2018 Nissan Leaf: Monthly Update for June 2018
by Calvin Kim, Road Test Engineer
Where Did We Drive It?
Our 2018 Nissan Leaf spent all of June handling commuting duty. We've found that most potential EV owners fixate on the Leaf's lack of range compared to its competitors. But fixating on the one odd road trip they'll take every few months rather than how they'll use the car 95 percent of the time is counterproductive. Meanwhile, the Leaf has dutifully shuttled our editors to and fro without any issues while welcoming converts to the electric mobility fold.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
We only added 353 miles in June, and all of it was local stop-and-go commuting by drivers who live close to the office. But we recently received our carpool sticker, which means we anticipate more long-distance commuters will pick it for their daily drive.
Current odometer: 3,011 miles
Average lifetime consumption: 29.4 kWh/100 miles (114.7 mpg equivalent)
EPA consumption rating: 30 kWh/100 miles (125 mpge)
Best fill: 23.8 kWh/100 miles (141.3 mpge)
Maintenance and Upkeep
"Thursday rush-hour traffic in L.A. is notoriously horrific, so it's always a good idea to leave the office by 3 p.m. and definitely before 4. Otherwise, you'll endure an hourlong drag of what is normally a 20-minute commute. When I couldn't get out of work until 5 p.m. last Thursday, I resigned myself to that rush-hour misery. But surprisingly, and thankfully, the Nissan Leaf made those 8 miles bearable and stress-free. Its quiet quickness, the regen braking, its light steering — it's the perfect car to get you through the stop-and-go. Since it's not a sports car, there's no frustration over imposed impotence, but at the same time it's quick when you need to get around slow pokes. I'd say all this makes it the perfect city car." — Caroline Pardilla, senior copy editor
"The Leaf has fast become one of my favorites. The interior borders on upscale, the seats are comfortable, and the ride is smooth. With its low center of gravity, coupled with instant electric thrust and propulsion, the Leaf is good fun in curves and cloverleafs.
"The Leaf's interior feels like Nissan's take on a Volkswagen Golf, a mainstream hatchback that aspires a little higher, and it's miles better than the Chevy Bolt, which feels like a budget rental car by comparison. Sure, it helps that we got the top-trim SL, but there's not a huge gap between the SL and the two lower trims. All share the same layered dash and panel textures that give the cabin some visual interest, and the same intuitive layout of common controls.
"As a hatchback, the Leaf should make anyone's short list, and if you were shopping an EV — and your heart's not set on a Tesla — the Leaf feels like the best one you can buy right now." — Dan Frio, staff writer
"Arg. Watch out for your charger cord when it's near the shifter. It can get hung up underneath the knob and not allow the full range of motion needed to select a gear." — Calvin Kim, road test engineer
"The carpool stickers finally arrived for our long-term Nissan Leaf." — Mike Schmidt, senior manager, vehicle testing operations