EVDRIVER wrote:and in no way a ground-up EV as Nissan would like to make people think.
I think you make a really good point with this statement. There is mounting evidence that the Leaf was not a clean-sheet design, for one reason or another, and to say otherwise is marketing voodoo.
I'm not looking at the Leaf as a $35K vehicle, and I have adjusted my expectations in that regard. Given what happened in the last decade or so, I didn't think that I would be driving a modern EV this soon and at this price. For that, I give Nissan major credit. I am a bit disappointed with their one-size-fits all approach, but they are a mass manufacturer and perhaps I shouldn't expect otherwise.
There are some glaring cosmetic issues as well, many of then have been raised on this thread and elsewhere. Take the plastic plug on the steering column to cover the Versa ignition key mount for example. It's noticeable, and it's one of the things I didn't like during my test drive a few months ago. Cheap carpet and the thin paint would be other pain points. I don't expect an Aston Martin, but all this signals certain lack of attention to detail.
I don't know about you, but I would have appreciated at least 25% more pack capacity, and had Nissan offered several battery size options like Tesla will with their Model S, I would be a lot happier as a customer. Nissan stated several times, that weight was the gating factor here, but I have hard time believing that. Twelve modules would add only about 120 to 150 pounds of weight, including enclosure, wiring and other parts. Based on the observations voiced on this forum, it's more likely that they would not have been able to fit more modules under the seats and since the Leaf is not a clean-sheet design, it would have been hard to accommodate a larger pack in the chassis. It's speculation at this point, but I would consider that the single largest drawback of the Versa legacy. I can live with cheap carpet and thin paint, more battery capacity is really what I want the most.
I think we all understand product design well enough to appreciate the compromises Nissan had to make to bring the Leaf to market. I'm not a fan of the Versa, and I have driven it more than once as a Hertz rental. I am willing to accept an EV derived from the same platform however, because of the unique experience it offers and I hope that there will be more EVs under $50K to choose from down the road.