Having had the new Leaf now for a couple of days I thought I would let you know my very first reactions.
The first thing I noticed, before even driving away from the dealer, is just how much nicer the inside looks with the leather and dark colour instead of the recycled bottles and the light fawn. I think this adds a classy and sophisticated feel to
the car that was missing on the Mk1. It is a great improvement in my opinion.
Driving away I had 118 miles estimated range. I haven’t seen that kind of range estimate for a long time with the old car.
The drive then is subtly different… in a good way. It seems a little firmer, tighter, smoother and more refined. The B-Mode was an improvement giving extra regenerative braking but I felt that they could have gone even further. Nevertheless, I really liked the driving feel and felt it was much nicer than before.
I just love the all-round camera system. It gives you an overhead view of the car so that you can see exactly what’s around you. If anyone has any doubts about whether you want the Tekna or whether to go for a lower-spec model then I would say have the Tekna if only for this feature. It does take a bit of getting used to but it gives a huge degree of confidence when parking. I still had the optional parking sensors front and rear added because I often don’t want to be looking at the screen but that is purely my choice… I wouldn’t expect many people with this camera system to want them.
There are subtle improvements to the software too. There are new screens to program the climate control and charging timers which are a great improvement. It also has road sign recognition that displays the speed limit… very handy.
Then on to the improvements and additions in the comfort department… I now have heated steering wheel, heated seats and a heat pump A/C system which should all help reduce my energy use and so extend range. I tried out the heated steering wheel… feels rather weird but I expect will work very well on cold winter days.
Although almost everything on this new version is an improvement there is one feature of the old car that I sorely miss and that is the electronic park brake. Now it is a pedal I keep reaching for the electronic button. I am sure I will get used to having a mechanical park brake again but I really do miss it. It is the only feature on the old car that I would like to have seen on the new.
So that is my immediate impression. Look out for more thoughts as I get used to it.