Taken in Lisbon, Portugal. Pre-Production Test.Enlarge Photo
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 LeafEnlarge Photo
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 RoutesEnlarge Photo