The Nissan Leaf’s interior is quiet, comfortable and the dashboard is easy to navigate. The material quality lets the side down a bit, though
The Nissan’s not quite as classy inside as a VW e-Golf but it is easy to use with a sensible layout and solid build quality.
The Nissan Leaf has an instrument cluster that’s half analogue, half digital. The speedo is an old-school dial while the rest of the binnacle is taken up by a colour screen. It gives you sat-nav directions and a visual representation of what the autonomous driving assistant is doing. That said, it has some way to go before it can match the resolution of the VW e-Golf’s optional Active Info Display.
Even taking the fancy screen into account though, entry-level Leafs are pretty low-rent inside – the plastics aren’t as squidgy as in a VW e-Golf and it’s all a bit dark and gloomy. Tekna models do their best to add a little pizazz – they get a leather-topped dashboard, some cool-looking trim inserts with patterned graphics and half-leather upholstery.
The Nissan Leaf’s interior is so quiet it feels a bit like travelling to work in a sensory deprivation tank
All Nissan Leafs, apart from entry-level Visia cars, get a seven-inch touchscreen with sat-nav as standard – it’s the same system you’ll find in the Nissan Qashqai SUV but can also show you nearby charging spots and plan routes that include a stopover for re-charging.
The sat-nav itself is easy to use and it’s easy to stick in a postcode. Sadly, processing times can be frustrating – there’s a noticeable delay between pressing the screen and anything actually happening, something you don’t have to put up with in a Volkswagen e-Golf.
That said, you can avoid the Leaf’s infotainment system’s worst niggles by using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto instead. Both are fitted as standard and let you use the apps on your smartphone for navigation and music playback.
Speaking of music, the four-speaker stereo fitted to basic models is pretty average so if you want more oomph go for a Tekna, which gets a Bose stereo with six speakers. It has similar sound quality to the optional Dynaudio system in the VW e-Golf.