After inviting hundreds of people to Japan to check out the production-ready Leaf electric vehicle, Nissan has begun a much smaller effort in launch markets in the U.S., thus far conducting test drives in San Diego and Los Angeles, California.
I managed to snag a last-minute slot in the latter, figuring I'd mostly confirm my initial impressions gleaned from tooling around Dodger Stadium's parking lot in a prototype last December. I did and I didn't. There are plenty of reviews around the Leaf as a car; John O'Dell has a pretty comprehensive one here. And it's just as well, because, while Nissan let me behind the wheel for about half an hour, morning traffic precluded me from going much over 50 miles per hour.
That's enough to concur with much of what has been said so far – the car is quiet and peppy, manages hills with little effort and has a nicely balanced suspension that is both smooth and comfortable while being responsive around corners and negotiating traffic. All of this was suggested in my drive of the Versa version, and confirmed in the actual Leaf... READ MORE