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Engine options, speed, acceleration and refinement

As a result of its ranks of lithium ion batteries, the Nissan Leaf is heavier than its combustion-engined equivalents by some 200kg.

But in reality this doesn’t hamper the Leaf’s ability to work as comfortable and pleasant transport. Having the batteries mounted under the boot floor hasn’t eradicated the sense of weight, but in general use the soft suspension isolates occupants well. There is more body roll than you get in most conventional hatches, but that roll is quite progressive.

The immediate torque and predictable power delivery makes the Leaf one of the best urban commuters around

Handling is similarly decent, but the defining characteristic is the steering. Very light and linear, it suits urban use perfectly, but it is devoid of feel and, with 3.3 turns lock to lock, a touch more steering input is needed at higher speeds than most would want.