The Nissan Leaf might be Europe’s best-selling EV, but it’s not our favourite. The VW e-Golf, for example, is better to drive and feels like a much higher-quality item. And then there’s the Hyundai Kona Electric, which can travel much further on a single charge.
So to get back on terms with the competition, Nissan’s launched a couple of upgraded Leafs at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. First comes the Leaf 3.Zero, which features an improved infotainment system and more colour choices, but gets the same 40kWh battery, range and performance as the standard Leaf. It starts at £31,095 (RM163k), including the Government’s £3,500 (RM18k) grant, and is available to order now. Deliveries are expected to commence in May. This, readers, is not the Leaf you want.
The Leaf 3.Zero e+ is more interesting. It gets a bigger 62kWh battery, giving more range and better performance. Nissan claims 239 miles (385km) of range on the WLTP cycle, an increase of 100km, and an increase in power from 148bhp to 214bhp. The battery has 288 cells to the 40kWh battery’s 192, but is more or less the same size and weight. The bad news? Nissan is only building 5,000 of these for Europe, and for a hefty £36,795. Which is a lot of money.
It also hasn’t addressed some of our main concerns with the Leaf - the awkward driving position and interior packaging to name but two. But no matter. Maybe the powertrain’s extra oomph will be enough to make us forget all about them…