Does the 2011 Nissan Leaf Deliver Its 100 Miles Of All-Electric Range?

Follow Nikki

Taken in Lisbon, Portugal. Pre-Production Test.

Taken in Lisbon, Portugal. Pre-Production Test.

Enlarge Photo
Your Mileage May Vary. One of the terms banded about time and time again by automakers as a justification for why your car doesn’t get the fuel economy it says your car should. The reason? Fuel economy is affected by many different variables, from the mood of the driver to the weather, tire condition and even the type of shoes the driver is wearing. 

The official EPA figures for the 2011 Nissan Leaf haven’t been released yet, and while Nissan has been open about the expected variances in range between optimal driving conditions and poor driving conditions after a series of computer simulations, we had one burning question. 

Does the 2011 Nissan Leaf get 100 miles to a charge, or is the list range something only elite hypermiling ninjas can achieve?

So when Nissan Europe invited us to Portugal to test-drive the closest example to a production version of the car we’ve seen, we jumped at the chance. 

2011 Nissan Leaf

2011 Nissan Leaf

Enlarge Photo
The car we drove, in a brilliant white, was made as part of the production test-run in Oppama, Japan. While these vehicles will never see life beyond the Nissan press corp, the vehicle we drove was as close to the cars which started rolling off the production line last week as we’ve seen so far. 

While the European 2011 Nissan Leaf is only offered in one trim level, the car we drove was comparable to the SL trim option for the U.S. market, with solar panel, fast-charge port, fog lights, rear-view camera and automatic headlights. 

Setting out on one of the three routes Nissan Europe had pre-programmed into our car, we soon discovered that even in Eco mode, the 2011 Nissan Leaf could easily keep up with traffic. Our goal: to drive as we would in an everyday situation to see if Nissan’s claim of a 100 mile range was realistic. 

While most of the trip would be in the car’s “Eco” mode, we vowed to keep up with traffic, not break the speed limit and to only use the car’s additional electrical systems when we needed to. 

Being a European car, the odometer and speedometer read in kilometres instead of miles so our target figure for range was 161km.  Throughout the trip we aimed to keep the odometer plus indicated remaining range as close to that figure as possible.

2011 Nissan Leaf European Test Routes

2011 Nissan Leaf European Test Routes

Enlarge Photo
Heading west out of Lisbon and into the country, our first demo route rose up into the hills north of the seaside town of Cascais before returning back to Lisbon with fast freeway driving.  While our trip west was on roads limited to no more than 50 mph, the return loop allowed us to push the Leaf at freeway speeds, with our co-driver keeping up with traffic at speeds exceeding 75 mph. 

 
Follow Us

Commenting is closed for this article

Take Us With You!

 

Get FREE Dealer Quotes

From dealers near you
Go!

Find Green Cars

Go!


 
© 2015 Green Car Reports. All Rights Reserved. Green Car Reports is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by izmo, Inc.. Read Our Cookie Policy