Check Out Consumer Reports’ First Take On 2018 Nissan LEAF

MAR 20 2018 BY STEVEN LOVEDAY 51

How does Consumer Reports feel about the all-new 2018 Nissan LEAF?

No, we didn’t mix up the Nissan LEAF and Tesla Model 3 videos. Interestingly, it sounds like Consumer Reports wasn’t actually planning on providing its 2018 Nissan LEAF first impressions in this particular episode of Talking Cars, and as you can see, the video begins with more talk about the Model 3.

ALSO WATCH: Consumer Reports Tesla Model 3 Quick Drive Video

2018 Nissan LEAF interior

2018 LEAF interior

When filming a previous podcast about the Tesla Model 3, some audience members noticed CR’s Nissan LEAF in the background and began sending in questions.

So, the guys provided some answers about the new LEAF (if you’ve heard enough about the Model 3, the LEAF portion begins at the 6:12 mark in the video).

Since it’s now clear that CR has a Nissan LEAF in-house, we can only imagine that several more in-depth talks specifically dedicated to the second-gen, all-electric car are still to come. We will keep our eyes out and share those as soon as they become available.

Video Description via Consumer Reports on YouTube:

This week, we answer viewer questions about our Tesla Model 3 coverage. Some eagle-eyed members of our audience spotted our 2018 Nissan Leaf in our garage last week, so we give you our first impressions on Nissan’s all-electric car. Finally, we discuss GMC’s announcement of a new Sierra, and whether its swiss army knife of a tailgate will appeal to pickup buyers.

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51 Comments on "Check Out Consumer Reports’ First Take On 2018 Nissan LEAF"

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I don’t think they said anything we haven’t heard before. Really the thing Nissan has going for it is price. But if I had a choice I would and did get a Bolt. Being in Ohio the winter will each into the miles. My Bolt was in the 150’s – heat is set to 72F during the cold months. As it’s been getting warmer it’s be going up fairly quickly to the 190’s.

Now imagine the Leaf. That 150 would be closer to 100 miles. Fine for daily driving, but not the best for weekends.

Hmmm…. no mention of the Leaf’s lack of a battery TMS.

Rather an important issue, especially when the owner’s manual states that to maximize battery life, don’t park the car in the sun, and don’t charge the battery immediately after driving. LOL

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlxBOJrEKAo&index=6&t=0s&list=PLiw_eCorpPImp5QZSlAFDc8KJxdMDKNsQ

Not an issue in Europe, or the northeast, midwest, or the PNW. California/Arizona have unique climates that may require additional thermal management. Those conditions don’t exist elsewhere.

My 2013 Leaf, charged overnight at 110v and having lived in the NE US, still has all bars showing. The constant drumbeat of “the Leaf battery will fail in 6 months! OMG!!!” posts I see across the Intertubes get tiresome, to say the least.

I bet the L1 charging is the most critical aspect of all this. I’m in SoCal and my almost 2 year old eGolf without TMS has 0 range loss. Zero!

Only L1.

It is an issue in the PNW. Driving from Seattle to Portland on I-5 during the summer causes the battery of my 2013 SV to overheat. The major flaw of the leaf is it’s lack of thermal management.

I live in Portland. Surprised to hear that. Not that I have lurked much on Leaf forums but I have been reading this site on and off since 2013. I figured in our mild climate it was not much of an issue, unless buying used from the SW or quick charging often.

Is the issue you describe temporary during just those trips?

At a minimum it will take letting the car sit overnight for the battery to cool off. Another issue is trying to go over Snoqualamie pass during the summer after previous fast charging combined with highway driving. I’ve been thrust into turtle mode with a bunch of semitrucks barreling down behind me. That is no fun.

The leaf is a really practical car, it just does not make sense for trips much over a hundred miles. It can be done, it just takes a lot of time.

Thanks good to know.

California and Arizona don’t have the same climate. Az is much hotter (well maybe the Central Valley is about as hot). I think the Leaf’s cooling is borderline for Southern California. Where you’re going to see problems are AZ, NV, Central Valley CA, maybe the South Eastern US.

Lack of TMS is an overblown issue in most cases. Unless you live in a very hot climate & DC Fast charge frequently, the battery pack will do fine.

Honestly all that “it has no TMS!!!” gives the impression that the Leaf’s battery pack would magically overheat itself during normal operation, which clearly it doesn’t.

I think the big key they missed when comparing the Bolt with the Leaf is the price tag. Sure, the Bolt is a better car. But it also costs quite a bit more.

I’m surprised GM isn’t realeasing a less expensive 40 kWh Bolt to directly compete with the new Leaf.

First of all, GM already told everyone it’s paying $145/kWh, so a 40kWh pack would only cost $3k less if everything else is the same.

Secondly, GM simply isn’t trying to sell lots of Bolts everywhere. They have lots of global demand that they’re basically ignoring.

So it’s not really surprising.

Except that they announced they are increasing production of the Bolt. I don’t think it is a matter of not wanting to sell them. It’s a matter of not having enough battery production capacity.

Seemed to be more of a Rave of the BOLT ev.

They were disappointed in the “3” because of wind noise, the NEW LEAF they basically said was too little too late, and the fancied (gussied up) Silverado they said will be too maintenance-prone.
Also, big guys won’t like the Leaf seating.

Perhaps people in Europe are buying the Leaf since PSA Citroen isn’t importing the Ampera-e in other than microscopic numbers and they haven’t come out with anything better than their main competition Renault as of yet themselves.

I wonder what would have happened if GM would have just hung on to Opel/Vauxhill a bit longer and also made right hand steering for the Bolt. The Leaf seems to be winning merely by default (nothing else available really in Europe – VW and Diamler aren’t doing much for all their bragging about being the world’s best or most advanced EV companies)

There are still extremely valid reasons to buy a Leaf over a Bolt. The Bolt and the model 3 are priced well above what the average car buyer can afford. The Leaf fills that gap very nicely with a compelling product. What’s not to like about that?

What’s not to like? The car (even though having Chademo Charging) cannot be fast charged until the batteries have taken a break from Charging or Driving. So what is the point of fast charging? The CR guys also didn’t like the center console, nor the minimally adjusting steering wheel.

Similar to the old Leaf, this car’s resale value will probably be just as horrid.

So as a USED vehicle the car will be a steal, and will probably be the only way I would own one (in the future).

“The car cannot be fast charged until the batteries have taken a break from Charging or Driving. ”
Where did you get that? Is this from the recommendation in the manual? Because that’s not the same as the cars that really can’t be fast charged due to technical limitations.

So it looks like it will keep the tradition alive…

And that “SUPER FAST” 22 kw charging rate (almost as slow as the old ‘s’ s ‘slow’ level 2 rate) can only be done (per the 2018 manual) if the car HASN’T BEEN DRIVEN, and hasn’t been charged in a while.

Who cares what the charging rate is when you can’t even begin to plug it in until you wait for a long while?

Agreed, for the people that need fast charging this is a very hard sell.

I sat in the new Leaf and agree with CR’s comments. I’m 5’9″ and I have a taller torso, and shorter legs. Front driving position was barely acceptable. Rear was horrible, because my head kept hitting the roof even when I’m slouching. The “theater style” seating arrangement was awful. These were automatic deal breakers that I wouldn’t even need a test drive. I felt the same about the Prius Prime (no 5th seat) and Chevy Volt/Honda Insight (both have cramped rear seats).

You hit the roof at 5’9″. That’s my height and there’s several inches there, so I’d have to be maybe 6’3″ to hit my head. I guess my torso is super short…

You hit the roof at 5’9″? That’s my height and there’s several inches room, so I’d have to be maybe 6’3″ to hit my head. I guess my torso is super short…

That’s disappointing to hear because I’ve felt the gen 1 Leaf was pretty good with interior space.

Ignorant people. Besides mistaking kW for kWh in battery capacity, they speak as if the 2nd-gen Leaf 60kWh option is a just a reaction to the Bolt, and hasn’t been in the cards since about the same time the Bolt was announced.
My experience with CR is that they are sleazy — charged me for a subscription to their reports I never authorized (I paid for a one-time report), and then ignored multiple email and phone complaints.

I have a four year old Leaf with 10/12 battery left and about to drop down to 9/12.
I will never buy another Leaf – or another Nissan with a Leaf based battery.
Lack of battery thermal management make it barely fit for purpose.
That’s the reason old Leafs are worthless, its a reflection of their true value.
This “new” car is a new costume on old pig and destined to the same result.

The 2014 Leaf had this problem, and they fixed it in later years.

I’m not familiar with this…what exactly did they fix? Chemistry?

They didn’t fix it by adding active thermal management, which every other BEV has (some are less-effective air-based rather than liquid, but still better than 100% passive like the Leaf).

More likely the fact that they could be found on exceptional deals for years. The Fiat 500e has depreciated similarly despite having a better TMS because it could be leased for in plenty of cases, under $100/month and still be eligible for state rebates.

I have a 2013 SV with 36k miles and 11 bars. Lots of fast charging too.

I keep hearing people mention noise. Why don’t they use a Db recorder and get some accurate data? Make some comparisons based on facts rather than the tester’s preferences and hearing ability.

This happens to all EV’s. There’s no screaming motor noise, no transmission rumble, no exhaust noise, and all of a sudden it’s: OMG I hear the wind.

But, you also hear Fantastic Sound, it sounds like a quiet room with your favorite music on. And you won’t care about wind when you’re listening to Hendrix, or Dylon or Springsteen. You’ll just be knocked out by mid-range and lower-mid range you have NEVER heard in a car.

If Tesla could use side video mirrors, the cars would be a lot quieter.

LOL. The Nissan Leaf is “no match” for the Not-Sold-Anywhere eGolf. ROLF. Secondly, any EV is already 500% better then an ICE, so just not clear what “measuring up” is all about. If you’re going to be this hard on this EV, you should Recommend No One Buy An ICE Ever. “Not sure the Leaf can compete” because of range. Yes, you can get 100 more miles in a Bolt for $10,000. This is the most INSANE review I’ve ever read. Hmmm.. -Apple Car Play is available. -Handling has improved. -CR doesn’t understand that once ePedal is on, it STAYS on. -Likes lumbar support. -Protruding center console: the driving position is “severely compromised”. WOW. Exagggggggerate much? -Rear seat room is quite decent. -“Some staffers were able to transport a mountain bike”, the others can’t walk and chew gum. -Heated seats and steering wheel -120v-240v charging. -5kWh charging -DC fast charging optional: 80% in 40 minutes. -ProPilot Assist “Given the Leaf’s comparatively short range, mundane driving experience, and flawed driving position, it’s hard to see how it can stand out in today’s more competitive EV world.” Seems like one guy actually reviewed the car and the EDITOR Slanted the Piece to… Read more »

Actually that center console does look like it needlessly sticks out too far into the driver knee area. But, will have to actually sit in the car to see.

Yes, I have sat in more than a few 2018 Leafs, and the center console protrudes awkwardly and sucks big time. It is because when your (driver side) right knee is bent and splayed out a bit to the right, it definitely rubs the railing (trim) on the center console. It is not nearly as bad as I remember my Honda Clarity EV test drive, when my right knee center console experience was actually cramped.

The Bolt isn’t $10k more than the Leaf unless you’re comparing the cheapest Leaf to the most expensive Bolt.

The top of the line Bolt is $44,000.
The top of the line 2018 Nissan Leaf $38,000.
So, I stand corrected, it’s only a $6000 difference for an extra 87 miles of range.

And the BMW i3 REX is more fun to drive, with a better suspension and interior, and cheaper to Lease than BOTH.

Someone at CR again, doesn’t know Distances between Cities and how much they actually drive per day. The ODOMETER is not hard to master.

Old video, i already bitch to them on youtube about this video. This should be a leaf video

I bought one a month and a half ago. Very happy with it so far. One complaint I have is that the gas pedal is too close to the brake pedal. The brake pedal should be farther to the left. I’ve gotten very used to the epedal feature and Pro pilot lane assist. I don’t think the lane assist is quite accurate enough for Atlanta traffic. Much better on highways. I think the Leaf is an option for those that don’t want to spend $60,000 (out of the door) on a Tesla model 3. Certainly not as glamorous though. I do like the idea of the app. It’s nice to be able to start car to warm it up or check the battery status from your phone. I would like to see become more reliable. The thing I like most about 2018 Leaf is the added torque and the feel on the road. It is light years ahead of the gen 1 and handles like my old BMW series 3. While I used to have to think about range and plan around charging, I don’t really think about that anymore. It’s a good car for a great price and I… Read more »

It seems like with both the Bolt and the Leaf there are some people very happy and have no ergonomic or comfort issues and some that have serious issues. I am disapointed to hear about the lack of rear seat headroom that would be an issue with my family. As would the intrusion into the drivers right leg space – as someone with long legs this bugs me. Space is needed for the knee to angle out at times. As I get older these details are starting to matter to me more.

I figure that when ghe 60k model comes out the 40k model might have some great lease details and if I still do not have an order date for the 3 this might be worth considering. I would not expect it to compete in many ways against the 3, but it would save some money. It has to have the basic ergonomics right. I think I want to compare a few cars back to back soon to see which ones actually fit.

CR is so pro-Tesla that everything else is slanted for them. Don’t agree with anything they have said. Yes, taller people may have fit issue but like any sub-compact that will be similar.

So the previous Leaf was classified by the EPA as midsize. Are you saying it dropped down a couple sizes? Nissan does not say it is a subcompact do they? Are you just making sh** up?

It’s a compact by most reviewers’ standards and by classification in most automotive lists, etc. However, due to its expansive interior size, the EPA officially classifies it as a midsize.

The lack of battery Thermal Control is real and shows up in Arizona ,Texas, Georgia So Cal and many other locations. In mild locations it will take longer and not be under the warranty. Why take a chance.