The interior of the Leaf isn’t its strongest point. The seating position doesn’t adjust as much as we’d like, leaving taller drivers sitting too high, and the steering column doesn’t adjust for reach at all, which is very unusual these days. So before you get too hung up on the idea of a Leaf, check first that you’re the right shape.
The dashboard area is very cluttered, with more than 50 buttons dotted around, and the plastics are very hard to the touch in an age of soft-touch materials, but to Nissan’s credit, they are all very solidly assembled.
Some of those buttons help control the infotainment system. The 8.0-inch screen still feels on the small side compared to rivals, and we haven’t had enough chance to play with it yet to give a definitive verdict, but it does seem like an improvement on the smaller screen that was standard until 2019.
There’s plenty of room for four tall adults in the Leaf, and a fifth at a squeeze in the middle of the back row, and while there’s no fold-down central armrest in the back, you do get several cubby holes and pockets elsewhere around the cabin to store odds and ends.
If you fold the rear seats down there’s a huge lip between them and the boot floor, which restricts the space a bit, and if you have the optional Bose sound system, which is standard on the Tekna version, it places a big lump of audio hardware on the boot floor, which gets in the way somewhat. That said, the boot itself is a decent size – not quite as big as the Honda Civic
’s, but bigger than either the Ford Focus’s
or Volkswagen Golf’s
The Leaf is set up for comfort rather than thrills, and benefits from a nicely supple ride that massages out most lumps and bumps in the road. The steering could use a bit more feel, but it doesn’t really get in the way of everyday driving, and the Leaf stays fairly level when cornering. It’s a perfectly capable machine for driving around town or cruising on the motorway.
The more powerful E+ model is considerably heavier, thanks to its larger battery, and the suspension has been stiffened to cope. This has a slight impact on ride quality, and means it’s not quite as comfortable or agile as the regular models, but it’s still acceptable for everyday use.