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May 24, 2012


I can't wait until you report on your impressions of the Chevy Volt's build quality. You know how well the Prius was constructed. Nissan has always been an also-ran when it comes to comparisons with Honda and Toyota - your Leaf wasn't around long enough for my statement to self-verify.

The Volt is a very attractive vehicle. I hope it's all that you expect.

Willie R., we're looking forward to getting it soon. The hardest thing for me to adjust to will be looking at that iconic Chevy emblem on the front of the car.

I haven't owned an American car since my depised 4-cylinder Ford Fairmont back in the 70's, or whenever it was. (I try to blot the memory of the Fairmont out.) And I don't think my wife has ever owned an American car. (Her despised car is a VW Rabbit, which occasionally ran correctly.)

But, hey, the world has changed. The Chevy Volt won European Car of the Year. I'm expecting we'll like the Volt a lot, based on our test drives.

I understand you personal reasons for selling the LEAF. The range comment made less sense to me given your relatively low mileage. 3,000 miles in 8 months and close proximity to your primary destination, 6 miles. Other than occasional long trips what was the problem with range?

Even with heater on cold winter days the 30 mile daily commute left me plenty for errands on an 80% charge.

I must say I love the soft comfortable seats in the Leaf but understand people with back or neck issues might need something different. Only have mine a few weeks and so far can't find anything I dislike about it. Hope to put it through its paces in the next few weeks when I start my summer holidays - a few trips to the mountains and countryside. Mountains should be fun probably lose loads of range heading there and get them back on the return.

JPWhite, we didn't have much of a problem with range, so long as we took just one trip into town and back. The problem was more with multiple trips, with quite a few stops.

Meaning, we'd be reluctant to make another trip when we didn't have enough time to recharge the Leaf. Yes, we probably could have made two trips, but the downside of running out of juice is considerable, compared to heading to a gas station for a fill-up.

So with the Volt, we might end up driving on electricity more than we did with the Leaf. Not sure, but its a possibility. After all, if we went 20 miles into town and back, then had to return for a longer trip with more errands, likely we wouldn't have taken the Leaf.

But with the Volt, our attitude will be "run on electricity until its gone, then switch to gas." So we'd use up the remaining 15 miles of so of battery range on the Volt, whereas we would have gone with all gas in one of our other cars if we'd worried about taking the Leaf out again.

Can you post which headrests you replaced the originals with? I have a Leaf and hate the view-blocking headrests in the back.

allan, my wife seems to remember "Nissan Cube." I sent the paperwork associated with getting the replacement headrests to the new owner. If you're really interested in learning the Nissan model, I could email him and ask if the model is mentioned on the forms.

The other headrests were decidedly more upright. We only replaced the front seat headrests. Not sure how the viewing would change if the rear headrests were replaced.

With the 2013 being substantially cheaper, I am interested to know at what price did you sell your 8-month old car with 3k miles. I am presuming it was a 2012. Was it the SV or SL version?

I am actually thinking of upgrading from my current 2012 to 2013 due to the 6.6 kWh charger in the 2013... Mins is over a year old but only has 9000 miles on it

Raza, we sold the Leaf for $25,000. It was the SL, I believe (fancier version).

I also, would be very interested to find out what model Nissan your replacement headrests came out of. The stock ones are at the wrong angle for my wife.

Thanks for your blog! Lots of interesting information!

IMHO Nissan erred in the design by not including a backup gasoline engine. It isn't only the range, which is a big one too but also the time it takes to transfer energy into the vehicle. Often people forget that one can transfer the volume of energy worth 500 miles in about 120 seconds at the pump. That is huge compared to the charging times of any EV these days.

I'm also reluctant in buying Chevy so I wish Nissan comes up with Leaf 2 which includes a gasoline engine...

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