Come this spring, the first UK-built Nissan Leafs will roll out of Nissan’s Washington plant in the North East of England.
For those who really value their small carbon footprints, it’ll make the electric car even greener than ever, with no need to ship the cars or batteries from Nissan’s Japanese factories.
To coincide with the new UK production run, Nissan has made a few updates to the Leaf to further boost its appeal.
Nissan has been speaking to existing Leaf customers and monitoring use via the car’s Carwings telemetry system, helping refine the car in the areas drivers need the most improvements. For those new to the Leaf, Carwings also lets owners control heating and charging remotely, via a smartphone app.
Chief among the changes is an improved driving range, bumped from just 109 miles to 124. While that still won’t sound a lot to those of you used to petrol and diesel cars, those extra miles could make all the difference – and might even nudge the Leaf onto your car-buying list.
If the extended range alone isn’t enough to tempt you, than a host of other minor changes have made the Leaf a better buy than before.
Luggage space has improved, thanks to the car’s charger moving under the bonnet from the boot. Re-shaped seats have freed up greater rear legroom, while the seats are also now more supportive. Leather trim has dropped onto the options list, while the standard seat fabrics are now more environmentally friendly.
The Leaf should be better to drive, too. Nissan has revised the chassis, steering and brakes, now tuned to European tastes. Ride comfort should be as good as ever, but there’s now less “float” and more agility. Steering weight has increased a little and the brakes are a little more progressive.
An optional 6.6 kW on-board charger has improved the Leaf’s charging capability. On a 32 amp supply, charging time is cut from eight hours to four hours – useful for those occasional energy boosts during the day.
It should now be easier to choose a Leaf of your liking too – the Leaf has adopted Nissan’s Visia, Acenta and Tekna trim lines.
Visia models keep equipment levels relatively low, with steel wheels, black door mirror caps and halogen headlights. Nissan hasn’t yet announced UK pricing, but in other countries the entry price has come down by a useful amount – so the Visia may be more affordable, too.
Acenta adds 16-inch alloy wheels, suede fabric seat trim, body-colour door mirror caps and rear privacy glass. Tekna upgrades to 17-inch alloys, LED headlights, a new energy-efficient BOSE sound system and Nissan’s Around View Monitor camera parking aid.
Priced from: Not yet announced
Available from: Not yet announced
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