Green/Efficient Car of the Year – Nissan Leaf

29 Jul 2019

As the drive towards electric vehicles continues to accelerate, the new Nissan Leaf EV was the “clear winner” of the Green/Efficient Car of the Year accolade at the 2019 Irish Car of the Year awards, in association with Continental Tyres.

What made the margin of victory so emphatic? As EVs go, the Leaf is just an impressive all-round package. Loads of innovation and driver technology (including Nissan’s acclaimed e-Pedal, which allows drivers to accelerate, brake and stop completely all with one pedal) plus Nissan’s ‘Intelligent Mobility’ system with ProPilot that controls acceleration, steering and braking.

Highly efficient and eco-friendly. Safe and secure. Long range. Quick charge time. Anything else?

Electric car revolution

In our latest video review of 2019 category winners, Irish Car of the Year jury members Martin McCarthy and Tony Toner cast an admiring eye over the new Nissan Leaf, predicting that for many people this nifty number will become their first taste of the electric car revolution.

“It has a much longer range, up to 260 kilometres and even beyond,” says Martin McCarthy. “Plenty of boot space and very quick to recharge. And it does everything else very well.”

For fellow juror Tony Toner, meanwhile, one thing stands out a mile. “One of the key aspects of an EV is silence, and you have to be able to manage the silence,” he says. And you can forget about any petrol/diesel hum. “You turn it on and your Nissan Leaf is ready to boogie!”

In a close-fought category, the Leaf fought off competition from the new Ford Mondeo HEV, Jaguar I-Pace and Kia Nero PHEV to carry off the prize for Green/Efficient Car of the Year.

In addition to being crowned Green/Efficient Car of the Year, the Nissan Leaf e-Pedal also won the special Innovation Award to make it a memorable double for Nissan at this year’s Irish Car of the Year awards, in association with Continental Tyres.

The Nissan e-Pedal allows the driver to accelerate, decelerate and brake with a single motion. By releasing the pedal, automatic regenerative braking is instantly deployed, with the driver only having to depress the pedal again for acceleration based on the car’s current speed. The e-Pedal is central to the Leaf’s renowned driving dynamics, giving the driver added control going uphill, downhill and around bends – perfect for winding Irish roads!

Innovation and technology

The e-Pedal is the jewel in the crown of the Nissan Leaf’s Intelligent Mobility system, designed to put drivers in closer touch with their surroundings and providing an additional electric boost when it’s needed. Connectivity is a key aspect of Intelligent Mobility, while an array of features are designed to inject fun and remove hassle from the driving experience.

Nissan ProPILOT, for example, lends a helping hand by accelerating and maintaining distance, keeping the small electric car in its lane, and braking to ensure the vehicle has come to a complete stop. ProPILOT Park also takes the stress out of parking by taking over when you find a suitable space – no gear shifting, no steering, no pedals.

Intelligent assistance

True to its innovative pedigree, the new Leaf is also available with intelligent emergency braking, intelligent cruise control, intelligent lane intervention and high beam assist. There’s also a 360-degree ‘around-view’ monitor, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot warning and traffic sign recognition to get drivers up close and personal with their surroundings, no matter how busy the rush hour traffic gets.

Add intelligent trace control and intelligent ride control to the mix, and the Leaf’s Innovation Award triumph makes perfect sense. A truly intelligent, innovative and efficient compact electric car.