I had my test drive this morning: What a nice service this is. I really appreciated the relaxed, no pressure way it worked. Apparently they didn't do a good job of advertising this here in the Portland/Vancouver area, so there are many spots open. When the driver got here, he said we could do whatever we wanted, for pretty much the whole day, if we wanted -- he even suggested we could stop for a coffee somewhere and Nissan would pay for it.
We spent about 90 minutes total, with about an hour of that spent driving. The thing I was most interested in was the e-pedal mode. After trying it in various conditions, I believe it would be perfect for stop and go traffic, but not for general driving (for me).
Here are some of my thoughts about e-pedal:
1. It remaps the throttle response, similar to eco mode, but not as much. I was surprised by this. I don't like eco mode because of the remap, so I wasn't a fan of this aspect. Not sure why they would link these two, except (see next)...
2. Driving in this mode feels a lot like B mode at first, but when you let off the pedal enough, it starts to add friction braking. It's pretty cool, but it does mean that it takes a gentle and precise touch on the throttle to get the response you want -- much more so than driving a "normal" car, and also more than B mode. I have a feeling this is the reason they remap the throttle in this mode, to make it easier to control without tiring your foot too much.
3. Using e-pedal around town, when you need to come to a complete stop at lights and stop signs, it takes skill and planning to get the car to stop smoothly, exactly where you want it to. I'm sure you'd get used to it pretty quickly if you use this mode a lot, but I kept stopping about 10-20 feet back from where I meant to.
4. I had one really odd situation where I was driving about 20 mph down a very steep hill. Halfway down the hill I needed to make a 90 degree right turn onto another street, without a stop. I let the e-pedal slow the car, but it wasn't slowing enough, so I had to add some brake as I approached the turn. I let off as we entered the turn, hoping to accelerate, or at least maintain speed, but right then the e-pedal system decided we needed a lot of friction brake, so I had to add a bunch of throttle. It felt really unnatural and I didn't like it at all. Pretty sure my passengers felt it, too. (When I'm driving, I always feel like one of my goals is to keep my passengers from really noticing my driving in any way).
5. All of that sounds like I don't like e-pedal, but actually I think it would be perfect for stop-and-go traffic, and I might find some other situations where I like it. If I drove this car much, I'm sure I would use it.
6. B Mode still exists, and feels the same as my 2013 (yay!).
The other thing I tried was the ProPilot feature. Basically, when you're on the highway, with cruise control on, the car will try to steer itself, maintaining a centered position in your lane. I knew I wouldn't like this, as my wife's 2017 Honda CRV has this and I've tried it in there. The feeling is like someone else is trying to help you steer, and they have different ideas about where the car should be than you do. If that's the case, I'd rather they just drove, or let me do it. But of course, if you let go of the wheel, you get scolded. So it's kind of half-autonomous. And when we got to a point where two lanes merged into one, the car really wanted to ride right on the white line and was fighting against what I wanted to do, which was to stay centered. Overall, I don't get this feature. I don't know who or what it's for, but obviously some people must like it.
Our host said you can use cruise control without ProPilot, but he couldn't figure out how to disable it while we were driving. (He wisely gave up trying to fiddle with the steering wheel controls while I was driving.) I believe him that it's possible, so that's definitely something I would do.
One more feature I'll talk about: We had quite a storm here yesterday, and during my drive I had to go into the oncoming lane to avoid some tree branches on the road. When I did this, the steering wheel started vibrating exactly as if I had driven over a rumble strip on the center line. I really like this feature, because the feedback is immediate and obvious, but I was still allowed to do what I wanted. This could really save a lot of lives by alerting tired or distracted drivers.
And finally, I'll say if you live in the Portland, Oregon area, please sign up for a drive. They have a lot of open spots, even on weekends. My wife and I had fun.
2013 Pearl White SV, bought used in 2017 with only 5100 miles. Vancouver, WA.