When I got into the Nissan LEAFfor a true extended test drive here in southern California, I had a pretty good sense of what to expect: A quiet ride, good acceleration, and overall an enjoyable drive.
I was wrong.
The LEAF delivered a far more spirited ride than I was expecting. It's not perfect, and I'll tell you what I didn't like in just a bit, but overall it's a car most people will enjoy driving.
I took the LEAF out for a two-hour drive north of Los Angeles on Monday morning.
Like all electric cars, the instant torque and acceleration immediately stand out. The LEAF zips in and out of traffic easily and actually makes maneuvering in congested areas less of a chore. On the highway, you can pass other cars with ease. The handling was better than I expected for a compact car. Is it the equivalent of a refined sports car? No. That said the handling and acceleration of the LEAF will more than please the first wave of buyers.
The LEAF interior is spacious, but not spectacular.