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The Nissan Leaf may be a tad expensive compared to its rivals but it's a zippy EV with decent range and a massive boot.

30 May 2019


If you lived in Europe, you'd probably have seen one of these at every turn. The Nissan Leaf is the best-selling EV there, with more than 18,000 new units registered between January and June of 2018 alone.

And globally, the Japanese manufacturer has already sold more than 400,000 units since the model's inception. The one you see here is the second iteration, but the first to be made available for cutomers in Singapore.

There were actually 25 of the first generation ones registered in Singapore, but all were test bed cars.

110kw (148bhp) and 320Nm of electric fun and an estimated real-world range of 260km

So what can we expect from this second coming?

Key improvements the second generation Leaf boasts include a new 110kw (148bhp) electric motor producing 320Nm of instant torque (up from 80kW and 254Nm), and a new 40kWh battery (up from 30kWh).

These allow it to go almost twice as far as its predecessor, now 270km under Europe's new WLTP emissions and economy standard.

Our drive began with a full charge and 260km of range displayed. But after 60km of jaunting around the island, there was still slightly more than 200km of range left to travel.

The Leaf uses a single-speed reduction gear, operated by a knob that's designed like a space toy

This means that it offers more range than the Hyundai Ioniq Electric, on top of more power and torque. Even in the more sedated Eco driving mode, acceleration is brisk and its power is dished out very smoothly.

On one occasion, I had to overtake a souped-up Volkswagen Golf GTI from the lights in order to make it to a slip road and the Leaf impressively managed to do so without breaking a sweat.

The cabin design isn't very fanciful but it's neat and controls are user-friendly in operation

You can also drive it using only the accelerator pedal in E-pedal mode, which initiates strong regenerative braking when you lift off, to the point where you can almost stop the car without touching the brakes.

This admittedly, will take a few minutes of driving around to get used to.

And like all electric cars with batteries mounted across the floor, it also handles neatly around corners like a sporty hatchback although feedback is a little lacking.

The Leaf's 435-litre boot isn't just big for an EV, it's also considered big for a hatchback

Dollars and sense


The added zippiness, however, does come at a cost of $160,300 (as of 28 May 2019), which is $18,301 more than the Hyundai.

Addtionally, it commands higher annual road tax of $1,494 a year, versus the Ioniq Electric's $1,082.

It also has slightly less usable space in the second row (although leg and shoulder room is abundant) given the little hump in the floor, which Nissan says is in place for added structural rigidity.

Room in the second row is aplenty even with the weird floor hump in the middle

But it does come with added goodies such as larger 17-inch wheels, Nissan's Intelligent Emergency Braking, Intelligent Around View Monitor, a Driver Attention Alert system and a much larger 435-litre boot.

Its main niggle is perhaps the fact that Nissan's fast charging system uses a CHAdeMO connector, which will only be available at Nissan showrooms later this year.

The Leaf's Achilles' heel is the CHAdeMO charging connector it employs, which currently limits fast charging to Nissan showrooms

SP Group's public DC chargers, and most of the EVs here, use the Combined Charging System Type 2 plug. For now, Leaf buyers will just have to stick to regular charging that will take at least five hours.
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Car Information

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Nissan Leaf Electric 150PS (A)
Rate it

Price

: $160,300

Engine Type

:

unknown

Engine Cap

:

-

Horsepower

:

110kW (148 bhp) / 9795 rpm

Torque

:

320 Nm / 3283 rpm

Transmission

:

Single speed reduction gear (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

-

Top Speed

:

-

Fuel consumption

:

unknown

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