Those who know me, will be aware that I’m not keen on fancy cars. Motorcycles are my preference and “cages” are a necessity. Subject to modern reliability, I am not ashamed to fit into the dull category, when it comes to 4 wheels.
But the Nissan Leaf beckoned with a tinge of excitement. Although I was initially attracted by the exciting prospect of passing petrol stations, it was the NOISE or lack of it that hooked me! It is evident immediately and applies to all functions.
As you approach, the proximity key senses your identity and activates a button on the Nissan Leaf door handle. After depressing on either driver or passenger side the central locking is released and it’s more Bentley-like than Golf!
Once comfortably seated there is a glowing light to power on. A simple press and you are greeted by a rich polyphonic tune as the illuminated dash and motor come to life. Once running, it is silent to my ears but maybe that’s too much motorcycling!
It pulls away briskly and you can hear a faint whirring similar to a distant jet igniting to tick over. It’s parallel to being in the countryside, miles from roads. Tranquillity is what it emits! My homebound journey is 45 minutes shorter than the usually 3 quarters of an hour (if you understand what I mean). It resembles wafting along in a totally muted Rolls Royce, even the tyres are dumbed.
That’s it, the Nissan Leaf is a mute! The headlights are patented to sweep airflow over the folding heated mirrors. The rain sensing wiper motors were specially designed for the Nissan Leaf because traditionally ones are too obviously noisy.
The stereo, Bluetooth hands-free, Satellite navigation and voice commands are audibly superior to any I have experienced. The audio is pure with a luxurious quality. When using the iPod port it is high fidelity and fills the cockpit. Even when switched off, the satnav warns of approaching speed cameras in the politest way possible.
When tinkling around town with the windows down you can catch snippets of pedestrians’ conversations. Such is the silence of the Nissan Leaf. I love it’s sereneness and it’s waft-o-matic qualities.
Will the economics stack up? Only the future will tell. There is; zero benefit in kind tax, no road fund license charge, cheap fuel and sub £100 servicing. A £27,000 vehicle is a lot (unless it’s a stunning motorbike) and the batteries won’t live forever. The prominent motoring hit is that of depreciation but who can predict that.
Meanwhile, I’ve put £27k on green and I am loving it whilst awaiting the financial results. Telecoms is a competitive business and we have to keep our costs down.
I’m not Jeremy Clarkson but it is my true perspective and I hope it helps cut through the usual PR propaganda.