Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 5 3.9
  • Lots of buttons but improved quality
  • E-Pedal is a joy to use once acclimatised
  • High seating position

The Nissan Leaf has taken a couple of significant steps forward inside. It’s much more conventional than before, sharing many features with the Micra. The quality has also been lifted, although this was not an area where the old car was particularly lacking.

That’s not to say there aren’t still hard plastics in places, but you have to almost go out of your way to discover them.

Mixture of good and bad control logic

A more conventional set of controls and instruments means there’s less of an acclimatisation process than before – perhaps making it easier for more people to transition from a petrol or diesel car. This includes a simple-to-read digital instrument display and a 7.0-inch infotainment screen (below).

Sadly this remains on the small side by contemporary standards and it’s neither as slick nor as speedy to use compared with the kind of technology you’ll find in most Volkswagen Group vehicles.

It’s also hard not to notice the sheer number of buttons inside the Leaf – we counted more than 50. And not all of them are logically placed. For example, there are essentially four driving modes, but they are operated by three different controls, only two of which are placed next to each other.

The Propilot active cruise control system is relatively straightforward to use, however, which is a promising step on the way to future autonomous driving. And the heating and ventilation controls couldn’t be simpler; many other carmakers could do well to heed this example.

A less-than perfect driving position

Opinion is divided here over the Leaf’s driving position. Some of found it good, others struggled to get comfortable. Because you’re sat over some of the batteries, the front seats are set high – good for forward visibility but not ideal when the steering wheel only adjusts for rake (there is no reach adjustment) and still doesn’t really go high enough for moderately taller drivers.

You end up needing to move the seat forward, but then your knees risk contact with the chunky steering column. It may put some buyers off the car before they’ve even started the test drive.

Is it comfortable?

  • Impressive ride comfrot
  • Very quiet
  • One of the most relaxing driving experiences

Yes, This is a very quiet car – thanks not just to the electric motor but also a great deal of sound-deadening material – with a comfortable ride. As such it is one of the most relaxing driving experiences on the market, and especially within the family car sector.

Although Nissan has retuned the suspension to make the Leaf sharper to compared with the old one, this hasn’t come at the cost of ride quality. Not even a series of offset bumps seems to faze it, and that's down to the additional development work they've done on the car in the UK.

The only thing likely to upset you on a long journey is worrying about having enough energy stored in the battery pack to complete it – but the increased range, especially in the Nissan Leaf e+ means that concern is now also significantly lessened.