Nissan Leaf hatchback (2011-2017) - Interior & comfort
Very little wind or road noise and near-silent running makes the Nissan Leaf extremely relaxing for occupants
Not only is the Leaf’s electric motor near-silent, there's also very little road or wind noise to be heard inside the car. That alone makes it extremely relaxing to travel in. The soft suspension is set up for a relaxing ride rather than fast driving, so bumps are easily absorbed.
Nissan Leaf dashboard
Plenty of seat and steering-wheel adjustment makes it easy to get into a comfortable driving position behind the wheel, while your four passengers should all have enough space to sit comfortably, with plenty of head and legroom for everyone. Light materials and an attractive central display also contribute the overall relaxed sensation of driving a Leaf.
All models in the Nissan Leaf range are reasonably well appointed. The entry-level Visia includes Bluetooth phone connectivity, electric door mirrors and windows, plus air-conditioning. You’ll need to step up to Acenta for alloy wheels, folding door mirrors, a rear parking camera and the NissanConnect EV infotainment system, which lets you operate your smartphone apps through the car’s display screen.
The Acenta model is our choice, because it also adds Carwings (a feature that allows the car’s charge status to be monitored through a smartphone app), a seven-inch colour screen, cruise control and automatic wipers and lights.
It also adds a feature that enhances the amount of energy recovered from the braking system and used to top up the batteries. An optional on-board charger allows the Leaf to charge more quickly from a household socket.
At the top of the range sits the Tekna, which adds trinkets such a Bose stereo upgrade with subwoofer, a 360-degree parking camera, heated electric leather seats and LED headlamps.
There’s a fairly short options list for the Leaf, most of which is concerned with different charging methods, including various plugs and lead storage bags. More familiar options include the £209 Protection Pack, which provides floor mats, mudguards and a boot liner, while the £299 Design Pack sees shiny trim added around the foglamps, door mirrors and door sills.
There’s also the 6.6kW on-board charger, which allows for faster charging times – although you’ll need to have a charging point installed if you want to benefit from this at home. At £1,150, it’s not cheap, but you might regret not choosing it if you get stranded for a long period of time.
Another useful option is the £300 rear roof spoiler, which features solar cells, allowing some of the car’s functions to run without reducing the driving range.