The second-generation Nissan Leaf built on the experience gained from the pioneering original all-electric hatchback. Gone was the odd jelly-mould design in favour of a conventional-looking hatchback body, while a bigger battery promised a longer range, too. More tech was added inside, as well, with Nissan's most up-to-date infotainment, while clever one-pedal tech meant drivers could just use the accelerator pedal to adjust their speed and even come to a halt.
The Nissan Leaf Mk2 faced a different electric car market to its predecessor, with more legitimate rivals to contend with. At launch, these included the Renault Zoe, Volkswagen e-Golf and BMW i3, while later there was the Volkswagen ID.3, Peugeot e-208 and Opel Corsa-e. If you cover short distances every day, the Leaf is also a strong prospect when compared with petrol- or diesel-powered family hatchbacks that offers far lower everyday running costs.
What's it like?
The Nissan Leaf is a compact family hatchback, with a five-seat layout, digital displays and a touchscreen infotainment system that looks similar to that found in a Nissan Qashqai.
It's under the skin where the Leaf forges its own path. It was initially launched with a 40kWh battery, which is modest for a car of this size (the smaller Peugeot e-208 has a 50kWh battery for example), and there is a range of 270km quoted for this version. This model has a 150hp electric motor for a 0-100km/h time of 7.9 seconds. In 2019, the Leaf+ arrived with a 62kWh battery for a range of 385km, while power is up to 217hp for a 0-100km/h time of 6.9 seconds. Both cars use a single-speed transmission that sends power to the front wheels.
Which model to go for?
If you only cover a few miles every day and the car is parked near a plug socket most of the time, then the 150hp car will be plenty, and you'll be able to keep the battery topped up via the mains, too.
The 150hp model has a charging rate of up to 50kW, but the Leaf+ can take a charge of 100kW, so it's faster charges are possible at DC charge points. An eight-year warranty should offer peace of mind over any battery issues.
In Ireland, SV, SV Premium and SVE trims were offered, with the top-spec car coming generously equipped. There was a Cold Pack offered, which added a battery pre-heater that helped boost the Leaf's range on cold days, and is well worth seeking out for more consistent range figures.
Does anything go wrong?
Since electric cars have fewer moving parts, there's less to go wrong, and the Leaf should be inherently reliable as a result. In fact, there has only been one recall for the Leaf so far, relating to the parking brake mechanism.