Feature

New cars: 2011 Nissan Leaf

What the critics say about the $32,780 Nissan Leaf

Road & Track
The era of all-electric cars has truly arrived. The Leaf is a battery electric vehicle, or BEV, that should work “extremely well as an everyday sedan.” Drivers will love the instant torque provided by “electron propulsion”: this is a car that’s “flat-out fun to drive.” Recharging, meanwhile, is easy and uncomplicated—once owners have a dedicated 220-volt charging station installed.

The Detroit Bureau
The Leaf is nicely built, roomy, and well outfitted. Given the government and private incentives now available for electric cars—starting with a $7,500 federal payout—the listed base price is also “almost immaterial.” In some of the states where the Leaf will be first available, a buyer from the right town and with the right employer incentives might be able to get one “for as little as $12,280.”

Motor Trend
If this is the car of the future, it’s “remarkably unremarkable in the best way possible.” Nissan cleverly designed the Leaf to meet real-world expectations for the 90 percent of Americans who drive less than 100 miles per day—its advertised range. And a full battery charge can cost as little as $1.10. “Try that at Chevron.” At least until the incentives wear off, we think Nissan “won’t be able to keep up with the demand.”

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