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2018 Nissan Leaf review

2018 Nissan LEAF
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2018 Nissan Leaf interior

There are nods to its EV-ness and heritage inside the Leaf’s cabin with blue stitching throughout on seats as well as the blue illuminated vehicle start/stop button and shift knob finisher. Most of the rest of the interior design is directly in line with other vehicles in the Nissan lineup and isn’t distinctly unique to the Leaf like the Bolt’s interior is unique to it.

Unlike Tesla models, the Leaf’s driver information displays aren’t all digital. There’s an analogue speedometer alongside the 7-inch color transistor display that shows a power gauge meter by default but can be changed to showcase the usual run of vehicle information.

At the center of the car’s dashboard is a responsive 7-inch color touch screen with all the usual accompanying functionality including available navigation. The Nissan infotainment operating system isn’t as clean as similar systems from other manufacturers and the navigation system is visually outdated.

Knobs and buttons are conveniently placed though some have the feeling of cost effectiveness and weight savings over durability. The controls on the D-shaped steering wheel are easy to use and the car’s ProPILOT Assist technology is quickly activated using one button close to where your hands naturally rest on the wheel.

Soft touch surfaces abound throughout the cabin and appear durable and easy to clean. The leather seats of the four-seater model I test drove were not very comfortable after a few hours in the car, something atypical for a Nissan vehicle. I found the back seats similarly hard.

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Eileen Falkenberg-Hull
Eileen is the writer of the nationally syndicated column Automotive Minute in The Business Journals, which explores the automotive industry focusing on news, reviews, and interviews. She loves finding out about the business strategy, design, and drivability of vehicles. Eileen is a contributor to U.S. News & World Report Best Cars.