Nissan Leaf interior
There are a few cheap-feeling materials around the cabin, but the Nissan Leaf’s dashboard is easy to navigate. It’s quiet and comfortable on the move, too.
The Nissan Leaf feels pretty solid and has a sensible layout inside, which means everything is easy to find and use. It doesn’t have the same classy feel inside as a VW e-Golf though.
The instrument cluster is a particularly interesting element, as it is half digital and half analogue.
The speedo takes an old-school needle and dial approach, while the rest of the display is a relatively high-resolution colour screen. It tells you about the state of the battery charge, shows what the driver assistance systems are doing and can give you directions from the satellite navigations, too. It’s not as sharp as the e-Golf’s Active Info Display, but that is an optional extra on the VW.
Elsewhere in the entry-level Nissan Leaf things feel a little low rent. The plastics aren’t as squidgy as the Golf and it is a bit dark and gloomy inside. N-Connecta cars up the pizzazz a little with some partial faux-leather trim, but you’ll have to pay extra for a Tekna or e+ Tekna model if you want a leather-topped dashboard, some cool-looking trim inserts with patterned graphics and partial-leather upholstery.
The Nissan Leaf’s interior is so quiet it feels a bit like travelling to work in a sensory deprivation tank.
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Every Nissan Leaf comes with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with sat-nav as standard. It’s the same basic system as the one in the Nissan Qashqai SUV, but it can do extra things like show you nearby charging spots and plan routes with a stopover for recharging the battery if needs be.
The sat-nav itself is easy to use – popping in a postcode is a simple affair. Sadly, 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.
Thankfully, if you are an Apple CarPlay or Android Auto fan then you can circumvent some of the Nissan Leaf’s infotainment quirks by using those instead. Both are fitted as standard and let you use the navigation and music-streaming apps on your smartphone through the car’s built-in screen instead. In fact, you can control some of the Leaf’s functions such as heating and cooling as well as see various bits of info about the car via an app on your smartphone too.
Nissan’s four-speaker stereo fitted to basic models is pretty average so if you want more oomph, go for a Tekna or e+ Tekna which gets a Bose stereo with seven speakers. It sounds almost as good as the optional Dynaudio system in the VW e-Golf.
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