This is the 2016 Nissan Leaf. The biggest improvement over the current car is a 25-per-cent increase in its driving range – it can now be driven for 155 miles on a single charge.
In the world of electric vehicles (EVs) that’s quite a big deal. If potential range issues are holding you back from buying an EV, take a look at our guide on why you shouldn’t be worried. Read on to see how Nissan have improved the Leaf for 2016.
The primary reason for the significant increase in driving range is a new battery – a 30kWh unit replaces the outgoing 24kWh version that the Leaf uses at the moment. Although that’s a big power increase, Nissan has managed to keep the new battery the same size as its predecessor, while only adding minimal weight. This results in a big increase in driving range while maintaining practicality and usability – two areas where some EVs struggle because bulky batteries can take up lots of interior space.
Just like on the current model, charging remains simple. The Leaf can be charged at home or at public charging points, and Nissan says there are now 500 Leaf-friendly public rapid chargers in the UK. Combine this with an increased range and the Leaf may be a lot more usable than you would think.
Further improvements can be seen with Nissan’s onboard EV system (NissanConnect EV). This allows you to control many features remotely from your smartphone, including checking the charge level or even pre-heating the cabin on a cold winter’s day before heading out to the car.
This system has been significantly updated on the new Leaf and is now much easier to use. The charging map now tells you not just where the nearest charge points are, but also if they’re currently being used by someone else – a feature that should save a lot of bother. The interior also gains Nissan’s latest infotainment system, with a new interface and a seven-inch touch screen.
With the amount of time spent on improving the car’s driving range, Nissan left the quirky exterior alone, and the only visual changes are a new roof-mounted aerial and a new addition to the colour chart: the bronze you can see in our photos.
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Also try our interactive car chooser to narrow down the choice of the 400+ new cars currently on the market. The car chooser has a button to show only the electric or hybrid cars, so you can see the alternatives to the Leaf.