The new LEAF 62 kWh has more range than ever before!

Nissan Leaf Review (2020)

Read Caroline's Nissan Leaf review for everything you need to know about Nissan's all-electric Leaf hatchback in Ireland.

The Nissan LEAF is one of Ireland’s most popular electric cars and a pioneer of mainstream electric motoring. Within the last year the number of electric vehicles available in Ireland has expanded and the LEAF has been under attack from some new rivals. However the high visibility of the LEAF in Ireland, all generations, is undeniable, and you are definitely likely to encounter one at your local EV charger. The LEAF has clearly penetrated the market here very well.

In 2018, Nissan launched an all-new LEAF hatchback with a 40 kWh battery with more power and a range in the region of 250 km. The car had evolved into something more desirable with modern design technology and safety features. In 2019, the LEAF got even better with the launch of the new longer range Nissan LEAF 62 kWh.

What's new for the Nissan LEAF?

Priced in Ireland from €37,840, the 62 kWh LEAF crucially has a 25% increase in energy density and 55% boost in energy storage capacity, giving the 62 kWh LEAF a power output of 217 PS and up to 385 km (WLTP) on a single charge compared to the 40 kWh Nissan LEAF. I tested the car in the cold weather of November and with 98% battery power when I picked it up, the range read about 340 km.

The new LEAF 62 kWh has more range than ever before!
The new LEAF 62 kWh has more range than ever before!

Other new features for the LEAF 62 kWh include the new NissanConnect infotainment system as standard, with Apple CarPlay® and AndroidAuto® for seamless smartphone connectivity. An upgraded navigation system also shows live traffic and nearby chargers. There’s also a new NissanConnect Services app that allows users to send navigation routes and preset air conditioning or heating.

Nissan so far has ignored the electric crossover/SUV trend and the LEAF remains a classic hatchback with the latest Nissan family face. The new battery retains a similar shape and size to the 40 kWh LEAF battery pack, so there is no detriment to interior space in this upgraded model. Interior accommodation is about average for a hatchback of this size and the boot is a very good size. There are special places to store the cables so the practicality of the space is not negatively impacted.

The interior of the LEAF

Inside, the LEAF 62 kWh has the same dash design as the new generation LEAF we tested in 2018. There is some new digital technology however already the graphics on the driver information panel and infotainment screen are looking a little dated. Still, functionality is okay and it's handy to be able to find nearby charging stations. You also sit a little higher in the LEAF than a standard hatchback because of the battery under the floor.

The interior of the new Nissan LEAF
The interior of the new Nissan LEAF

In Ireland, the new 62 kWh Nissan LEAF starts from €37,840 in SV grade with a high specification including Intelligent Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Recognition, Intelligent Trace Control, Moving Object Detection, Intelligent Lane Intervention, e-Pedal with regenerative function, front and rear parking sensors, Around View Monitor, 17″ alloy wheels, privacy glass, LED daytime running lights and LED rear signature lights.

The range-topping SVE 62 kWh LEAF is available from €40,500 and includes ProPilot, Bose Audio System, Intelligent Auto LED headlights, heated leather steering wheel and leather heated seats front and rear.

Driving the Nissan Leaf 62 kWh

On the road, the Nissan LEAF is nippy with 217 hp at its disposal. It handles well through corners and is smooth, refined and of course, quiet, on the move.

The extra range of this 62 kWh model is very welcome. The CHAdeMO type rapid charger is 50kW / 100kW compatible and will get you from 20% to 80% charge in about 90 minutes (50kW). Charging at home takes about 12 hours.

The new LEAF 62 kWh is still eclipsed by some rivals like the Kia e-Soul in terms of the range and how far it will go on one charge.

The Nissan LEAF is the original mass market electric vehicle, famed for its accessibility and affordable entry into electric motoring.

However, the new LEAF 62 kWh requires considerable investment and in range alone, there are some better competitors in this space.

LEAF buyers now have more options. Not everyone wants a crossover or SUV. Hatchback lovers still exist. The game is moving rapidly for EVs. The LEAF 62 kWh keeps up for now.

LEAF 62 kWh available from €37,840
LEAF 62 kWh available from €37,840

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Nissan LEAF 62 kWh SVE
Battery: 62 kWh
217 hp
Torque:  340 Nm
6.9 seconds
Top speed: 158 km/h 
Range (WLTP):
385 km
Motor tax: 
€120 per year

Nissan have launched a monthly subscription service which will allow motorists to own a new car for as little as €356 per month without having to pay a deposit.

Nissan Launch 'Subscribe & Drive'

Nissan have launched a monthly subscription service which will allow motorists to own a new car for as little as €356 per month without having to pay a deposit.
Nissan has launched a monthly subscription service which will allow motorists to own a new car for as little as €356 per month without having to pay a deposit.

Nissan is launching a monthly subscription service called ‘Subscribe & Drive’. This new service will allow motorists to own a new car for as little as €356 per month without having to pay a deposit.

Motorists who sign up will also have the opportunity to trade in their old car and to cash in on its residual value.

“Nissan is making it possible for Irish motorists to drive a brand new car for a price they can afford and to potentially put money back into their own pocket while doing so. It is a win-win service for motorists,” said James McCarthy, CEO of Nissan Ireland.

“Our subscription service is made for anyone who wants to release the equity in their old car and to drive away with a new one, without paying a deposit, for a fixed payment that fits within their monthly household budget,” he added.

“Customers just need to sign up as a subscriber. They can then drive the car for an agreed term and hand it back on completion without any other obligation. It’s that simple,” said Mr. McCarthy.

“The subscription model is changing the way we drive and own our cars and we providing customers with a service that meets their needs,” he continued.

Motorists signing up to Nissan’s ‘Subscribe & Drive’ model will have the choice of paying their monthly subscription fee over a 24 month or 36 month term, subject to finance approval, with the monthly cost of the car they choose varying accordingly.

Subscribers opting for a 36 month term can expect to pay €356 per month for a Nisan Micra, €543 per month for the best-selling Nissan Qashqai crossover or €605 per month for the 40 kWh electric Nissan LEAF.

Monthly subscription fees will also vary depending on the number of kilometres driven per year. Customers can choose annual limits of up to 10,000, 20,000 or 30,000 kilometres after which a charge per kilometre will apply for excess mileage. Optional service and maintenance fees can also be incorporated into their monthly subscription fee.

The Nissan ‘Subscribe & Drive’ service is available to customers, whether or not they have a car to trade-in, although the opportunity for motorists to release the equity in their current car and to become a monthly subscriber is something that Nissan believes will be especially attractive to motorists.

“This is the best opportunity in the market for consumers to own a brand new car. And if you have a car to trade-in it is the best opportunity to release the money that is tied up in that car. Money that could potentially be put to use to finance your monthly Nissan ‘Subscribe & Drive’ fee,” said James McCarthy, CEO of Nissan Ireland.

The 2018 Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf 40kWh Review

The 2018 Nissan Leaf
The 2018 Nissan Leaf

Caroline drives the 2018 Nissan Leaf.

Since its launch in Europe in 2011, the Nissan Leaf has done a lot to make electric vehicles more mainstream. The Leaf’s blend of compact, practical size, affordable pricing and zero emissions, all-electric powertrain has made it the most ubiquitous electric vehicle on Irish roads.

With the second generation of the new Nissan Leaf launched on the Irish market earlier in 2018, Nissan looks set to continue its strong position as a maker of smart electric vehicles for the masses.

Priced from €26,290 (including the €5,000 Government grant for electric vehicles), the 2018 Nissan Leaf offers a significant update over the previous model with new styling, more technology and a higher capacity 40kWh battery.

How far will the new Nissan Leaf get me on a full charge?

The range has increased by 50% to 378 kilometres on the NEDC cycle, which translates to between 250 and 270km in real world terms on 100% battery power. In my experience of driving the car, this makes the Nissan Leaf very convenient in day-to-day driving. Nissan Ireland cites that most buyers will make use of overnight home charging, so having 250km of range each day means a lot of anxiety-free driving.

The new Nissan Leaf now has more power and more range!
The new Nissan Leaf now has more power and more range!

It looks better too

The styling of the new Nissan Leaf is much cooler and more conventional than the outgoing model. The Leaf sports its own version of Nissan's 'V-motion' grille that sits well with the other cars in the Nissan range like the Micra, Pulsar and Qashqai. The grille has a blue colour, which is a new signature feature for Nissan’s electric vehicles. The floating roof and sleek headlamps add more style to what is a good-looking car.

Inside there is a new interior with smart soft touch materials, signature blue stitching and new switchgear. There is a touchscreen for infotainment on all but the entry model with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This system also gives information on active charging, eco-routing, driving range, and nearby charging stations. The driver information screen shows data on the EV system like range and battery power.

Being a five door hatchback, the Nissan Leaf is also a practical electric vehicle. The rear bench will seat three and the boot has a capacity of 435 litres.

Standard equipment includes air con, cruise control, Nissan Intelligent Key, push button start, lane departure warning, intelligent emergency braking with pedestrian recognition, intelligent lane intervention, cross traffic alert and high-beam assist.

The interior of the new Nissan Leaf
The interior of the new Nissan Leaf

There’s also a 6.6 kW on-board charger and 50kW ChaDeMo rapid charge port as standard, the latter which can give an 80% charge in as little as 40 minutes!

There are other trim levels for the 2018 Nissan Leaf including SV from €28,690, SV Premium from €29,940 and SVE from €32,600.

The model tested was SVE Premium and it has a very impressive list of equipment including a BOSE stereo, parking aids, leather heated front and rear seats, full LED intelligent auto headlights and the ProPILOT advanced driver assistance system.

What's the Nissan Leaf like to drive?

On the road the Nissan Leaf is nippy – power is now up to 150hp – and refined and comfortable across a variety of roads. You soon adjust to this silent motoring and the ritual of plugging in the car at charging stations for a top up where convenient. The Nissan e-Pedal is now a standard feature in the new Leaf and allows the driver to start from a standstill, accelerate, brake and even bring the car to a stop using just the throttle pedal. It’s very useful in traffic and intuitive to use.

The new Nissan Leaf range starts from €26,290 in Ireland
The new Nissan Leaf range starts from €26,290 in Ireland

Driving dynamics have been improved and while the Leaf could not be described as a sporty drive, it does handle itself confidently through corners.

Nissan has obvious expertise in building electric cars with mainstream appeal and pricing, and the new Leaf is the embodiment of that. This is a well-rounded electric vehicle that offers good accommodation in a smart conventional package, yet under the skin the Leaf's electric powertrain is anything but conventional! With more power and more range, there’s never been a better time to check out the new Nissan Leaf.

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Nissan Leaf 40kWh SVE Premium
€32,600 (Available from €26,290)
Torque: 320Nm
7.9 seconds
Top speed: 144km/h
CO2 emissions:  
Motor tax: 
€120 per year

Nissan X-Trail

Nissan X-Trail Review (2018)

Nissan X-Trail
The 2018 Nissan X-Trail

Caroline reviews the Nissan X-Trail SUV.

Nissan has become something of an SUV specialist over the years with the Nissan Qashqai being one of the defining and most popular compact crossover of its era. Let’s not forget the larger Nissan X-Trail too. In its current generation it’s a rugged and stylish large SUV, offering more space and utility to buyers who outgrow their Qashqai.

It’s also in my opinion a wildly different beast to the Qashqai. Longer and higher, the 2018 refreshed Nissan X-Trail has the presence of a larger vehicle. While the Qashqai retains a lot of hatchback-like driving character, the Nissan X-Trail feels like a more authentic off-roader behind the wheel and on the road.

In Ireland the Nissan X-Trail range kicks off at €32,150 for a 2WD five seat model with a 1.6-litre diesel engine with 130hp or a 1.6-litre petrol engine with 163hp. Seven seaters start from €33,250. Four wheel drive models are available from €38,000. There is also a larger 2.0-litre diesel with more power (177hp) with 4WD and a CVT automatic gearbox priced from €41,850.

Nissan X-Trail
The interior of the Nissan X-Trail

In Ireland, the new Nissan X-Trail SUV is available in XE, SV, SVE and a new SV Premium trim. Standard equipment includes cruise control with speed limiter, Bluetooth connectivity, manual air-conditioning, electric folding/heated door mirrors and alloy wheels.

Depending on the grade chosen, other features include an opening panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, privacy glass, dual-zone automatic air-conditioning and roof rails.

The car I was driving was a Nissan X-Trail 2.0 SVE 4X4 CVT with seven seats priced from €52,700. It was fully loaded with equipment including 19” alloys, LED headlamps, leather upholstery, heated seats and steering wheel, electric adjustable seats with lumbar support for driver and BOSE stereo with 8 speakers.

Safety equipment included Intelligent Emergency Braking, Driver Attention Alert, Traffic Sign Recognition, High-Beam Assist, Blind Spot Warning and Lane Departure Warning.

Inside the Nissan X-Trail is a comfortable and spacious family car. The interior has a good mix of materials, and all look strong and hardwearing. There’s a new D-shaped steering wheel and some new trims. All but the base model have a 7-inch Nissan Connect touchscreen infotainment system, which includes DAB digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity and audio streaming.

Nissan X-Trail
The Nissan X-Trail range is extensive and there is plenty of value to be had

The five seat X-Trail has a boot capacity of 565 litres, while in five seat mode the seven seat version has 445 litres. When the third row of seats is upright, there is just 135 litres available.

The rear bench can be slid back and forth, which will be necessary to free up space for the two seats in the third row, which are more suitable for children than adults.

You sit high in the Nissan X-Trail and though it’s not the most refined of the large SUVs, it feels like one of the more authentic 4x4s of its ilk. Noise from the 2.0-litre diesel is audible in the cabin, though on a cruise it settles down to the background. The driving dynamics are fine for a large family vehicle. The steering is light, which makes it easy to manoeuvre in tight situations. The CVT automatic can be a bit frustrating at times, and lacks the smooth intuitive gear changes of a dual clutch auto. It’s not the softest riding large family car, but it’s not uncomfortable either.

My top of the range model with 2.0-litre diesel, 4WD and a CVT gearbox has quite a hefty motor tax bill of €570 per year, but some models in the range have emissions as low as 129g CO2 (€270 per year).

Nissan X-Trail
The Nissan X-Trail feels very spacious inside, while there is the option of adding two extra seats

For anyone looking for a strong towing vehicle the 2.0-litre X-Trail diesel manual has a towing capacity of 2 tonnes, while the automatic has a towing capacity of 1.65 tonnes.

The Nissan X-Trail is appealingly stylish and rugged on the outside, while being practical, spacious and comfortable on the inside. The Nissan X-Trail is by no means the most refined large family SUV of its type but therein lies its appeal: in a world of pseudo 4x4s you get the feeling the X-Trail is the real deal and wouldn’t let you down off road should the need arise!

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Nissan X-Trail 2.0 SVE 4X4 CVT 7 seats
€52,700 (Range from €32,150)
Engine: 2.0-litre turbo diesel
Torque: 380Nm
9.4 seconds
CO2 emissions:  
Motor tax: 
€570 per year

If you are looking for a large, seven seat SUV, you might also like this review of the Skoda Kodiaq.

For more information on the Nissan X-Trail, visit

Nissan Qashqai Ireland's bestselling car

Nissan Qashqai Review (2017)

The Nissan Qashqai is one of the titans of the compact SUV segment and a consistent top seller in Ireland. The Qashqai is one of the most visible cars on Irish roads, and has many loyal fans spread over the two generations of the model. Nissan has recently revamped the Qashqai so I took a petrol model for test drive recently to check out one of Ireland’s favourite family cars.

The Qashqai’s SUV styling has been tweaked ever so slightly with the most noticeable changes being to the grille, front bumper and fog lamps.  The boomerang shaped daytime running lights are also new and the LED light motif has been extended across the whole lamp at the rear. My test car was finished in beautiful Vivid Blue and it’s easy to see how the Qashqai’s chunky but inoffensive SUV styling makes it such a hit.

Inside there is a new D-shaped steering wheel and redesigned seats in cloth or leather. The Qashqai has a good selection of equipment and is well sized for its price point (range starts €26,070). A touchscreen is standard on all but the base model. For the 2017 revision, the air vents and interior door handles are finished in higher quality, and more tactile materials. The material quality looks and feels generally good.

There’s new safety equipment available for the first time on Qashqai including Intelligent Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Intelligent Park Assist with New Rear Cross Traffic Alert. If I was to aim criticism at the interior of the Qashqai I would say that it’s starting to look a little old fashioned but there is little to complain about in terms of interior accommodation.  The 430 litre boot is very practical for the needs of a family and increases to 1598 litres when the 60:40 split rear seats are folded flat.

2017 Nissan Qashqai review ireland
The interior of the Nissan Qashqai

You sit slightly elevated in the Nissan Qashqai, which we know many buyers love, but Qashqai retains the easy driving character of a hatchback. This translates to an easy drive with light steering and the compact dimensions make it at home whether in town or country.

There have been a few changes under the skin to improve comfort and driving performance including the addition of Active Return Control, which allows the steering wheel to return to centre more naturally, improving precision during driving. The steering is light and not overly generous on feedback but it does feel natural and the car grips decently too through fast corners. My test car had a 1.2-litre petrol with 115hp, which is great around town with perky low speed performance. Out of town the turbo spins willingly and overall refinement and power is good.

There is also a 1.5-litre diesel with 110hp and a 1.6 diesel with 130hp available for the Qashqai in Ireland. You can select a CVT automatic, and there are also four wheel drive models. The best for economy in the range is the 1.5 diesel (from €27,970).

New Qashqai comes in four grades in Ireland: XE, SV, SV Premium and SVE. Standard equipment includes LED day time running lights and LED rear lights, electric parking brake with Hill Start Assist and auto hold, air con, DAB radio, Bluetooth, cruise control and four electric windows.

2017 Nissan Qashqai review ireland
It's no surprise that the Nissan Qashqai is still so popular with family buyers

SV models (from €27,970) include Nissan Connect 2, rear view camera, privacy glass, auto lights and wipers, front fog lights, 17" alloys and interior ambient lighting.

SV Premium (from €30,220) adds more safety equipment including traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning, intelligent emergency braking, parking sensors and 18” alloys.

SVE (from €34,320) adds Bi-LED headlamps with Adaptive Front Lighting System, black Nappa leather seats with memory function, Blind Spot Warning, Moving Object Detection, Driver Attention Alert, Intelligent Park Assist, silver roof rails and mirror caps, side grille, rear bumper finishers and 19" alloys.

This most recent revamp for the Nissan Qashqai adds important safety technology to the range and small improvements to styling, equipment and interior quality. The Nissan Qashqai remains a formidable contender in its segment and it’s no surprise that Irish families just can’t get enough of this predictable and practical SUV package!

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Nissan Qashqai 1.2 SVE
€34,320 (Range starts at €26,070)
Engine: 1.2-litre turbo petrol
Torque: 190Nm
10.6 seconds
Top speed: 185km/h
CO2 emissions:  
Motor tax: 
€270 per year

2017 Nissan Micra review ireland

Nissan Micra Review

The Nissan Micra has always been a dependable small car that has endeared itself well to the Irish public, but it’s never been desirable among the young and trendy.

For sure a lot of young drivers have started off in a Nissan Micra, but that was probably more about convenience and affordability than any great grá for the diminutive supermini from Japan.

The thing with the Micra is that at least in this part of the world, it’s always been viewed as a bit elderly, like shopping trolleys with wheels and fleece bed jackets.

Now Nissan has completely changed the design to launch generation 5 of the Micra and it’s been designed with Europe as a target and ‘styled to turn heads’.

The new Nissan Micra is sporty with presence derived from an angular and aggressive design that is light years away from previous models. The 2017 Nissan Micra’s transformation is nothing short of dramatic, but this is now one of the coolest looking superminis around. I can’t believe I’m writing this.

2017 Nissan Micra review ireland
The interior of the new Nissan Micra

The Nissan Micra always had quite an exotic colour palette and there is a range of ten colours to choose from including the ‘much better than in photos’ Energy Orange of my test car. Customisation is also a feature and there are two styling packs in four different colours to inject more attitude into your Micra.

Inside, the interior of the Micra has been thoroughly modernised and there is a good mix of materials to break up the drab grey plastic look bestowed to some rivals. Hard plastics feature but the car feels more upmarket than cheap. If you avoid the base model, there is a 7” display audio system in the centre of the dash, while the top two trims have Nissan Connect infotainment integrating a 7” touchscreen.

In terms of interior space, the new Nissan Micra is lower, wider and longer than its predecessor so roomier inside. It will carry four adult passengers in reasonable comfort, though the rear is noticeably dark because of the high window line and headroom is not overly generous back there either. At 300 litres, the boot is a good size for a supermini though the load lip is high.

2017 Nissan Micra review ireland
The new Nissan Micra has a radical new design and is much better to drive now too

Standard specification on entry XE models includes LED daytime running lights, electric door mirrors and front windows, Hill Start Assist, and air con. It’s worth upgrading to SV for 16-inch alloys, 7” display audio system, and cruise control. SV Premium adds leather steering wheel, privacy glass, front fog lamps, LED ambient lighting, auto air conditioning, rain sensors, and Nissan Connect. The top spec SVE trim adds 17-inch alloys, engine start button, rear view camera with rear parking sensors, BOSE Personal audio system with six speakers, and a Safety Pack including lane departure warning and traffic sign recognition.

In Ireland, the new Nissan Micra is offered with a 0.9 litre turbo petrol (90hp), a 1.0-litre petrol (71hp) and a 1.5-litre diesel (90hp). The range starts at a competitive €16,650 for the base 1.0-litre XE. Turbo petrol models start from €17,650, and diesels start from €18,650.

So what’s new Micra like on the road? First impressions are good in that new Micra is agile with a pleasant light feeling to the steering and a willingness to be tipped into corners without feeling like the whole thing might give up on the way to the retirement home. New Micra is not perfect: that light steering is great at low speeds around town but out on the twistier stuff, there is an inert feeling that misses a trick for a car that looks the business.

There is a firm edge to the suspension that’s not really an issue when driving around town but on the motorway leads to a restless feeling underneath you. Still, there is fun to be had in this new Micra especially with the 0.9-litre turbo petrol engine that has a lovely shove of torque low in the rev range making it super nippy around town. It can bop along with the best of them on the motorway too and overtaking requires a few gear changes but the turbo means you will never be left wanting once you learn where to have the revs in the right place.

2017 Nissan Micra review ireland
The Nissan Micra is available now in Ireland priced from €16,650

For those of us who buy cars with our eyes, the new Nissan Micra ticks all the right boxes for a stylish and desirable supermini. It’s hard not to be impressed by the brave new direction the Nissan Micra has taken. The Micra has undergone a radical transformation and now has all the assets it needs to be name checked among the titans of the supermini class. And no one need ever be embarrassed again to say they drive a Nissan Micra.

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Nissan Micra 0.9 SVE
€20,650 (Range starts at €16,650)
Engine: 0.9-litre turbo petrol
Torque: 140Nm
12.1 seconds
Top speed: 175km/h
CO2 emissions:  
Motor tax: 
€190 per year

If you are looking for a new supermini, you might also like this review of the Citroen C3.