The Nissan Leaf is one of the most obvious options for the Irish buyer when it comes to getting a brand new EV. During the first 6 months of 2016, the Leaf represented nearly 90% of total EV sales in Ireland. There are 3 trims (XE, SV, SVE), 2 battery choices (24 and 30kwh) and several colours and options to choose from. Let’s take a closer look.
XE, SV or SVE ?
XE: This is the base Leaf, that has the benefit of being €2,500 cheaper than the next variant. No alloys, Satellite Navigation or Connected system, but you still get 4 electric windows, air conditioning, CD player with jack, USB and Bluetooth. Nothing major is missing except the heat pump. This improves your winter range a lot as it is a much more efficient heating system. Still, at €21,490, that’s a lot of car for the money compared to a similar petrol/diesel model.
SV: From €23.990. This model will give you 16″ alloys, climate control, satellite navigation with Nissan Connect EV, cruise control with speed limiter, automatic lights and wipers and reverse camera. If you don’t like a black interior, this is the only trim you can get with light grey seats and dashboard. The interior feels much more bright than on the XE and SVE. SV can be purchased with a black interior as well.
SVE: This trim is €2,400 more expensive than the SV and has all the fancy bits you’ve dreamt of. It adds a very nice leather upholstery, heated steering wheel and seats (front AND rear!). There are very pretty 17″ wheels that gives a sporty look to the car. You will love the 4 cameras that give you a a top view of the car on your monitor. Very handy when parking! There is also a Bose sound system, but the difference with the regular stereo isn’t huge and it adds a subwoofer in the boot that will limit its capacity. Finally the LED headlights (low-beams only) are in my opinion the most useful equipment of this version, as it provides a really good view of the road by night, almost as good as high-beams! Really recommended if you drive a lot by night.
24 or 30kwh ?
The 24kwh version range is 199km (NEDC) and the 30kwh is 250km (NEDC)(optional on SV and SVE trims only). In real life, the 24 will give you between 100 and 150km, and the 30 between 130 and 180km, depending on the weather, your driving style, etc. The €3,000 difference isn’t nothing, so you might want to think twice before making a decision. If the car is going to be a commuter, the 24 may be enough, but if this is your main car and will do long distances as well, do not hesitate and go for the 30. It will give you that extra peace of mind that can transform your journey from challenging to very pleasant! Check PCP options as well as the difference might be little between both versions. Also a 30kwh will give you an edge when in a few years you will sell your Leaf in a world where 48 or 60kwh batteries will become the standard!
3.3 or 6.6kw onboard charger ?
The 6.6kw charger option is available across the range for €900. Again it all depends on your use as it’s not a cheap option. If you have a 32amp home installation, combined with the 6.6kw charger option you can charge your Leaf in 4 to 5 hours. Double this time if you have a 3.3kw charger or a 16amp home installation. Note that most ESB street charging points are 22kw so you can make the most of your 6.6kw onboard charger as well.
All Leafs have a fast charging port (Chademo) as standard, allowing you to charge from empty to 80% in around 30 minutes.
Any other option ?
The cold pack (€300 on SV) that includes 4 heated seats, steering wheel and door mirrors is very useful in winter, and the price is reasonable, so something that is definitively worth considering. Whereas the solar panel (€300) is a bit of a gadget as it is tiny and only helps charge the 12v battery. There is also Nissan Connect EV available for €750 on the XE (standard on SV/SVE) and metallic paint at €550.
Just be aware of the limited XE range in winter as it is affected by the lack of heat pump (and no 30kwh option for this variant). All versions are interesting and there is no real weak version in the Leaf catalogue.
Photo credit : Nissan