The new 2014 Nissan Leaf Review [Video]
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The original version of the 2014 Nissan Leaf was unveiled as the first fully electric car to a very sceptical public back in 2011, where its reception wasn’t exactly the warm, appreciative one that Nissan might have wanted. It was costly, there were few public charging points, and many consumers were simply poorly educated when it came to the potentials of purpose designed electric cars. Undeterred, Nissan, who probably like to think of themselves as innovators in fully electric cars (and rightly so), went back to the drawing board to come up with a much improved version, which we’re taking a look at here.
Three years have passed since 2011, and this family hatchback fully electric car now has a more appreciative audience. Pricing has been reduced, whilst the number of public charging points have increased, and with the battery able to last 20% longer before it needs recharging, all signs are looking good for the 2014 Nissan Leaf. Moreover, consumers are better educated on what an electric car offers them, so we can’t think of a better time than right now to clue you up on what exactly Nissan’s flagship Leaf offers you. An Improved Driving Experience Nissan claim that their Leaf now has an operating range of 129 miles. That sounds mightily impressive, but the claims are perhaps the company getting a little giddy. Whilst it might be possible for its battery to last 129, you would have to be a very clever driver – not to mention a slow one – to achieve such a distance. We experienced a Nissan Leaf test drive, and the actual numbers are probably closer to 90 miles before the battery needs charging, which is still not too shabby, particularly if you’ll be using it to get to work and back each day. Let’s be honest, not many of us will cover more than 90 miles on the daily commute.
There is also the option of a B mode on the electronic gear selector which increases your distance by extending the energy derived from regenerative braking. Due to public charging points not being as well-known – or as frequent – as your typical petrol station, consumers might have doubts whether they’ll even be able to find one. If your battery is coming to the end of its life, and you’re no where near home, the integrated Car Wing telematic system rescues the day by point out exactly where the nearest public charging point is – and directing you straight there. For longer journeys, we would always recommend making the necessary plans before setting out. The 2014 new Nissan Leaf is not the quickest or the most explosive vehicle, but it’s designed to be driven around urban areas, as opposed to being ragged in the country side. It offers a comfortable and quiet ride – so quiet, in fact, that Nissan had to add sound so that its creeping silence wouldn’t frighten the wits out of unsuspecting pedestrians – and yet at being able to reach 62 mph in 11.5 seconds, it’s not much worse than its diesel counterparts. Powered by a 360 volt electric motor, it is capable of putting out 109 PS. Unorthodox Aesthetics Admittedly, it looks a little unusual, but it’s not completely far-out, and the quirky aesthetics are probably no where near as bad as most of us would have imagined when the concept of an electric car was first born. The Jetsons, this is not.
One of the marked improvements to the look of the 2014 Nissan Leaf is helped by the fact that the clunky charger unit and invert has been moved from the boot to the bonnet, meaning the front nose is stubby without being ugly, and assists the aerodynamic performance of the vehicle. Indeed, the Japanese designers have handled the transfer of the charger unit from the back of the car to the front with great competence, with the strong, futuristic design remaining intact and nicely restrained. At 4.5 metres long, it was the first electric car that was able to accommodate families, making it a real market leader. Its overall dimensions are favourably comparable to the Ford Focus hatchback, with no other electric car able to offer the kind of space and practicality found here. With the addition of quirky LED head lamps, which help to lower road noise, and a neat LED light underneath the charger lid to help with connection when lighting is otherwise poor, Nissan have really thought things through to elevate their fully electric car to the level of a conventional hatch. Moreover, the battery is found underneath the vehicle which creates a low centre of gravity, the perfect compliment for sound handling. Final Thoughts No doubt that one of the selling points of the fully electric car is that you’ll save a fortune on fuel, but what sets the 2014 Nissan Leaf apart from its rivals is how ahead of the rest it really is. Whereas most other EV models are simply based on previous petrol models, the Leaf was conceived and manufactured from the ground up, with no previous source of inspiration. From these humble beginnings, it has risen to develop and hone a reputation as being the finest fully electric car around.
With the recommended mid-spec Acenta, you get a car that can be more than a match for its petrol and diesel based hatchback competitors. With new and improved technology, such as the pump driven heating system, the B mode on the gear selector, which extends energy and allows you to go further on a single charge, to the ability to charge your battery remotely, the Leaf has the technology – as well as the functionality and application. The 2014 Nissan Leaf specs cost at least £2,500 more than the base-spec, with Nissan Leaf prices starting from around £23,000, but the base-spec includes none of the aforementioned technology, making it little better than the unrevised 2011 model. We at OSV are committed to finding you the right 2014 Nissan Leaf finance and cash deals. If you want to get hold of the 2014 Nissan Leaf, don’t hesitate to leave us a message on our contact page, or give us a call on 01903 538835 to find out more about our Nissan lease deals.