The 2016 Nissan Leaf electric car gets a few notable changes, chief among them a larger battery pack that provides a longer travel range.
That optional 30-kilowatt-hour pack boosts EPA-rated range from 84 miles to 107 miles.
But greater range may be the only significant difference in the way the updated Leaf drives.
While Nissan apparently isn't planning a media event for the 2016 Leaf in the U.S., several U.K. outlets have already driven the car.
And the consensus seems to be that while the Leaf has more range, it's no more exciting to drive than it was before.
The 2016 Leaf's extra range is useful, but "whether it'll convert the electric skeptic is debatable," wrote Auto Express.
2016 Nissan Leaf
The British magazine said the Leaf still remains "fairly average, with a bland driving experience and a slightly insipid cabin."
It nonetheless praised the Leaf's quietness, "well-mannered" chassis setup, and the instant torque from the car's electric motor--all qualities that carry over from previous years.
There was also some praise for the updated infotainment system, which was deemed more intuitive.
The reviewer also criticized the fact that the 30-kWh pack is only available in the upper two Leaf trim levels (it's the same here in the U.S.), effectively raising the cost of the extra range by requiring additional features to be purchased at the same time.
There were similar comments from green-car-focused Transport Evolved.
While the added range was appreciated, the 2016 Leaf drove exactly like previous versions, according to the reviewer.
2016 Nissan Leaf
"If you don't love the current Leaf? Don't expect the new one to change your mind," the reviewer concluded.
However, the reviewer also theorized that the larger battery pack could attract more potential buyers who may have previously been turned off by range anxiety.
The 107-mile Nissan Leaf should arrive in U.S. showrooms later this month, priced from $35,090 for the Leaf SV, and $37,640 for the Leaf SL.
The base Leaf S retains the old 24-kWh battery pack, with 84 miles of range and a starting price of $28,060 (all prices included destination).
A redesigned second-generation Leaf is expected to launch in 2017 or 2018 with more substantial changes--including perhaps up to 200 miles of range.