jim0266
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:14 am
Delivery Date: 17 Mar 2017
Leaf Number: 330446
Location: Akron, Oh

First drive, first impressions 2018 Leaf

Sat Feb 24, 2018 6:06 pm

Test drove the 2018 SL. Some quick impressions from a 17-mile excursion.

-- Left the dealership with 100% charge, GOM showing 181 miles, with only 16 miles on the odometer. The GOM quickly dropped to a realistic range when I finally looked again.

-- Returned after 19 miles with 35 miles on the odometer, 83% SOC remaining and 124 miles on the GOM. It was 46 degrees out and probably drove 3/4th of the miles on the highway. I drove the car pretty hard.

-- Acceleration was noticeably stronger than my 14 Leaf. I've test driven two Bolts and found the acceleration comparable. I still find the acceleration a nice kick in my Leaf which has plent of power when it counts.

-- e-pedal was nice. I want that feature. Seemed as strong as L mode in the Bolt.

-- ProPilot Assist (PPA) was an interesting experience having never driven any form of autonomous vehicle. On the highway it did a great job, even with curves in the road. One time lines for an onramp confused PPA. PPA forces you to touch the steering wheel after 10 seconds when it starts beeping at you. For where I live PPA would not be too useful. For longer trips on the highway I could see PPA helping to battle fatigue. If I had my hands resting on my lap not touching the wheel, I could pinch the bottom of the steering wheel with my thumb and finer with both hands to dismiss the warning.

-- The walls of the center console rise much higher than on my Leaf. That means the boney portion of my leg near the knee rests against the wall. Not as comfortable. On the 1st-gen Leaf the fleshy portion of my lower leg rests on the center console.

-- I would rather have the digital MPH readout my my Leaf over the analog dial. Much easier and quicker to see the speed.

-- I'm 6'1" and felt like I had a bit more leg room than in my Leaf. The Chevy Bolt has a crazy amount of leg room for the driver. With the seat all the way back in a Bolt it was almost too far for me.

-- The interior feels a grade above the Bolt. The 18 Leaf seat was comfy like my Leaf, in contrast to the Bolt, seats which I could conceivably call a dealbreaker for the Bolt.

-- LeafSpy on this car was after my drive was showing 115.19 AHr, 99.78% SOH, 97.96% Hx. LeafSpy was showing 22 miles while the car odometer was actually at 35.

Overall a solid upgrade. I instantly felt right at home. To go EV only once we retire the Prius I feel we need a 60-kWH pack at minimum. This was a glimpse into the future. Seeing 150 miles on the display is a big jump.

LeaferSutherland
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:26 am
Delivery Date: 22 Feb 2018

Re: First drive, first impressions 2018 Leaf

Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:54 pm

It does have a digital MPH readout. There are different displays you can scroll through and pick what you like. At least one has a digital MPH on it.

jim0266
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:14 am
Delivery Date: 17 Mar 2017
Leaf Number: 330446
Location: Akron, Oh

Re: First drive, first impressions 2018 Leaf

Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:01 pm

Thanks, good to know!

cwerdna
Posts: 8107
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:31 pm
Delivery Date: 28 Jul 2013
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: First drive, first impressions 2018 Leaf

Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:43 pm

LeaferSutherland wrote:It does have a digital MPH readout. There are different displays you can scroll through and pick what you like. At least one has a digital MPH on it.

Yeah. But from my 1 hour with an '18 Leaf, it didn't seem like the digital speedo display could be used in conjunction w/ProPilot Assist. PPA takes over the area where the speedo was. I recall the only speed I could see on the LCD was the CC set speed.

'13 Leaf SV w/premium package (owned)
'13 Leaf SV w/QC + LED & premium packages (lease over, car returned)
'06 Prius

Please don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

LeftieBiker
Posts: 9241
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2013
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: First drive, first impressions 2018 Leaf

Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:51 pm

Oh boy, ANOTHER 2018 Leaf test drive topic! I'll copy mine to here, although I'm sure tomorrow that there will be even more of them.

I drove a 2018 SV with Tech Package today, and the center console and uneven armrest heights weren't an issue for me. What was an issue was the smell. My 2013 smelled strongly of rubber for over a year, but I preferred that to my housemate's PIP, which smelled strongly of uncured automotive paint (and still does). The Leaf I drove today smelled of both. It was nauseating. I also found the steering wheel button layout horrible for doing anything beyond activating and setting the Cruise Control. The power was what I'd call "nicely adequate," especially above 40mph. The e-Pedal was nice, too. The Pro Pilot wouldn't fully activate. The handling was a bit more crisp than my car, not mushy. The suspension wasn't very compliant going over road seams, but it was better than the Bolt.

I'm still looking for a car that meets all of my needs. The Leaf SV could easily have been it, but since I now rely on the Around View in parking lots and even parking at home, and the SV no longer has AV, it isn't. I may start looking for a perfect 2015 SV with Premium and QC, as the local Leaf-certified dealership won't even order a Leaf at all, much less to my specs. So much for Nissan's hyped "reservation" crap. My hand stays down.
Last edited by LeftieBiker on Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

cwerdna
Posts: 8107
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:31 pm
Delivery Date: 28 Jul 2013
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: First drive, first impressions 2018 Leaf

Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:06 pm

LeftieBiker wrote:Oh boy, ANOTHER 2018 Leaf test drive topic! I'll copy mine to here, although I'm sure tomorrow I'm sure that there will be even more of them.

Yeah, there ought to be some thread merging. There are already a bunch and some that were posted in non-test drive/non-1st impressions threads.

'13 Leaf SV w/premium package (owned)
'13 Leaf SV w/QC + LED & premium packages (lease over, car returned)
'06 Prius

Please don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

jjeff
Posts: 1699
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:10 am
Delivery Date: 13 Jul 2014
Leaf Number: 422121
Location: MSP MN

Re: First drive, first impressions 2018 Leaf

Sun Feb 25, 2018 1:04 pm

jim0266 wrote:
-- The walls of the center console rise much higher than on my Leaf. That means the boney portion of my leg near the knee rests against the wall. Not as comfortable. On the 1st-gen Leaf the fleshy portion of my lower leg rests on the center console.

-- I would rather have the digital MPH readout my my Leaf over the analog dial. Much easier and quicker to see the speed.

-- I'm 6'1" and felt like I had a bit more leg room than in my Leaf. The Chevy Bolt has a crazy amount of leg room for the driver. With the seat all the way back in a Bolt it was almost too far for me.

-- The interior feels a grade above the Bolt. The 18 Leaf seat was comfy like my Leaf, in contrast to the Bolt, seats which I could conceivably call a dealbreaker for the Bolt.

I really worry about the first point. I simply can't stand vehicles that insist on having a large center console! Prius did the same thing and is what kept us from upgrading to a newer one several years back. In our '07 my right knee has plenty of room, when we drove a '12?? Prius it sounds like the newer Leaf, very cramped and my knee was aching just sitting in it, very disappointing :(
Agree about the analog MPH, I've had digital since our '07 Prius and wouldn't want to go back. I understand you might be able to display it as digital but as someone later pointed out, it sounds like you can't in all circumstances, analog is DEAD! RIP analog.
Agree about the leg room in the Bolt(and Volt for that matter) the only two cars where I've not just moved the seat all the way back and either been happy or wished it went back more. I'm generally fine with leg room, as I am with the seat all the way back on my current Leafs but I simply can't stand my legs being cramped and especially a large center console!
I also wasn't to happy with the Bolt interior but could have lived with it, what I couldn't live with is the hard skinny "sporty" :roll: seats! a deal breaker for me for sure. And no I'm not going to order a new car and mess with replacing or bolstering the foam. I did that decades ago with some $500 used cars but wouldn't do it with a new car, design it right(for me anyway) or else I'll wait for something else that is.

Thanks for your review, sounds like we have similar wants and expectations.
2012 SL purchased used 2/'16
2013 S w/QC purchased new
Juicebox Premium 60a L1/L2 EVSE, Ebusbar 16a L1/L2 EVSE
'12 EVSEupgrade'd 20a L1/L2 EVSE, '13 EVSEupgrade'd adjustable 6-20a L2, 6-13a L1 EVSE
Zencar 13, 20, 30a L1/L2 portable EVSE
GE Durastation 30a

User avatar
jlv
Posts: 845
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:08 pm
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2014
Leaf Number: 424487
Location: Massachusetts

Re: First drive, first impressions 2018 Leaf

Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:16 am

I test drove a 2018 SL this past weekend, taking the car from 6 to 18 miles on the odometer.

I will agree with what everyone else said - I really love the e-Pedal. It really is intuitive and using it just felt natural. I think Tesla could learn a thing or two from it.

The one annoyance I found with the e-Pedal was that it seemed to default back to 'off' when I turned the car back on. That would be really frustrating. Perhaps there's a setting to keep it persistent.

ProPilot Assist worked really well. There were a few notable things about it: once enabled, it took over as soon as it locked in on the lane markings, and then disengaged when it could no longer follow them. This was a very noticeable contrast to how AutoPilot works (I've probably done over 14K miles with AP2 at this point). I think I liked this behavior. However, I found the PPA display to be less useful than the way AP displays the current state of lane detection.

Another thing I liked about PPA was that I could make minor steering corrections without the system disengaging. E.g., there was a pothole that I was able to steer around. With my Tesla, AP would have disengaged and I would have had to manually re-engage it after avoiding the obstacle.

I really didn't like the analog speedometer. My LEAF was my first car with a digital speedo and I've gotten really used to it. I suppose I could get used to analog again. There is a digital speedo that can be brought up on the display, but that means losing out on most of the other useful displays. There's no way to see the digital speedo when PPA is on, for instance.

Much of the interior of the car looked just like my 2013, such as the driver's door controls and the center touchscreen. The NAV maps look just as awful. I noticed even the energy usage display was near identical to the 2013. My gut tells me the controls will all seem very dated in just a year or two (just like my 2013 seems horribly dated).

It certainly looks like a nice incremental improvement over my 2013. With the price point Nissan has put on it I think it has lots of offer over a Bolt, even though it has less range.

However, given the serious degradation problems reported on the 30kWh battery, I would be concerned about how the 40kWh battery will fair. I would be seriously concerned about buying this car; leasing looks like the best option as in 3 years we'll know if the 40 is as much as dud as the 30. This is even more important with a rumored 60kWh option next year: if so, that's going to cause the 40kWh car to depreciate in value even quicker, even if the 40 holds up.
'13 SL+Prem (mfg 12/13, leased 4/14, bought 5/17) 32K miTesla S 75D (3/17) 25K mi
Model 3 reservation (still undecided)

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jlv
Posts: 845
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:08 pm
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2014
Leaf Number: 424487
Location: Massachusetts

Re: First drive, first impressions 2018 Leaf

Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:26 am

I also tested: the 2018 has the same "partial recirculation mode" as prior models and is enabled the same way (turn on recirc; then press and hold until it blinks). Nissan still doesn't include an indicator that it's engaged (via a bicolor LED or just even a message on the LCD). :(
'13 SL+Prem (mfg 12/13, leased 4/14, bought 5/17) 32K miTesla S 75D (3/17) 25K mi
Model 3 reservation (still undecided)

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