Ben Collins pilots the Nissan Leaf – Click above to watch video after the jump

Ex-Top Gear driver Ben Collins (aka the ex-Stig), is one of a rare breed of car aficionados who possess the ability to captivate millions with his intriguing automotive reviews. So, when The Sun asked Collins to drive the battery-powered Leaf, you can bet that execs at automaker Nissan crossed their fingers and hoped for the best. If Collins walked away impressed, millions would be aware. If, on the other hand, Collins ripped apart the Leaf, well, that would make headlines as well. Lucky for Nissan, Collins' glowing review of the Leaf will shine positive light on the company's breakthrough electric vehicle.

Collins had a few quibbles with the Leaf's feather-light steering and the mild front-wheel slippage that occurred while cornering, but all in all, the ex-Stig was mightily impressed. Here's a few excerpts from the glowing review:
Its electric motor and silent running gear ensure the only indication of motion is the rush of air as the carefully crafted suspension glides you along the road. The Leaf is such a cushioned ride that the wheels caress manhole covers. All in all, it is superbly balanced, with its weighty battery cells fitted into the chassis floor to help plant the vehicle to the road.

While on-road abilities are certainly important, Collins seemed most enamored with the Leaf's electric aura, stating:

Climbing aboard the Leaf is like stepping inside an iPod. The controls illuminate like a nightclub and chime a few soothing chords - the first and final sounds you hear from this machine.

The ex-Stig closed out the review with this remark:

Electric-powered vehicles were pioneered more than 100 years ago, so it's remarkable that the powers shaping human history have managed to conceal their advantages for so long. The secret is finally out and the dawn of a new driving era is arriving.

Yeah, we'd bet them Nissan execs are joyously celebrating the fact that the ex-Stig couldn't uncover but a couple of minor faults with the Leaf. Hit the jump to watch as Collins pilots the Nissan Leaf and rants even more. Hat tip to Andy!

[Source: The Sun]


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