2018 Nissan LEAF: First Review And Test Drive From Japan – Video

OCT 14 2017 BY MARK KANE 34

The new and improved 2018 Nissan LEAF has now been released in Japan (with the EV arriving in the US and Europe in January), and can now be taken out locally for a spin from most Japanese dealers; fortunately for us, Electrified Journeys Japan has done just that!

Although we appreciate the banter ahead of the actual review, there is a fair bit of chaff to skip over if you want to get to the meat and potatoes of the test drive.  So, if you want to cut to the chase – slip to the 3:40 mark for actual in car driving, and one can also find a nice comparison of the new and old LEAF, as well an overview of the features at 30:20.

2018 Nissan LEAF

Overall, the new LEAF is big improvement from the original, as both the styling and abilities of the car have been upgraded.

The 2018 LEAF comes standard with a 40 kWh battery, good for 150 miles/241 km of real-world EPA-estimated range, as well as 110 kW of power for much better acceleration (as noted in the review).

Electrified Journeys Japan gives us a full test drive and overview of the LEAF, touching topics of regen, ProPilot, parking assistant, interior and more.

Overall the new LEAF is found to be fun to drive and full of safety features, but the reviews ends with the insight that a lot of automated driving features will not work in situations when we would need them most (heavy rain for example).

The review also laments that while 150 miles is good (great for Japan), more would be better.  For those who agree with that notion, Nissan will launch a 60 kWh/~225 mile (362 km) version later next year as a 2019 model year car – so it might be worth the wait.

“Nissan finally got the new Leaf cleared for licensing and I got a chance to test drive it. I go into quite a bit of detail in this video because the new Leaf has changed so much from the previous model. I hope you enjoy this and it helps you if you are thinking of buying an EV.”

Hat tip to Adrian W!

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34 Comments on "2018 Nissan LEAF: First Review And Test Drive From Japan – Video"

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87% battery health after 3 years is still doing great?! I bet most EV drivers (that don’t drive a Leaf) would still be at 97% or better after 3 years.

Well, he did say doing well for a three and a half year old LEAF. Maybe he’s right about that.

But yeah, a 3.5 year old EV should be doing better than 87% battery capacity remaining.

My Leaf is 2 years and 7 months old. It has 53000km on the odometer. It has still 100%. This is at least what it shows. It is being used in Ireland.

Is that from LeafSpy? If it isn’t, it’s not likely a meaningful number.

Given the temps in Ireland, it may be one of the better places to own a BEV. I think the average low in January in Dublin is around 38 degrees F, and the average high in August is around 70 degrees. Temps like that would really baby the pack except on those cold January mornings/nights.

If you see 100% after so many years / miles, you have defective car and/or test equipment. I still see 105 miles of range after full charge, but doing battery capacity tests show the capacity has degraded.

My 12 Leaf was at 85% SOH after 3 years (26k miles) – pretty terrible.

85% sounds pretty good! I’m at 70% on our 2011, and dropping rapidly. I expect to lose the fourth bar in the next few months, and Nissan has apparently canceled the policy of providing any financial help on battery replacement.

I’m at 77%, 42k miles on my 2012. Luckily for me, I only work 24 miles round-trip from home. So even when I lose another 27% in the next 5 years, I’ll still be able to use it. I just need it to last that long so I can get a used 60kwh battery car that’s off lease for cheap or the replacement battery is under $2k.

It’s like they were saying hey lets design a car that will be years out of date, then release it and say how good it is.
It’s an improvement over the original surely but Shirley should not buy one.

The lack of TMS is the big oversight, which the bigger battery version, coming next year, won’t have either. So they made some bigger fins and tossed in some fans.
Don’t Buy!

Some people are reporting that the 60kWh battery WILL have a thermal management system after attending the European Nissan Leaf release in Oslo a week or so ago.

Having active thermal management is important but at least as important is how much heat it can transport in a given time.

You can have active thermal management which just turns a fan on and off. Heck, the current LEAF has active thermal management in which it can turn on a resistive heater to heat the pack in the winter.

I think an EV needs a liquid (liquid heat transport to radiator) or phase-change (compression/expansion system like an air conditioner/heat pump) temperature management system. Having this for day-to-day use extends the life of the pack. And having it for use during quick-charging means you can remove the heat from the pack during quick-charging, enabling faster, less damaging quick charging and multiple quick charge sessions per day.

The 60kWh LEAF may have an active thermal management system, but how much can it do? If the car isn’t already rigged with a radiator and cooling loop to that area of the car (and it appears it isn’t) then their ability to cool the pack is limited.

All good points.

They have experience in that field already. E-nv200 being produced since 2014 and they all have same 24kwh battery, and it has active thermal management.
It’s air cooled, AC involved.
On my 4000 mile return Eurotrip battery temp didn’t go over 6 bars.
Fb.me/evnero

That seems probably considering that the rumor has been that the 40 kWh version will have the same old battery from the battery factories that Nissan owned and that from the 60 kWh version they will be getting their batteries from LG Chem.

Tesla Bjorn said the 60!kwh version would have active thermal management. I trust him he was there in Oslo .

The Nordic version will have a battery heater.
It will not have ATM that is liquid cooled which is far and away the best solution.

I haven’t even heard that they have tossed in fans. That’s good news if they did because some active cooling is better than none.

I have a 2013 Leaf, and it runs a fan when you charge it (at least in summer).

Yeah, but that just cools the charger, not the battery.

Big disappointment for me that the epedal uses the brakes too. Hopefully it uses them only at the end to stop the crawl and not as soon as you take your foot of the accelerator.
The guy is pretty annoying so i had to stop watching…will resume later but seriously, just cut and start the video at 3 min mark.

So the Propilot didn’t work and the park assist probably ignored the fence and would run the car into it…i say probably because there’s no way to know since the guy panicked and stopped 2 feet away from it…lol. The interior is a missed opportunity, that screen just sucks and is highly impractical but the steering wheel controls are a big plus. All in all i would get this car if efficiency is above 5 m/kwh, i think it’s a pretty good deal.

I still give Nissan an A for spirit, eventhough the 87% loss makes me cringe.

My S 85D gets about 3.3 miles/kWh.

My 2012 Prius-plug-in gets about 4.0 miles/kWh (with a bit of babying).

If the leaf gets 5.0 miles/kWh without babying, maybe the 87% degradation over 3 yrs is tolerable as that would result in an effect miles/kWh of 4.35, still not bad.

Kudos to those who buy these, but I wouldn’t consider one personally. I’d want some sort of fast charging network and the knowledge that fast charging wouldn’t harm the battery further.

A LEAF does not get 5 miles/kWh without babying. It’s hard to get much with babying.

My 2013 Leaf (with 35k miles) used to read 90-94 miles range when new. Now when fully charger it ranges between 78-84 even though is still shows 11 bars. You all do the math….

About a 12% degradation.
start with 92 ish miles, end up with 81 ish.
A loss of 11 miles from 92 puts you at 88%.

Pretty typical for the 2013, as mine is at 85% at 54k mi. and 52 months in service. Dropped the first bar at 4 year/ 49 k mi.

You need to use LeafSpy if you want an accurate idea of where your battery is.

12 bars is full bars. Are you saying it’s down a bar?

Losing a bar would mean you should expect 8% less range. Sounds like that’s not far off from what you are experiencing.

# 12 is the First bar (14.+%), which represents two bars of the lower # 1-11 bars (7.+%). When the first bar is lost, you are at almost 15% loss of initial battery capacity.

The best of Youtube. Amazing amount of verbal diarrhea. Couldn’t take it in one sitting. I block for less.

With their lead in EVs I am disappointed that Nissan rested too long and are now in the middle of the pack. They have one of the best EV knowledgable dealer networks and have delivered to them a ho hum new car.

..in a nutshell.

I’m sorry Albemarie, I do tend to ramble on too much I guess. I’m not a professional car magazine or anything like that, I just wanted to help people in other countries who can’t check out the new Leaf be able to see more than just Nissan’s ads.

Part of the business model for legacy OEMs is planned obsolecsence. Since the EV has very few moving parts Nissan had to find some way to make the car wear out like an ICE car. That way they can hopefully get repeat business. They settled on the battery. Only, they miscalculated. Instead of lasting 200,000 miles like an ICE car it only lasts 50,000 or less for people in hot climates. Nissan has been putting out propaganda saying that they solved the capacity issue in 2015 with the “lizard” battery. A lot of people buy into this propaganda, but if you look on the Leaf forum you’ll see that some people are still experiencing rapid capacity loss if they live in a hot climate. It’s pretty clear that liquid cooling is needed, but then Nissan wouldn’t be able to hit the $30,000. price point that they want. I read an interview with Andy Palmer when he was still with Nissan. He said that, “Nissan will never have a TMS”. He didn’t say why, but maybe he knew something we don’t. So when people say that the rumor at Oslo was that the 60kwh battery will have a TMS, I’m a… Read more »