2011 Nissan Leaf

SL FWD 5-Dr Hatchback ELEC auto trans

SL FWD 5-Dr Hatchback ELEC auto trans

2011 nissan leaf Reviews and News

2011 Nissan Leaf Front Three Quarters Passenger
Coke or Pepsi? Mac or PC? iPhone versus Blackberry? As if our lives weren't already besieged by choice, we now have the yin/yang of Volt and Leaf.
2011 Nissan Leaf Front Three Quarters Passenger
The Chevy Volt the electric car with a gasoline-powered generator to alleviate range anxiety. The Nissan Leaf's claim to fame is a clean break from petroleum. This is the world's first automobile conceived and engineered as a 'pure' electric.
The Leaf is built on a dedicated platform. A 107-hp permanent-magnet AC motor manufactured by Nissan revs up to 16,000 rpm to drive the front wheels through a single-speed transaxle. The fuel tank is a 24kWh lithium-ion battery pack supplied by a joint venture between Nissan and NEC.
The Leaf's whimsical appearance is the most obvious distinction from the belt-and-suspenders Volt. The Versa-sized exterior flaunts features that have traditionally been a tough sell to Americans. The Leaf's basic proportions suggest mini-minivan. There's a hatch in back and a charge-port lid where we're used to seeing a grille. The alligator-eye headlamps guide air smoothly around the mirrors, according to Nissan.
The Leaf's interior disposition is light and lively. One set of beige and black furnishings goes with all five available exterior colors. Some of the trim is made of recycled beverage containers. The seats and steering wheel are heated to provide comfort more efficiently than warming the cabin bubble. Navigation, Bluetooth, and a USB socket are standard. Spending an extra $940 for the SL model adds a back-up camera, fog lamps, automatic headlamps, and a roof-mounted solar panel to recharge the lead-acid battery (used to kick-start Leaf's electrical systems).
Tall cloth-upholstered front seats would provide a commanding view of the road were it not for a dash that sweeps upward in the corners, a rising belt line, and thick C-pillars. The back seat carries three adults (versus two in the Volt). There's ample head, leg, and foot room, but the bottom cushions are too short to provide adequate thigh support. The rear back rest folds to increase cargo space, though Home Depot hauls are frustrated by a fixed partition containing some of the battery modules.
A touch of the power button cues cordial audio and visual greetings without a hint of driveline noise or vibration. To go, you move a mouse-like controller to the left, then in a direction opposite the desired travel (forward for reverse, back for straight ahead). A second reward nudge engages an energy-saving ECO mode.
2011 Nissan Leaf Front Three Quarters Passenger Static
Tap the accelerator and there's an energetic surge forward accompanied by a faint whine from the propulsion system. The Zen-like tranquility is pierced only by a hushed wind and tire ruffle plus a subtle pedestrian-alert whistle.
The thrill of 207 lb-ft of nearly instantaneous torque tugging at 3400 pounds of curb weight is short-lived. The Leaf is swift enough not to be called a laggard but its 9.7-second amble from rest to sixty mph won't earn acclaim from the National Hot Rod Association. In performance tests, the Leaf finished a close second to the Chevy Volt.
That said, there are some driving delights. Thanks to the 600-pound battery pack under the seats, body roll is modest and the 205/55HR-16 Bridgestone Ecopia tires strive for agility. Unfortunately, the steering effort, feedback, and grip are all well below the normal entertainment threshold. The generally plush ride goes jiggly over bumps. And the low-rolling-resistance rubber has such a weak sense of dead-ahead that the steering must be minded during highway cruising.
The real fun resides in the instrument panel. Nissan has outdone itself here with upper and lower electronic displays plus a central 3x6-inch electro screen that provides a revealing look at the car's nervous system. Driving conservatively nurtures the growth of pine trees in an upper left monitor. A lower-left gauge tracks battery temperature. Every use of the accelerator and brake registers in an arc of fourteen circles located below the digital speedometer. When the battery's state of charge falls precipitously low, the nav screen automatically displays quick charge locations within reach. You can monitor energy consumption by the drive motor and all accessory systems and ascertain your average kWatt per mile efficiency. These entertaining displays help diffuse range anxiety.
Speaking of the devil, to accurately assess operating range, we departed Nissan's Franklin, Tennessee, US headquarters with a fully charged battery and merged into morning traffic. After an hour or so of freeway driving, we continued with a low-speed excursion of the local suburban hills and valleys. At eighteen miles remaining, the range digits began flashing and a 'battery level is low' warning appeared. We drove on to an eight-mile reading at which point the digits changed to three horizontal dashes and a 'very low battery advisory appeared.' Suffering no apparent loss of performance (or terminal range anxiety), we rolled home to a charging station having logged a total of 81 miles: 60 on the highway averaging 65 mph plus another 21 miles at 25 mph.
2011 Nissan Leaf Front Three Quarters Static Driver
This and other chances to experience the Leaf's foray into the electric unknown prompt a few conclusions. This is a real car, not a risky science experiment. Never having to add gas or change oil and a significantly lower cost per mile are plusses that all motorists can appreciate.
Unfortunately, these attributes are expensive. Even after the government kickbacks, the Leaf, like the Volt and all cars pioneering advanced technology, has a higher initial cost than conventional alternatives. But the greatest hardship is the loss of spur-of-the-moment versatility. The Leaf demands a level of diligence few possess to plan ahead, to plug in, and to never tug too hard against its 81-mile-long leash.
So, while the Leaf is no great leap forward as an only car, it could be the smartest second or third car ever created for the modern affluent household.
Leafy Green Facts and Figures
  • Number of states with Leaf dealers: 15 plus D.C. by this fall, 50 states in 2012
  • Federal tax credit applicable to Leaf purchase: $7500
  • States offering $5000 purchase incentives: California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii
  • Number of home recharging stations offered free to initial Leaf buyers (DOE research project): 5700
  • Total investment by joint venture partners Nissan and NEC Energy Devices in battery manufacturing facilities: $348 million
  • Targeted annual battery pack manufacturing capacity: 500,000 by 2013
  • Targeted annual global Leaf production volume: 250,000 by 2013
  • Hours required to fully recharge a depleted battery: More than 7 using 240-volt, 16-amp circuit; more than 20 using 120-volt, 12-amp circuit
  • Number of public charging locations expected by the end of this year: 13,000 in 19 states
  • Battery warranty: 8 years, 100,000 miles
  • Potential U.S. Leaf sales in 2011: 20,000
  • Annual global Leaf sales needed to lower the price and achieve a profit without government subsidies: 1 million
  • 3-year service and maintenance cost savings over Toyota Prius: $1360
2011 Nissan Leaf Front Three Quarters Static Passenger
The Specs/Test Results
PRICE: $33,600 SV, $34,540 SL
MOTOR: Synchronous permanent-magnet AC, 107 hp, 207 lb-ft
DRIVE: Front-wheel
LxWxH: 175.0x 69.7x61.0-in
WHEELBASE: 106.3 in
WEIGHT: 3400 lb
0-60 mph: 9.7 sec
2009 Infiniti Essence Concept Front Three Quarter View
Infiniti will debut a mid-engine, two-seat sports car at next year’s Geneva show. We spoke with Wayne Bruce, director of communications for Infiniti Europe who told us that a sporty electric two-seater will likely be a range-extended EV, as Infiniti told us that it will have zero emissions capability. This car is only another possibility for a range-topping Infiniti sports car, just as the Essence concept from the 2009 Geneva Motor Show was.
2011 Nissan Leaf Logo
If you’ve been wondering what the next trend in limousines is, one company may have the answer. A Springfield, Missouri-based custom coach builder plans to convert a Nissan Leaf into a stretch limo. So, if pulling up to the red carpet in a stretched Escalade is too eco-unfriendly and oh-so-last-season for you, a Leaf limo will let you roll in zero-emission style while still maintaining your VIP status.
2011 Nissan Leaf Parked
On paper, the Leaf and I are a perfect match; I drive 35 miles round trip to work; I have no children so my vehicle doesn't need to double as a shuttle service; and I'm a bit of a homebody, so most nights I eat in or go for dinner at a friend's house, most of whom live within a few miles. But I view a car not so much as transportation but as a source of entertainment, so I was skeptical of the Leaf. Would it be able to satisfy my enthusiast side, or is it little more than a tarted-up golf cart? I start the week with an open mind, but I'm prepared to be disappointed.
2011 Nissan Leaf Plugged In
2011 Nissan Leaf Lined At Start
No, I don't think the 2011 Nissan Leaf is a hot hatch, or anything close to a serious performance machine. But after spending a week behind the wheel and fighting my lead foot to extend my range, I wanted a chance to see what it could do when the pedal was placed to the floor.
2011 Nissan Leaf Front Three Quarter3
After a great car and a good burrito, many of us at Automobile Magazine love the dynamic duo of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central for turning serious news into non-stop laughs.  But this morning, it looks like one of them might actually like us back.

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2011 Nissan Leaf
2011 Nissan Leaf
SL FWD 5-Dr Hatchback ELEC
106 MPG City | 92 MPG Hwy
Top Ranking Vehicles - MPG
2011 Nissan Leaf
2011 Nissan Leaf
SL FWD 5-Dr Hatchback ELEC
106 MPG City | 92 MPG Hwy
2011 Audi A3
TDI FWD 4-Dr Hatchback I4
30 MPG City | 42 MPG Hwy

2011 Nissan Leaf Specifications

Quick Glance:
0.0L ELECEngine
Fuel economy City:
106 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
92 MPG
107 hp
207 ft lb of torque
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats (optional)
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer Rear (optional)
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation
36,000 miles / 36 months
60,000 miles / 60 months
Unlimited miles / 60 months
36,000 miles / 36 months
IIHS Roof Strength
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
NHTSA Rating Front Side
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
NHTSA Rating Rollover
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
IIHS Overall Side Crash
IIHS Best Pick
IIHS Rear Crash
NHTSA Rating Overall

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