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2018 Nissan Leaf short spin


regfootball

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I signed up for an 'electric car test drive event'.  I go, thinking Volts, Bolts, and Teslas would be available to drive (also the Pacifica hybrid).

Well, there were no Chevy's there.  And the only Tesla was a Model 3, which i sat in for awhile.  Separate thread.  No other Teslas.  Wouldn't let anyone drive the Pacifica.

Since they had a new Leaf, i took that for a spin.

HIGHS

The current Leaf is a nice, stylish, space efficient wrapper.  I so wish more hatchbacks were like this, tall, without a tumbling roof in the back.  So nice and roomy inside because of it.  Comfy seats, particularly with the nice leather.  Nice driving position.

Easy to see out of.

Electric drive does what it supposed to.  Quiet propulsion and pleasing torque.

I didn't have any issues with ride or handling though the test drive was short.

I would say that makes this a great commuter car whatever the range.

LOWS

Some of the interior layout and design still smells from the Renault gene pool, and it's mixed with those bland goofy Japanese car genes too.  And it's trying to be a goofy electric car inside yet some too.  So the dash design still says 'hybrid' and could stand a more attractive and functional layout on the center stack.  Plus the console is a big leg knocker.

These electric car promotion events need to start to lose all the hippies and really try to become mainstream events.   The mass market will not come until the cars become less hybrid looking, and so also electric cars need to shed the hipsters / hippies on the front lines of promotions.

 

SUMMARY

I would love a Volt or Bolt, but the Volt is so cramped.  The Leaf is not.  After many years of improvements, the Leaf is a good car to my eyes (range not considered here).  The deal breaker for me is the sort of weird interior bits.  The rest of the interior is not bad, so the parts of the dash they mucked up really disappoints.  But maybe I just haven't been in many Nissans lately either.  Overall I would say good job, keep working on the range, and please redo the dash a bit.

Edited by regfootball
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@regfootball I really like your review and would agree, the interior needs some major work as it is cramped for legs with the design of the center stack / dash and some really weird bits. Tesla 3 just does nothing for me, I actually would take the cramped Volt over a Tesla 3 but the winner winner chicken dinner is the BOLT. Chevrolet did their work here and you have a spacious subcompact with interior room more than the size class, dash layout no different than many other traditional small commuter cars / cuv's.

If you have not stopped by a chevy dealer to test drive a BOLT, please do and make sure to press the SPORT mode button on the lower left corner of the center stack. That really kicks up the fun factor if your looking for speed / torque. Takes a full second off the 0 - 60 time. Otherwise you just get pure instant reaction and maneuvering that makes driving in heavy traffic more fun as you can respond when others cannot.

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5 minutes ago, dfelt said:

@regfootball I really like your review and would agree, the interior needs some major work as it is cramped for legs with the design of the center stack / dash and some really weird bits. Tesla 3 just does nothing for me, I actually would take the cramped Volt over a Tesla 3 but the winner winner chicken dinner is the BOLT. Chevrolet did their work here and you have a spacious subcompact with interior room more than the size class, dash layout no different than many other traditional small commuter cars / cuv's.

If you have not stopped by a chevy dealer to test drive a BOLT, please do and make sure to press the SPORT mode button on the lower left corner of the center stack. That really kicks up the fun factor if your looking for speed / torque. Takes a full second off the 0 - 60 time. Otherwise you just get pure instant reaction and maneuvering that makes driving in heavy traffic more fun as you can respond when others cannot.

I actually did drive a Bolt at the auto show a few months ago.  I liked it a lot, its drives great.  I would like it if Chevy's electrics were larger.   And i would like a mid size electric sedan / all electric.  Or, please add a plug in to the Malibu.  The Bolt sits so high I might consider a Leaf over it because its a car and not a jacked up crossover.

I sat in the Tesla 3 at the event.  I actually didn't think it was too bad inside, design and quality wise.  Space is tight but not excessively tight, and they make their seats deeper, i think that hurts it.  I would say its about grand am sized inside.  I actually had a relatively positive impression of the Tesla packaging, assuming the price is 45-50k and not 60k.

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I found the Bolt to be a real hoot to drive. It's got more giddyup than most of the mid-size class base 4-cylinders but not quite as much as the 2.0T and larger crowd, though with better low-end torque than all but the most extreme of Turbo-4s. ... a nice happy medium.  I've said it before... put that powertrain in a LaX or Regal or CTS and I'm there. 

 

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