2013 Nissan LeafEnlarge Photo
Back in December 2010, an unassuming compact hatchback hit the Japanese and American markets.
A new small Nissan isn't normally the cause for fanfares and celebration, but the LEAF is one of the most significant cars of recent years--as it's a competitive, usable electric car.
Whether you love or hate the LEAF, it's playing a part in both turning electric cars into a mainstream product, and showing that a large car company really can put an electric vehicle into mass production.
We've been covering the LEAF since its early days, and we've now brought together a guide that covers all aspects of the car, from pre-launch to the experiences of owners, two years down the line.
LEAF basics: Driving the LEAF
So what is the Nissan Leaf? Put simply, it's a five-door, five-seat hatchback which sits in the compact class, next to conventionally-powered rivals like the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic.
It uses a 24 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, which feeds power to an 80 kilowatt (110-horsepower) and 210 pound-foot electric motor. Official performance data is hard to come by, but the benchmark 0-60mph sprint has been variously recorded between 10 and 12 seconds, and top speed is around 90 mph. Official EPA range is estimated at 75 miles for the 2013 car, and 115 MPGe.
Pricing starts at $29,650 for the 2013 Leaf, including a mandatory $850 delivery fee.
We've also driven the Leaf on several occasions here at Green Car Reports, and you can click through our experiences below:
The 2011 Nissan Leaf has also been a previous nominee--and winner--of Green Car Reports' Best Car To Buy
Finally, Nissan has just announced a few small changes to the Leaf for the 2014 model year--you can read about those changes here.