This is a Nissan Leaf and I must say they are fantastic to drive. and super economical.
In my opinion this is the model to have. This one has Air conditioning, Instant heating in the morning from a heat pump. The heat pump only became available in late 2014 and this makes a big different to the energy consumption. It has a reversing camera, and in my opinion one of the best bluetooth phone systems with super easy music streaming.
The model below this should be avoided because it has almost nothing and misses out many of the features that help economic driving, and that’s saying nothing of comfort. The higher model has leather seats which are heated and need to be for those cold winter mornings. This just wastes power and in my opinion aren’t worth having. The cloth seats are great quality and easy to wipe down and keep clean.
I read on the forums lots of fantastic ranges achieved by drivers. I prefer to be realistic and honest, because I drive one and I sell them. The forums are in the real world a bit optimistic in my experience. Budget on 100 km range and that’s driving easy. In heavy traffic budget on 60km in the winter with the heater and lights on. I’m not saying it won’t do more, it will, I have seen 120km a few times with no traffic and once 150km. I just want to make the point that in the real world with normal driving these are exceptions and not the norm in Dublin traffic. This said this is more than enough for most drivers on their daily commute.
Fast charging will bring a battery from 20% to 50% in less than 10 minutes. I make an analogy that it’s like pumping up a ball. As the ball inflates it becomes harder to pump and therefore slower. Charging a battery appears to be the same in this way, charging past the 80% mark becomes a lot slower. Budget on 20 to 30 minutes to get a decent charge.
This car comes with what’s called a Granny cable. This allows charging from home or any outdoor socket without the need for a specialist charger. Personally I don’t see the need for a charger as my Leaf charges easily overnight and if required I top up for 5 or 10 minutes here and there as I go about my business.
What to buy? Don’t buy an older one because they don’t have a heat pump. The best value are 2015 models with a 24KWH battery. There is a 30KWH battery available but at a premium. For most people I wouldn’t recomend buying a new one either unless you really want that new number plate. There is much better value in one that is a couple of years old, and many are available with next to no mileage. Finally only buy from a reputable source as these cars are sold in the UK with a battery lease option. These batteries are owned by Nissan and these cars are worth far less. If a Leaf is making below market value, ask yourself why.
What do I love about these cars? I love the silence, the comfort, the quality feel and the instant throttle response, the noted reliability and the low cost of ownership. I really love the keyless entry and push button start. Never needing to go looking for the key.
What don’t I like? Well, I’ve sort of become used to the few minutes I loose here and there looking for a charging point, but then I put up a good bit of mileage, for many this won’t be an issue.
Last but not least. For private motorists there is now a grant available for a new home charger. Read all about it here;