Nissan Leaf interior & comfort

The Nissan Leaf's interior is quite conventional in appearance, but material quality is a little hit-and-miss

Unlike some other electric models – step forward the Toyota Prius – the Nissan Leaf is fairly conservatively designed inside. That means there are few sweeping lines and neon-lit panels, which will please buyers trading up from regular hatchbacks.

Nissan Leaf dashboard

Although the Leaf is conventional inside, there are still some neat design touches, such as a number of blue accents and flashes to highlight the electric nature of the car.

The infotainment screen is of a size and shape commonly found in other cars, rather than a huge tablet-style display. There’s a digital screen that displays a conventional dial alongside other information, but technology fans may be a little disappointed. Those seeking a dose of familiarity won’t, though.

Things get a little more mixed when look at the materials used. Most of the parts you’ll frequently touch feel tactile, but run your hand across the top of the dashboard or along the top of the door panels and it feels surprisingly low-rent, given the asking price.

Equipment, options & accessories

The Nissan Leaf range includes four trim levels: Visia, Acenta, N-Connecta and Tekna.

The Visia offers a seven-inch TFT screen, air-conditioning, automatic wipers, headlights and cruise control with a speed limiter. However, with alloy wheels, a faster-acting heater, adaptive cruise control, a parking camera and the Nissan Connect EV 7 infotainment system, the Acenta trim is the real jumping-off point.

From there, the N-Connecta adds larger alloy wheels, folding mirrors, part-synthetic leather seats and Nissan’s Intelligent Around View Monitor, which includes various object detection and driver drowsiness warning functions.

Tekna adds ProPilot self-driving technology, leather upholstery, LED headlights, a Bose stereo upgrade, heated seats and a heated steering wheel.

The choice of options depends largely on the trim you go for. Some of the standard features on the next model up are optional on the one below, but a space-saver spare wheel is a must-have extra on all models.

Infotainment, apps & sat nav

The Nissan Connect EV system, standard on Acenta trim and above, is a well thought-out piece of technology, allowing you to plot a route that takes in public charging stations on the way. In addition, it features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, making Google or Apple Maps and audio streaming easy.

The standard stereo is perfectly adequate, but the Bose upgrade will please keener ears. Smartphone users will enjoy the NissanConnect EV app, which provides a range of services. It allows you to check the car’s battery charge, remotely start the charging and even set the air-conditioning. Other features include a car location service to prevent you losing your car in the car park, and a route planner. It’s all useful stuff, but the app can be slow to operate, which is a shame.