The driver’s seat is comfortable, but the lack of steering wheel reach adjustment can make it tricky to find the ideal driving position. It’s quite a high seating position, too, because of the batteries under the floor, but you don’t feel overly perched or uncomfortable. There’s an armrest fitted as standard but it’s fixed between the front seats, so can be uncomfortable to use. The pedals are well laid out, though, and there’s space to rest your left foot, improving comfort on longer trips.
Elsewhere the Leaf continues to be conventional in its layout, with all the controls sensibly placed and easy to access. Steering wheel-mounted controls are standard across the range, making it easy to change the radio station and so on while driving. All the other controls are where you’d expect to find them and everything is clearly marked. A modern-looking instrument cluster with blue and white illumination lends a little interest and class to the cabin as well.
Nissan Leaf visibility
360-degree parking camera is very useful
It’s easy to see out of the Nissan Leaf thanks to its large windows and sensibly sized pillars. Electric mirror adjustment is standard, so you don’t have to fiddle around to get a better view of what might be behind you. Every Leaf gets a rear wiper and a heated screen, too, helping clear the screen in poor weather conditions.
The Nissan Connect media system, standard on everything bar the entry-level Visia model, adds a reversing camera as well. This further simplifies parking. Opt for the flagship Tekna model and you’ll get Nissan’s excellent ‘Around View Monitor’, which shows a 360-degree display of what’s around the car. If you regularly park in tight bays you’ll really appreciate this feature.
Nissan Leaf infotainment
Basic versions don’t come with sat-nav
Opt for an entry-level Visia model and you won’t get sat-nav or a touchscreen – you’ll need to upgrade to mid-spec Acenta or range-topping Tekna trims for these. If you do, you’ll get a smart system that incorporates Nissan Connect EV with many clever functions: you can use an app on your smartphone or tablet to check remotely on the Leaf’s charge status, or, if you’ve forgotten where you left it, locate it on a map. On frosty mornings, you can even use your phone to switch on the car’s heater, making it nice and warm for the morning commute. It isn’t tricky to use, either, registering postcodes and calculating routes with ease via its snappy menus.
All models come with steering wheel-mounted audio controls, Bluetooth telephone integration, a USB port and a CD player. As well as Nissan Connect EV and sat-nav, Acenta models add a six-speaker audio system and a rear-view camera, while top Tekna models gain a Bose seven-speaker sound system and a full 360-degree parking monitor.
Nissan Leaf build quality
Well built and neatly finished
The quality of the Leaf’s cabin is good, if not as intricately detailed and laden with quality-feeling materials as a VW Golf would be. It is all assembled to a decent standard, though, and the vast majority of the materials used are pleasingly soft to the touch. There are a few questionable plastics in places, particularly lower down in the cabin, but it doesn’t detract overly from the interior’s appeal.
You’ll find that the switchgear itself, such as the indicator stalks, feels durable and has a decent enough action.
The interior is generally a pleasant place to be as a result, particularly in the lighter colours that lend it an airy, vibrant feel.