Nissan Leaf EV Review – The Loudest Noise is Your Heartbeat.

Nissan Leaf EV Review

“At 60kph, the loudest noise in this new Nissan Leaf EV comes from your heartbeat”


Nissan Leaf EV
Nissan Leaf is an attractive vehicle not too dissimilar to some of the hybrids available.

Firstly let me apologise to ad executive David Ogilvie for plagiarising his 1958 press campaign for Rolls Royce, (click on this link to read more about Ogilvie and RR ad.) but it’s too good a tag line not to, just a little.

Hi, Bob Aldons, The Car Guy, testing the new Nissan Leaf EV.

I’ve driven a few hybrids and a PHEV but this is the first occasion I’ve driven a purely electric vehicle other than a quick spin in a Tesla, a day in a Mitsubishi i-Miev (a long time ago) and a golf buggy.

What is it? The Nissan Leaf is an e-Powertrain small to medium-sized vehicle with a 40kWh lithium-ion battery, automatic, and front-wheel drive.

How Much? On their website, the manufacturer suggests that the Nissan Leaf is $53,795 drive away in Queensland. The MRP is $49,990 so the dealer delivery and government charges add $3,805 to the list price.

Nissan Leaf EV
Not too many number plates with this decal showing

If you check out number plates for a living or pastime, you’ll find a lot of LPG Diamonds but no so many EV decals….yet.

Competitors? Because of the relative newness of electric vehicles, there aren’t too many competitors, but you could include Renault Zoe Electric Intens and Hyundai Ioniq Electric Premium. Further up the food chain, you’ll find BMW i3 and Tesla 3, and further again you’re looking at Tesla S and X. EV’s from Mercedes Benz, Jaguar and Audi are due next year





At the Front

Unlike Tesla, This Nissan Leaf doesn’t have a frunk – it does, however, have a pretty large trunk or boot as we call it here in Australia. Charging is via a panel fitted to the nose of your car and the cables are located in a box in the boot.

Nissan Leaf EV
The boot is spacious enough
Nissan Leaf EV Charging Point
Charging is from the front of the Nissan
Nissan Leaf EV
Ditch the storage box and store the cables in the side pocket

Power is 110kW with an astonishing 320Nm torque

In design, it’s a traditional look large hatchback (not dissimilar in size to a Toyota Prius hybrid) but with the charge access in the front of the vehicle. (The newer Leaf PLUS, not here in Australias as yet, gets a 62-kWh battery good for about 320km)

Another cool feature is the e-Pedal, which allows you to crank up the amount of regenerative braking so that you can go all day driving with just the accelerator. Once you get used to it, it’s an efficient breeze to operate. It was by far my favourite feature on the Leaf.

Range (WLTP Combined Cycle), – Up to 270klm

Down the Side

Nissan Leaf EV Side profile
The side profile is familiar and doesn’t stand out

I’ve ‘stolen’ the safety specifications directly from Nissan’s website – it’s 5-star rating was issued in 2018, so has the latest safety equipment list.

  • ISOFIX anchor points

  • Hill Start Assist

  • Intelligent Around-View Monitor

  • Parking sensors (front & rear)

  • Intelligent Trace Control

  • Intelligent Ride Control

  • Intelligent Driver Alert

  • Intelligent Forward Collision Warning

  • Intelligent Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection

  • Intelligent Lane Intervention

  • Lane Departure Warning

  • Blind Spot Warning

  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert

  • Tyre Pressure Monitor System

  • Vehicle Sound for Pedestrian

  • Traffic Sign Recognition

  • Temporary Spare Wheel

Interestingly, and for comparison sake, the Toyota Prius range also gets a 5-star rating but against the old safety specifications. ANCAP shows that the ‘newest Prius’ was tested in 2016 and hasn’t been updated since. From a personal viewpoint, I think the ANCAP rating system needs a massive shakeup.

Someone else’s opinion

My favourite US-based publications is Autoweek. I upload some of their more interesting road tests from time to time

One of their more recent articles was the end of a long-term test of a 2018 Nissan Leaf. You can read it here to gain some further insight into the flexibility and suitability of the Nissan Leaf – Nissan Leaf/Autoweek

And another thought bubble

And another critic, this time from Car Advice suggests “Unfortunately, for Nissan, the Leaf’s interior lets itself down with a number of easily avoidable ‘own goals’ on the design front. There’s a foot parking brake, for one, and the front seats are mounted uncomfortably high. The steering wheel doesn’t adjust for reach, the climate-control binnacle feels as though it’s been nicked from a mid-spec Navara and the indicator stalk is mounted on the left-hand side of the steering column.

There’s nothing wrong with left-side indicators, of course, but it just seems strange given the rest of the Nissan range has them on the right.

Given the brand has experience with electric vehicles, it’s disappointing Nissan hasn’t made more of an effort to make the Leaf feel bespoke with a truly spacious, up-to-date interior. And given the Leaf is meant to serve as a leader for the brand, it’s disappointing the accounts department wasn’t willing to approve a proper steering column, electric parking brake and seat bracket.”

Drivers Seat

So here I am sitting in the driver’s seat having a good look around. Whilst the ‘instrument cluster’ looks clever, there’s more to it than meets the eye. I’m sitting a bit high for my liking, but the driving position is something you get used to over a week. The cabin is airy and light, not too dissimilar to other hatchbacks on the market, but better. Whilst the steering wheel doesn’t adjust for reach, nonetheless, I’m comfortable. Not sure how Mrs Aldons will feel in the driver’s seat, but it’s ok for me.

Good Points:

The infotainment system is very classy – 8” TFT screen is perfect.

Navigation too is great, but I’m wondering how often it will be used if drivers hook their Apple Car Play/Android Auto into the car.

Google Maps are way more current than any factory navigation system and doesn’t cost a $ to upgrade anytime.

Could Do Better:

The foot brake is way out of date for a technology superior vehicle. Where’s the electronic park brake, Mr Nissan? And that you’ve got this funky D N P toggle in the car makes the omission of an electronic park brake even more surprising

Only 1 Auto Up/Down electric window. For the smallest of investment, all four windows should be auto up/auto down. At least that’s what I’m expecting.

It’s very plasticky. I’m really surprised at the amount of old-style hard plastic in the car. With Honda and Volkswagen announcing their E cars at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and pre-launch orders at around 30,000 (even before they’d been seen) methinks Nissan needs to step up the quality and inclusions in the car.

Nissan Leaf Range Anxiety

Ok. So I’m admitting here that I did suffer from some range anxiety when I picked up the Nissan Leaf.

Distance to empty (and remember it doesn’t have a back-up ICE) showed as 300klm, but my pre-collection reading suggested that the range was 275klm.

Nissan Leaf EV Review

So rather than just drive the Leaf, I was constantly looking at the Distance to Empty readout on the dash. That 300klm fell through the floor as I drove back to my office.

Showing 256klm to empty after a 27 km trip from Eagle Farm to Margate didn’t do a lot for my confidence. However, a couple of days driving around the Redcliffe Peninsula saw the DTE drop to 34klm. Time to re-charge

So, I tried to locate a Charger, but that proved difficult. I had downloaded one of the 2 apps that Nissan suggested but still couldn’t find that fast charger – there’s only 1 in Redcliffe, 1 in Sandgate (near my home) but there are 3 showing at North Lakes, which was 22 minutes or 13klm away from my office.

Not so sure about getting to North Lakes so let’s charge at home.

I finally determined how the charger coupling worked at home (ed. Make sure the plug is firmly slotted into your household powerpoint, Doesn’t work when it’s only nearly in)

From 7.40 pm to 6.20 am it accepted a charge of 165klm and here I am again in my office much more comfortable than I was yesterday.

So it’s become apparent that management of the kilometres travelled is much more of an issue in an EV than an ICE. But as we move forward, there’s no doubt that more charging stations will appear, but at least you can charge overnight from home and maintain a pretty reasonable range to empty

And looking at my electricity account, I’m guessing that it tool about 76.5 cents to charge – and that’s an amazing saving compared to an ICE vehicle

Link to full ANCAP report on the Nissan Leaf


Nissan Leaf ANCAP Safety


Green Vehicle Guide

Here’s a summary from the Federal Government Green Vehicle Guide website. You can search and compare any vehicle on the market in Australia for consumption, range, CO2 Output, and annual estimated fuel cost.

Certainly provides a good look at various Hybrid v ICE v EV cars.

Nissan Leaf Comprehensive Insurance

I use RACQ online to provide an approximate cost of comprehensive insurance for an owner such as myself. You should always check with at least 3 insurers to see what their premium is. The information entered into the RACQ portal is

Male Driver over 62 years of age using the Nissan for private use

RACQ member (bronze) for over 5 years with another eligible policy with RACQ roadside assist

The car has an engine immobilizer

No accidents or loss of license within the last 3 years

No Suspensions of License

Rating 1 for the last 10 years

Lives at Sandgate, the car is garaged overnight and there’s no finance.

No driver under 25 will drive the Nissan Leaf

The online quotation is – $569.73 paid annually with a $750 Excess

Service Costs and Warranty – Nissan Leaf EV

The service intervals on the Nissan Leaf are longer than the equivalent ICE vehicle. Under normal driving conditions, you should Service your Leaf at 20,000km intervals and for 120,000km the Nissan Capped Price Service runs out to $1731. That works out at about $288.50 per service. You’ll need to replace the brake fluid every 2 years and that will cost you a bit more.

The warranty on all Nissan vehicles is 5 years with unlimited kilometres, including premium roadside assistance. The Nissan Leaf EV battery pack in this car is warranted for 8 years or 160,000 kilometres whichever comes first.

A source inside Nissan suggests that after the battery warranty expires and the battery needs replacing, you can expect to pay around $9,900 for an exchange at least in 2019 prices. At least that’s what it costs on older Nissan Leaf EV models, with no update as yet available on the 2019 version.

I’d expect that by 2027, the exchange cost will have reduced considerably as technology and productions costs reduce.

Finance Estimate – Nissan Leaf EV

Now I’m no financial advisor and I don’t really know the particular circumstances of any individual who could be reading this story, so may I suggest that firstly you chat with your accountant or tax advisor. Secondly, if you really want to know whether you qualify for this quoted finance rate or something even better, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with my preferred finance broker.

Term                             60 Months

Balloon                        $20,000

Rate                              6.55%

Monthly Payment      $771.21

The rate used of 6.55% and your actual rate could be higher or lower depending on the strength of your business or personal position.

Video Review – Nissan Leaf EV

Whenever I can, I like to provide you with some industry comment on cars. Tom Baker from Chasing Cars has completed a test on the 2019 Nissan Leaf. I’ve you ‘re interested click on the image below and be entertained by Tom. And if you’d like to see more from Chasing Cars, click on their subscription button and you’ll get more videos into your inbox on a regular basis

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Finance Disclaimer:

The provided quote should be used as an indication only and does not represent either approval or pre-qualifications for a loan.

The quoted payments apply for the example given and in this instance do not include fees and charges, as different terms, fees or other loan amounts may result in different outcomes between financiers.

The specific details of your loan will be provided to you in your loan contract.

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Hello and welcome to my new website!

I know that there’s a lot of websites that offer car reviews, car road tests, opinions on various cars and the like. What makes this site different is that I’m not going to bore you with technical information about the various cars that I review.

I’ve been in the car business for over 39 years. I’ve read the motoring magazines cover to cover. I’ve read the online reviews until my eyes were square. Everywhere that I go, I find motoring journalists talking about car speeds – 0 – 100 km per hour, standing ¼ times, the inclination of this and that at 150klm per hour on a 12.5% gradient curve, in rainy weather – and other stuff that bores me no end. is taking a different path on the journey to helping you purchase a new car. I’ll do my best to advise you on what I consider to be the most important information when it comes to that major decision to purchase a car. Interior room, features of the car, fuel economy, safety, service prices, resale and lots more. I’ll tell you what I like about a particular car and as importantly, what I don’t like, to find at least to be less than I think a car should have. .

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