CNET is four months and over 4,000 miles into a long-term affair with a 2018 Nissan LEAF
When CNET got its 2018 Nissan Leaf for a long-term test drive, the publication roughly knew what to expect. It's certainly not the flashiest electric car on the market, but it's still one of the best fully-electric hatchbacks available today at a reasonable price point.
After a few years in service, the LEAF received a thorough redesign for the 2018 model year. The vehicle finally got an up-to-date and modern-looking exterior. and a few minor modifications in its interior - mostly designed to keep it relevant against its direct competitors.
But, most importantly, the 2018 Nissan LEAF received a brand new battery, allowing for a significant range boost, up to an EPA-rated 161 miles. The 2018 Nissan LEAF is powered by a 110-kilowatt electric motor that sends 147 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels via a single-speed reduction gear transmission. It can accelerate from 0-60 (0-97km/h) in a respectable 7.5 seconds.
However, for the LEAF, the biggest change for most that had the pleasure of driving it is the E-Pedal. And it seems that after a few months of driving it, the journalists at CNET are convinced that this is how all EVs should drive.
The E-Pedal basically comes with a dual purpose. One, you accelerate the car with it. While that's really a no-brainer, with the LEAF, the pedal added a fun bit of challenge to the tedium of commuting. When E-Pedal is engaged, it boosts the regenerative braking on the LEAF. And it does so by a substantial amount. That means that when you lift off the pedal, the car will start deaccelerating very aggressively. It's also capable of bringing the car to a complete stop and holding it there, all by utilizing the car's physical brakes, even when on a hill. Naturally, the car will move forward once you press the pedal again.
While it takes a bit of practice to achieve the full regenerative state, it's definitely a fun and interesting twist to regular driving. Furthermore, more generative braking energy is returned back into the battery pack, further extending your range. An additional positive side effect is that your brake pads will last forever, or close to it.
The crew at CNET did over 4,100 miles with their 2018 Nissan LEAF. According to the test drive article, the drivers routinely achieved a real-world range that exceeds its 151-mile EPA rating. Not bad for a vehicle that starts at $29,990 and can take on five people, while providing a lot of trunk space in the rear.
The full article showcasing the full E-Pedal test drive can be viewed right here.