2011 Nissan Leaf: A Natural
April 21, 2011
I wind up picking the Leaf a lot as my ride for the night and the reason for this is simple: The little green-natured Nissan is pretty enjoyable to drive.
Other electric cars I've piloted require you to alter your expectations when it comes to driving dynamics. Our Mini E, for example, had aggressive regenerative braking that took some getting used to, serving as a constant reminder that you were driving something markedly different from the typical gas-powered hauler.
But there's none of that with the Leaf. In general, its reflexes are pretty sharp, even relative to those of rival gas-powered models. The electric motor offers ample torque down low and it's delivered immediately; punch the pedal and the Nissan goes with no hesitation. Even though the Leaf has electric power steering, steering feel is natural and never overboosted. And those brakes? They feel certain and firm.
Many think that dull handling is part of the package with electric cars but the Leaf proves that this doesn't have to be the case.
Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor @ 1,880 miles