2014 Nissan Leaf Review

March 13, 2014
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Want to try driving a full-electric vehicle? The 2014 Nissan Leaf is a nice car to start with. At an affordable price, you get a well-equipped, nicely designed, and truly environment-friendly vehicle to get around in. Check out the newest Leaf below.

NEW FOR THE 2014 LEAF

  • standard rearview camera on all models
  • discontinuation of Long Life Mode

UNDER THE HOOD

An 80-kilowatt electric motor that generates 107 horsepower and 187 pound-feet of torque is responsible for the Nissan Leaf’s power. The EPA’s estimate for the Leaf’s driving range increased from 75 miles in the previous model year to 84 miles for 2014. Of course, actual driving range may vary depending on several factors. The Leaf is also most likely to consume 30 kWh per 100 miles according to the EPA.

Leaf models with 6.6 kW charger and 240-volt power source can recharge a used up battery in four hours. Those with 3.3 kW chargers take 8 hours to recharge a battery. Nissan claims that the quick-charge port, which is standard in just the Leaf SV, can recharge Leaf’s battery to 80 percent in just 30 minutes.

ON THE ROAD

The all-electric Nissan Leaf’s engine runs smoothly and quietly. And even if this tends to allow wind and road noises to dominate, the cabin stays serene.

The Leaf accelerates briskly, and that’s mainly because of its electric engine which is capable of delivering maximum power even from a standstill. But most reviewers find other electric vehicles quicker than the Leaf. It may not be extraordinary in the segment but it is indeed reliable.

INSIDE THE 2014 LEAF

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The Leaf’s interior looks and feels nice. The design is neat and modern, not to mention the futuristic drive selector. The controls are mostly in the center stack and they don’t look complicated to use.  The quality of the materials used isn’t first-class but it is quite unexpected for the EV’s price. The controls are easy to use, thanks to the logical menu structure.

The Leaf also has a roomy cabin. And Nissan was able to achieve this by placing the battery pack underneath the floor. Headroom is plenty in the front seats. But legroom is quite lacking for taller passengers. The trunk gives generous space of 24 cubic feet. This can even be expanded to 30 cubic feet if the rear seats are folded.

KEY FEATURES

The 2014 Nissan Leaf is available in three models: the S, SV and SL.

The Leaf S is equipped with lithium-ion battery, 16-inch steel wheels, heated side-view mirrors, rear spoiler, Nissan Intelligent Key with push-button start, Bluetooth, rearview camera, heated seats, 4-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system, USB/iPod connectivity, satellite radio, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, 4.3-inch color display, fold-down rear seats, and antilock brakes.

The Leaf SV gets 6.6kW charger, 16-inch alloy wheels, navigation system, CARWINGS, cloth upholstery, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and Pandora capability.

Nissan Leaf’s top-of-the-line model, the SL, features 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, fog lights, solar-panel rear spoiler, leather seats and cargo cover.

Some options include a unique center console applique, floor mats, cargo organizer, and Bose audio system.

Photo credit: nissanusa.com

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