Yeah, it’s not the most radical re-style. The only major differences are a slightly slipperier bumper and a new set of wheels, both of which improve aero (it’s down by 0.1cd to .28cd). But underneath there are big improvements in efficiency and practicality - changes the all-electric Nissan Leaf needed.
So, it does 5000 miles non-stop and charges in five minutes? Not quite. Range has improved from 108 miles to 123 miles, and the on-board charge capacity has grown from 3.6kw to 6.6kw, so you can now fully juice it from flat in four hours.
Crikey. That’s good.
You didn’t wait for the but.... But the range-gains figures are under NEDC cycle testing, which means the car doesn’t have the heater or air-conditioning on at any point, so it’s not terribly representative of, y’know, reality...
Oh, so any real-world gains?
Yes. Nissan spent a lot of time testing it in Norway with plenty of stop-start driving, and the heater blasting from an ambient temperature of -10 to 22 degrees. They found a 25 per cent improvement in economy.Which means that the real-world range is now 100 miles - identical to the cheaper Renault Zoe.
Still, that charge time’s blummin’ impressive.
It’s good, but there’s another but... If you’re using a normal 10amp household plug it still takes 12 hours to fully charge from flat. But in the UK, you can get a 32-amp charge point fitted to your house (and the government pays 75% of the installation costs) which chops the wait down to four hours.
So what new tech is behind the improvements?
Hold on a second - we need to tell you about the new Leaf range grading first. It’s moved to a three-tier system. Like the manufacturer’s other cars, there are Visia, Acenta and Tekna trims levels. The entry level Acenta is around £2500 less than the current car, and the top-speccer is £2125 more. But it’s only the Tekna that gets the full raft of technological improvements.