ChargedUp: Nissan Leaf Tekna (2013)

Following on from the QuickCharge videos where Nikki and Mark gave their initial views of the 2013 Nissan Leaf Tekna, this is the ChargedUp review where they give their final impressions having lived with the car for a week.

Find out what they thought here:

It could be argued that the Leaf is the ‘standard’ fully electric car. It’s the car that many people go to first when thinking about making the move to electric. However, with other manufacturers coming out with competitors, can Nissan hold on to their market share?

The 2013 model year Leaf has some changes from the ‘old’ 2011 version. Now being made in Sunderland in the UK, the Leaf’s styling became more European alongside some tweaks to how the car handles to better fit the expectations of UK drivers.

The Tekna spec level is Nissan’s all-out ‘stuff every gadget in’ model for the Leaf. Some of the more interesting features of the car are:

  • A heat pump based heating system.
  • Heated leather steering wheel.
  • Heated leather seats – both front and back.
  • All around driving camera.
  • A Bose eco sound system.

This is all on top of a slight range increase taking its NEDC range from 109 miles on the 2011 model to 120 miles. While it would be very difficult to achieve this in the  real world, this does represent a real-life increase in range of around 10%.

This has been achieved by a small change to styling allowing for a more streamlined car, but also through subtle changes to the cars driving profile: The 2013 model being slightly slower from a standing start, however this is barely noticeable and the car still feels sprightly in and around town and has no problems showing up boy-racers, cocky BMW drivers and white van men when the lights turn green.

Both Nikki and Mark found it hard to reconcile the extra technology in the Tekna with the increase in price over the base model or even the mid-level Acenta (which wasn’t tested). The gadgets were ‘nice’ but didn’t always feel like they were worth the extra money.

Mark hedged his bets in the end, saying he would give the Tekna 8/10 if he was in the position of not having to worry about money. This not being the case, he quickly revised his score down to 7/10 commenting that ‘if you are worried about pushing yourself to spend the extra just to get the bells and whistles on  this car, I would advise you to go with the lower spec’ed car which is just as fun’.

Nikki gave the car 7/10. Pointing to the heated leather steering wheel and seats as her ‘number 1 like’ in the car but said that she’d be “happy with the heated seats and wheel without everything else.”

What do you think of the 2013 Leaf Tekna? Let us know below.


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  • Richard Glover

    I watched Robert L in the Leaf over and over until I was annoyed with myself and went to Colchester just to see it. Then of course I had to have a test drive.nnHad to have the car but it was not easy to commit myself. The best way I can describe the feeling isu2026it was like proposing.nnAnyway what I do maintain is that I am very pleased I had just one choice as I had missed out on a black ex demo and now was being offered one in blue (is it a collectoru2019s car now in blue?).nnIf I was a potential ev owner now, how many could I propose to? nnI think Nissan should have kept it simple, one spec., one trim.

    • Mark Chatterley

      The BMW/Tesla model seems to work. nn”Here is the car. Now, what options do you want?”nnPut the customer in control.

  • Richard Glover

    Hello Mark, yes thatu2019s good for BMW and Tesla but I donu2019t see why Nissan who are already ahead of the game should follow them.nnMy point is that it is not easy to take the plunge and go electric and now its got more difficult, becauseu2026nna) How many permutations there are for a Leaf salesman to offer?nnb) How many of the 100 improvements over Gen.1 does the bottom spec. Leaf give you? andnnc) Would I get better value for money buying a second-hand Gen.1? nnNissan should have said u201cHere is the 2013 Leaf, we have made 100 improvements and it is now produced in the UK. What colour would you like?u201dnnI would have everything bar the leather as in the summer I would not want to blast the car with cold air before I could sit down.