A month with Nissan's Leaf

  • We spend a month with Nissan's electric car
  • Follow our real-time updates as we live with it
  • Will there be electric excitement or plug-in problems?

9/11/11 08:30 – Gareth Evans

Got into work this morning and to my horror there were three Leafs in the car park, but only two charging points. Will have to find alternative transport this evening.

1/11/11 08:30 – Kieren Puffett

The indicated range is a stange beast. In a petrol car that has a distance to empty predictor the decreasing miles falls at steady rate. When I first got in the Leaf the range indicated 69 miles. By the time I got home it said 68 miles after a drive of 12 miles. During the journey it got as low as 57 miles. Make sense? Doesn’t seem to but it could be due to braking recharging the batteries and adding range.

28/10/11 08:30 – Gareth Evans

The boot space in the Leaf isn’t as capacious as most other hatchbacks of a similar size, but you can still fit a fairly substantial bag in there.


27/10/11 08:15 – Gareth Evans

Noticed this morning that not only does the de-mister appear to take a lot of power from the battery (see below), it isn’t exactly the most powerful fan on earth either. Even on full power it seems to struggle with clearing the screen.

26/10/11 09:00 – Gareth Evans

Got into the Leaf this morning and it was misty. Switched car on and had an indicated 52 miles. De-misted front and rear screens (every button on dash pushed) and drove 3.5 miles to work. Car had 37 miles of range left. Some maths reveals the Leaf returned 4.28 range miles per actual mile on this cold October morning. Nissan states a range of 109 miles, so if each journey was in the same conditions as this morning’s one then you’d actually see around 25.5 miles of true range.

25/10/11 15:30 – Simon McBride

Went out on location for a photoshoot today and decided to use the Leaf as a camera car. It’s perfect! Very easy to drive, smooth, and has an excellent ride. Cameraman Perc was equally as impressed…

24/10/11 18:30 – Gareth Evans

Was in a hurry this evening and had occasion to put my foot down a little in the Leaf. The way this car hits 20mph is rather exciting. Instant torque from 0rpm really is something to behold. It handles pretty well too. I just wish the acceleration carried on to the top speed!

21/10/11 09:30 – Tim Bowdler

I question the wisdom of having the charging point at the front of the car. It forces you to park front-in when you want to plug-in. This means not only is there more chance of hitting a kerb but it is harder to get out of spaces too.

20/10/11 08:45 – Gareth Evans

Love the Leaf’s multimedia and navigation system. It’s clear and easy to use. I just wish Nissan would realise not everyone in the world uses an iPhone, because this morning I could have done with being able to warm the car up before I got in!

19/10/11 12:00 – Tim Bowdler

Jumped into the Leaf today to find the most miles we’ve seen since we’ve had it. 98 miles… but it has been stood for over 24 hours.

17/10/11 18:15 – Chris Ebbs

Bit grumpy this evening after having to unplug the Leaf. The cable is always tangled and always filthy. Can anyone really be bothered with untangling it?

14/10/11 17:30 – Kieren Puffet

Nearly took the Leaf home tonight, but then realised I needed a bit more boot space. The bags for the power cables aren’t small!


13/10/11 14:30 – Tim Bowdler

I drove a pre-production version of the Leaf around a year ago for 25 minutes. I was impressed with the performance then, and I’m even more impressed now.

12/10/11 16:00 – Simon McBride

Been out for a blast in the Leaf. I find the controls for the transmission and the electronic handbrake very tactile.

11/10/11 14:00 – Chris Ebbs

Since I have to go into hospital to have my shoulder renovated soon I won’t have much chance to drive the Leaf. For that reason I grabbed the keys and took it out at lunch today. It’s probably the best electric car I’ve driven. It is comfortable, easy to drive and really quiet too.

10/10/11 15:00 – Parkers road test team

We take delivery of our Leaf. It is finished in black and goes straight on charge next to sister publication Car Magazine’s blue long-termer.