembering that this little car was globally instrumental in the rollout of electric vehicles before it was overtaken by the tesla model 3, but its bizarre to think of an ev which is on sale. Now, as some kind of historical artifact, regardless its really hard to justify the asking price, which is now higher than entry level versions of the tesla model, 3 and polstar 2, both of which not only feel more modern but offer more range too. When i picked up the car, this wasnt the case, but the leaf looks set to be outpaced by not just the model 3 and polstar 2. But if youre really looking at this entry level, part of the ev space, there are more affordable options from mg and hyundai as well to make things worse. While the leaf comes in a single, highly specified trim level, it still seems a bit off the pace. Standard equipment includes a remarkably normal looking 8 inch multimedia touchscreen with wired apple, carplay and android. Auto support a 7 inch. Digital dash cluster single zone, climate control, synthetic leather and suede seats with a synthetic leather steering wheel, heated seats, led headlights, 17 inch, alloy wheels and a decent, but not stellar, set of safety inclusions which well look at later, while the e plus sweetens the deal over. The circa 50 grand base car with an improved range and motor outputs, as well as faster dc charging.
It still misses out on the always online features, advanced software and more sleek modern appeal of more recent and more affordable rivals in this space. No wonder, then: i frequently found myself surrounded by teslas at shopping center charging bays now in the grand scheme of electric cars. The nissan leaf looks kind of normal ordinary, almost like it could just be another combustion, hatchback and thats, not really necessarily a criticism. I think theres going to be people out there who dont want to yell about the fact that theyre driving an electric car who wants something thats a bit more understated and a little bit less like people are just going to stare at you on the road. So lets take a closer look. The leaf barely draws eyes on the road, and it was only when i had it plugged in charging that people even thought to take a second look at it, such as the curiosity around electric models. At the moment, there is a bit of a sense of presence to it, though, while it might not have the sleek allure of the model 3 nor the chiseled scandinavian looks of the polstar 2. The leaf is wide and tall and even a little chunky around its edges for a hatch, chrome garnish around its snout and l shaped light fittings which clasp its rear, bring it in line with nissans vague design ethos. If you think the outside is looking plain, wait till you get in the cabin with the leaf feeling like any old combustion car on the inside things are surprisingly low tech with manual seat adjustment, a standard screen.
It shares with other combustion cars, an abundance of familiar switch gear and even an analog dial pad with the digital screen in the dash cluster. Now, with all that familiarity of the cabin it also kind of lacks the tech of other electric cars, it seems like a lost opportunity. This area down here doesnt have a wireless charging bay. It is just wired apple, carplay connectivity. It has worked flawlessly for me and my time with the car, but it just doesnt feel very techy. It feels very kind of last generation compared to a lot of the other electric cars that are launching now so in the cabin of the nissan leaf. And one thing to note is theres nothing in here that yells about the fact that its an electric car, apart from the little puck shifter here, its all pretty ordinary. If someone told me this was just a combustion car, then i would totally believe them if this was say the current version of the nissan pulsar. That would be very believable now, a few things to note about the interior here, firstly, is quite plush for a hatch theres. All these plush finishes on the dash and the doors and the armrest and its a nissan strong point to have really nice seats, and the seats in here are quite good. Theyre weirdly high though, if you hop in and out of other cars compared to this car youll notice that it has an almost suv like seating position, but its not too hard to get into, because it does have that very tall roof as well.
And visibility is still quite good regardless now, on the storage front, this car doesnt lean into its electric underpinnings, very well theres still very closed in claddings all around here, but storage wise, its okay youve got a large bottle holder in the doors here, two more large Ones in the center and a large center console box, but theres no pass through under the center console here either, which is a bit of a shame to see – and i do feel like im a bit closed in here. Even with that tall roof line hopping in the back seat and the nissan leaf has some surprises. These seats are super comfy, but im even higher off the ground than i am in the front seats, making it really an suv kind of ride, height for rear passengers. In here again love the seats surprised to find, i have enough knee room behind my own driving position and still theres quite a bit of headroom in here, even despite that seat base height now. One thing that is a bit of a shame is theres no flat floor, like a lot of evs. Have there is a transmission tunnel looking thing here which does eat up a bit of your leg room and if you have a center passenger here, its not really kind of adult sized – and you do have one small bottle holder in here – but no drop down armrest Either and no power outlets and no directional air vents just a set of pockets on the backs of the front seats.
One thing you do get thats rare for a rear passenger in a car in this category is a entirely heated rear bench and the reason that nissan put heated seats everywhere in this car is because its more efficient to heat occupants using heated seats than it is To use the air conditioning so thats worth keeping in mind as well. The boot comes in at 405 litres, which doesnt sound too bad for a hatch in this class, its tall and wide enough, but a bit limited in its depth to the backs of the seats. Regardless it manages to fit our full cars guide luggage, set with little to no room to spare. One small annoyance is the presence of a bose sound box on the floor. It takes up a bit of room and will make you cringe to scratch its hard plastic surface. When you load objects, a carpet cover would have at least been nice. The leaf also doesnt have a frunk with the engine bay taken up in an almost traditional fashion. By motor components on the topic of motor components, the leaf e plus drives the front wheels via an electric motor, which has received an upgrade from the standard leaf model. The power is respectable. You see those figures on your screen now, while its eclipsed by many other evs, the leaf e plus, is still a surprisingly quick little hatch, especially given the silence of it. Look at this more closely in the driving part of this review to back these motor components.
The e plus has a decently sized 62 kilowatt hour battery pack, giving it a range of approximately 385 kilometers. This will largely depend on how you drive it, though, as my first few months with this little hatch were revealing. Its official consumption sits at 18 kilowatt hours to 100 kilometers, but around town i saw it get down to 16.3 kilowatt hours, making the most of that regen braking. Meanwhile, on the freeway, the range dropped dramatically and i was seeing consumption figures more like the mid 20s. Now we need to talk about the charging ports in the nissan leaf because, unlike a lot of electric cars, which have one combo port, the nissan leaf has two standards in here. Youve got the european type 2 standard for your slower ac charging, thats from a wall socket or charging up, maybe a local supermarket that has an ac standard port and then for dc youre fast charging. You have a japanese standard, chademo port. Those are a little bit rarer to find, but this one in the leaf can also dispense charge and not every electric car can do that. The e plus can be charged at a rate of 100 kilowatts on the chatimo dc connector, allowing for a charge time of 10 to 80 in 45 minutes, not the fastest on the market, a charge on the type 2 ac connector at the maximum 6.6. Kilowatts will see a charge time of around 9 hours again could be faster here.
We didnt have a chance to try the dual way charging for the chademo port in our time with the car, but perhaps we can bring this to you in a future test. Music driving the nissan leaf is as friendly as it looks from the outside its just an easy experience. There are a few weird things that high seating position combines with a not very adjustable steering column to make for a bit of an odd seating position. It just means that the wheel is almost down in your lap, while your waist is quite high and thats a little odd. But visibility is good, regardless if youve never driven an electric car before its a very good story for the leaf, because it drives like every other. Electric car youve got quite a bit of go in this e plus version with its extra power output compared to the normal leaf, and that just means its got plenty of power for overtaking on the freeway. Its got enough power to overwhelm the front wheels. If you really want and its very smooth, very measured when it comes to its acceleration as well, it doesnt have this wild approach that tesla has or some other electric cars have its just measured and friendly and smooth now in terms of the pedal feel nissans got. One single tune of regen braking its a single pedal mode. You obviously accelerate to go and then, as you let off, it will smoothly start to regen back and it is quite an aggressive tune.
It will regen quite a lot the moment you start letting off the accelerator and that will maximize your range, so id recommend leaving it on. You can completely turn it off and it will drive like a normal car, but that will hamper your range. So keep that in mind. The nissan leaf has one steering tune, theres, no way to change it and its a really easy going steering tune. I really like it its just easy to turn this car and park it and its great at even low speeds, but that, having been said its not overly electrically assisted either. I feel like. I can really feel where the front wheels are and what theyre doing at any given time, and that gives this car a nice balanced steering tune as well. What else i like the ride is really soft, its definitely not performance tuned. I wouldnt be throwing this car into corners too often, but that, having been said its not nice and controlled and capable and bumps or corrugations dont, really upset it much. You combine those factors together: the nice soft suspension, the nice light, steering and just enough power to overtake on the freeway if need be, and it adds together for a really easy going package, one that i think a lot of people are just going to be happy To hop into if theyre hopping straight out of a combustion car theres, nothing here, thats, so unusual, so overly electric, that its going to set people off ive really appreciated that about the leaf over the last couple of months.
That ive had it its just been a really comfortable companion. You just get in it and go down to the shops and be guaranteed that its going to be a comfortable, easy experience, but whats it like on the open road. Well, i took it for a trip recently from sydney to foster some 350 400k. Is there about and ive got to say it is much less efficient on the open road, as it is around town now, obviously thats, because youve got much less regen braking going on. So youre never recouping energy youre, always just losing it, but it alarmed me how much the consumption spiked on the freeway. It was to the point where its gone from sort of 16 kilowatt hours to 100 kilometers, all the way up to the mid 20s and hills really kill it. The consumption graph was like the land. We were traversing itself. You could see the hills as the electric motor struggled to pull this cars weight up and then the regen on the way back down it did get quite concerning on that trip on our return journey, the amount of distance remaining was starting to close in on the Range left that the car was showing it started at about a hundred kilometers difference and it shortened to 40. By the time we got back to sydney, and that was quite concerning. If you were to extend that over a longer period of time, you could run out of charge quite easily.
So if you are doing those longer trips, more often the leaf might not quite be for you, although i will say the 385 or so ks on offer from this battery was fine for me around town, there was never a point where i was annoyed that i Had to charge this car off, i always got at least a week before having to plug it in anywhere, and it sort of does suit that lifestyle quite well. So who does this car suit? Ultimately, someone whos not willing to take a big step into the unusualness of something like a tesla, but they do want all of the electric features that are on offer. You do get two way charging in this car. You do get a really aggressive. Regen braking tune. Its not its not terribly inefficient, and it also really does have enough range for those single trips that you might do every now and again, safety wise, the leaf e plus packs some advanced safety items like auto emergency braking with pedestrian detection lane keep assist with lane Departure warning blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert adaptive cruise control, traffic, sign recognition and driver attention alert. My time on the freeway left me hardly impressed with the adaptive cruise and lane keep systems which dont really work together. To give you the kind of autonomous driving experience you might expect in a tesla, for example, the leaf is covered by nissans five year and unlimited kilometer, warranty and also five years of roadside assist.
The battery has a separate industry standard eight year, 160, 000 kilometer, warranty and nissan reckons. You should have at least three quarters of your battery capacity left at that time. For some reason, servicing is required every year or 20 000 kilometers and a capped price servicing program for the first five visits comes in at an average of 290 dollars a year. I dont know why this plan costs more than a hybrid toyota and has to see the shop just as often given there are far less moving parts in the ev drivetrain more recent entrants to this ev space are even offering entirely free servicing during the warranty period Worth noting so there you have it. The nissan leaf e plus ive actually been quite charmed by it. In my time, with the car ive found that it has enough range for my lifestyle, its quite easy to get in and live with and theres. Nothing really outlandish about it. I think the fact that its a hatchback, which just so happens to be electric, is one of its best attributes. I think theres going to be a lot of buyers who arent really willing to take that next big leap into electrification hell be quite happy with what the leaf offers. I think this cars biggest challenge is its price. I think the fact that there are now more recent arrivals that come at a lower price and offer more range and more features is going to be a real challenge for this car going forward.
What do you think, would you have the leaf or a tesla model? 3 or a polestar 2 or a hyundai kona electric tell us what you think remember: youll be able to read my full long term chronicle with this car over on carsguy.com.