Likes and dislikes about the Leaf

I’m going to use this page to jot down things I like about the car, and things I find frustrating. It won’t be a fair or balanced list; I love almost everything about the car but it’s in my nature to focus on the things that bug me!


Drive train and control software seem to be rock solid
Smooth, predictable response to the accelerator
Seamless transition from regenerative to mechanical braking
Effective suppression of noise – especially mechanical and wind noise
Being able to switch on climate control remotely
Low power consumption of the climate control system
Ease of monitoring power consumption
Predictable range


Steering lacks feel and self-centring action is weak near dead centre
Interior quality patchy – some good points, but overall feels cheap and flimsy
The manual parking brake – presumably a response to customer feedback but a retrograde step IMO
Those headlights! (I know they deflect the airflow around the door mirrors)
Having to remember to engage B mode – why can’t I set it as the default?
Having to switch on cruise control before setting it – an unnecessary step
Fiddly and poorly-marked steering-wheel buttons – hard to locate at night
Low resolution of the monochrome LCD in the centre of the lower instrument panel
Speedometer over-reads by 10% at all speeds – legal but unnecessary and really annoying
Graphical user interface is a dog’s breakfast – far too many button presses for simple and common tasks
Maps – the mapping on my Garmin device is much clearer
Navigation – the system tends to ignore minor junctions; confusing and sometimes dangerous
Charge connectors only at the front – as a rule I’d rather reverse into a parking space
The high beam warning light needs to be in the upper instrument panel, not hidden away in a corner of the lower

One comment on “Likes and dislikes about the Leaf

  1. Hi,

    Interesting that you prefer to back in to a charge bay. I’d much rather go in forwards a/ because you don’t have to put up with gawping from passers-by but mainly b/ so I can keep an eye on the rapid charger (RC). Unfortunately my i-MiEV is stuck with your preference with both RC ChaDeMo and Mode 2/3 J1772 charge ports on the rear wings, behind the passenger and driver’s side doors respectively.

    As for other i-MiEV -ve points:-
    I wish I had cruise control – seems a very minor extra cost (£30 for a stalk or even just a button and the rest is in the firmware)
    Also wish I had a nice big screen to see what’s going on – I have the Peugeot iOn version so not even an option
    Likewise remote cabin pre-conditioning or just pre-conditioning on a timer. This is something I am definitely going to add myself. It is just too ridiculous to use battery power to de-mist etc when the blessed thing is connected to the mains! And why have the Yanks got it and not us?
    Creep! I absolutely loath it. Definitely the worst aspect of the car. It makes coming to a smooth stop almost impossible (unless you knock it into neutral at about 3 mph when the regen has stopped and the creep hasn’t started) and all the time you have your foot on the brake whilst stationary it is using power and unnecessarily stressing the motor and controller, not to mention consuming power! Balmy. At least they could have made it an option that one could turn off.

    Now, you might think that I feel burdened by an Albatross of a car after that list of gripes. In fact, the reality is quite the contrary. I thing the iOn is easily the best car I have owned in 40 years I have been driving. It is probably also the best car I have ever driven (short of the Model S I test drove a month or so back – an experience I described at the time as ‘the closest one will come to riding on a magic carpet’). Mitsubushi have done a fabulous job with the regen – the way the blistering acceleration with your foot on the pedal transitions into progressive regenerative braking as you release the pressure is absolutely perfectly seamless. Shame about the mess at the end that is the creep!

    It is also very comfortable, has a very competent bluetooth radio (or it is at least with my iPhone) and with the power mirrors, A/C etc it is a very refined machine. Range is about 60 miles at 60 mph – up to 90 if bimbling about town. Shame it costs £26k, new! Which brings me on to why I’ve posted all this here… You can get an ex-lease iOn from Howard’s of Taunton and Yeoville in the South-West for £8k – all are 2011 models and all have very low miles, some as low as 1k. Just mention my name please (and they’ll send me £50 for the referral!).

    Martin Winlow.

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