2018 Nissan Leaf [VIDEO]: first exclusive test (price, range, review)

06-01-2020
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The best-selling electric car in the world appears in a new version. We tried it on the streets of Yokohama.

NISSAN LEAF 2018 – After seven years of existence and 280,000 copies sold, the Nissan Leaf is no longer in the automotive landscape. On the occasion of the Tokyo Motor Show , Nissan allowed us to travel a handful of kilometers behind the wheel of the new opus. First observation, barely seated (right), you quickly find your bearings. The controls are ideally close at hand and the driving position can be adjusted in a jiffy. From the first meters, the new Leaf gives an idea of ​​the excellent comfort of the suspension so as not to confuse the many owners of the current who greet it on this point.

Developing 150 hp and 320 Nmfrom idle, its electric motor obviously makes no noise and allows the Japanese to get into traffic with particular ease. And to help it, the Japanese brand innovates with the e-Pedal function. On an urban route, this novelty eliminates the need for the brake pedal. Acting on the engine brake and the calipers, it will manage the braking until complete stop without the driver having applied the brake. The dosage will be more or less strong depending on how quickly the foot is lifted from the accelerator pedal. Confusing at first, this function, standard on all finishes, seemed very effective. Another innovation, the ProPilot, already known on the Serena MPV sold in Japan, is another step towards autonomous driving. Once engaged, it will allow the Leaf to maintain the distance with the vehicle in front but also to be able to approach the highway curves without human intervention by keeping the vehicle in its lane. Tested on a Japanese highway, it, like most competing systems, has trouble following the right path when the curve gets too tight. Finally, without any action by the driver on the steering wheel after ten seconds, an alarm sounds ordering you to regain control.

But the big question that we are entitled to ask is: what about autonomy? On this first test gallop of around fifty kilometers, it is difficult to say whether the values ​​announced by Nissan are achievable. Thanks to a battery with a capacity of 40 kWh, against 30 kWh on the latest versions of the current one, one could travel, according to the NEDC cycle, 389 km  with a charge. Let’s hope at least 250 km in real use ; a data that we will check once the new Leaf has landed in France. On the flip side, it now takes 40 minutes, on a fast charger, to recharge 80% of the battery compared to 30 minutes previously. Marketed in February 2018 in Europe, this second generation Leaf will receive at the end of next year a battery with increased capacity, we are talking about 60 kWh, which should allow it about 500 km of autonomy .

Verdict:

More mature and less restrictive, this new Leaf erases some defects of the first generation and provides innovative driving aids.

WE love :

  • Performances
  • Operating silence
  • Driving comfort
  • The effective e-Pedal function
  • Autonomy announced

We like less:

  • Longer recharge time
  • The limited effectiveness of ProPilot

Nissan Leaf: the technique

  • Motor: electric, synchronous with permanent magnets
  • Power: 150 hp from 0 rpm
  • Torque: 320 Nm from 0 rpm
  • Battery: lithium-ion, 40 kWh
  • Charging time: 16 h on domestic outlet (3 kw), 8 h on domestic outlet (6 kw), 40 min on fast charger (80%)
  • Range: 389 km (NEDC cycle)
  • LxWxH (m): 4.48 × 1.79 × 1.54
  • Wheelbase (m): 2.70
  • Weight (kg): 1,520
  • Safe (l): 435
  • Price: € 36,900 (launch version 2.0)

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