PHx
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:09 am
Delivery Date: 20 Jun 2011

Experience after 2 months

Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:12 am

Ok, I've had a leaf for about 2 months now. Admittedly, I also have a gas car, which I use when I need to go out of town. That said, the Leaf is the primary vehicle being driven about twice the miles as the gas car.

Overall, Nissan did an excellent job. I could complain about a number of things but I'll focus on the essentials instead.

1. Plugging in at night is no problem. It takes about 15 seconds - and another 15 in the morning.

2. Acceleration is great. The specs are above. But, from observing the Leaf's kilowatt meter, it appears Nissan restricted the acceleartion (probably for safety). Instead of immediately pegging at 80kw (the top of the meter), it gradually increases power over about 3 or 4 seconds. If you are already going about 10-20 mph, then it does give you the full 80kw, which you can really feel and observe as you shoot past other vehicles!

3. Range is reasonable. I'd like to see better, but for greater-city area driving, it's really hard to use up the range in one day. Realistically, I'm getting between 70 and 80 miles per charge. Another meter shows about 3.7 or so miles per kw, or about 250w per mile. It's better on roads without stop-and-go, even with regen. I haven't had to use the heat or A/C much yet, so I expect the range to drop maybe 10% in winter when I need both (defrost).

4. Comfort is reasonable. My own personal taste is that I find the front seats to have poor lumbar support. Also, the head rest protrudes too far forward, putting me into a hunched position. I solved the latter by turning the head rest around. Front leg room is great and the seat can be positioned comfortably high.

5. Visibility is poor. This might be typical with other Nissan vehicles. The front pillars are really wide and, when turning, you really need to move your head to look around them. The back window is small, so the rear view mirror is practically useless. The mirror is also annoying low, blocking vision to the upper-right. The side mirrors are small to, so I change lanes carefully.

6. The GPS map software works ok, but is lame compared to Google maps. Nissan should have licensed Google's software and chucked theirs. I usually use my android phone instead of the car's navigation - sorry tradeoff considering the car has a very nice screen.

7. The drive selector is crazy. I like the shape. But, it's opposite of a stick shift in that "reverse" is forward, and "drive" is backwards. I suppose it's supposed to match an automatic transmission selector - but it doesn't feel like one. So, I've accidentally put it in reverse a few time when I want forward, which is kind of dangerous! Also, if you move it too soon or too fast, it doesn't always work - stays in neutral - and then you take your foot off the brake and the car drifts instead of goes. One thing that would help: if it stayed in the position rather than bounce back to the middle, it would at least give a visual clue.

That's enough for now. I'd like to do some serious measurements and report back on kw for hill climbing at various inclines and speeds.

PH

EricBayArea
Posts: 672
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:41 am
Delivery Date: 08 Oct 2011
Location: Walnut Creek, CA

Re: Experience after 2 months

Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:25 am

It is interesting how a lot of reviewers mention what you pointed out in #7 about the shifter. I have test driven a Leaf twice and it felt pretty intuitive to me. I notice that it matches the Toyota controls where Reverse is a push forward and Drive is a pull backwards. I also think that it is meant to mimic a traditional automatic where Reverse is a push forward of Park and Drive is a pull back from Park.

For those that drive a VW, BMW or other similar manual transmissions, reverse is up... but so is 1st I suppose ;)
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EVDRIVER
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Re: Experience after 2 months

Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:34 am

The visibility is poor as a result of a high slope on the windshield for aerodynamics so the A pillar is larger. The NAV suck because it is a Clarion with patched in Nissan spec software and not a properly done unit.

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planet4ever
Posts: 4674
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 9:53 pm
Delivery Date: 02 May 2011
Leaf Number: 1537
Location: Morgan Hill, CA, south of San Jose

Re: Experience after 2 months

Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:36 pm

EricBayArea wrote:It is interesting how a lot of reviewers mention what you pointed out in #7 about the shifter. I have test driven a Leaf twice and it felt pretty intuitive to me. I notice that it matches the Toyota controls where Reverse is a push forward and Drive is a pull backwards. I also think that it is meant to mimic a traditional automatic where Reverse is a push forward of Park and Drive is a pull back from Park.

For those that drive a VW, BMW or other similar manual transmissions, reverse is up... but so is 1st I suppose ;)
Yes, it works exactly like the Prius, including the lever moving back to a "home" position. I'll admit that it took me a while to get used to that when I got my Prius 7 years ago, but it has long been second nature. [Well, it's not exactly like the Prius, which also has a "B" position. I really wish Nissan had done the same thing for ECO instead of having to shift twice to get there.]

The three-speed stick shifts I remember (from back in the day when only performance cars had four-speed transmissions) had reverse up and 1st down.
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GeekEV
Posts: 1825
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:11 pm
Delivery Date: 15 Feb 2011
Leaf Number: 0308
Location: NorCal, USA

Re: Experience after 2 months

Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:53 pm

PHx wrote:The back window is small, so the rear view mirror is practically useless. The mirror is also annoying low, blocking vision to the upper-right.
It's not the back window that's the problem, it's the rear seat headrests. They're huge. Remove them and you'll get TONS of rear visibility...

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smkettner
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Delivery Date: 26 Feb 2014
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Experience after 2 months

Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:54 pm

The whole center console could have been storage or open space. Just give me five buttons P, R, N, D, E
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mdh
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:09 pm
Delivery Date: 10 Aug 2011

Re: Experience after 2 months

Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:15 pm

The felt on the door armrest is really a bad choice.

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davewill
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Location: San Diego, CA, US

Re: Experience after 2 months

Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:56 am

GeekEV wrote:
PHx wrote:The back window is small, so the rear view mirror is practically useless. The mirror is also annoying low, blocking vision to the upper-right.
It's not the back window that's the problem, it's the rear seat headrests. They're huge. Remove them and you'll get TONS of rear visibility...
I just fold the rear seats down when I don't have passengers. Removing them isn't an option since I carry passengers regularly. Also, the mirror can be moved up and down. Moving it up helps a bit (unless you're really tall).
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Devin
Posts: 369
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:11 pm
Delivery Date: 16 Jun 2011
Leaf Number: 5123
Location: Vancouver, BC

Re: Experience after 2 months

Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:38 am

mdh wrote:The felt on the door armrest is really a bad choice.
+1!!!

After two months they're getting grungy. I'm pretty good about keeping my hands clean but one hazard of EV driving is that immediately before I get in the car I coil up the charge cord which has been sitting on the ground so my hands get dirty. Looking forward to getting leather.
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trentr
Posts: 305
Joined: Sun May 02, 2010 12:10 am
Delivery Date: 16 Apr 2011
Location: Silicon Valley

Re: Experience after 2 months

Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:46 am

smkettner wrote:The whole center console could have been storage or open space. Just give me five buttons P, R, N, D, E
I thought about the buttons, but then that means I will actually look at the buttons before pressing. The shifter becomes second nature, just shift without looking at it like a stick shift.
2011 Blue SL+QC

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