SUM UP (2 Stars)

By Automobile Magazine

What's New for Leaf in 2014

The 2014 Nissan Leaf adds a standard rearview camera to all grades and an updated EV Information Technology interface with standard voice destination entry and SMS readout...
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Vehicle Overview

The 2014 Nissan Leaf is a fully electric four-door hatchback produced by the automaker since the 2011 model year and is sold in S, SV and SL grades.

Summary

The 2014 Leaf is powered by an electric motor producing 107 hp and 187 lb-ft of torque, and has a range of 84 miles, making it ideal for short commutes and city driving. Driving dynamics are lacking in the Leaf, with little steering feel and tires that tires that don’t allow the front wheels to communicate with the driver.

Inside, the 2014 Leaf's gauges are designed to promote efficient driving while tech features such as navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, and a USB port come standard. Room for five passengers is ample but comfort remains lacking due to hard cushions that don’t offer adequate thigh support. While the Leaf offers generous space for cargo, fixed partitions containing battery components limit its usability. The 2014 Nissan Leaf has a four-star safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars) and earned a good score in four categories of IIHS testing (good is the highest possible score).

What We Think

The 2014 Nissan Leaf remains a viable commuter car for people looking for an EV that is practical and has a generous range for city driving. Standard tech features including a navigation system make it a good value and allows buyers to justify paying slightly more than a traditional gas-powered car. In a 2010 First Drive, we said that the interior is “light and lively” with the tall seating providing a “commanding view of the road.” Where the Leaf falters is ride and handling because it “goes jiggly over bumps” and the low-rolling-resistance tires inability to track straight during highway cruising.

You’ll Like

  • Generous standard tech features
  • Roomy cabin for five passengers
  • Tall seating provides a good view out of the car

You Won’t Like

  • Unsupportive seats
  • Limited cargo-carrying capability
  • Unstable during highway cruising

Key Competitors

  • Ford Focus Electric
  • Fiat 500e
  • Chevrolet Spark EV
  • Chevrolet Volt

Rating

[[2]]

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2014 Leaf Standard Equipment

Climate Control

  • Front Air Conditioning

Convenience

  • Compass
  • Cruise Control
  • Keyless Entry
  • Power Locks
  • Power Outlet(s)
  • Power Windows
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Trip Computer

Exterior

  • Rear Spoiler

Interior

  • Cup Holders
  • Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel
  • Premium Interior Trim

Safety

  • Brake Assist
  • Driver Air Bag
  • Engine Immobilizer
  • Parking Distance Control
  • Passenger Air Bag
  • Rear View Camera
  • Side Air Bag(s)
  • Theft Deterrent System
  • Traction Control

Seats

  • Folding Rear Seat
  • Heated Front Seats
  • Heated Rear Seats

Sound and Entertainment

  • Compact Disc MP3 Capable
  • Compact Disc Player
  • Satellite Radio

Technology

  • Blue Tooth Compatible
  • Navigation System
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