Though Cars.com has owned a 2011 Nissan Leaf for 13 months, we accepted the opportunity to evaluate a 2012 model. Its changes are few, but we figured we’d compare it with our Leaf, with an eye toward any unexpected differences.
The comparison was driven mainly by our obsession with the Leaf’s sketchy ability to predict its range, as detailed in a previous post or two. Would the 2012 be more accurate? Would it deviate as much as our own car’s Random Range Generator, as we call it? And if so, would it deviate correspondingly or in its own random style? Theoretically, the cars’ software is the same. Our car has been updated twice, most recently three weeks ago.
Here’s what differentiates the 2012 from our 2011: It has heated front and rear seats and a heated steering wheel. The high-voltage battery pack has more insulation and a warming system for extreme circumstances, which we described in a previous post. The added features amount to a mere 26 pounds of additional weight.
Beyond that, and the fact that 2012 buyers can no longer shut off the pedestrian-warning signal, the two model years are essentially the same.