Since its introduction in 2010, the Nissan Leaf has sold more than 132,000 units in Japan alone. Nearly 10 years hence and the Leaf’s story and improvements still keep on coming. Come 2020, Nissan’s well-known electric vehicle is getting updates to its ProPILOT driver assistance technology and to its NissanConnect system as well.
In an effort to make a more comfortable and less stressful ride, ProPILOT’s speed control has been optimized, especially to provide smoother braking in various conditions. The system can maintain the driver’s set speed on inclined roadways and balance powertrain output when returning to flatter road surfaces. ProPILOT Park controls have been fine-tuned to reduce the time it takes to park the car in a garage, or to pull forward into a parking space, by 20%.
As a first time to be seen with an update, the Leaf now also comes with Intelligent Blind Spot Intervention which is designed to help prevent collisions when changing lanes. It will also be equipped with what Nissan calls “Canto”. It is Nissan’s signature projected sound that assists the awareness level of pedestrians and others that the EV is approaching when it’s being driven at city speeds or reversing.
Device-to-car connectivity and utility features have likewise been improved. Nissan Door to Door Navigation, which pairs your smartphone and the car’s navigation system to provide seamless directions, now has a specific EV function that displays a recharging plan to help you reach your destination. Map updates can be made over the air as well. By way of Docomo Car Connect, the cabin is also turned into a Wifi zone, thus eliminating smartphone data usage while driving.
Other apps made available include the Remote My Car Check/Remote Door Lock app checks whether you’ve locked the car – and if you haven’t, lets you do so remotely. Yet another lets you check the status of your Nissan – such as speed, location and curfew alert – when it’s being driven by someone else to ensure their safety and responsibility on the road.
Controlling NissanConnect from within the car is by way of a 9-inch screen that now comes standard, offering better viewing of maps and menus as well as a more user-friendly interface.
Autech is also giving the EV some aesthetic updates with the Nissan LEAF Autech edition. Along with the aforementioned ProPILOT, ProPILOT Park, and NissanConnect upgrades, the Leaf Autech will come in a new and unique color scheme called Aurora Flare Blue Pearl with a Super Black roof. For the Autech versions, this takes its color options up to seven.
As for the regular Leaf units, Vivid Blue and Stealth Gray colors are also added to the lineup, with the inclusion of a sharkfin antenna that now comes standard for all trim levels.
It is worth noting that the upgrades are being rolled out in Nissan’s home country of Japan. Despite the fact that the Nissan Leaf units that the Philippines will be getting will be imported from Japan, it is still unlikely that PH units will be getting all these new bells and whistles once the Leaf hits our shores. Cost will always be a primary consideration for any manufacturer when bringing their vehicles to different countries, and specs may get watered down for some.
Prices being mentioned, the Leaf starts at 3,326,400 Yen (approximately PhP 1,540,000) and 4,094,200 Yen (approximately PhP 1,890,000) for the Leaf Autech. With tax breaks and what we could hope for as competitive pricing, perhaps Nissan might have a different price scheme for the Philippines. Until such time, it’s nice to know, at least, that the Leaf continues to grow and be improved while moving towards an electrified automotive future.