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.

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!