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2012 Nissan LEAF Price, Review, Specs

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2012 Nissan LEAF Price, Review, Specs, what car reviews, The LEAF is Nissan’s all-new electric hatchback that seats five adults and offers a driving range of more than 100 miles. Nissan describes the LEAF as the first medium-size practical electric vehicle that is affordable and motorists will want to use every day. The distinctive front-end styling of the LEAF features a sharp upright V-shaped design with long LED headlights that reflect blue and consume less energy than conventional headlights.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Nissan Leaf is an all-electric four-door hatchback available in SV and SL trim levels.

Standard equipment on the SV includes 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlamps, heated exterior mirrors, a battery heater, keyless ignition/entry, full power accessories, cruise control, automatic climate control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a heated tilt-only steering wheel, heated front and rear seats and 60/40-split-folding rear seats. Also included are cloth upholstery made from recycled materials, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth, an advanced trip computer, a navigation system and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.

The Leaf SL adds a spoiler-mounted solar panel, automatic headlamps, foglamps, a rearview camera and a cargo cover, along with a quick-charge port that facilitates charging to 80 percent capacity in 30 minutes at high-voltage public charging stations.

Every Leaf comes standard with Nissan Connection, a remote vehicle access system that reports battery recharging data and can activate the climate control via a cell phone. A home-charging station is optional.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2012 Nissan Leaf is powered by an 80-kilowatt electric motor (107 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque) fed by a 24 kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

The EPA estimates a driving range of 73 miles, but real-world range may vary and depends on driving style, traffic conditions, cruising speed and battery age. In fact, even ambient temperature plays a role in determining cruising range, because extreme temperatures are detrimental for battery performance. The EPA has given the Leaf an energy efficiency equivalent rating (MPGe) of 106 mpg city/92 mpg highway and 99 mpg combined.

Safety

The 2012 Nissan Leaf comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. A rearview camera is optional on the SL. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Leaf its highest rating of “Good” in frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Leaf’s battery pack is located under the floor beneath the seats. This space-efficient placement is partially responsible for the car’s roomy rear seats, which provide comfortable accommodation for adults. There’s no shortage of headroom in the first row, though taller drivers may find their legs a little crunched. The cargo area is on the small side for a hatchback, however, and even when you fold the rear seats, the cargo floor is not flat.

A split-level instrument cluster dominates the cabin. The center control panel features a touchscreen, which controls the standard navigation system and shows special displays for things like cruising range and energy efficiency readouts. You can even program the start time for the recharging system to take advantage of lower electricity rates. Interior quality is about the same as that of other compact cars, but overall fit and finish is noticeably a cut above.

Driving Impressions

If you’ve driven a hybrid, you know how silent they are in electric-only mode. The 2012 Nissan Leaf cruises with this kind of serenity at all times, with only a vague high-pitched whine detectable under heavy throttle. Even the high-pitched noise the Leaf generates to alert pedestrians at low speeds is largely undetectable in the cabin. The downside is that wind and road noise are more noticeable at highway speeds, but overall the Leaf is impressively quiet.

As an electric car, the Leaf offers abundant torque. Acceleration is brisk from the first tap of the throttle, and the car gets up to speed with little fuss — this Nissan certainly shines as an urban runabout. Press on the brake and the pedal is firm and sure, without the sort of strange, vague feel indicative of most regenerative braking systems.

With its battery pack mounted low in the body and a well-tuned electric power steering system, we’ve been pleasantly surprised by how well the Leaf takes turns. Its responsiveness is typical of that seen in other well-engineered compact family cars, and in most ways the Leaf feels pretty normal to drive.

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2012 Nissan LEAF Specs and Price :

4dr HB SV

Specs :
* Transmission: Automatic
* Drivetrain: Front Wheel Drive
* MPG: NA
* Engine: Electric
* Horsepower: 107 @ – TBD -
* Torque: 207 @ – TBD -

Price :
* MSRP: $35,200
* Invoice: $33,707
* Nat’l Avg. Paid: $36,190

4dr HB SL

Specs :
* Transmission: Automatic
* Drivetrain: Front Wheel Drive
* MPG: NA
* Engine: Electric
* Horsepower: 107 @ – TBD -
* Torque: 207 @ – TBD -

Price :
* MSRP: $37,250
* Invoice: $35,668
* Nat’l Avg. Paid: $38,245

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