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Five Top Accessories and Modifications For Your 2011 Nissan Leaf

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The 2011 Nissan Leaf has now been for sale in certain U.S. markets for nine months -- just long enough for the accessories and aftermarket market to catch up and offer everything from custom wheels to body kits for Nissan’s first all-electric hatchback.  

We’ve already covered fan-run projects to reduce charging time and improve the Leaf’s range calculations -- but what about other accessories and modifications can you add to your Leaf to make your daily life that little better? 

Here’s our top five accessories and modifications we think no Nissan Leaf owner should be without. 

Apple iPhone or Android smartphone

Carwings -- Nissan’s on-board telecommunications system for the Leaf -- contains an onboard GPRS modem to enable you to remotely check the car’s state-of-charge, set remote cabin heating and even set its GPS unit to a new destination. 

But while you can visit the Carwings website to control your car from any modern Internet browser, we think the best way of keeping tabs on your Leaf is via the free iPhone and Android smartphone applications

Easy to use, and always in your pocket, it helps make sure you never have to worry about range anxiety -- or getting into a cold car -- ever again. 

Tinted windows

No -- tinted windows aren’t just for drug-dealers, movie stars and members of the mafia -- they can help reflect some of the sun’s heat to keep your car cool in hot weather. 

Keeping the interior cooler helps reduce the need to use the Leaf’s air-conditioning. In turn, of course, that will improve your car’s range. 

And of you’ve got a young family or pets, it also reduces glare and helps them sleep more easily in the car. 

Although the European specification Nissan Leaf comes complete with a moderate tint on the rear windows and hatch, the U.S. specification Leaf doesn’t. 

This is because certain states prohibit the use of window tinting if it means traffic cops can’t look into the car from outside -- so if you do want to tint your Leaf’s rear windows be sure to double-check the tint won’t cause you to fall foul of any local legislation. 

Get horny

Forgive us for saying so, but the 2011 Nissan Leaf doesn’t have a particularly loud -- or impressive horn. 

If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t mind a little DIY, a more effective horn can be placed from any local auto supplier, and switched out for your Leaf’s rather effeminate one. 

If you’re interested, be sure to check local law to make sure you’re not violating any code -- and follow this informative instructional on how to do the upgrade for yourself. 

Nissan Leaf Roof Rack

Nissan Leaf Roof Rack

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Roof rack

While the 2011 Nissan Leaf wasn’t designed as towing car, it can take lightweight items like bicycles and canoes with properly fitted roof bars. 

Yakima already stocks a complete set of roof racks and accessories to cover carrying a wide range of things on the roof of your Leaf -- but be warned, adding a roof rack will certainly increase aerodynamic drag and dramatically decrease your car’s range. 

But if you’re heading out for a weekend trip into the country with your Leaf, a removable roof rack might just give you that extra luggage space you need.

Cargo organizer

While we love the 2011 Nissan Leaf’s deep load bay, it isn’t shaped in a particularly practical way -- especially if you like carrying around cables for convenience charging. 

The large hump towards the rear of the load bay -- where the charger is located -- doesn’t help matters either, making the load bay floor anything but flat. 

The only official accessory we’ve got in this list, the load bay floor organizer effectively gives the Nissan Leaf a raised floor, complete with under-floor storage for nicknacks that shouldn’t be cluttering your trunk. 

Got any others?

If you’ve found a good aftermarket accessory for your 2011 Nissan Leaf, why not let us know in the Comments below.

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Comments (9)
  1. Hi Nikki
    Just to say - in the UK we used Thule roofbars, feet, roof box and have a Halfords cycle carrier. The specific feet adapter kit you need from Thule is 1633, the rest is standard stuff - we bought the aerodynamic bars - in the hope it would reduce drag a touch!!!
     
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  2. One upgrade that can give the interior a bit more style is dealer installed leather seating. My Nissan sales rep had it done to his demo Leaf, so I got a chance to see it before I did the upgrade. He had a single color, but I chose a two tone leather package and it gives the car a more sporty look/feel.
     
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  3. My first mod: swap out fog lights, running lights, and license plate lights for (reduced power consumption of lighting by 120 watts, or about 70% of consumption of the factory halogen bulbs).

    Second mod: tinted windows! (30% all around - max in state of Washington).

    Third mod: lightweight custom wheels (shaved abt 20 pounds off of total weight, not sure it increases range, but maybe a hair and looks nicer too).

    Next mod: lower the car 1 - 2"??? (want to improve looks, but really interested in whether this would positively affect aerodynamics).
     
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  4. Modify the Nissan brick to accept 240vac and 120vac so you can charge at full power using the portable unit;
    Change out the high beams with LEDs;
    Drop the trees and simplify the instrument panel;
    Replace the heavy lead battery/inverter 12vdc system;
    Move the charger and brake caps to recover some additional cargo space;
    Offer a darker interior;
    Construct the body out of lighter material;
    Remember this is an electronic product and as such I believe Nissan should build the Leaf to be upgraded as products are improved...especially the traction batteries.
     
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  5. This car badly needs something to improve its looks. The front end reminds me of a frog and the rear end, a dowdy fat old woman's butt. I like the available sea-foam green paint, though.
     
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  6. A stick-on LED light for the interior of the charge port is a must.
     
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  7. I would love to see someone come up with a range extender battery pack that would fit in the trunk (boot). figure the battery pack set up vertically across. Hooked up to the cooling system with some sort of creative way to cover them allowing for a flat truck space. Sure one would lose space back there but if I can increase the range by say 20 miles or more I don't mind!
     
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  8. I replaced all interior incandescent lamps with LED's to conserve power and extend the time one could leave a door open without running down the 12V SLA and rendering the car unable to start. I also replaced exterior running light lamps I could, with LED.

    Most significant aftermarket add on was waterproof seat covers from Wet Okole:

    http://www.wetokole.com/NISSAN.html
     
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  9. There is a tow hitch available from Torklift Central
    http://shop.tlcentral.com/Store/pc/orderComplete.asp?oid=1948
    and hitch mounted bicycle racks and cargo racks available every where. It's not very difficult to install and no drilling or welding required.
     
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