The Nissan Leaf is one of the best-selling electric cars in the world. The motto of the most powerful version with the model suffix "e +" is characterized by the attributes faster (0-160 km / h in 6,8 seconds), higher (160 kW / 217 PS engine) and further (range up to 500 km) the end. For years, the previous model has been used frequently in the city area due to its acceptable range. With the current, completely revised version "e +", there is a plus of a very sporty driving style and a significant increase in range compared to the basic models. A detailed practical test in summer 2019 surprised with some trends in the field of electromobility.
With the new battery pack with 62 kW battery, the Nissan should, according to WLTP information on the range, cover the distance from Kiel to Hanover without intermediate charging. The route is peppered with long sections of motorway with a top speed of 120 km / h, short rural routes and urban traffic. In addition to the extensive Tekna equipment, the test car is also equipped with the ProPilot automatic parking system. So, fully equipped with extensive assistance systems, you can go straight to the first long-distance test in warm late summer conditions.
Kiel - Hanover non-stop
With a fully charged battery, we start our way towards the motorway. The ProPilot assistance package is optionally available in the new Leaf; it is standard equipment from the N-Connecta equipment line onwards. The decisive feature on the autobahn is the adaptive cruise control. Using radar at the front of the vehicle, the Leaf keeps the distance to the vehicle in front constant and takes over the braking and acceleration processes up to the set maximum speed. We drive the first section without cruise control to Hamburg, then we test the cruise control in detail.
The first activation takes place via the blue button, then the speed is set with the set button and the system takes over the speed control. While driving, 2 rocker switches in the control panel on the steering wheel can be used to adjust to the maximum speed. The silhouettes of the vehicles ahead are reliably recorded as soon as they cover the largest part of the lane. If vehicles cut in while traffic is in motion, the system can be deactivated again with its own braking maneuvers.
Assistance systems 2020
If the slow-moving traffic turns into a traffic jam, the vehicle automatically brakes to a standstill. In the event of a temporary standstill of up to three seconds, the car then starts rolling again automatically. If it takes longer, a quick step on the accelerator is enough to reactivate the system.
At 15 to 20 degrees outside temperature, the battery in Hamburg in the Elbe tunnel showed a range of a good 250 kilometers. Due to the mild outside temperatures, we drive without stopping with the ECO system permanently switched on. Behind the Elbtunnel we switch to the sport mode temporarily, but the consumption can jump to over 20 kWh per 100 kilometers. In the end, after a good 260 kilometers, we still have a remaining range of 60 kilometers on the display. So at milder temperatures, business appointments within a radius of up to 250 kilometers can be held if a fast charging station can be planned at the destination to cope with the return journey.
ProPilot for the Nissan Leaf
The enlarged battery pack with a capacity of 62 kWh ensures sufficient range for commuters and short trips. The batteries are stowed in the underbody and thus ensure a very low center of gravity, which has a positive effect on the driving and rolling characteristics of the car. Not only technically, but also optically, the Leaf offers a revised and more contemporary appearance. The Leaf is now 4,49 meters long, 1,78 meters wide and 1,61 meters high, and looks more attractive and dynamic than its predecessor. The longer wheelbase of 2,70 meters now offers good space and 420 liters of luggage can be carried behind the tailgate. It is classified as a compact car in the NCAP safety test and rated with a full 5 stars in the various test scenarios.
Another feature of ProPilot is the steering assistant for constant lane keeping in the middle of the lane. The front camera provides the starting material for the automated control. At the same time, however, it is also checked whether the driver can intervene by keeping his hands on the wheel. If you let go of the steering wheel, a warning signal sounds first, then the Leaf brakes the vehicle to a standstill without any intervention by the driver and warns the following traffic with the hazard warning lights switched on.
Leaf assistance systems
These assistants also include the high beam and blind spot assist, hill start assist, cross traffic warning, traffic sign recognition and an emergency brake assist with pedestrian recognition. Finally, by means of the integrated camera system and the ultrasonic sensors, a free parking space can be determined and parked automatically. The system can be switched on at the push of a button and the ProPilot takes over all maneuvering processes until the car is in the parking space.
After delivery, we were able to familiarize ourselves with the Chademo fast charging connection. On the highways nationwide, almost all rest areas at the tank and rest stops are now equipped with fast charging stations. The advantage of the 4 charging stations per charging station lies in the different charging connections. And so we charge right next to a Renault Zoe. The charging times with the Chademo connection and 50 kW direct current is currently the fastest charging option. We are still at 20% remaining capacity at the start of charging and an outside temperature of 20 degrees. It takes a good hour to charge the battery to 80%. After that, for technical reasons, the battery can be charged with only a lower power consumption. That's another 20 minutes.
At the Chademo fast charging station
So even with a fast charger, you always have to plan a good hour of charging time for full capacity. In our experience, when the outside temperature is cooler, a little more time can be planned. The range with a fully charged battery is now shown on our display as 320 kilometers. The consumption values from the past are averaged here. This is then also a realistic value for the actual load including the use of air conditioning and heating power. Even with the completely new WLTP process, these consumers are unfortunately still completely switched off.
Tank und Rast has meanwhile canceled the free charging processes, but charging can be done relatively easily using a chip. Once charged, you can experience the new driving pleasure on the motorway. Acceleration and overtaking maneuvers are much more agile than with the old model. The maximum speed is specified as 157 km / h, from 100 km / h the power consumption increases significantly. But at least you can now swim noticeably more relaxed in the running traffic. In the test car, the speed can easily be increased to up to 170 km / h. In sport mode, overtaking maneuvers are quicker than with comparable petrol engines.
A look at the center console
The relatively small and not high-resolution approximately 8-inch display is installed in the center console. After the start, the safety regulations must be confirmed each time via touch control. Audio systems, hands-free equipment, vehicle features and the navigation system can be controlled from here. The Bose audio system delivers an appealing and rich sound in conjunction with the DAB car radio. The hands-free system is coupled with your own smartphone and can be operated very reliably and clearly.
The navigation system can still be expanded. For example, if you want to proceed in a more differentiated manner in the area of navigation, you can switch to Apple Carplay or Android Auto and couple the display with the smartphone. Maps from Apple or Google Maps work much more quickly and navigate around the traffic jam. On the other hand, this naturally costs the corresponding data volume. The more sophisticated voice guidance in these systems is also more practical while driving. The manufacturer's own Nissan Connect EV app is also easy to use. The available ranges can also be checked here at any time.
Below the screen, the complete control of the air conditioning and heating is well sorted and housed on control buttons. Below is the practical storage compartment for the smartphone including USB access. There are two storage recesses behind the automatic selector lever for drinks. There are additional storage compartments on the doors.
The prices for the newly designed electric car start at 36.800 euros including the purchase of a battery for the basic model LEAF (ZE1) MY19 with the 40 kW.
Prices and special equipment
- Winter package (325 euros)
The winter package is only part of the standard equipment in the TEKNA version. These include heated seats at the front and rear, a heated steering wheel and heated exterior mirrors. The package significantly increases comfort in the cold seasons.
- LED headlight package (550 euros)
LED headlights with LED daytime running lights with automatic height adjustment increase driving comfort in poor visibility. Compared to halogen headlights, the energy consumption is significantly lower. The height adjustment prevents oncoming vehicles from being dazzled. (Standard equipment in the TEKNA version)
- ProPilot Park (1.200 euros)
If you value a parking aid in the mobile age, you can also order a ProPILOT Park: intelligent autonomous parking system as an accessory. Parking is then left to the assistant. (only available for the Tekna versions)
With these accessories you can definitely achieve good plus points when reselling. When it comes to equipment variants and color combinations, the options are diverse and your own taste and budget are more decisive here.
The Leaf in the e + variant has grown noticeably with the larger battery pack and the more powerful motor compared to the previous model. The customer base is increasing significantly, city traffic, land traffic and motorway journeys can be dealt with quickly. Range and driving style can be quickly influenced with the different driving modes. With a good 340 Newton meters of torque, driving dynamics and overtaking maneuvers are far superior to comparable gasoline engines.
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