On test: nissan leaf

It fits. Anyone who takes a seat in the new nissan leaf immediately gets the impression of a harmonious and coherent car. A perception that continues when you drive the car. The second generation of the world’s best-selling battery electric car is easy and precise to steer. The nissan is easy and effortless to drive, it has a lot of power – and it is several thousand euros cheaper than its direct competitor, the vw e-golf.

De-dramatization

The japanese designers have made the new leaf less polarizing than the vorganger. It blends in with the brand’s design language and refrains from trying to attract attention with exaggerated elements. This de-dramatization has been good for the leaf, it simply looks better. It has given up its special status and visually documents that it is a car first and an electric car second.

At 4.49 meters long, it is 22 centimeters longer than a volkswagen e-golf. A plus from which the passengers in the backseat benefit in the interior. The trunk volume is 394 liters according to vda standards and with a cover (test car with tekna equipment: 385 liters due to the bose subwoofer). An e-golf only holds 341 liters. With the model change, the leaf has become one to two centimeters flatter, depending on the variant; headroom nevertheless remains coarse.

Battery capacity and chassis

The battery capacity has increased from 30 to 40 kwh, and so has the engine output: 110 kw are available from nowhere. Enough for just under eight seconds for the standard sprint and an acceleration that is unstoppable up to the electronically limited top speed of 144 km. The nissan leaf drives confidently and vibration-free. This is how it should be when driving purely electrically.

The improved fine-tuning is striking: the balance in fast curves is even more perfect. The leaf stays neutral for a very long time. Although the twist-beam rear axle is not an elaborate design, there are no noticeable weaknesses here. The traction of the front-wheel drive car is also okay; only the turning circle (tekna test car: 11.66 meters) is too small.

The nissan leaf is an example of how battery-electric cars are gradually catching up with conventionally powered cars: in the overall assessment, aspects such as space or chassis comfort are becoming more important, because the concept-related compromises of the electric car itself are becoming smaller. This is positive, because the buyer should not be in the situation to pay the desire for the end of the internal combustion engine with various disadvantages.

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