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2013/14 Nissan Leaf – living with the world’s best selling electric car [Review]


dsc03743 1 2013/14 Nissan Leaf   living with the worlds best selling electric car [Review]

The funny thing about electric cars is you wait around for one for years and years, and then all of a sudden a bunch turn up at once. It’s weird. What’s even more strange is the fact that one of the world’s most popular electric cars, the Nissan Leaf, can look so ordinary on the outside, and yet actually turn out to be such fun to drive.

dsc03742 2013/14 Nissan Leaf   living with the worlds best selling electric car [Review]

First Impressions
It would be hard to call the Nissan Leaf a pretty car in the classical sense of the word. Instead quirky might be a better adjective, in the same way the company’s delicious Cube is quirky. You’ll either like it or put up with it, but we’re doubtful whether anyone really *loves* the styling.

dsc03744 2013/14 Nissan Leaf   living with the worlds best selling electric car [Review]

But there’s one thing to say for it, it’s functional. And more to the point, the design comes across as extremely practical, which is probably very important when you’re trying to convince Mr and Mrs Average to spend a lot of money on something so cutting edge. The design does have its advantages in terms of load capacity, driver visibility and seating comfort, in other words where it really counts, so maybe that’s the point?

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It may also have something to do with the rather dull color of the test car we received. When you see the Leaf in white, for example, it looks rather different, with the curves becoming more seamless and definitely more elegant. Anyway, it’s a completely different matter when you step inside the vehicle, at which point design issues recede and it simply becomes a very refined, spacious five seater car. Check out the video below for our overview of the car in general.

In Use
We lived with the Leaf for a week of typical urban use, and during that time we were truly surprised by how quickly we grew to love the car and the way it performs. The hatchback format (even with the relatively high sill), drop down rear seats and roomy rear space really do make it a practical family car in terms of load and people carrying.

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Click through for the rest our our report and conclusions on the Nissan Leaf Tekna

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Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.



  • eAddict

    I have a 2012 LEAF and enjoy it. I also have Solar Panels so I really haven’t paid for charging . Also, folks forget there is close to ZERO maint on this car – not belts, oil changes, transmission fluids… just every 5K miles rotate the tires. We went from a van that got 16 MPG to the LEAF and my Credit Card has never been so happy about NOT being used. 4000K miles gas free miles so far!

    • http://www.redferret.net/ Nigel Powell

      No problems with the range issue at all?

      • eAddict

        Haven’t run in to anything – yet. Using it as a commuter car. St Louis does not have a lot of charging stations so I have to stay close to home. For longer trips (ie to my daughters college) we use our Prius.

        • http://www.redferret.net/ Nigel Powell

          Yes charging stations do become rather important don’t they? :) Thanks again for the feedback.

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