While many manufacturers are posturing and pontificating about plans for the electrification of their cars, Nissan is releasing a proper second-gen electric vehicle, the new Nissan Leaf.
The world has changed a lot since the 2010 launch of the original Leaf and electrification is very much on the agenda for everyone.
While a company like Tesla might be taking many of the headlines and adding a spark to electric cars, it’s Nissan who has the wealth of experience and in reality, the Leaf is probably the car that suits more UK drivers.
So is this the hottest electric car on the road?
Design: Turning over a new leaf
One of the first electric cars we ever saw was the G-Whiz. We say car, but it’s difficult to politely say what it actually looks like. Suffice to say it was weird and there was a hint of weird about the original Leaf too. Some of this comes down to aerodynamic design, looking for efficiencies and it’s something we see in the likes of the Hyundai Ioniq and the Toyota Prius, for example, too.
The new Leaf, however, very much removes the stigma of EV weirdness that the old Leaf design might carry. This is now a much more contemporary-looking car, with creases and angles in the bodywork as you might find on any other 5-door hatch. In many ways, it’s a car more ordinary.
On the positive side, people are less likely to look at the design and then decide to buy a Golf instead (remember, there’s an e-Golf too), but at the same time (and this could be a negative), the new Leaf might not stand out as an EV as it did before. Place it alongside the new Micra or Qashqai and you can see the family resemblance and it’s no way as grand as something like the BMW i3.