Grounded Spaceship - 2011 Nissan Leaf Long-Term Road Test

2011 Nissan Leaf Long-Term Road Test

2011 Nissan Leaf: Grounded Spaceship

May 18, 2011


Driving the Leaf is a bizarre experience. Besides the slight whine from the electric engine, this thing is basically silent. It's like floating around on an enclosed magic carpet with a steering wheel. The thing you notice most is the wind noise, which is just weird to me.

After I got over my initial electric drive heebie jeebies, I actually started to relax and enjoy driving this oddity. After another 20 or so miles around town, my initial skepticism faded as the Leaf started to make sense to me as a capable commuter and errand runner. I even liked the airy interior. The center stack reminds me of a tablet.

So what's the deal with the photo?

The image is an Anaglyph. Yes, the 1950's style 3D. You'll need the red and blue glasses to get the 3D effect. I'm experimenting with this kind of image it to show off the clean, light feeling you get inside this futuristic cruiser. If you don't have the glasses, then it's just annoying to look at. Sorry 'bout that.

During my morning dog walk, I bumped into my neighbor from down the street who is an electronics engineer. He was fascinated with the Leaf. He's so into this kind of technology that he regularly attends lectures on the future of alternative fuel vehicles. As I stood there holding a bag of dog poo, he asked me technical questions that were beyond my knowledge. It just made me realize how much thought and engineering went into this car. That or I don't know jack about this car. Probably somewhere in between, trending towards jack.

This was my first real overnight driving experience in our Leaf, and I'm a believer. Nissan was able to combine a massive amount of technology into seemingly effortless package. I'm looking forward to many more days on the road in our Leaf, provided I'm near a charging station.

Scott Jacobs, Sr. Mgr, Photography

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