Test drove the Nissan Leaf today - Nissan Murano Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-09-2009, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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Test drove the Nissan Leaf today

Today I had the opportunity to test drive a Nissan Leaf, the pure electric vehicle that Nissan plans to put on the market sometime in 2010. I feel special, because this was an invitation-only event. They're currently having a tour around the country (see their site listed at the bottom) but those stops are only showing, not driving. This one was a special event. (excuse me while I gloat a bit...)

Well, in truth it wasn't exactly a Leaf, it was a different car that was similar to the Leaf, but had the entire engine/drive train swapped out for the Leaf motor and drive train, so it's pretty much as close as you can get at this point.

They also had a fully-functional "real" Leaf available, but not to drive. We could look, touch, and make "ooooooo" noises, but that was it.

But the test car was very fun to drive. Like a larger version of the old Civic Hatchback. Perfectly silent, but plenty of get-up-and-go. They claim that power feels similar to a V6, and I would say it's close to that. The closed course was small, but it did seem nimble and responsive.

I had the opportunity to chat with some very knowledgeable Nissan representatives (seriously, I'm not saying that as an oxy-moron this time) and while I got a lot of questions answered, it ended up making me come up with more.

But here are some interesting facts:

Range: 100 realistic driving miles per charge
Top Speed: in the 90's
Performance: Like a V6
Seating: 5 (back seat was surprisingly spacious)
Charging: 110, 220, or special quick charger professionally installed in garage
Pricing: Unknown, but they're targeting the $25k-$28k range based on our conversations
Battery: Most likely will be leased, dropping the up-front costs of the vehicle and protecting owner against future upgrades
Distribution: "A few thousand" in 2010 for sure, ramping up to about 20,000 in 2011

Based on the research I have done and closely looking at EV developments that have been happening, I think that the Nissan Leaf is the best candidate to be the first affordable production electric car. Nissan has been the most realistic about their vehicle, timeline, and specs than any other company out there, and I actually think they're going to pull it off.

I still have serious concerns about how the incompetent dealerships are going to handle servicing/repairing this new technology, and I made a BIG point of mentioning that to 3 separate people at the event, but they seem to be responsive to it, saying that they already have a training program they're developing, and a dealership MUST send someone in for specific training to be their EV specialist in order to sell or service the Leaf.

As much as I've said that I will never buy another Nissan because of their customer service, I gotta say that I'm really tempted to jump on this when it's available (waiting list to start around April 2010) to replace my wife's car (or maybe it will be mine and she'll take ownership of the Murano).

Anyway, here's the web site. Feel free to ask me any questions if you have them. Can't say I'm THAT knowledgeable about it, but now I have contacts that I can potentially ask and should be receiving information as quickly as they allow it to be released.


~ Corin

2016 Subaru Outback 3.6R (replaced my 2005 Murano SL AWD)
2014 Nissan Leaf (My second one)
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post #2 of 7 Old 12-10-2009, 10:32 AM
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Thanks for the update, you lucky dog! I also have been interested in an all-electric car, for our second vehicle. The body style is really nice and we may just throw our names on the waiting list. Take care!


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post #3 of 7 Old 06-09-2015, 10:12 PM
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I got a 2015 Leaf S on May 1st and am really liking it.

I still have my Murano for longer trips but I almost don't need it. I've put 900 miles on the Leaf and only 175 on the Mo since I got it. One trip for 150 miles and the rest just starting it to move it and/or for short errands that need the bigger space.

I even did a 250 mile round trip drive, just had to stop 3 times to charge. Charging was free at all the spots though! All my charging has been free so far. Employer + the Nissan No Charge to Charge Program (2 years of free charging). I've taken it to 6,000 ft and to the beach, not on the same day of course but it's capable of a lot.

The car practically costs nothing but the lease payment. And I'm saving almost the monthly payment in gas so my Mo will last longer and get less miles on it and get a brand new car (had 15 miles on it, including my test drive) which I've never had in my life. My Mo has 115k now and not looking forward to getting over 120k.

EPA is 84 miles per charge. I can get 100+ per charge if I try and 60-70 if I'm having fun or driving real highway speeds (70-80).

I'm sold on EVs. I really hope the rebates are still around when the Tesla Model 3 comes out. It would be a no brainer for a 200 mile range EV with the Supercharger network.

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post #4 of 7 Old 09-23-2016, 07:34 AM
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I hear that electric vehicles are deathly quiet and they really are starting to rally up the market with a whole lot of announcements for new models from the most unlikely players in the market. It'll be interesting to see what other cars we'll have the pleasure of looking at in this category in due time...

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post #5 of 7 Old 01-08-2017, 02:02 PM
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good car!
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post #6 of 7 Old 01-08-2017, 02:13 PM
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It seems like that's a direction a lot of passenger cars will be going. If it's just a commuter car, 100 miles is plenty for most commutes. I haven't heard how they are going to recycle the massive batteries when they give it up, but I'm sure they're taking care of that. I also don't know what a battery replacement will cost if you buy used and keep the car for 10-15 years like I do.

I can't say the Leaf appeals to me cosmetically, but the only electric car I know of that does is the Tesla. It does look like it has some room in it, and that utility is always good.

I'll be curious to see if there's an urban/rural split that eventually appears in adoption of electric cars and hybrids. In much of the rural US, it's not unusual to drive 30-60 miles each way to work or to town, and many people need a car that will do the commuting and the long distance traveling.

I still enjoy driving a six-speed manual and having a car that I can take from here to Colorado Springs or here to ski country and back in the same day, round trip at least 240 miles. For road trips, I assume traveling 500 miles per day. Perhaps some day there will be a hybrid that can do that and handles like my BMW 3-series (which is paid for), but I haven't seen one yet.

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post #7 of 7 Old Yesterday, 10:52 PM
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I like this car very much
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