My weekend test driving the Nissan Leaf

Discussion in 'Nissan/Infiniti Hybrids and EVs' started by just_older99, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. just_older99

    just_older99 New Member

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    Well a few months ago i test drove the Volt( you can check my thread on that) but i have been waiting for the day to come for the nissan leaf to arrive in ontario canada, well this past weekend it happened. The dealer received 5 leafs and in person this car looks awesome. I arrived early for my test drive so i was talking to someone about the charging system( roughly $2300 depending on your house electrical panel it can go up, but a friend who is an electrition would come in handy to lower the cost). I heard my name and it was my turn to drive. The car looks like the size of my prius, i sat in and i have to say i felt like there was more room in the driver seat than my prius maybe a bit more comfy too. This model had all the bell and whistles navi, bluetooth etc. I really liked the fact that to start the leaf and put it in gear was identical to the prius, except the shifter was on the floor not the dash as in my prius. Nice and quiet start and smooth acceleration leaving the dealer, then i just hammered it down the service road( as per the orders from the nissan canada guy). It took off really well maybe not as fast as the volt in ev mode but it was enough. I merged to go on the highway and found it was right at home, I merged into traffic going 115KMS and never felt like i didnt belong there with the leaf. So far this leaf was blowing me away on how smooth acceleration was and oh yes how quiet it was. I was then showed eco mode on the highway where the gas pedal was restricted even if I pressed on the gas the engine was holding back, put it back to normal mode and exited the highway just like any other car would. It felt really solid on the highway and once i exited i tried out how easy it was to make a u-turn, it has a very tight turning radius just like my prius. Now i had to do a u-turn because i passed the dealership i didnt want this drive to be done.Parking was just as easy with the backup cam with flight path(my prius does not have the flight path lines), I pressed the blue park button and my drive was over :(
    The back seats were just as comfortable as my prius( Im 6'2) but i think the prius is a bit more roomy in the back for 3 adults my size. What was really nice, other than the heated back seats was the theatre like seating in the back I felt a little higher than the front which was cool. I didnt play too much with the controls too much i mean navigation, radio etc looked really uptodate and nice but the drive was what i was waiting for.
    Needless to say i want one but they sold out here in canada pretty fast. Its all done online for ordering but the funny thing is I was told was that Canada received only 40 Leafs this year and maybe 600 next. So its safe to say that i have almost no shot at getting one until 2013?
    This model i drove was $40000 but theres a $7500 or $8500 rebate pretty good but maybe going USA to get one might be an option a little cheaper or I can go to Illinois and getting one for under $24000( not sure if i would get the govt rebate and state rebate since im from canada, can anyone answer that??
    But all in all i was very impressed with the leaf, the look of the leaf, and the drive oh ya the sausages that the dealer had on the BBQ were really good too. Great job Nissan only thing is..... can you send us just a bit more leafs lol
     
  2. ahmeow

    ahmeow Prius Lover

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    Sorry Sir, I don't like the look of leaf. Besides, always thinking of where is the power plug to get recharge, how long can I drive( though it's shown) and need to plug in for a long time at home and always thinking of plugging in is not my cup of tea. Prius will leave all thise out of my mind. That's why I still love, stick to Prius. :)
     
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  3. finman

    finman Senior Member

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    LOVED my test drive of the leaf in Corvallis, OR. 5 on the lot and saw 3 whilst out for a drive. What an awesome drive! and it looks great in person. I'm on the road to another step up from the Prius...
     
  4. stevemcelroy

    stevemcelroy Active Member

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    I was able to test drive the Leaf a few weeks back in Philly. I thought that Nissan did a terrific job - it drove well and I thought the entire package was first rate. However after seeing it I realized that I would never buy it - it is just way too expensive for what it is - were it in the high teens after tax refund perhaps, but high 20's no way.

    It also made me realize just what a smart thing Toyota did with the Prius plug-in - it is just too bad that they decided to up-content it to the extent they did. Based on what I have read the $3000 or so in extra cost attributable to the battery is amazing - all of the other options they stuck in sour it a bit.
     
  5. just_older99

    just_older99 New Member

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    well it would be as a second car, my wife has a nissan rogue. we average 50kms a day driving and the leaf will be perfect for that, theres no need to worry about running out of battery because it is for around town and if needed to go outside of town the prius is there. how many 2 car families are out there that fall in this situation? and that $2.50 to charge the leaf could last up to 2 days sounds really good. bye bye foreign oil.
     
  6. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    Is it really that important to not buy foreign oil? In a sense you've just decreased its consumption by a tiny degree, infinitesimal and infinitesimally lowering the price for others so that they can therefore consume more.
     
  7. evnow

    evnow Active Member

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    Do you want to send a donation to the Middle East dictators (some of which will inevitably find its way to terrorists) every month ?
     
  8. evnow

    evnow Active Member

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    It takes me 10 seconds to recharge. 5 to Plugin at night and 5 to disconnect in the morning.

    Not having to visit foul smelling gas stations is priceless, though.
     
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  9. just_older99

    just_older99 New Member

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    first off i could care less about others consuming more, i never worry what others are doing, this is for me and my life style, and i know for many others out there but are just to afraid of change for what ever reason. i wouldnt be reducing my consumption by a tiny bit, there would be no comsumption in this leaf at all. Listen im not saying this is the way but for me it makes sense and thats all that matters. If gas prices went down even more(i highly doubt it) all that would mean is my prius might go a month without filling and then even better news for me. I would rather spend my money saved at the pump on say apple products lol or my little boys than gasoline.
     
  10. dhanson865

    dhanson865 Expert and Devil's advocate

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    Unless your regular commute is long or it's going to be your only car I would consider not getting the wall mounted L2 charger.

    Instead by a 2nd portable EVSE from the nissan dealer and have it modified and/or have the original modified. Either way having one or two your "portable" EVSE can be modified to plug into a 220V socket and charge at a decent rate much cheaper than buying the "proper" L2 EVSE.

    see My Nissan Leaf Forum • View topic - Fast Low Cost Charging - All EVSE Questions Answered! for more details

    You can choose at the time of upgrade if you want it to charge at 12a * 240V or at 16a * 240V

    If you want it to charge faster you can do the 16a option. If you want to make your battery last longer (plan to keep the vehicle years down the road) you can charge at the lower amperage to charge slightly slower.

    3.84 kW (240 x 16 amps = 3840 watts, a 16-amp L2 EVSE)
    3.30 kW (220v * 15a = 3300 watts "nominal" EVSE description)
    2.88 kW (240v x 12a = 2880 watts (L1/L2 EVSE)
    1.44 kW (120v x 12a = 1440 watts standard L1 EVSE)

    In other words by choosing your EVSE you can charge slow, medium, fast or low, medium, high.

    If you plan to do short commutes or plan to keep the car long term I'd go for the 12a modified portable EVSE charging at 2.88 kW. Upgrade cost and some cords would be around $300

    If you have long commutes I'd go for the 16a modified portable EVSE. It'd still be under $400 with all the cords you'd want.

    If you really wanted to cover your bases you'd get one modded for 16a and buy one modded for 12a. The 2nd EVSE would cost you another $800 but then you could mount one at home and have one for the road. Take the 16a version on the road for quicker charging or have two at 12a if you prefer the slower charging.

    Any way you go modified L1 EVSEs will be cheaper than the wall mounted permanent L2 EVSE Nissan suggests and it's a better option from a technical standpoint.

    you'll still want a 240V socket in the garage and might have to get electrical work done but you won't have to deal with the same kinds of costs/hassles you would dealing with the Nissan EVSE program.
     
  11. ronhowell

    ronhowell Active Member

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    He lives in Canada, the sixth largest oil exporter in the World. So whatever money Canadians spend on gasoline stays largely at home.

    Very different to us here in the US, whose profligate use of this limited resource leaves the US economy highly dependent on foreign sources, over which we have limited control.
     
  12. djras

    djras New Member

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    Interesting data here: Oil - exports - Country Comparison
    Shows Canada as 9th largest exporter of oil @ 2,000,000 bbl/day with USA 12th at 1,704,000 bbl/day. However USA is top importer at 11,310,000 bbl/day and Canada at 14th with 1,192,000 bbl/day.

    I guess this explains why we in USA are buying import oil at world market price and even the same price for our domestically produced oil.
     
  13. dhanson865

    dhanson865 Expert and Devil's advocate

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    If you want to talk net use (consumption vs imports/exports) you might as well use the export land model.

    [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Export_Land_Model]Export Land Model - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]
    The Oil Drum | Stories tagged with "Export Land Model"

    but really such off topic posts should be split into a separate thread by the moderators or those who wish to discuss them. The Oil Drum welcomes new members so if you can't stomach moving to a different thread on priuschat consider going to the drum to discuss the export land model.

    I'd much rather see this thread talk about the Nissan Leaf.
     
  14. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Yes

    .Unfortunately true
     
  15. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Many people don't like the way the Gen II looks - and buy one anyway. That's what we did, because the utility was more important. Maybe the same is true with the Leaf. But if people find plugging in more frequently than when they have to pour the (more expensive) gas into the car ... your right. For you, it's better for you, that you pay more money for your carcinogenic toxic liquid explosive fuel, than to fuel with electricity. I suppose plugging in a cell phone is a hassle for some folks too, because you have to actually 'remember' something. That's ok. You have to have different values to be an early EV adapter.

    Just as the sun was coming up, there were two people walking along a rocky beach after a horrible hurricane. There were literally thousands of starfish that had washed up onto the quickly drying rocks. As the two were walking, one of them would bend down and pick star fish up, and throw them back into the ocean, so that they wouldn't dry out and die..
    Bothered by the sight of star fish being thrown back into the ocean the comment was made, "Do you really think that's going to make a difference?"
    As the next star fish was being tossed back into the ocean, the other person replied, "It'll make a difference to THAT one"

    Never mind ... I fear you may not get it.

    .
     
  16. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    I didn't get it because you didn't get my point.

    It's hunting season. Total quota of kills is 1000. You used to hunt, now you feel guilty about the buck you get each year so decide this year you're going to save a life, you won't kill it. Well, the quota is still 1000, now somebody else will do it instead. So yeah you weren't the one who did it this time but you didn't actually impact anything.

    It's clear that as fuel prices go down consumption goes up and vice versa, so if you want to ween off foreign oil you need to force people away from it by beating up their wallet. For your personal conscience and not be part of the problem you've bought yourself that, but you haven't reduced the problem, just reduced your personal share of it.
     
  17. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    I test-drove a Leaf when my local Nissan dealer had one available, briefly, some time back. I quite liked it. Comfort, handling, and acceleration were all better than my Prius, although I never got to take it on the freeway to experience acceleration at freeway speed. The dealer, who likes sports cars, and therefore has a different baseline expectation than I had with my Prius, said that at freeway speed the acceleration is "okay." Didn't play with the controls at all because that was not going to make a difference in my buying decision, and with a new car I was more concerned with watching the road.

    I told the dealer I liked it and would buy it when mine arrived. But then Nissan screwed up my order, and screwed it up again, having already screwed it up twice before that point, and I got sick of waiting, and angry at Nissan for the b.s. they were feeding me and the dishonesty, and bought my Tesla instead.

    Hate Nissan now, but the Leaf is a fine car.

    To the O.P.: Here in the U.S. we get a $7,500 tax credit for buying an EV. That only applies if you pay U.S. federal taxes. You mentioned the same amount. Make sure that your government has the same deal, because the U.S. government does not give that to just anyone who buys an EV here: it's only a tax credit, so only applies if you pay tax here. As for state rebates, that probably varies by state. In WA there's a sales-tax exemption, so buying an EV here you'd pay no sales tax. But that's not money back to you; it's only that they don't ADD the sales tax. In states that have rebates, I'll bet they would not apply to an out-of-state buyer. Also check your Canadian auto import regulations and duties. You might find there are fees to pay and regulatory hoops to jump through.
     
  18. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    I drove a Leaf today.

    First, it's puny and tiny in the backseat, much smaller than the Prius third gen and its trunk is far smaller also.

    For the driver it felt at least as big, maybe bigger because it lacks the huge plastic thing that my knees constantly bang into.

    While swerving it back and forth I noticed it sways like mad, though I haven't done that in the Prius for a while so cannot compare.

    Its throttle response is truly marvelous, never been in a car with instant torque like that. Its power train feels beautiful to be frank and swaying aside it feels quite solid. I guess I know first hand now what people say when they talk about the EV driving experience. It's still nothing I'd sell my soul over, but I still appreciated it.

    The air conditioning I think is much stronger than the Prius' (which is quite weak IMO).
     
  19. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    But the local air in his area will be ever so slightly cleaner. If all his neighbours got a Leaf then the neighbourhood would be a nicer, fresher place to be too. Using hydro energy or personal solar PV will all have an effect too. So even if someone else in the World uses his quota of oil, the air in his local area will be good.

    So using an EV makes a difference.
     
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