22 Jan It’s a win with the all-electric 2018 Nissan Leaf
By David Dayan
High tech features give this Nissan Leaf a substantial push in the right direction.
Welcome to what many people in the industry are saying is perhaps Nissan’s best effort to bring electric cars into the mainstream. We are talking about the all new Nissan Leaf all-electric vehicle. The all new all-electric vehicle was announced a few months ago and it’s already gaining so much attention that getting your hand on one will prove to be a little more difficult than driving off the lot after placing an order. With over 10,000 orders (perhaps a lot more by the time this article hit’s the web) this all-electric vehicle is creating a wave of interests from a vastly diverse and wide ranging cohort.
The most intriguing aspect of this all new all-electric Nissan Leaf is it’s extremely versatile battery range of 242 Kilometers of city driving distance (you can probably get a lot more if you do more highway driving). In order for any new electric vehicle to be taken seriously by any consumer group the car needs to be practical and easy to manage. Nissan hit it out of the park with this daily commuter. A new norm in the industry has been rapid, high voltage charging. The all-electric Nissan Leaf will get you 80% full capacity with one hour of charge using a high powered, high voltage charger.
Charging your new car at home can be achieved by plugging in for between 4 to 7.5 hours. The Nissan LEAF can be charged using a 3.7kW or 7kW charger. Some owners will opt to install a 50kW hour rapid charger. Charging for 7.5 hours off of the 7kW hour rapid charger will provide the 40kwh lithium batteries 100% range which is within industry expectations.
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The new all-electric Nissan Leaf has a top speed of 145kmh or approx 90mph. It comfortably sits 4 people but for a short distance you can easily carry five. It’s not considered a people mover more of a daily commuter and research in Canada is showing that most families are now averaging 3.5 people so this car size makes a lot of sense. With a starting price tag of approximately $35,998 with some pretty great government incentives this new all-electric vehicle in my opinion is a total WIN. With gas prices rising, insurance rates increasing and traffic becoming a new inevitable norm this car hits a home run environmentally and checks all of the practical boxes too.
When it comes to technological appointments this new electric daily commuter comes fully appointed, actually keep reading because it’s crazy. With what seems like an impossible task the engineers are starting to listen to what consumers actually want. Cars are becoming technological extensions of our connected digital lives, and not having access to technology inside your vehicle can easily make you loose favor and put you out of touch with consumers. That’s definitely not a worry here whatsoever as the new Nissan Leaf is extremely well technologically equipped. It bloody won the 2018 CES best of innovation winner award and if that doesn’t say something than nothing really will.
This all new Nissan comes ready with computer technology that helps keep the driver and occupants safe with Lane departure warning, Traffic sign recognition, pedestrian and cyclist recognition, cross-traffic alert, intelligent lane assist, and a full compliment of smart airbags all come standard with this new vehicle. The car has apple connectivity, an application which hosts a plethora of features that would make you think you purchased a Rolls Royce and it’s all so easy to use. There will be several variants of the vehicle but even the entry level version is so well appointed that you’d be hard pressed to feel disappointed with any of the choices.
The ProPilot system is Nissan Leaf’s autopilot safety and comfort feature that makes driving in heavy or stop and go traffic a breeze. Imagine travelling at 100kmh when suddenly you look down at your phone (I know it’s illegal but who doesn’t sneak a peak) and you fail to notice that three cars merged in front of you and the speed of traffic has been suddenly slowed to 75kmh. Normally this could turn into a deadly situation. But with the ProPilot system the vehicle detects the change in speed and obstruction ahead and slows the car down for you even assisting the vehicle in a turn and keeping you in your lane. I can see how this feature is going to stop a lot of accidents from happening. It’s not meant to be relied upon however distractions happen and it’s nice to know that the car can help a lending hand in keeping you safe and alive. The system uses a set of camera’s and radar to ensure it knows everything that is happening around you.
The car can also park itself by engaging a button and following the commands the car will steer itself into the most awkward of spaces, say goodbye to those embarrassing scratches and costly paint repair bills.
The question on most people’s minds is, what’s it like to drive this new car? It’s a blast and the value dollar for dollar I think will be hard pressed to match with any other competitor. The issue facing most car manufacturers is that new generation of drivers are waiting longer to buy cars. When they do buy cars they expect to spend less, get more and they want it all. Performance, technology, comfort and economy. Brand recognition is becoming less pervasive and factors such as eco status are taking a front seat and earn bragging and admiration rights over the cars of yesteryear. The interior cabin is comfortably appointed, leg room is nice and comfortable as is headroom. The styling is classic Nissan which some will complain looks a little too Japanese where others will appreciate the utter simplicity. I thought the control’s and position of instruments to control the vehicle were well thought out and well placed. The vehicle while in motion is very quiet and you can tell that was something that they did on purpose. Most cars in this class are noisy and allow the outside world to enter the cabin, that’s not an issue here and it lends to a very high end feel. This car feels about 30k more expensive than it actually is.
The vehicle is a sprinter or a stable cruiser, it’s fast if you want it to be or very stable at lower speeds. In the city when you want to overtake another car you just lightly press the pedal and the vehicle responds instantly with torque which takes some getting used to. If you are using the car to get around town and run a few errands the ability of the vehicle to come to a complete stop without even having to press the brake is a sensation that also takes getting used to. It makes one realize how much more efficient these vehicles are compared to it’s conventional cousins.
When cruising on the highway, there are no gears and the cars computer ensures your safety constantly. Passing or cruising with the all-electric Nissan Leaf is as comfortable as a Tesla’s and it really does make you hope that all future cars will be as good as this one. Although you aren’t allowed to let the car drive itself, (the steering wheels can detect your hands) if you are smart about it you can let the ProPilot system do all the driving for you. (Don’t try it for more than a minute and always be aware of your surroundings as this isn’t the intended use of the system).
This car is a total WIN!!! It has the right combination of styling, technology, comfort, value and eco status that will make many many individuals and families alike purchase and enjoy.
We hope to see many of them on the road soon.