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Nissan LEAF Test Drive and Review

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Published on Jul 17, 2010

Nissan LEAF Test Drive & Review-

Green Energy News had the recent pleasure of test driving the brand spankin' new, highly-anticipated zero emission vehicle (ZEV) developed by Nissan, dubbed LEAF - or Leading, Environmentally Friendly, Affordable, Family Car. Mark Perry, Director of Product Planning for Nissan North America, talks about the vision behind the Nissan LEAF and touches on it's eco-friendly features, cost/price, battery/charging information, and availability.

The LEAF we drove is a pre-production prototype... basically the production model. This is NOT a "mule" or the VERSA "shell" which was making a tour across the US earlier this year.

Design: Smooth lines, aerodynamic, and pleasing to look at. The LEAF might not be the most eye-catching car on the road, but we feel like it will appeal to most consumers in the compact car market. We saw it as a cross between a luxury crossover SUV (think Lexus RX 350), a Toyota Matrix, and the Nissan Versa.

Performance- The 107 HP (80kw) motor puts out 206 lb-ft of torque which is readily available at 0 MPH! We were more than surprised with the amount of pep the LEAF showed off the line. At moderate speeds (approx 45 MPH) the LEAF had NO problems passing other vehicles with minimal efforts. Towards the end of the video, you can see the LEAF accelerating into a right turn, reaching speeds of almost 50 MPH from a creeping start with ease. The LEAF is responsive and fun to drive. Is it a sportscar... NO! Is it more fun to drive than a traditional compact... BY FAR! Handling is wonderful- the lithium ion battery pack is center mounted under the vehicle creating even balance and sturdy handling. Try it for yourself... this thing is FUN to drive!

Price- $32,000 might be a little steep for us, but after $7,500 in federal rebates/incentives... the LEAF is right up our alley. With California giving us an additional $5,000 in rebates, the LEAF would be a steal at just under $20k! Considering the Chevy Volt is priced around $40k before rebates/incentives, and DOESN'T qualify for the additional $5k rebate in CA due to it's gasoline engine/generator, the LEAF looks like a solid deal.

FULL review available at Green Energy News (http://www.renewable-energy-news.info/ )

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