2011 Nissan Leaf Long-Term Road Test


2011 Nissan Leaf SL: A Leaf of My Own

August 04, 2011

Nissan Leaf.jpg

This is not a picture of our Long Term 2011 Nissan Leaf. This is my own Leaf, or at least my own for the next three years of the lease. I reserved my Leaf last year thinking I might turn it down when it arrived. Since then, I've gone back on forth on my pending decision. Driving our long termer convinced me it was a comfortable and capable car, despite Dan Edmunds' recent range adventure. But it is another thing altogether to plunk down $2,000 and begin monthly payments of $440. How practical of a commuter car would it really be? Could I really expect to log 12,000 miles a year behind the wheel?

Gaining access to the car pool lanes was strong motivation. But I've always been curious about electric cars and once even considered converting a gas car to electric (YouTube is filled with such home-grown projects). So I finally decided to take the plunge and sign on the dotted line. Paul Scott, an EV proponent turned EV salesman, handled the delivery process today at Santa Monica Nissan and went over every inch of the car and every menu of the computer interface. He recommended driving it in Eco mode most of the time and switching to the normal drive only when a BMW pulls up next to you at a stop light.

I still feel that this doesn't signal a complete conversion to electric power. It is a three-year experiment that might leave me hankering for the smell of gas. But at least for now, I'm pretty psyched about my new car and looking forward to getting to know it better.

Stay tuned.

Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor @ 12 miles (on my personal Leaf)

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