2017 LEAF New Car Test Drive
The Nissan Leaf is a five-door hatchback all-electric car, already something of an icon, having been around since 2011. Economy aside, it's best boast is interior space, having the volume of a midsize car in a compact exterior package. The 2017 model is last of the first generation.
An all-new Leaf is expected for 2018, and it is due, because the electric range of competitors keeps increasing. The Leaf is a strong contender with a range of 107 miles, boosted up from 84 miles just two years ago (by a 30-kw battery pack), but the march for mileage continues. The 2017 Leaf cannot match the class-leading Chevrolet Bolt's 234 miles for miles.
The Leaf is built in Tennessee.
It silently accelerates from zero to sixty in less than 10 seconds, and can go 90 mph, although not for 107 miles. That's easily quick enough to keep up with traffic. It's easy to drive, although boring.
Its 80-kilowatt (107-horsepower) electric motor draws from the lithium-ion battery pack under the floor, creating a strong 187 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels.
The 6.6-kW charger can fully charge in four hours, and there's an available DC fast-charging port. A plug-in electric heater keeps the battery warm overnight in winter.
The 2017 Nissan Leaf comes in S ($30,680), SL ($34,200), and SV ($36,790) models. (Prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.)
The S comes with heated seats front and rear, heated steering wheel, Bluetooth, rearview camera, dark nylon upholstery, 16-inch steel wheels and plastic wheel covers, and a 5.0-inch touchscreen. Leaf SV adds a 7.0-inch touchscreen with navigation, power mirrors, and 16-inch alloy wheels.
The SL gets leather seats, 17-inch alloy wheels, and automatic headlamps. Options include a seven-speaker Bose audio system and surround-view cameras.