Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 5 3.9
  • 8.0-inch infotainment screen comes as standard 

  • Button-heavy dashboard, but good quality overall 

  • Unusually high driving position won’t suit all

How is the quality and layout?

The Nissan Leaf’s cabin has taken some significant steps forward over the previous model. It’s more conventional than before, sharing many features with the Micra. Quality has improved, too, with fewer hard plastics – most of which are hiding far out of your sightline in the depths of the footwells.

However, the Leaf’s dashboard offers a mixture of good and bad control logic. The layout is more familiar than the previous model, but the number of buttons is almost intimidating. We counted more than 50 – and not all of them are rationally 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.

Infotainment and technology

Every version of the Leaf gets the same eight-inch infotainment system and, while it’s easy enough to navigate, it isn’t anywhere near as slick as the screens in the Hyundai Ioniq 5 or Volkswagen ID.3 – but they’re both far newer than the Leaf, so you’d expect this.

And, while operating the Leaf’s driving modes might require a bit of mental gymnastics, Nissan’s Propilot active cruise control system is relatively straightforward to use, which is a promising step towards the future of autonomous driving. The heating and ventilation controls also couldn’t be simpler; many other carmakers could do well to heed this example.

Comfort

  • Good ride quality and supportive seats

  • Very quiet – no engine noise as it’s an EV

  • Strange driving position

The Nissan Leaf is a comfortable place to be. Ride quality is great, as Nissan’s engineers laboured over tuning the Leaf’s suspension to suit UK roads during the car’s development programme. Refinement is also good, as there’s plenty of sound deadening.

However, the Leaf’s driving position won’t suit everyone. Because the seats are perched atop some of the batteries, they’re set quite high. This is 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 to comfortably reach the wheel – 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.