The 2021 Nissan Leaf E+ EV is a fully electric five-seater hatchback and I LOVE IT! The Leaf E+ is more or less the same as the regular Leaf in terms of size and practicality but it has an upgraded battery allowing it to go up to 385km on a charge and unlocks MORE POWER! This means this little Leaf goes much faster and is a much zippier car to get around in.
It made such a nice change from the big SUVs I usually test and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. It felt light, agile and there were no frumpy mum bus feels at school pick up!
We also enjoyed chilling our girls out in the back listening to the Nissan Leaf Dream Drive playlist on Spotify.
The driver's display screen clearly displays the percentage of battery left and the number of kilometres until you need to charge the battery, just like you would find with distance to empty in a non-EV car.
The boot space is really big for a small car like the Nissan Leaf E+ and very deep so you can pile things up, which is good for most prams being modular and, of course, a good weekly shop.
From empty the boot of the Leaf E+ would hold nine shopping bags, which is the same as the Hyundai Kona EV, one less than the Kia e-Niro and Mazda3 and two less than the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid and Kia Cerato Hatch.
The Nissan Leaf E+ comes with different charging leads in the boot. They're stored in nets either side to and a box too. If you owned one you would most likely take some of these out and store them in the garage so they wouldn't use up your boot space. The big BOSE box in the boot floor has something to do with the stereo, takes up a lot of space, can make it a bit awkward to load things in and is not moveable.
Just like the previous model I tested, Leaf's the e-Pedal mode makes it even more fun to drive! You drive just using the accelerator, a bit like a dodgem at the fairground. When you take your foot off the accelerator it allows will slow down and brake all the way to a stop, putting energy back into the battery, and you'd only really need the brake pedal for very quick stops. It was a lot of fun and I set myself little stopping challenges throughout my week with the car. The Nissan Leaf E+ has a strange disc-like gear selector and there is a diagram to tell you how to manoeuvre it into gear, which kind of proves Nissan knew it would be confusing.
Two child seats fit nicely in the back of the Nissan Leaf E+. They are easy to install with ISOfix in the two outer seats and top tether anchorages on the back of all three rear seats.
The interior of the Leaf E+ is more spacious than you would expect for a car of this size and with rear-facing child seats installed we could squeeze a 180cm passenger in front of it.
Storage throughout the Nissan Leaf is quite minimal, with cup holders only in the front, there's also a very small central console box, door bins and small glove box.
Things are more minimal in the back with a small map pocket and door bins.
There are no aircon vents in the back of the Nissan Leaf E+ and even though it's a small car we noticed the kids missed them and got hot in the back.
The media system in the Nissan Leaf does have Apple CarPlay, which is great. The screen is very glary unless you are in the shade though, which makes it hard to use while driving.
It also makes it hard to clearly see the reversing camera when manoeuvring and sat-nav map while driving.
There are rear heated seat controls on the side of the front passenger seat where the driver can reach to control them. Which is great to stop little rear passengers from being able to reach them and cook themselves while you are driving!
Being an all-electric car it was great to be able to drive my daughter to sleep and use no fuel and I could sit with the aircon running and not pollute the environment or churn through fuel and waste money.
The 2019 Nissan Leaf EV scored a five-star ANCAP safety rating in 2018 and has six airbags as standard. There are seat belt removal reminders in all rear seats with a great visual on the driver display screen.
You are able to control and customise a lot of warnings and beeps through the driver display screen…
…as well as through the media screen to make the Nissan Leaf E+ less noisy for passengers.
Although the previous models of the Nissan Leaf EV have been ANCAP tested, the 2021 Nissan Leaf E+ EV has not been through ANCAP testing and the rating does not apply, probably due to the increased weight of the battery.
Six airbags come as standard; there are dual frontal airbags and side chest-protecting for the front passengers and side head-protecting (curtain) airbags are standard for the front and rear side passengers.