Long-term report: Our Nissan Leaf proves capable as the dark nights roll in

So summer turns to autumn and the all-electric Nissan Leaf we have on our fleet has to cope with a change in the seasons as Christmas approaches and the clocks go back.

How is the car performing now the heater is being used more frequently, the switches to demist the front and rear windscreens are activated and the lights are shining brightly as I drive around at 5pm? Is there much loss of range from the car?

The answer is a very pleasing no – well, not that I’ve noticed, anyway – and it’s very obvious OY19 XMG will prove to be just as capable a companion through the darker months of the year as it was through the heady days of summer.

Nissan Leaf
(PA)

However, even the most technically advanced and environmentally friendly cars aren’t immune from the issues that all vehicles experience at this time of year.

I’m talking about the muck and grime that begin to appear on the UK’s road network as winter approaches – and which led me to give our Leaf a bit of an autumn clean.

In doing so, I busted a hoary old myth that’s been doing the rounds since Fred Flintstone was a kid – the fact that you shouldn’t really take an EV through a car wash. Nonsense!

In the mood to do a thorough job after sprucing up the exterior, I decided to spend a whole pound on the industrial-sized vacuum cleaner that also resides on the premises.

Nissan Leaf
(PA)

After that bit of TLC, the car was looking spick and span with its magnetic red paint job and two-tone pearl black roof sparkling nicely.

Other design touches which make the car look pretty special are its 17-inch alloy wheels, gloss black B-pillar and chrome door handles.

Inside, there are plenty of creature comforts too – the cabin is most certainly a nice place to be. Heated front and rear seats will be a boon as outside temperatures drop and the heated steering wheel will also help keep chills at bay.

So the car’s looking good, inside and out, it’s the weekend, what next? Well, I decided to pop into town and in doing so, drove past the two EV charging points closest to my house. Interestingly, they were both in use – occupied by Nissan Leafs!

I must admit I haven’t used them yet, nor had any need to, really. Working mainly from home since Covid-19 hit, the car is just plugged into a standard three-pin socket in my garage while I’m doing my keyboard warrior bit indoors.

The Leaf is absolutely perfect for around-town driving, by the way. It’s quick off the mark at busy roundabouts and junctions thanks to its instant torque and its 0-60mph time of just 6.7 seconds tells its own story, not that you’d reach that speed in your local high street, of course.

It’s a vehicle that delivers in terms of safety and security too – always more of a concern when the dark nights kick in. It’s bristling with airbags and alerts that sound if it thinks you’re at risk of a collision, or if someone gets too close to you.

  • Model (as tested): Nissan Leaf e+ 3.ZERO
  • Price: £37,320
  • Motor: 62kWh electric motor
  • Power: 214bhp
  • Torque: 340Nm
  • Max speed: 98mph
  • 0-60mph: 6.7 seconds
  • Range: 239 miles
  • Emissions: Zero
  • Mileage: 10,877
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