Ranging in price from $27,700 to $35,200, the 2012 Nissan Leaf will save you tons of money, even after purchase. The reason is that this small-size sedan is 100% electrically powered. Think of all the money you’ll save simply by plugging your car in to an electrical outlet. Nissan also offers SUNPOWER with the Leaf, which essentially entails having solar panels installed on the roof of your garage, which will save you loads of cash in the long run by having the car charger completely solar powered. Additionally, unlike many electric cars currently on the market, the Nissan Leaf is able to travel up to 100 miles between charges. With a top speed of 90 MPH, the Leaf is well ahead of the competition. Most other electric cars have top speed of around 35 MPH, give or take. Don’t worry about taking road trips either, as Nissan has over 100 locations nationwide, where you can stop and recharge the Leaf. Most of the locations are in California, Washington, Florida, New York, Tennessee, Michigan and Illinois, with other scattered throughout the United States.
The Nissan Leaf has been awarded the 2011 World Car of the Year, Kelley Blue Book’s Green Car, Ward’s Ten Best Engines, a 5-Star Overall Safety Rating, Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award and the IIHS Safety Award. With so many accolades, potential consumers can rest assured that almost nothing about this little car will disappoint. Furthermore, with absolutely zero – yes zero – smog emissions, the Leaf lives up to its green reputation.
The engine is an 80 kW AC synchronous engine, with a 24 kWh lithium-ion battery, that comes with a 3.3 kW portable charger and charging cable. The 2012 Leaf has an independent front suspension with a stabilizer bar, while the rear suspension is composed of a torsion bar rear axle with a stabilizer bar as well. All this makes for an incredibly smooth and comfortable ride.
On the inside, the Leaf can surprisingly accommodate up to 5 adults, including the driver, while providing heated seats to each and every passenger – yes, even the backseat passengers. For those frigid, hand-numbing days, the three-spoke steering wheel is also heated. The seats are composed of partially recycled cloth material that provides optimum comfort, while reminding you that nearly everything about this car is green. The keyless push-button ignition makes starting the car that much easier, while the Bluetooth capabilities ensure that you’ll never have to stick one of those uncomfortable earpieces in the side of your head. With the 60/40 rear seat split, the Leaf has an surprising 14.5 cubic feet of cargo space.
While many may dub this electric car as a “girl car” the fact of the matter is that this is a “green car,” suitable for nearly anyone of average size. The exterior design actually gives the Leaf a somewhat sporty design with lots of flare. The LED headlights not only fully illuminate the road ahead, but also conserve as much power as possible – like most features on the Leaf.
If you’re looking for a fuel-efficient car that simply won’t let you down, then get that macho ego out of the room for a second and take a long, hard look at the 2012 Nissan Leaf.