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USA: The Nissan Leaf Review: A Fun And Practical Electric Car For The Masses

If the road is smooth enough, you can hear birds chirping while you’re going 35 mph. With the windows up. The Nissan Leaf is that quiet. When going less than 30 mph there’s just a slight electric whine from the powertrain and above 45 mph the wheels produces a steady hum. But there’s this special spot between 30 and 45 where the two combine in a way that they cancel each other out and you find yourself moving along listening to Mother Nature’s soundtrack.

The Nissan Leaf has been in my life for the past week. I’ve put hundreds of miles on the tires and ate several meals behind the wheel while trying to figure her out. You see, as much as this pains me to say (more on that later) the Leaf is a real car. It doesn’t feel like a glorified golf cart or tool used just for transportation. It’s a car and with this comes quirks, flaws, but most importantly, a personality and soul.

The Leaf is without equal right now. Nowhere in the world is a vehicle that the Leaf could call a partner, or, if you will, competition. It’s currently the world’s only mass-produced electric vehicle. The Volt? It’s a different sort of vehicle, a hybrid really, that does have an EV mode but it’s limited to 40 miles on electric-only and a gas-powered engine kicks on to power the electric motor after it dies. Tesla? Sure, the Roadster is long range EV, but comes with a price tag north of $100k and a long waiting list. The Leaf is the only choice right now for buyers looking to ditch gasoline entirely while not sacrificing standard creature comforts or cargo room.
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