Roadshow Video Reviews
2018 Nissan Leaf takes a new tack in the EV warsLeaving the battery range arms race to others, the company instead leans on fresh tech.
[MUSIC] The Nissan Leaf did for pure electric battery cars what the Prius did for hybrids. It legitimized them. But it didn't look real good in the process, and didn't quite go far enough on a charge. Enter Generation Two. It goes a lot further, it looks a lot better, it's loaded up with more technology. You know I like that. Let's unplug an 18, hit the road, and check the tech. [MUSIC] The old Leaf looked exactly like people who don"t like EBs don"t like about them Like a car for people who don"t like cars. The new one has cues from the Maxima and the Murano. And more importantly, it looks like it's part of Nissan, not a stylistic bastard. Here's a fun design fact. They got a lot of gripes from first generation owners that this charging port Was too down low and face forward be by to bend over to plug in the charger. You spend a lot of time bringing the port up and facing it more toward the sky. So you don't have to worry about straining your lower back to plug this guy in. A little thanks. The new Leaf goes 150 miles on a charge, up from 107 before, which was just feeling a little tight in a world of 200 mile plus competitors. Yet, it doesn't equal the Volt or the Model 3. And Nissan makes no apology for that. They say their numbers are what customers have proven they need, at a lower price. That said, they will have a big battery option on the 19 Leaf. And that should top 200 miles at a price to be determined. The new 150 mile range is courtesy of a 40 KWH battery pack that's 33% more juice than the last year model. It's not physically larger though thanks to higher density. You listen for different things in an EV than a combustion car. In the combustion car you always want to hear kind of a nice note when you step on it. In an EV I don't want to hear anything And these songs spent a lot of time to that end, they redesign the motor, the inverter, the power control module, all of those things so they don't emit little whines, or gear gnashing, these rolls is annoying sound and are actually worse in an EV because it's so quiet. This one is truly quiet and none of that annoying electric noise comes through. They did a really good job. Of course on the other hand, you do hear a little more road noise because the car is so quiet, and they've tightened up the suspension on this vehicle to make it a little firmer, but that tends to always bring a little more impact noise in, and I'm noticing that too. [MUSIC] Now in terms of drive modes, you've basically got your standard drive position. You can ECO that out where things get real numb. I am not fond of that to be honest. I mean these are pretty damn eco as it is but that will give you a little bit more range. At least according to the calculation here. I go about 10 miles more when I pop it into ECO. E-pedal is the most interesting. When you invoke that, you get this little light here on the dash. Now you've got a really strong pullback when you lift on the pedal, and this one is intended to go all the way down to a stop intelligently. It kinda reads your trajectory and the speed I think it also reads whether you're turning, and it's gonna bring you to a stop, they say 90% of the time, without having to ever use the brake pedal. I'm gonna try it right now. [UNKNOWN] I'm in traffic, and there it is. We stopped. I didn't touch a pedal to do that. After a while, you get used to it, and you realize that two-pedal driving And all that heel and toe stuff is something you had to do, not something you actually want to do. This is a great way to drive. [MUSIC] The driver assist on this car are pretty comprehensive, though none of them really approach self-driving. The nearest one is a combination of adaptive cruise control that can go all the way down to zero in stop and go traffic, stay there for up to three seconds, And resume by itself longer than the three second stop, you need to just make a quick tap on a button or a little tap on the accelerator and it will resume driving itself in ACC mode. You also have lane keep bundled with that. So it's not self driving but it's a strong Assist. Rounding out the driver assist on lane, departure prevention, automatic emergency braking that can detect pedestrians, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert and an around view monitor that gives you a 360. Charging numbers here are pretty standard. You'll typically use a 220 outlet at your house and get a full charge in seven and a half hours. Find a DC fast charger and you'll get an 80% charge in 40 minutes. Or 88 miles worth in 30 minutes. Nissan provides two years of free access to those fast chargers when you buy a new lease for at least one, it's good for a network of stations that now spend 55 metro areas including Nissan dealer locations. And the new lease charging cable will plug directly into a 220 or a 240 outlet, nothing to install on your wall which is a nice new wrinkle So you take this cable with you, and you're charging just about anywhere. You can unplug someone's drier. 147 horsepower, that's up 37%. 236 pound feet of torque, there's your key number, and that's up 26%. [NOISE] [MUSIC]. The new leaf's going to run you somewhere between thirty one and thirty seven depending on which of three very different trim levels you choose and whether or not you get the tech package. Of course you will. Nissan is boldly avoiding the driving range arms race choosing to offer a medium range missile instead of an ICDM. This car is very different and nicely improved. But that also a comment on the maturity and the stakes of the electric car marketing in general in the year since this guy came out. It's worth a look. [MUSIC]