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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