There was a time when the Nissan Leaf had a goofy face and not very much range. Those days are now over. The new Leaf is sleek, stylish, incredibly normal-looking and has a decent amount of range. If you get the Plus version, that is.
I truly believe part of what plagued the Leaf’s sales during its first generation is a problem people currently have with the Toyota Prius. They say the Prius “looks like a hybrid.” What they mean by that is the Prius has a very definitive design, one that Toyota wanted people to instantly recognize and associate with an eco-friendly, hybrid vehicle.
Nissan did a little bit of that with the first-gen, which had rounded fenders, a frog-like face and an overall globule shape.
But the new, second-generation Leaf does away with all that. Nissan sharpened up the face, gave it 226 miles of range with the long range Plus version and really just normalized its looks. The bump to 215 horsepower and 251 lb-ft of torque is nice too. All of that is a good thing, because we should be normalizing electric cars.
I’d wager only a handful of buyers want a car that makes an aesthetic statement. Most others just want a car that looks like a regular car.
Driving the Leaf is so much fun. Its center of gravity is low, so it feels zippy and agile, even when you change directions quickly. It’s dead-silent in the cabin when you’re at speed, but you do hear a very cool, futuristic whining noise when you accelerate. Most adorable of all? The car makes a little chiming noise when you put it in reverse, to warn those nearby that you’re backing up.
What else do we love about the Leaf? Check out the video and keep and eye out for our upcoming review!