Nissan LEAF: Automobile of the Future

Auto Channel review of LEAF electric car, includes video.

Published: 24-Jan-2011

This is a nice looking vehicle with smooth aerodynamic design surfaces that start from the low, compact hood, moves through the sides and on toward the large rear spoiler. The Leaf’s exterior styling statement begins with a sharp, upright V-shaped design featuring up-slanting LED headlights which split and redirect airflow away from the door mirrors, reducing wind noise and drag. In the rear, the slim-type aerodynamic LED taillight design combine with the aerodynamic muffler-less rear bumper with rear diffuser to manage the aerodynamics of the rear end without compromising rear interior roominess.

To add aerodynamics and reduce noise the Leaf has a flat underbody cover to manage airflow under the vehicle. An vortex-shedding roof-mounted antenna is utilized to help reduce wind noise. Other noise reduction features include a quiet-operation windshield wiper motor, a sound insulation windshield design and a dual-isolated motor-mounting system.

Interior Design, Space and Materials
For a relatively small car the Nissan Leaf is surprisingly roomy and actually quite good looking in a high-tech, utilitarian manner. The front bucket seats are comfortable as are 60/40 split folding rear seat with not too much leg room. The seat fabric is made with partially recycled materials. Recycled materials are also used for the back door trim, roof trim and headliner, carpeting and a number of other interior pieces such as the door panels and center console storage cover. Only one interior color is offered at the present time, Light Gray.

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