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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello to all! I thought it high time I got round to writing up my thoughts now I'm six months into LEAF ownership for anyone considering a similar move:

Why a LEAF? It came down to a great deal on our company car scheme and my inner-geek couldn't resist; my wife says it is really just my biggest gadget, she knows I love anything with a plug.... 5 seats was another requirement, which immediately ruled out the Ampera and i3; I test drove the Zoe also, but headroom and space in the back seats felt worse than the LEAF. Choice of Acenta with Cold Pack over Tekna was mostly monthly cost difference, and I wasn't so keen on the slippery leather seats of the Tekna; I get complaints from the kids in the back seat about sliding around too much.

Typical usage? I originally expected to use the LEAF for commuting (50 miles per day) and as our second family car for shorter journeys; in effect I'm using it as first choice for almost all our family journeys, as the Ecotricity network has been very reliable since the May/June problems (though recently the number of chargers down seems to be creeping up again unfortunately). Also, my company no longer has limits on personal miles driven, hence I'm on track for 25,000 miles by the end of my first year and our (privately owned) Touran is seeing little use... The 6.6kW charger has proven an essential extra, it keeps Dad's taxi service costs down by enabling a quick top-up after work before running the kids around the county.

Driving experience? Absolutely love it; I never get bored of that torque surge and instant take-off. It feels as fast as my old Audi A3 2.0TDI up to 50mph, just without all the noise and black smoke, it's so much less frantic. I tend to stick with B and Eco mode, but have yet to do any serious evaluation of range with other options.

Reliability? Well, I'm tempting fate here, but so far so good. Brakes are smooth, 12V battery has held out, nothing has broken, no flatbeds in sight.

Quality? Definitely a step down from my 10 year old Audi in some ways; plastics aren't as nice to the touch, and logic behind auto-lights and auto-wipers doesn't work as well (the Audi used to turn the lights on quickly if it started raining, the LEAF is much more stubborn). The LEAF has the look of a 5 year old design inside (roll on the next one), but perfectly acceptable. My only niggle is a loose pice of trim somewhere inside the tailgate that you hear rattling about when you open/close the boot, will wait until the first service to ask dealer to take a look.

Equipment? Carwings can be a pain, but this is mostly down to the data centre end rather than the car I feel. The in-car entertainment is pretty good, the Acenta speakers make a good sound, certainly far better than our SE spec Touran. The satnav is a bit frustrating; I have never owned a car with a built in system before, preferring my Tomtom app on the phone, and I'm not that impressed with Nissan's effort. I will have to force myself to spend some quality time with the manual; surely it must be possible to rename favourites and re-order them into a list that I want?!? Cold pack was a good move, shame they removed this option on Acenta trim; I never knew I needed a heated steering wheel, but boy would I miss it now. I do miss reversing sensors as well, I find the camera less convenient overall.

Longest journey? 400 mile round trip in a day from Gloucestershire to Lancaster and back after I'd had the car about a month. About 8 rapid charges and battery temp just below red... but no problems.

Range anxiety? Not felt that often and have never been stranded, I have found it reasonably easy to drive (speed-wise) to the available battery remaining (once you get used to how the guess-o-meter works). Heavy rain take its toll on range, as demonstrated by a 50mph final section of trip along the M4 to Reading (2% battery indicated when plugged in to rapid charger). Having the most optimistic speedo of any car I've owned helps a bit; indicated 70mph = 63mph on my satnav.

Niggles? Why only one 12V socket? Why no illuminated sun visor mirrors (OK, that's the wife's)? Why no way to turn off the blasted 'bonging' whenever I step away from the car? Why can't buttons on the steering wheel control the trip computer rather than groping around for trip buttons on the dashboard? Why not have heated door mirrors on Acenta? Actually, I did notice some frost subliming on them the other morning, so maybe I have, but haven't worked out in what conditions they activate.

Unexpected benefits? Took the LEAF to the beach at Brean Sands, and realised it is easy to leave 12V devices plugged in running with minimal impact on range, so the 12V coolbox stayed lovely and cold all day, all the more reason for Nissan to provide more power sockets! Also the boot is surprisingly big (in Gen2 anyway), much better than my old Audi A3.

Most surreal moment? Returning to the car at motorway services to find it completely surrounded by a coach load of Japanese tourists marvelling over the rapid charger and taking lots of pictures, I probably feature in hundreds of Japanese Facebook posts.

Any regrets? None at all so far.... it still feels special to drive and I look forward to getting in my nice pre-warmed car every morning.

Super Moderator
5,913 Posts
Hi BruceH and welcome to SpeakEV.

Good to hear you are loving the car and great first post…...
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