This is the car for you if… you’re looking for a reliable mid-size electric hatchback that delivers fantastic value for money.
The Nissan Leaf shook up the motoring world when it launched in 2010. Not because it looked wildly futuristic. Nor because it promised to overhaul how we drive. But because it looked, well, so normal. In fact, just like any other petrol, diesel or hybrid car on the road.
It was a pivotal moment for a lot of people who’d been hesitant about electric cars until this point. And the Nissan Leaf continues to convert fans by offering a familiar and reliable driving experience.
Now in its second generation, the revamped Nissan Leaf launched in 2018. It comes with a bigger 40kWh battery, which means you can travel further on a single charge (the WLTP range is 168 miles). There’s a more powerful motor on board: the Leaf now zips from 0-62mph in a speedier 7.9 seconds. Plus, an extra 65 litres of boot capacity. So there’s even more space to stash your shopping, the kids’ scooters or holiday luggage.
The exterior of the Nissan Leaf is comfortably familiar – with only a few minor changes to the previous version. So there’s the same sloping bonnet seen on the first-generation Leaf. But now the headlights have been seamlessly integrated into the front of the car. There are sharper contours along the underbody that give the Leaf a more contemporary feel. And even the entry-trim level, Acenta, comes with a stylish set of 16-inch alloy wheels.
But these modifications aren’t just to make this mid-size hatchback appeal to a wider audience. It’s about making the drive behind the wheel as smooth as possible. So even though the Leaf can nimbly accelerate when you put your foot down, the main thing this car delivers is a relaxing and fuss-free driving experience.
When you drive electric, there’s none of the stress of changing gears. But Nissan has gone one step further with its innovative e-Pedal – available across all trim levels. This regenerative braking system helps to stretch out your battery range. But on a far subtler level, it changes how you drive.
Because instead of jumping straight onto the brake pedal to halt your speed, you reduce pressure on the accelerator pedal to slow down. So it shifts your mindset about braking. And makes the Nissan Leaf a more steady and graceful drive as a result.
Inside the Nissan Leaf Acenta, the 8-inch touchscreen stands proud in the centre of the dashboard. This is your window into NissanConnect services. Use the NissanConnect app to send directions to your car. Or to charge your vehicle remotely. There’s also integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. So you can listen to your messages while on your travels. Or put your favourite album on shuffle.
And as you’d expect from a brand that’s recognised for its reliability, safety is paramount in this electric car. Nissan has loaded up the Leaf Acenta with a range of tremendously useful safety features.
So the car can detect when a collision is imminent and apply the brakes automatically. Alert you if it detects there’s something in the way when you switch to reverse. And warn you if you veer across lanes. It’s just another of the ways in which the Nissan Leaf has been designed to make your journey as convenient and comfortable as possible.
Our three favourite features:
- The e-Pedal gives you single-pedal control for speeding up, slowing down and braking. It’s simple to use – and makes nipping in and out of traffic a breeze.
- The Leaf comes with a rear-view camera as standard. Taking the stress out of reverse parking in tight spots.
- The Leaf’s new, bigger boot is a bonus for anyone who can’t pack light… And those occasions when you pop into the supermarket for a pint of milk, only to emerge an hour later with several full bags of shopping.
You’ll like the Nissan Leaf Acenta if you…want to get your hands on one of the best-value electric hatchbacks on the road.