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Road Test

Nissan Leaf Tekna Driven

Driven December 2013

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Yes, we've driven this car already, but as TGTV viewers will know, the real test of any EV is living with it for a while. Last year, we ran a long-term Nissan Leaf and were pleasantly surprised at its suitability as an urban commuter.

Our old long-termer never got above a real-world range of around 80 miles against claims of 110 miles. This new generation range-topping Tekna (along with the mid-range Acenta) loses weight, has a more efficient heating system and improves the regenerative braking to bump up claimed range to 124 miles. And with a new 6.6kW charger, it now takes just four hours (rather than eight) to fully charge if you install a 32-amp home socket.

The real-life-to-claim ratio on the new car seems about the same as before - you should get 100 miles with careful driving. The braking system under the new B mode is a big improvement: it was actually possible to complete a five-mile commute with more indicated range than when I left.

While Nissan deserves credit for bringing usable electric cars to the mass market, there's a new act in town. Head to p136 to read all about the EV that stole this year's Frankfurt motorshow and is not far off the Tekna in price. The BMW i3 is already making the improved Leaf look dated.

Chris Mooney

Verdict: Time around the traffic-choked TG office confirms the Leaf has made progress - but saving up for a BMW i3 is now an option...

Stats: 80kW electric, FWD, 109bhp, 206lb ft, 124 miles range, 0g/km CO2, 0-62mph in 11.5secs, 87mph, 1541kg, £25,490

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