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Nissan e-NV200 Combi

This is a new release from Nissan and the company is confident the e-NV200 Combi is a ‘game changer’ given its long range and large loading capacity. As Nissan has had enormous success with the Leaf, it’s no surprise to hear it being so confident. Read on to see if Nissan’s latest attempt to increase its stake in the EV is a hit or a miss.

nissan e-nv200 combi exterior

NIssan e-NV200 Combi. Image: Google UK

Design

Nissan have taken the electric motor from the Leaf and plopped it straight into it e-NV200 Combi; this move should save motorists a fortune on diesel but one can’t help but wonder if a more powerful motor should have been used since it is a van.

The steering wheel has been designed at a flat angle which means it will take a while to get comfortable in this vehicle but the steering rack is very sharp and the turning circle of the e-NV200 Combi is small for a van. Naturally, this will prove to be exceptionally useful when driving in towns and cities.

There are three trim levels: Acenta, Acenta Rapid and Tekna Rapid. The term ‘rapid’ refers to the inclusion of fast charging capability. The EV’s equipment pack includes air conditioning, electric windows, Bluetooth and a rear camera. The CARWINGS service from Nissan is also included and this allows remote access to the amount of battery charge remaining whether you are on a Smartphone or computer.

nissan e-nv200 combi interior

NIssan e-NV200 Combi. Image: Google UK

Performance

When we heard the e-NV200 Combi was designed to change the market, we expected a huge range and 106 miles is not bad at all. However, add in the fact that the top speed is 76mph, the range drops to 70 miles when loaded, it takes 14 seconds to go 0-62mph and it all seems a little underwhelming, even for a van.

The e-NV200 Combi performs well in the city thanks to the instant response of the electric motor and single-gear ratio; travelling through traffic is a breeze and much less frustrating than in a normal van. When it comes to quicker roads, the e-NV200 Combi is less impressive and you’re in for a bumpy ride if there is no load in the back.

Verdict

If you live in London, the e-NV200 Combi is a worthy investment as you will save £11,000 in congestion fees in four years along with the £5,000 grant. This saves a huge chunk of the £22,900 purchase price and it gets even cheaper if you choose to take on the battery lease contract of £61 a month offered by Nissan.

Overall, it is a good effort by Nissan but we don’t feel the e-NV200 Combi is a ‘game changer’.

  • Rating: 3.5/5
  • Cost: £22,900 ($37,900)
  • Miles Per Gallon Equivalent (MPG): estimated at 153mpg
  • Official Driving Range (Miles): 106 miles
  • Standard Charging Time (Hours): 8 hours – 80% charge in 30 minutes with supercharger
  • Practicality (Seats & Doors): 6 doors, 5 seats
  • Engine Size: 80kW synchronous
  • Engine Power: 109bhp
  • Transmission: Single-speed front wheel drive
  • Acceleration (0-62mph): 14 seconds
  • Top Speed (mph): 76mph
  • NCAP Safety Rating: N/A

Nissan Leaf

Nissan created the Prairie electric car way back in 1995 but only now is it beginning to invest heavily in EVs. With the Leaf and its range of around 124 miles, Nissan is targeting low mileage drivers but the initial high price put people off. However, it has dropped its retail price and also added in a new pricing scheme which enables you to lease the Nissan Leaf’s battery. Read on to find out if it’s worth it.

nissan leaf exterior

Nissan Leaf. Image: Google UK

Design

The Nissan Leaf has a relatively conventional structure and is comprised of a steel structure with a torsion beam at the rear and MacPherson struts at the front. The LED cluster is designed to keep airflow away from the mirrors which should reduce aerodynamic drag. The charging sockets are in the nose of the vehicle which is convenient and there is a grille at the front where the engine would normally be which directs cool air to the systems under the bonnet.

Interior

The Leaf has a delightful cheerful interior; it has a split level display which has the speedometer above the steering wheel and the ancillary gauges behind. The remaining IT systems are in the centre of the dashboard; these consist of the vehicle monitor, sat-nav and entertainment systems.

nissan leaf interior

Nissan Leaf. Image: Google UK

There is also a system of gauges which display the amount of energy used by the ancillary power drains and drive motor. The Leaf has a quiet cabin and while there is plenty of legroom, things get a bit tight when it comes to headroom and boot space.

Performance

As the Leaf has heavy lithium ion batteries in droves, it happens to be around 200kg heavier than most internal combustion vehicles of a similar size. The batteries are located beneath the boot floor but the car itself travels smoothly. While handling is okay, the steering is best suited to urban areas because it lacks feel and more steering input is needed at higher speeds than most motorists would want.

It is also not particularly suited to motorways speeds as travelling above 70mph becomes a slightly hairy experience. The Leaf can travel up to 80 miles on a single charge though this falls to 45 miles on snowy wintery days. However, the updated version of the car has a new heating system which is pump-based and appears to extend the Leaf’s range to 100 miles.

Verdict

The Leaf is safe and predictable unless you are travelling at higher speeds and its range isn’t a problem if you are using it as a second car or else you typically drive short distances. As it can fit 4-5 people and has a generously sized boot, the Nissan Leaf is definitely a suitable town car and its clever sat-nav system tells you how much further you can drive without a charge. However, it is not a practical car if you live in a rural location or plan to use it as your only mode of transportation.

  • Rating 3.5/5
  • Cost – £30,935 ($51,000)
  • Miles Per Gallon Equivalent (MPG): 102 on highway, 129 city driving
  • Official Driving Range (Miles): 80-100 miles
  • Standard Charging Time (Hours): 0-80% charge in 30 minutes using Rapid Charging Station
  • Practicality (Seats & Doors): 5 door hatchback
  • Engine Size: 80kW electric motor
  • Engine Power: 110bhp
  • Transmission: Single speed constant ratio (7.94:1)
  • Acceleration (0-62mph): 11.5 seconds
  • Top Speed (mph): 89mph
  • NCAP Safety Rating: 5 stars
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