Most automakers are still in the process of mulling over their first electric vehicles – the Nissan Leaf on the other hand is leagues ahead and already being given something of a next-generation makeover. Across the pond in the Britain, the UK-built Nissan Leaf has been lavished with at least a hundred minor upgrades, most of which are behind the scenes, put in place to respond to the feedback of current Leaf owners.
And it all begins with the charging of the new Leaf itself – Nissan has mercifully illuminated the charge point to forego the usual fumbling around in the dark.
Probably the biggest and most impressive change of all is Nissan’s shedding of 32KG from the weight of the new Leaf, which is about the same as very small adult or an overweight child. In either instance, the difference is definitely noticeable in terms of the Leaf’s performance and handling, while still remaining near silent and smooth as silk.
Nissan has also fitted the new Leaf with two transmission modes to choose from. Along with standard ‘Drive’ there’s also ‘B’ which puts more power back into the battery cells when the brakes are applied. The Leaf’s steering has also been tweaked and now feels even more effortless than before.
Speed things up a little and you can feel that the new version of the Nissan Leaf has been stiffened up in order to covey a much better feeling of control, though it is still known to pitch pretty badly on some or the sharper, more severe bends. It’s also considerably less bouncy over the bumps, which is a bonus.
Only a real Leaf devotee would be able to see what’s gone on in terms of cosmetic tweaks to the outside of the Nissan EV, as aside from minor bumper adjustments and the option of 17-inch alloys there really isn’t much to write home about. But then again, the mainstream EV market isn’t exactly supposed to be about showing off a pretty picture.
On the inside however there are a few neat alterations, with practicality and comfort having been stepped up along with the introduction of a new, darker color scheme – as frequently requested by buyers.
All in all, it’s a pretty sweet little package of upgrades which according to Nissan will allow the leaf to travel 14% further from a single charge – translating as an increase from 109 miles to 124 miles.
As far as price goes – the new version of the Leaf is available in the UK for £25,490 after factoring in government grants.