2018 Nissan Leaf: Return of the affordable EV king
Nissan's Leaf has always being the quiet king of the affordable electric car with over 300,000 units sold since it's launch in 2010.
But you can't just rest on your laurels and so Nissan's back with an all new Leaf.
It's hit the gym, it's learned a few new tricks, and it's ready to take on the likes of Chevy's Bolt and Hyundai's Ionic.
Let's hit the road and see how it rides.
Okay let's start with range.
The EPA estimates the 2018 Bolt will do 150 miles per charge of its battery back.
That's a decent amount of range.
I mean the Bolt does like 220 and more range is always better but the Leaf is in what I think is a nice sweet spot.
150 miles of range is enough for you to do a decent commute to and from work, run some errands afterwards and still have some juice left in the battery in case of an emergency.
Now over the last week I really felt like I only have to charge this thing when it is convenient for me not necessarily when the battery is in the Range dictates, and I think that's the sweet spot for range, when you're not really thinking about charging it.
Now a charge takes about 7 1/2 to 8 hours at a 220 volt charging station, or if you're a madman you can plug it into a 110 volt outlet and it will take 35 hours to charge.
Don't do that, it, only for emergencies.
Charging cable that comes with the leaf has tips for both 220 volts and 110 volts.
So as long as you can unplug a dryer somewhere, you can plug this thing in and get a really decent charge.
That's helpful for when you're travelling to other people's houses that don't necessarily have charging stations built in.
This also means you don't have to buy one if you don't have to.
Now if you're really in a rush you can use the [UNKNOWN] port up front compatible station to get a rapid charge to 80% in just about 45 minutes.
That's a decent charge.
Like a 120, 130 miles of range.
So if you're in a rush that's the way to do it.
Especially if you're going on a longer trip.
Now to find those station in the dashboard we have got the Nissan Connect Infotainment system and it has got maps that have built in databases of charging stations and because it is connected to the web you can filter those stations by whether they are free or not or whether they are fast charging stations.
Even on certain networks whether they are actually available now or not.
However, we've talked about this system in another video.
So you want to check it out there, but the short story is that it's not the best system on the market.
Personally I prefer using a separate app on my smartphone like Easy Go or Charge Point to plan In my trips outside of the car, and then I'm in the car using the standard Android Auto or Apple Car Play connectivity to navigate to places.
I just like that software better than what Nissan has here.
But this is decent, it's nice to have it if you don't wanna use anything separate.
Now I don't like the dashboard tech, but Nissan safety tech is hitting on all cylinders.
So to speak.
I mean there are no cylinders in the engine bay.
But what we have is the pro pilot assist safety suite of technology.
And that's gonna roll in all of Nissan's safety tech.
Things like adaptive cruise control that works with stop and go traffic, pedestrian detection, emergency braking.
You've also got a really advanced lane keeping assisting system.
It doesn't just
Bounce you off of the boundaries.
When you're on the highway you can actually feel it actively centering the car in the lane.
Notice the hands on system, so it's going to assume that if you're hands aren't on the wheel you're either disabled or distracted.
It's going to try to get your hands...
Back on the road, first by flashing lights and then by tapping the brakes to really bring your attention back forward.
And if you ignore that, it'll actually bring the car to a stop in its lane, activate the emergency hazard lights, and then call for help.
it's a really smart way of dealing with people who don't wanna keep their hands on the wheel and wants their hands on a system.
Now what is it like to drive this thing?
Under the hood we've got an electric mortar that makes 147 horsepower and 235 pound feet of torque.
That's a really good amount of torque for a car of this size it feels very responsive off the line and on the highway when you're in traffic if you need to sort of quickly pass them by there's a good amount of power and And it's always available, you never have to build up to it like you do with a gasoline engine.
And there's one weird feature, it's Nissan's E-pedal, when you activate it, it's sets the regenerative breaking system to it's most aggressive but also it's most smart.
So when you lift your foot off of the pedal, the car starts coming to a stop cuz it's on full regen.
That means that you can effectively drive this car without ever touching the brake pedal.
When you come to a complete stop it will even activate the friction brakes for you and hold the car there.
Interestingly I haven't actually touched the brake pedal in the last three days aside from to turn the car on.
It's that easy to drive this thing with one pedal in most conditions.
But it does take some getting used to.
Over the first couple of days I would still reach over for the friction brake, in certain situations.
That would lead to some very inconsistent breaking and some jerky performance.
However, if you take the time to get used to it, like I did, it is very natural and I highly recommend that if you are going to drive the Leaf, drive it in that mode.
It is going to get you the best range and it is going to be kind of cool.
Now, overall, what I like most about the Leave is that is car that knows what kind of type it is.
It doesn't try to pretend to be the most advanced electric car on the market or have the most advance autonomous driving technology, it's just a really good electric car, with really good range and really good performance, and had a really good value.
The 2018 Nissan Leaf starts at around $ 29, 000 for the base model.
But this SL model here with all the bells and whistles we like, tips the scale at around 36,600 bucks.
That's before destination charges but also before any incentives you may qualify for.
So there is still money to be saved.
This new Leaf has gone from being understated value in the electric car space to being a solid contender at it's price point.
If you're looking for an affordable electric car with a lot of tech but none of the hype, the 2018 Nissan Leaf is worth your attention.
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