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In-depth reviews

Nissan Leaf review - Interior, design and technology

The cabin looks fairly conventional, but there’s an impressive amount of technology fitted

Nissan themselves will admit that the design of the first-generation Leaf could have put some people off, but it’s hard to see that happening with this model. 

Although it’s a striking shape with some hi-tech lines, the current Leaf is certainly rather more conventional than the original car. The front end has Nissan’s family grille, and with tail-lights that echo those of the popular Juke baby SUV, this could even be a family hatch with a combustion engine – were it not for a few tell-tale signs, like the awkward-looking bonnet flap, which lifts to reveal the charging sockets.

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If you want your Leaf to stand out a bit more, you might be tempted to go for a model with either N-Connecta or Tekna trim. That’s because they give you the option of a two-tone finish to the car, with a white body and contrasting black roof and door mirrors. 

The most basic Visia trim has been dropped, making Acenta the entry point to the Leaf range. Even so, it comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a rear-view camera and Nissan’s full suite of driver assistance systems including lane departure warning and rear cross-traffic alert. . From N-Connecta trim, the car also comes with tinted windows and a black pillar between the front rear doors, while the top Tekna models have full LED headlights. If you're looking at the long-range Leafe e+, it only comes in top-spec Tekna trim.

As outside, so inside, you can see how engineers have tried to give a seamless transition to the EV experience. Apart from the odd flash of backlit blue, the layout, plastics and finish are as they’d be in any contemporary mid-sized hatch.

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But, there are still some familiar sights, such as the gear selector from the original Leaf between the front seats, and Nissan’s regular infotainment system in the centre of the facia.

Quality is a mixed bag. The plastics across the top of the dash and door are a bit cheap and some of the switches aren’t exactly premium-looking, but it’s all put together brilliantly by the gang at Nissan’s factory in Washington, Tyne and Wear.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

Every model comes with a customisable 8-inch TFT screen next to the analogue speedometer, as well as Bluetooth connectivity and the smart Nissan Connect EV system. This gives you not only Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, but also an intelligent navigation system that will help plan your journey, showing places where you can charge, up if you need to.

Acenta models also come with six speakers for the stereo but if you opt for a range-topping Tekna model, it comes with a premium Bose stereo and seven speakers.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    110kW Acenta 40kWh 5dr Auto [6.6kw Charger]
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £29,790

Most Economical

  • Name
    160kW e+ Tekna 62kWh 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £39,340

Fastest

  • Name
    160kW e+ Tekna 62kWh 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £39,340
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