Consumer Reports found the Nissan LEAF an enticing electric vehicle but only at first glance
A longer look at car revealed shortcoming, according to Consumer Reports.
The 2018 model with a 40 kWh battery, range of 151 miles (EPA) and an affordable price from $23,375 (after federal-tax credit and destination charge) sounds ok. However, the more expensive Chevrolet Bolt EV and Tesla Model 3 offer way higher range - 238 and 310 miles respectively.
According to Consumer Reports, the new LEAF offers little beyond an attractive price to distinguish it from its EV competitors so waiting for 60 kWh battery version (200+ miles) is advised.
There are several drawbacks to the current LEAF, mostly minor though:
"Our Leaf delivered power smoothly when accelerating from a standstill, but it ran out of oomph at highway speeds.
The mushy handling doesn’t inspire driver confidence, and the soft suspension can bottom out, sending a nasty thump to the cabin.
We found the SL’s powered driver’s seat to be comfortable, helped by the adjustable lumbar support. The Leaf is missing a telescoping steering column to accommodate drivers of all sizes, and the center console rubs against the driver’s knee, which can be annoying.
HIGHS: Low running costs, quietness, power delivery, access, standard automatic emergency braking
LOWS: Charging times, driving position, agility, ride"
Source: Consumer Reports