Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
Tall folks are unlikely to grumble about the amount of space in the front; even though the seats are mounted quite high up in the car, there’s loads of head room and you’d have to be seriously lanky to need more leg room.
The door bins are a decent size and there’s another small cubby in front of the gear selector that's useful for stowing a phone or a set of keys. If you like a cup of coffee during your daily commute, you’ll also appreciate the two decent-sized cupholders between the front seats.
There’s at least as much rear leg room as you'll find in any direct rival, and much more than the cramped Honda E and Mini Electric can offer. Mind you, anyone tall will be happier sitting in the back of a Kia e-Niro or Soul EV. Why? Well, because rear head room in the Leaf is rather tight – to the point that anyone over six-feet tall will probably have to cower.
The e-Niro or Soul EV will also be more suitable if you regularly carry three people in the back, thanks to their broader rear-seat area. The Leaf’s rear door bins are quite small, too.
Seat folding and flexibility
There’s not a lot to get excited about here. The Leaf’s rear seatbacks fold down in a 60/40 split, but that’s also the case in the majority of rivals.
The front passenger seat is height-adjustable and electrically adjustable on Tekna and e+ Tekna models. However, there’s no adjustable lumbar support – not even on the options list.
The Leaf beats its closest peers for luggage space because its boot is really quite long. It managed to swallow seven carry-on suitcases below the parcel shelf in our tests, compared with the six you can fit in the Zoe, and the five we managed to squeeze into the e-Niro. And if you're wondering how the Honda E or Mini Electric compare, 'not well' is the answer: their boots are tiny by comparison.
The space isn’t particularly cleverly designed, though: there’s an enormous lip at the boot entrance and folding down the rear seats creates an annoying step in the floor of the extended load bay. On the plus side, there are handy nets at each side of the boot to keep the charging cables neatly tucked away.
It's worth mentioning that the Bose sound system, fitted to Tekna and e+ Tekna models, sacrifices a chunk of boot space for the amplifier and subwoofer.
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