Long-term report: A quiet spell for OY19XMG – thanks to Covid

PA Motoring Reporters

Well, we’ve had our Nissan Leaf on the fleet for several months now and it hasn’t missed a beat – certainly not since mid-August, the point at which I was handed the keys.

In saying that, I must confess the clean, green hatchback hasn’t been asked to do too much over the past few weeks. The reason? Yours truly was struck down with Covid-19 over New Year so was ‘confined to barracks’ for much of January – not that anyone was travelling too far afield with another lockdown in place.

Happily, however, I’m back in action now and although long journeys are still pretty much forbidden, OY19XMG has been busy performing the usual local duties of providing lifts to (grown-up) children, supermarket runs and the like.

Nissan Leaf
The Leaf’s charging socket is located in the nose of the car

It is as pleasurable to drive as ever and makes extremely light work of these short hops. The furthest it has been asked to travel in a single day so far this year is 50 miles – and with its impressive range of 239 miles on a single charge, that is clearly well within its capabilities.

(Regular readers may recall my assertion that a Nissan Leaf makes an ideal road trip companion after a hassle-free round-trip to Gloucester and home again, Gloucester being around 110 miles away from where we live.)

The Leaf is jam-packed with features, too, including heated front and rear seats and a heated steering wheel (so nice to have in the middle of January); rear privacy glass; LED signature daytime running lights and LED signature rear lights; plus a host of safety features such as lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot warning.

One thing I’m not too sure about is our car’s three-part colour scheme that involves a magnetic red paint job, a two-tone pearl black roof but then metallic blue front bumper accents and rear finisher. Dark red plus metallic blue? Not to everyone’s taste, maybe.

Perhaps a reminder about our Leaf’s EV-specific credentials might be appropriate at this point. The aforementioned range of 239 miles comes courtesy of a 62kWh electric motor – and to charge its battery up on the go, the car is equipped with a 50kW CHAdeMO quick charger with 100kW capability.

That will get the battery capacity up from 20 per cent to 80 per cent in about 90 minutes (60 minutes for a Leaf equipped with a 40kWh motor).

Nissan Leaf
The Leaf hit a mileage milestone recently

A lot of external factors can affect the distance a Leaf will travel on a single charge. Hard acceleration, or too much slowing down and speeding up, reduces battery performance so it’s a good idea to keep one’s driving smooth and steady.

Also, it’s worth noting that the temperature affects battery capacity. Although I have noted that the range of our Leaf e+ is 239 miles, Nissan admits that figure can drop to 195 miles in winter.

Still, it will soon be spring – and maybe, just maybe, there will be the chance to travel a bit further afield as the year progresses…

  • 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 (combined)

  • Emissions: Zero

  • Mileage: 11,605 miles

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