Nissan has given its Leaf electric car a nip and a tuck, boosting its range to 235 miles of zero-emissions driving on European roads.
The hike in range equates to around a 50% increase over the older model, thanks to a larger 40 kilowatt hour battery, though the mileage will vary in different road and driving conditions.
The range is also a little short when compared to electric cars from the likes of Tesla with is Model X 100D, which has a range close to 300 miles.
But the Leaf looks to offer something different in the form of a new one-pedal driving system and an automatic parking system.
The former provides a single E-Pedal for controlling acceleration, breaking and stopping by linking to the Leaf’s regenerative tech which helps top up the battery with harvested kinetic energy when the breaks are applied. A dedicated break pedal is still present for times when aggressive breaking is needed, but the aim of the E-Pedal is to be the one pedal to rule them all in daily driving.
Petrolheads, particularly those who are fans of three pedals might baulk at the Leaf’s single pedal, but it could be a step towards simplifying the sometimes daunting process of driving for beginners and under-confident motorists.
The auto parking system is, as the description suggests, a means for the Leaf to park itself. The new 2018 model contains the most advanced version of Nissan’s ProPilot Park system, which uses a suite of sensors and cameras to park into a bay automatically once the driver selects a parking bay and taps the car’s parking button.
Beyond the under bonnet tweaks, Nissan has given the new Leaf a solid makeover in the looks department; the new model spots much sharper lines than its predecessor and opts for a more angular aesthetic over the more rounded design of the older car. The overall exterior design is not likely to stand out from the many other annual mass-market cars found on today’s roads, which for an everyday hatchback is not necessarily a bad thing.
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The interior has also been given a makeover, with a new infotainment system and digital displays, and the new Leaf comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. A few retro features such as an analogue speedometer and physical switches for the aircon, help add a degree of familiarity amidst the digital controls.
The 2018 Nissan Leaf is set to arrive January 2018, and while Nissan hasn’t revealed official pricing, the Leaf is likely to start around the £25,000 mark, following on from its older sibling.
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