SanDust
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Re: LEAF -vs- Versa

Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:08 pm

EVDRIVER wrote:People should enjoy their LEAFs but let's stop glorifying it into something it is not. Nissan cut costs to compensate for the pack cost or they are just cheap. Likely both.

You're not giving Nissan enough credit for bringing to market the first mass produced BEV at a reasonable price. No doubt Nissan could have built a higher quality car, but then it would have cost more and people would be bitching about the price.

Given that the Leaf will most likely be the second or third or fourth car used for commuting, the quality seems appropriate. You can't take it on a trip of any length so the need for high end amenities is limited. Not that I disagree with your assessment, but I think you're not looking at the bigger picture. I call it "The Appliance", but that's a term of endearment, especially since the HOV stickers save me at least 10 minutes of commuting hell every night. For $375/month and free fuel I'm not expecting a BMW 7 series.

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redLEAF
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Re: LEAF -vs- Versa

Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:24 pm

redLEAF wrote:As a few others have mentioned here, although I didn't drive them back to back; today I dropped off my VW at my dealership for service and as they were to have it all day, they provided a loaner (was actually an Enterprise rental) which turned out to be a mid-level 2011 Versa (it had A/C and power windows but steel wheels so think it was a 1.8L S). Not bad but lot's of hard plastic (nowhere near as nice an interior as my Mazda3 GT) but not bad for it's price range. As my drive to work from the dealership is a bit longer I was curious how it handled some bad pavement, etc. and it really did OK; a little bit of pitching but not as excessive as my son's smart coupe. The cloth seats were decent, steering wheel just OK (again hard plastic) and the door armrest unusually soft (I could see these wearing out quickly) ... acceleration did not feel anywhere near as brisk as the Mazda3 (of course my '06 is a 2.3L) and that drone of the 4 cyl. was really apparent (in comparison to the eerie silence of the LEAF). The car does have good room overall so having the LEAF of a much similar size should be fine -- after all Nissan needs to save some money by using some components from the Versa parts bin but I think there will be even more comparisons when the newest Versa arrives. The stark black interior of this Versa already is 'hard' compared to the lightness of the LEAF so color I'm sure helps in the LEAF's case --- lighter color appears to weigh less, softer tone, etc. I think Nissan has done enough to differentiate the LEAF and Versa but there will always be comparisons.


Just finished another longer test drive of an '11 LEAF and it would actually be hard to even classify the Versa in the same category ... LEAF has much better ride, much better interior materials and controls, besides the fact that it's an EV vs ICE for the Versa. This trip was able to almost full throttle it and that instant torque is really apparent. It was nice and sunny today so can also see those who have ordered it in white -- almost a pearl color with metallic highlights; very classy color but I'll wait for my red one (hopefully will be here sooner than the listed November delivery date).
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TonyWilliams
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Re: LEAF -vs- Versa

Sat Sep 10, 2011 7:50 pm

Herm wrote:I believe there is still some room to stretch the battery pack to the rear, before it runs into the torque tube of the rear suspension.


No, there's not any more room. There is significant room behind the rear "axle". I suspect that an Infiniti EV will use this area to add a bit more battery power.


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kovalb
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Re: LEAF -vs- Versa

Sun Sep 11, 2011 4:59 pm

LEAF and Versa platforms have some significant differences. If you ever look under the LEAF with the underbody cover and battery pack removed you will see it has huge frame members as part of its unit body. This is a very significant difference from Versa and helps contribute to its very solid ride and excellent safety test results. Nissan uses common platforms for multiple vehicle models, but this sets LEAF apart.

LEAF dimensionally is almost the same as the Sentra. Price-wise and equipment-wise, including fuel costs, it is also about the same as Sentra SL with navgation. I know because I was driving the Sentra SL with navigation before getting my LEAF. I liked my Sentra but I like the LEAF much more. Smoother, quieter, more responsive, more toys, and of course 100% electric -- which goes very well with my home's 5kW photovoltaic solar system.
Had six Nissan LEAFs in five years. Hope to get another.
Retired Nissan Employee (NTCNA-AZ). Opinions expressed here are my own.

IBELEAF
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Re: LEAF -vs- Versa

Sun Sep 11, 2011 5:17 pm

I owned 08 Sentra SL prior to Leaf and even fully loaded it felt too budget to me. Leaf in many ways is closer to being entry level luxury car otherwise I wouldn't have purchased it.
Currently: '12 Volt (12k) since 7/2012
Previously: '11 Leaf SL (w/ 12k miles & 16 month ownership)

Herm
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Re: LEAF -vs- Versa

Sun Sep 11, 2011 5:42 pm

TonyWilliams wrote:No, there's not any more room. There is significant room behind the rear "axle". I suspect that an Infiniti EV will use this area to add a bit more battery power.
[


Big ol' battery pack!.. is the Infiniti EV based on a Leaf or does it have an independent rear suspension system?

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TonyWilliams
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Re: LEAF -vs- Versa

Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:07 pm

Herm wrote:
Big ol' battery pack!.. is the Infiniti EV based on a Leaf or does it have an independent rear suspension system?


I don't have any concrete info on the Infiniti version EV. There were several on a study, but they ain't talking !!! I'm just concluding a different study for Nissan, no doubt planning for LEAF v2.0.

Image

What it is: A sleek luxury sedan designed as a dedicated EV.

Why it matters: If EVs become a success, Infiniti will—for the first time—be a leader. The other luxury brands, after all, only make hybrids.

Platform: The Infiniti will be built off the Nissan Leaf.

Powertrain: The Nissan Leaf motor, likely tuned to make between 130 and 150 horsepower, powered by lithium-ion batteries, driving the front wheels through a single-speed transaxle. The range should be better than the Leaf’s real-world 80 miles.

Competition: Fisker Nina and Tesla Model S (if they are ever produced).

What might go wrong: The Infiniti EV will be a good-looking, well-appointed sedan, but the question remains whether more than a few customers will be ready to put up with a diminutive range, long charging hours, mediocre performance, and a huge price premium.

Estimated arrival and price: Mid-2013, more than $40,000.

http://www.caranddriver.com/features/11 ... an-feature

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davewill
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Re: LEAF -vs- Versa

Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:39 pm

IBELEAF wrote:I owned 08 Sentra SL prior to Leaf and even fully loaded it felt too budget to me. Leaf in many ways is closer to being entry level luxury car otherwise I wouldn't have purchased it.
I don't know what luxury cars you've been driving, but I don't see the comparison. What it seems on par with is my '05 Prius when I got it. The LEAF is a few notches above economy car...the smooth electric power plant being the main improvement, but definitely no luxury car.
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SanDust
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Re: LEAF -vs- Versa

Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:06 pm

TonyWilliams wrote:Powertrain: The Nissan Leaf motor, likely tuned to make between 130 and 150 horsepower, powered by lithium-ion batteries, driving the front wheels through a single-speed transaxle. The range should be better than the Leaf’s real-world 80 miles.
It makes sense in that the more parts you buy the cheaper the part becomes. Hasn't Ghosn said they need a yearly run rate of 500,000 units in order to drop the price by $7500? These are just more units. GM is doing the same thing with the Cadillac ELR which will basically have an upscale Volt drive train.

I'd wonder though how much demand there will be for a $55K+ car that is range and therefore use limited. An EREV is different because it can replace a BMW 5 series without breaking a sweat. A BEV can't really do that, despite the fact that it has some advantages. Of course the article says "more than $40,000" but just looking I'd guess way more than $40,000. If it is anything near $40,000 then Tesla might as well file for bankruptcy now.

I think Nissan is on the right track with Leaf. Get the cost as low as possible without worrying too much about luxury. EVs are cheap to run and fun to drive and make fantastic second or third cars but not so great a first or only car.

IBELEAF
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Re: LEAF -vs- Versa

Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:27 pm

davewill wrote:
IBELEAF wrote:I owned 08 Sentra SL prior to Leaf and even fully loaded it felt too budget to me. Leaf in many ways is closer to being entry level luxury car otherwise I wouldn't have purchased it.
I don't know what luxury cars you've been driving, but I don't see the comparison. What it seems on par with is my '05 Prius when I got it. The LEAF is a few notches above economy car...the smooth electric power plant being the main improvement, but definitely no luxury car.


I actually said "closer to being entry level luxury car" and I am comparing to Acura TSX and Lexus ES300 that I owned. I never owned a Prius mainly because I never liked anything about it, but I've test driven Versa and owned Sentra for the past 3 years and they are just nowhere near as fun and smooth as Leaf. Plus, I'll admit, I wanted to make some statement by being early adopter with Leaf, what statement would you make with Versa?
Currently: '12 Volt (12k) since 7/2012
Previously: '11 Leaf SL (w/ 12k miles & 16 month ownership)

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