Nissan Leaf updated

5 Mar, 2013 2:21pm Luke Madden

The all-electric Nissan Leaf has been given a new look and a longer range to make it more appealing

Nissan has revealed an updated version of its electric Leaf, with a range boost from 109 miles to 124 miles. And production of the five-door and its batteries will start at the Sunderland plant in June, alongside the company’s existing Japanese factory.

The extended range is down to a number of factors, with a new aerodynamic grille playing its part. But there’s also reduced friction for the internals and a more efficient battery and energy management system, a more efficient heating system and a ‘B’ setting on the transmission, which increases the amount of regenerative braking.

Nissan has updated the chassis in a bid to make the Leaf more fun to drive. It’s tweaked the dampers, for a more planted feel, and the steering has been given more weight. And the brakes have been made more progressive as well.

A new optional Quick Charger also reduces full charging time from eight hours to four hours if using a 32-amp supply, rather than the traditional 13-amp.

The Leaf now comes in Visia, Acenta and Tekna specs, where before there was just the one model. The Visia will be cheaper than the £23,490 outgoing car, with Acenta similar in price and Tekna more expensive.

Visia models have 16-inch steel wheels, black mirror caps and halogen headlights. Acenta cars add 16-inch alloys, tinted rear windows and body-coloured mirror caps. The top-spec Tekna gets LED headlights, a Bose stereo, 17-inch alloys and a new Around View Monitor.

Nissan has also moved the Leaf’s charging unit from the boot to under the bonnet, to give 40 litres more load space, at 370 litres. An LED light inside the charging port also makes it easier to plug in, while the sat-nav is clearer, too.