The best selling EV in Ireland for 2019 and has also taken first blood in the league table with the Nissan LEAF holding top spot in January 2020. How long can one of Irelands favorite EVs hold on to its crown?
It’s nearly 12 months since our very first EV review and we are back where it all started with the Nissan LEAF. Our original review can be found here.
We won’t cover old ground again but where the LEAF was lagging behind the competition in the range department has been rectified. It now has 2 battery size options, the original 40kWh and the new larger 62kWh. Don’t worry, the reach on the steering wheel still hasn’t been addressed. Who knows why?
So what are the differences between the two models? In a nutshell, battery size (helping power & range), a little blue highlight on the bottom of the front/rear bumpers. The infotainment system now has the 8″ screen with the newer NissanConnect standard which gives you seamless smartphone connectivity due to Apple CarPlay® and AndroidAuto®. An upgraded navigation system also shows nearby chargers and live traffic. You get access to the NissanConnect Services app that allows users to send navigation routes and preset air conditioning or heating. Finally, there is tiny “e+” on the charging flap. If you had a blue 40kWh nobody would know the difference externally in my opinion.
Nissan LEAF e+ Charging Flap
The person driving will definitely notice the difference with an increase in power to the motor from 110kW to 150kW or in old fossil fuel language 150hp to 217hp. Accelerating from 80 km/h to 120 km/h is nearly 13 percent quicker. This allows the 62kWh LEAF to confidently pass slower-moving vehicles, exit corners faster and more seamlessly, and merge easily with fast-moving traffic. The top speed has increased by approximately 10 percent for comfortable cruising.
The extended range is good. Not great but good. With the larger battery pack, Nissan have increased the range by 42% (+115km) to 385km overall on the WLTP cycle. It’s funny, the battery size is up where it needs to be to compete against rivals like those from South Korea but whether it’s the weight (+130kg) or just the battery management, the range doesn’t seem to get us as far as say the Kia e-Niro or Hyundai KONA. We haven’t even started talking about what some are calling the elephant in the room, the price.
The new 62 kWh Nissan LEAF starts from €37,840 in SV grade with a high specification including Intelligent Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Recognition, Intelligent Trace Control, Moving Object Detection, Intelligent Lane Intervention, e-Pedal with regenerative function, front and rear parking sensors, Around View Monitor, 17″ alloy wheels, privacy glass, LED daytime running lights and LED rear signature lights.The range-topping SVE 62 kWh LEAF is available from €40,500 and includes ProPilot, Bose Audio System, Intelligent Auto LED headlights, heated leather steering wheel and leather heated seats front and rear. This was the model we tested.
What we are hearing at the charging stations from other drivers is that they all love the LEAF, it’s hard the miss the “LEAF Brigade” around the country. Nissan are to be commended for keeping the Irish market going when other manufacturers have supply issues. Potential new buyers of an EV or those who are due an EV upgrade are starting to see if the price tag for a still shorter range is worth it. Only time will tell and as the 2020 EV monthly sales figures are released, the league table will show us where the Irish EV motoring buyers are spending their hard earned cash.
This is a shorter than normal review as a lot of this car has been covered in our original 40 kWh review from February 2019. We really like this car and we would be happy to recommended it but making the decision will boil down to what suits your needs. In our opinion, the 40kWh version, would probably suits over 75% but some buyers are still getting hung up on range when they actually rarely need it.