Home editor's blog on evs & phevs USA Today: LEAF a good car - but it's 'ugggggly'

USA Today: LEAF a good car - but it's 'ugggggly'

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leaf-usa-todayeditors-blog-entry3USA Today gives the Nissan LEAF the thumbs up in an extensive review of the all-electric car in the Money Section of its current weekend edition (Sept. 17-Sept. 19, 2010).

Among other things, USA Today writer James R. Healy praises the LEAF’s roominess, its quickness in traffic, and its “sophistication”.

Poll: Ugly LEAF?

Is the Nissan LEAF ugly?
 

However, while Healy’s review is generally very positive, he does find some problems with the LEAF. He criticizes the LEAF’s steering as well as what he says is a “tippy feel” when it corners.

In addition, says Healy, the LEAF will be a second or third car for most people.

On this, I think he’s spot on. Of course, I’m willing to proven wrong: How many of you buying a LEAF in the next year or two will have only the LEAF in your driveway or garage with no gasoline, hybrid or plug-in hybrid as a backup for (occasional) long trips?

I wish Nissan had included the question of whether the LEAF will be part of a single, or multiple-car household on its survey of people who express interest in the LEAF online, but, as far as I can recall, it did not. And frankly I’m wondering why not: Seems like this information could be extremely useful to Nissan.

Finally, Healey says the LEAF is – and I quote him to the letter here – “Ugggggly.”

Healy’s commentary confirms I’m not alone in wishing the LEAF had a different look. In fact, although I’m getting ahead of myself here – in the forthcoming Part III of SolarChargedDriving.Com’s CODA Sedan EV vs. Ford Focus Electric vs. Nissan LEAF series I will look at the LEAF – the LEAF’s ugliness might just be what leads me to buy another EV, most likely a Ford Focus Electric.

I know: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some people love the LEAF’s design. But I’m guessing for every person who loves it, there’s another one who hates it.

Many early EV adopters who aren’t quite sure they like LEAF’s look, will buy it anyway because it’s going to be the first truly affordable production EV on the market (in the U.S., it goes on sale in Dec. 2010 on the West Coast, Arizona and Tennessee).

But it’ll be interesting to see how consumer polarization on the LEAF’s design affects its long-term sales

What do you think – will the LEAF’s look help its long-term sales, hinder them, or not have much of an effect either way?

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