Although the Nissan Leaf is one of the most technologically advanced vehicles on the roads today, CNet found it suprisingly easy to use and drive. They found that the Leaf accelerated well under all conditions – Zero-to-60 estimates of about 8 seconds may make the Leaf seem slow on paper, but the torquey grunt that you get during a zero-to-45 mph drag on public roads paints a completely different picture. The 80 kW of output from the electric motor converts to about 107 horsepower and has 207 pound-feet of torque which is available from a dead stop.
As far as looks, CNet wasn’t impressed, but they did note that some of the design was more functional than pretty – the bulging headlights help slice out a place in the slipstream for the side mirrors to help reduce drag, and the oddly small wheels and tires (compared to the large side panels) are to increase rolling resistance and increase the overall efficiency of the Leaf.
Overall, CNet gave the Leaf a rating of 4 out of 5 stars, and ‘Excellent’ rating. They like the acceleration, the accurate range estimates, and the well-equipped cabin tech and telematics at the entry level.
They weren’t impressed with the nav system’s search or the audio quality.
CNet concluded the Nissan Leaf offers a blend of addordability and all around performance for city dwellers and suburbanites looking to lower emissions, but the cruising range limits its appeal for long hauls.