New Nissan Leaf vs Renault Zoe vs Volkswagen e-Golf
With an improved range between charges, Nissan’s new electric Leaf promises to be more usable than ever. Is it better than the Renault Zoe and Volkswagen e-Golf, though?...
Behind the wheel
Driving position, visibility, build quality
We’ll start with the e-Golf, because most drivers will find that the easiest car in which to get comfortable. There’s loads of adjustment in the seat and steering wheel, for starters, and the seat itself is mostly very supportive, even if the small side bolsters don’t hold you in place particularly well through tight corners.
The driving positions in the Leaf and Zoe are more fl awed. You might like the fact that you sit higher up, but the absence of reach adjustment on the Leaf’s steering wheel is a big issue and means there’s a good chance that you’ll be forced to sit closer to, or farther away from, the wheel than you’d ideally like. The Zoe’s steering wheel does adjust in and out, but it’s angled up towards your face; you almost feel like you’re driving a bus. The Zoe also has the least supportive driver’s seat and is the only one of our contenders without any seat height adjustment.
As for visibility, the relatively boxy e-Golf is the easiest to see out of in all directions. You won’t have too many issues seeing out of the front or side windows of the Leaf or Zoe, but over-the-shoulder visibility isn’t ideal. All three cars come with rear sensors to help with parking, though, while the Leaf goes one step further with both reversing and around-view cameras; the latter displays a bird’s eye view of the car on the central touchscreen.
Seeing where you’re going at night is easiest in the e-Golf, too, thanks to its powerful LED headlights. Our test Leaf had LEDs fitted (a £350 option) and they were bright enough, if not quite as far-reaching. Meanwhile, the Zoe’s halogen headlights are, frankly, terrible. You’d almost be better off hanging a storm lantern on the bonnet.
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