Nissan Leaf features improvements, bigger battery pack in some models.

Nissan Leaf features improvements, bigger battery pack in some models.
Nissan Leaf features improvements, bigger battery pack in some models.
Nissan Leaf

This year’s Nissan Leaf gets a plethora of improvements including a bigger battery pack and connectivity upgrades on all but the base trim.

While riding around in the 2016 Leaf, you’ll notice its long list of features as well as a serene, quiet cabin with a spacious rear seat.

Some of the mentioned interior features of the 2016 Nissan Leaf SL we test drove are the following: Nissan voice recognition, Bluetooth for call and audio streaming, HVAC Timer to preheat or precool the cabin, NissanConnect with Navigation, seven-inch color display with multi-touch control, USB, Hands-Free text messaging assistant, Nissan Intelligent Key with charge port, RearView monitor, 60/40 split folding rear seats, Homelink Universal Transcelver, and leather- appointed seating. The SL is one of three trims, which also include the S and the SV.

Being one of the first mass-produced all-electric hatchbacks on the market, the Nissan Leaf has been a pioneer since its introduction in 2011. Despite the genesis of several other electric options, the Leaf has remained a heavy competitor by being ahead of the curve. For example, this year the Leaf’s SV and SL trim levels now come standard with a higher-capacity, 30.0-kWh battery pack that replaces the 24.0-kWh battery, which is still offered on the base Leaf S. The 30.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pumps out 187 pound-feet of torque and is capable of 107 horsepower.

This new and larger battery improves the very respectable 84 MPGe capacity to a more impressive 107 MPGe — a welcomed change anyone can appreciate. However, after driving the leaf both through the city streets and on the highway, it is not unreasonable to guess that if you’re riding around town at lower speeds, the Leaf may be capable of providing an even higher mileage than 107 MPGe.

Despite its compact design, sitting in the 2016 Nissan Leaf is comfortable in both the front and back rows, providing enough space for most adults. On the dash, the Leaf boasts three screens that provide lots of information such as distance to empty, a power meter that shows how heavily you’re pressing on the accelerator pedal, and more.

A unique feature of the Leaf’s display is that the digital speedometer is placed at the top of the dash in front of the driver for optimal visibility which is quite convenient when driving through residential areas with strict speed limits. The Leaf’s interior design is modern and very simple, and makes great use of a compact space.

For 2016 Nissan revised the eco-friendly and fuel-friendly Leaf providing a bigger battery and a long list of cool features. Despite its smaller scale, Nissan has designed the leaf intelligently, making the best use of its space and allows for adequate room in both the front and back rows. Its simple, modern design would appeal to most. However, the most appealing feature of the 2016 Nissan Leaf most definitely is its fuel efficiency.

With some trims capable of 107 MPGe, the 2016 Nissan Leaf will not only save you a pretty penny on gas and energy but is also a much more eco- friendly alternative to your average gas- powered car.

The MSRP for the 2016 Nissan Leaf SL is $36,790.

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