Feeds
80%
Nissan Leaf electric car

Nissan Leaf battery powered electric car

Yes, you can live with an e-car. We have

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Expensive leap of faith

My conclusions? After a week with the Leaf I’ve come away more impressed than after the two previous occasions I’ve driven it - both times when I spent hours rather than days behind the wheel. The excellent level of refinement is more obvious after prolonged usage and the supple ride more impressive over roads I know can shake fillings loose.

Nissan Leaf electric car

All doors open: the Leaf will carry five and luggage

I’m still not sold on the Leaf's styling, though, and the interior, despite being well equipped, feels a bit cheap compared to the likes of the new Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf. I’ve said it before: it all looks and feels a bit too American, and in cars that is not a good thing.

Some of you may well be frothing at the mouth wondering how I can rate the car so highly when the range I got was so badly affected by the weather. Well, I wouldn’t buy one to do the sort of driving I actually did, nor would I suggest that you do. The Leaf is a second, town car and must be judged as such.

Nissan Leaf electric car

Runs smoothly over Britain's pothole-plagued roads

At its intended role, it’s very accomplished, even in sub-zero conditions. At the end of the week, it did everything I asked of it without me changing my driving style or making too many compromises other than getting chummy with Nissan staff across the North West and sampling the delights of Halifax.

All that said, of course, compared to the electric cars from Nissan’s sister company, Renault, the Leaf still represents a rather expensive leap of faith.

Unlike Renault, which will sell you the car for £17,850 but lease the battery, Nissan is selling the whole kit and caboodle for £25,990 - both figures after the UK’s £5000 e-car grant. That won’t be an issue for wealthy early adopters who, I suspect, won’t lose sleep over possible battery degradation in six or seven years' time. But for the rest of us, Renault’s separation of car and power-pack may prove the wiser option. ®

More Car Reviews

2011's Best...
cars
Toyota
Yaris
Peugeot
iOn
Smart
Fortwo
Fiat 500
TwinAir

The Power of One Infographic

80%
Nissan Leaf electric car

Nissan Leaf battery powered electric car

Pricey, but a surprisingly good second, town car.
Price: Price: £25,990 after £5000 government e-car incentive RRP

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.