Why the All-Electric 2018 Nissan Leaf Feels Good All Over

A Girls Guide To Cars | Why The All-Electric 2018 Nissan Leaf Feels Good All Over - 01Nissanleaf 1519Web
The All-Electric 2018 Nissan Leaf. Photo: Kymri Wilt

Feel Good Driving in the 2018 Nissan Leaf

As a hybrid vehicle driver for 10 years, I’ve been excited to watch the automotive industry move away from fossil fuels and develop vehicles using alternative fuel sources. Every year, more and more automobile brands are expanding their fleets to include hybrid and electric models, and that’s good news. With Nissan, the all-electric 2018 Leaf is more than good news, it’s also “feel good” news!

There are so many things that make driving the 2018 Nissan Leaf feel so good. Gas-free, emissions-free, stress-free, and sometimes even hands-free, it’s liberating in so many aspects. The fewer things you have to worry about as a driver, the better the drive experience.

While an all-electric vehicle may seem like a huge switch, the 2018 Nissan Leaf feels strikingly familiar. Placement of controls is intuitive and the dashboard makes sense, resulting in a seamless transition to electric driving. When I fastened my seatbelt, adjusted my mirrors and turned the car on, I pulled off and drove away like I’d been driving this car my whole life! It was that easy, and easy feels good.

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The All-Electric 2018 Nissan Leaf emerges in full color and style! Photo: Kymri Wilt

Feel Good Charging and Pricing

The 2018 Nissan Leaf features a 40kWh battery producing a fully charged range of 150 miles, a 40% improvement over the previous model. With a starting MSRP of $29,900, it offers the greatest range for an all-electric vehicle priced under $30,000. The base model (Leaf S) includes a 6.6kW onboard charger. The Leaf SV ($32,490) adds a quick charge port. The Leaf SL ($36,200) provides a Level1/Level 2 charge cable allowing you to charge at either 120V or 240V.  There’s no additional need to hardwire for 240V at a home. With quick charging, the same 30 minutes of charging yields an increased range of 88 miles.

While most of California (where I live and drive) has adequate charging infrastructure, the stress of worrying about making it to the next station is quelled by having at-home and portable charging options. So really, it’s no more of a worry than knowing when to fill a gas tank. Plus, the voice-activated NissanConnect Navigation can locate and display nearest charging stations on your route!

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Feeling Good All Over with the 2018 Nissan Leaf!

Feel Good Features that are Simply Amazing: E-Pedal and ProPILOT Assist

Discover the E-Pedal

The 2018 Nissan Leaf is equipped with standard accelerator and brake pedals, so you decide when you want to use the e-pedal. A switch in the center console is right at hand, and the dashboard indicates when it is in use.

In e-pedal mode, basically, you increase or decrease the pressure applied to the accelerator pedal to accelerate, decelerate, stop and hold. There is no need to switch to the brake pedal to stop, and you can easily control your braking speed by the way you ease up on the pedal. Regenerative braking applies automatically, and the car will come to a complete stop and hold, even on a slope. I thought it would be abruptly noticeable when I switched to e-pedal, but not even my passengers could tell the difference. My only concern with the e-pedal is wanting to know when the brake lights kick in, I wished for an indicator on the display.


See if you can tell any difference in my live-streamed e-pedal drive video here, which also shows where the e-pedal switch is and the dashboard display.

ProPILOT Assist Has Your Back

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Dashboard Display with ProPILOT Assist engaged. Photo: Kymri Wilt

ProPILOT Assist is a welcome introduction to the future of stress-less driving. ProPILOT Assist combines an enhanced version of Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) with Steering Assistance. Steering Assistance only engages when the system detects clear lane markings. In addition to maintaining a speed set by the driver, the ICC maintains a gap with the vehicle ahead and slows to a stop in traffic jams.

The safety aspect is important as this is NOT a self-driving feature, so the driver’s hands must remain on the wheel. A hands-on detection alert activates approximately 5-10 seconds if driver’s hands leave the wheel, providing both visual and acoustic warnings. At any time the driver can override the system by using turn signal, changing lanes, or applying pressure on either the brake or accelerator pedal. ProPILOT Assist is only recommended for freeway and highway driving, where lanes are clearly marked. It is easily set and adjusted with a button on the steering wheel.


Watch the ProPILOT in action during my test drive.

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Parking is stress-free in the 2018 Nissan Leaf. Photo: Kymri Wilt

Feel Good Practicality and Safety for Everyday Driving

I’d noticed at my daughter’s high school, there were at least three Nissan Leafs being driven by newly-licensed drivers. That is a good indication of attractive pricing and safety features when considering a first car. The available safety features include:

  • Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Blind spot warning
  • An available Intelligent Around View Monitor, a 4-camera virtual composite birds-eye view.

These translate to stress-free parking at school and shops.

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The layered blue grill is just one stylish accent of the 2018 Nissan Leaf. Photo: Kymri Wilt

The 4-door 2018 Nissan Leaf is roomy, comfortable and stylish, with a floating roofline and electric blue accents. The rear seats fold down in a 60/40 split, revealing a low rear cargo floor.  There is plenty of room for bags, bike and surfboard! It’s a great user-friendly choice for daily school commuting and weekend getaways, and a perfect first car for the next generation of clean drivers!

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A quiet electric drive to better enjoy the sounds around in the 2018 Nissan Leaf. Photo: Kymri Wilt

Disclosure: I was Nissan’s guest for this test drive; travel and accommodations were provided by all opinions are my own.

Based in Cardiff by the Sea, California, Kymri is a freelance travel photographer, writer, and videographer. Between travels, she... More about Kymri WIlt