Month 10 of our Nissan Leaf long-term test: the end verdict is in
With increasing rarity a car will come along delivering such a knockout punch in one specific area that it completely recalibrates your clemency counter, and you find yourself forgiving it for all its other shortcomings and foibles. Nissan’s new Leaf did that to me. Quite unexpectedly, too.
Before it arrived I was thoroughly ambivalent about it, and the affordable electric revolution it spearheaded. There were the unfounded but pervasive concerns that it would slowly whirr to a silent halt at the most inopportune time and in the most inopportune location possible. There was all that faff with the army of smartphone apps and online accounts required to charge on the fly. A cursory glance at a sparsely-populated charger location map wasn’t exactly confidence-inspiring. All this – not to mention that it looked gawky – almost sealed the Leaf’s fate before I drove it. How wrong I was.
It took just a month and 1000 miles to realise my mistake. I recall with clarity parking up at home after returning from Weybridge – a 140 mile trip undertaken at get-a-serious-wiggle-on-or-we’re-going-to-be-late pace – and realising I’d not given a second through to the Leaf’s range. I enjoyed its warm pre-heated cabin when I set off. I saw off a couple of surprised tailgating BMWs and Audis on some fast A-roads. I loved the superb Bose sound system. I found its silent and smooth driving characteristic incredibly relaxing. And the best bit was working out that electricity for the trip cost me just over a fiver. The price of two cups of coffee. I realised I was riding on the cusp of what will soon be the new normal for many drivers – and I was thoroughly enjoying the journey into the future.
Read more: Car Magazine