Most automakers are just starting to launch their first self-driving consumer electric cars in 2021. Yet here we have Nissan churning out a full second-generation Leaf for over two years.
Sure. Well done Nissan…
Exactly. The original Leaf had incredibly loyal and satisfied customers. They loved the low running costs, the convenience of home charging, the silence, and the ease of use. And they liked the fact that upstairs and downstairs it was just a car: five seats, a good trunk, easy to drive, affordable to buy. People who have had electric cars almost never burn again.
But this first Leaf had weaknesses. In a world where Tesla grabbed the headlines, if not the sales leadership at the time, it was slow and lacked range (although that got better with the 30kWh battery upgrade). It also looked strange. And since all cars have better connectivity and driver assistance, the Leaf needed improvement, too.
So these are the promises of the new Leaf. Faster, longer between charges, better looks, more support. And the prices are lower, model by model.
Tell me more about this second generation, then…
In the standard Leaf, the engine is technically the same as before. But a new inverter, the rugged electronic device that supplies and controls the electricity that flows through the car, is more powerful, so the motor itself makes much more power, 148 hp, and the 0-62 time is reduced. at 7.9 seconds. The battery is the same physical size as the previous generation, but new chemistry and management mean it’s rated at 40kWh for a range of 168 miles.
However, in 2019, Nissan introduced the range-topping e+ with a larger 62kWh battery, a more powerful 214hp electric motor (still driving only the front wheels), and a longer range of 239 miles.
At launch this e+ was priced at a scary almost £40,000, but Nissan slashed prices when the UK government cut the subsidy for plug-in cars in early 2021, so every Leaf now falls below the £3 threshold. 35,000 for an additional £2,500 discount.
Our choice of the range.
What’s the verdict?
If you’re a true road warrior, hell-bent on doing 300-mile end-to-end road trips with just a little bit and a sandwich in between, the Leaf won’t cut it.
If you’re a driver who likes the combustion process and involvement of a chassis, then no. (Although really at real traffic speeds, hypermiling a Leaf might be more appealing than slowing down a sports car.)
But that still leaves a lot of people scared of a pure EV. This second-gen Leaf dismantles those fears with an easy pack, decent range, and charming grace to her nature.
Other automakers are beginning to agree that the best and most efficient electric cars will be those designed with lightweight, streamlined bodies and battery-friendly packaging, not gas-powered adaptations. Nissan has been doing it for a long time and the Gen 2 Leaf is the result. Hit a broad sweet spot of kindness, likeability, and approachability.
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Source : topgear.com