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Nissan LEAF Shiro (2023 - )

Nissan recently launched a new LEAF variant called the Shiro to deliver a combination of high value and attractive pricing.

Starting price:
£28,495

Why we love it:
  • Well-equipped and comfortable ride
  • Easy to handle and features single-pedal driving
  • Practical and easy to manage
Where it could be better:
  • The design could do with an update
  • There is no longer the option of a larger battery pack
  • The Chinese carmakers are making themselves known in this arena

Introduction

Nissan LEAF Shiro

Launched back in 2010, the Nissan LEAF was one of the front runners when it came to fully electrified cars. Then it wasn’t until 2018 that the second-generation model debuted and, since then, there have been a few tweaks to the look, battery and technology to keep it in the public eye.

But Nissan recently launched a new LEAF variant called the Shiro to deliver a combination of high value and attractive pricing. Despite being based heavily on the N-Connecta grade it comes in at £2,000 less which, according to Nissan means the car is “staying true to the LEAF’s roots as the original mass-market electric family car”.

Customers can choose from a number of LEAF trim levels called Shiro, Acenta, N-Connecta and Tekna and they all feature a 39kWh battery.

And just in case you’re wondering, the word Shiro is Japanese for white. No prizes for guessing the colour of our test car then – Arctic White as standard. It was previously available in two-tone white with a black roof, costing £1,095 extra, but this is no longer an option.

Nissan LEAF Shiro

The Nissan LEAF Shiro is certainly fully loaded – it’s like Nissan has taken a basic pizza and then thrown all the toppings its way for fun. In fact, the Shiro gets a whole lot of kit from the LEAF N-Connecta but for a more attractive asking price.

From a design point of view the car is rather let down due to its age. It’s okay, but the likes of MG and BYD to name just a couple of manufacturers, have really raised the bar in the reasonably priced EV sector.

The Arctic White paint is standard on the LEAF Shiro and it comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, body-coloured door mirrors with integrated indicators, rear privacy glass, chrome door handles, gloss black B-pillars, an illuminated charging port, signature lights and a blanked-out grille that makes the front end look like its greeting you with a big smile.

The interior is neatly designed with part-synthetic leather, part-cloth upholstered seats that are both powered and heated. The D-shaped leather trimmed steering wheel can also be warmed against the winter chill.

An eight-inch touchscreen offers access to the many on-board features, such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connection, sat nav, a DAB radio, Bluetooth with audio streaming, a six-speaker sound system and an Intelligent Around View Monitor with moving object detection.

And behind the wheel is a driver display panel that offers the vital data such as speed, range and battery charge levels.

On The Road

Nissan LEAF Shiro

Handling & Performance

The front-wheel drive Nissan LEAF Shiro is powered by a 39kWh battery delivering 150PS and 320Nm of torque. Like all EVs it’s sharp out the starting blocks and it can complete the 0-62mph sprint in just 7.9 seconds, topping out at 90mph.

The power levels are impressive and the acceleration through the single-speed electric drive is smooth and responsive, which helps make the LEAF a very easy car to drive.

The driver visibility is good and it’s a vehicle that can venture from the city with plenty of zip on the motorway and confident handling on more challenging B roads. Although you will need to keep a watchful eye on the battery levels as the combined 168-mile range will drop quite quickly if you introduce a 20-30 minute stint on the motorway. 

However, get back into the slower traffic with all the clever regenerative technology in place and it can deliver up to 242 miles of city driving, under WLTP testing.

The e-Pedal set-up works really well but is always turned off as a default mode which can be a tad annoying. When activated it increases the level of regenerative braking meaning you can drive using just the accelerator in busy stop, start traffic. And there is an Eco mode to help maximise the range.

The car also features as standard Nissan’s excellent ProPILOT driver assist system which keeps you at a safe distance behind the vehicle up ahead while ensuring the car remains in its lane too. This is one of the many safety and driver assist systems on the LEAF Shiro.

Until last July, the LEAF was available with a high-powered 64kWh battery which increased the range between charges, but this is no longer the case. 

Nissan LEAF Shiro

Space & Practicality

Despite looking a little dated these days, the five-door Nissan LEAF Shiro still has the power to turn heads. It stretches 4,490mm in length, is 2,030mm wide (including mirrors), 1,540mm tall and has a wheelbase of 2,700mm.

The cabin is both spacious and practically designed to maximise the available room. That means two six-footers can easily fit in up front without bumping elbows, while in the back, there is room for two more adults on shorter journeys, provided the seats are not pushed too far back. But ideally, a trio of children would have ample space and there are Isofix child seat anchors to the outer rear seats.

The boot, accessed via a wide-opening tailgate, can hold 435 litres of luggage, which is plenty of room for the weekly shop or some overnight bags. This capacity increases to 1,176 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat.

In addition, there are numerous storage compartments scattered throughout the cabin and these include a glovebox, door bins, a cubby box, two deep cup holders and seat back pockets.

When it comes to boosting the 39kWh battery, it can be charged from 20 to 80 per cent using a 50kW quick charger in about an hour and, if using a home wallbox, it takes 7.5 hours from zero to 100 per cent.

Ownership

Nissan LEAF Shiro

Running Costs

The Nissan LEAF line-up is priced from £28,495 for the Shiro grade, as tested, increasing to £28,995 for the Acenta, £30,495 for N-Connecta and finally, £31,995 for the range-topping Tekna model.

Our test car cost £28,495 although the addition of a 3-Pin EVSE charging cable added £295 to the final price-tag.

With zero carbon emissions, the Nissan LEAF Shiro introduces a number of financial incentives to the mix. For example it is exempt from road tax, Congestion Charge and Ultra Low Emission Zone fees and if you can charge at home when tariffs may be cheaper, the day-to-day running costs can be kept low.

Unfortunately, the Government will start clawing back some money from EV drivers though with a number of the financial rewards being reduced or withdrawn completely from next year.

The LEAF Shiro, as tested, sits in insurance group 25.

Verdict

Nissan LEAF Shiro

The Nissan LEAF Shiro offers a whole lot of kit for a very decent outlay. It drives really well and many people will not be fazed by the relatively low driving range as it will suit their daily needs perfectly.

If we're being picky, the LEAF could benefit from upgrading styling. It’s good but not brilliant and while other carmakers have introduced some real eye candy in recent times, the LEAF runs the risk of being slightly overshadowed.

By Maxine Ashford
Feb 14, 2024

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