Nissan Leaf hatchback (2011-2017) - Practicality & boot space
A limited range hurts the everyday practicality of the Nissan Leaf
According to Nissan, the 24kWh Leaf is supposed to be able to go 124 miles before needing recharging and the 30kW model 155 miles; you'll struggle to reach that distance unless you drive in the slowest 'eco' mode all the time, though.
This reduces the motor's power and increases the effect of the car's regenerative braking system to charge the battery, making it less fun to drive. Then there's the issue of the eight-hour charging time from a standard household socket – you're better off seeking out special charging stations (more and more of which are now popping up at garages and shopping-centre car parks) for this. They allow you to charge the battery to 80% capacity in just half an hour.
Nissan Leaf interior space & storage
There’s plenty of space for four passengers to sit in comfort, and head and legroom in the back of the Leaf is particularly impressive. Up front, there’s a decent amount of storage available, although it’s far from the best out there. The door pockets can hold a bottle of water each, and there’s a reasonably large glovebox, plus a storage box under the armrest between the seats.
The driver’s seat is height-adjustable, but although the steering wheel adjusts up and down, it doesn’t move in or out, making finding that perfect driving position just that little bit harder.
The Nissan Leaf has a good-sized boot, with 370 litres of space on offer. That’s more than in a Ford Focus, but less than you get in a Toyota Prius. There’s quite a high lip to lift luggage over, but the boot floor is surprisingly deep, which makes the lip more pronounced than it actually is. When the seats fold, space increases to 720 litres, but the seats don’t fold flat to the floor because that's where the batteries are.