Life with Kobi, my 2018 Leaf

Discussion in 'LEAF' started by Lou Grinzo, Apr 1, 2018.

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  1. Lou Grinzo

    Lou Grinzo Member

    As I've mentioned elsewhere on this board, I just purchased a 2018 Leaf SV. So I'm starting this thread to share my experiences, field questions, and generally try to help anyone in the market for an EV who is considering a Leaf.

    Currently, we have almost no miles on Kobi. We bought it two days ago and had to leave town literally within hours of getting the car into our garage. The roughly 10 miles from the dealership to our house was enjoyable and uneventful; I hope to have much more to say about it shortly.

    Kobi is "Super Black"; the dealer only had one SV in that color and one in pearl white. They got a pair of silver SLs the day we picked up ours, but that didn't matter, as the SV trim plus the cold weather package (heated seats, heated steering wheel, and hybrid heating system) was a very good match for us.

    As for the name... "Kobi" is short for "Kobayashi Maru", the unsolvable training exercise from the Star Trek fictional universe. My wife and I came up with this name for the car because of the difficulty we had in navigating the car market this time, and especially our frustration with the limited and sometimes odd (to our eyes) choices offered by car makers.

    I will add some more thoughts shortly, but everyone here, please feel free to ask questions.
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  3. Lou Grinzo

    Lou Grinzo Member

    Let me add a bit of background, for those who haven't seen my comments elsewhere on this board.

    Our first EV was a 2013 Leaf S, which we leased for 36 months, then extended the lease, then bought when Nissan offered an $8,000 incentive.

    Circumstances this time around were very different, but no less odd. We had several discounts we could take advantage of, including a 50% rebate of our last repair bill (more below), a $1,000 loyalty rebate, plus a sizable discount through my wife's employer. Combine that with the $2,000 NY State incentive and the $7,500 Federal incentive, and buying (as opposed to leasing) actually made sense for us.

    Part of that calculation is that our 2013 Leaf was still showing all bars. I attribute that to the fact we charged it exclusively via a 110v overnight in our garage and we don't live in a hot or excessively cold climate. So while our intended use will be for slightly more miles/year than the very low number we put on my 2013, we hope/expect the battery in Kobi to hold up for at least the three to five years we plan to have it before we leap into EV Nirvana and buy one of the two or three hundred EV models that will be for sale in the US by then. (Yes, I'm kidding.)

    About that repair... In November the heater in my 2013 Leaf failed. Total cost to me for the repair: $1,837. I contacted Nissan and asked them to cover the labor, a bit over $1,000. They refused and frankly were rude about it. At that point I had no intention of buying another Nissan, ever. Then I found out about their promotion that would refund 50% of my last repair bill. $918.50 isn't $1,000, but it's close enough.

    The only 100% EVs available locally that were worth considering were the Leaf and the Bolt. I test drove the Bolt twice, and my wife and I both took an instant dislike to the interior, particularly the dashboard. We liked the exterior looks and loved the way it drove. And what's not to like about a 60 kWh pack with a killer TMS? But I would have hated driving it, and even a leftover 2017 in LT trim (the lower of the two tiers) locally was $4,000 more than a Leaf SV. So it got crossed off the list. We drove and loved the Leaf, since it felt like a much updated version of my old car.

    And we just found out that we got a "cheap guy bonus" -- the WeatherTech floor liner thingies we bought for my 2013 are the same WT part number as the ones for my new 2018, so they should fit perfectly. Laugh if you want to, but that $109 savings will fuel Kobi for around 4,000 miles of blissful EV motoring.
    Domenick likes this.
  4. WadeTyhon

    WadeTyhon Well-Known Member

    Told ya you'd end up with a Leaf! ;) Unless another car really comes and grabs a persons attention, it's usually best to stick with the brand and model you know and trust. (Sorry that your Nissan dealer experience was lackluster, though!)

    Congrats on the new car! The 2018 is going to be a big improvement over your older model leaf!

    When I went from the Spark EV to the Bolt, I completely stopped worrying about range. :D Is it nice to have doubled your useable driving range?
  5. May I ask how much they gave you for your old LEAF?
    Also, I hope you can show us a few pics of the car.
  6. Lou Grinzo

    Lou Grinzo Member

    I've only driven the car about 10 miles (on the trip home from the dealership), as we had to leave town on short notice. But once I'm back home, I'm guessing the longer range will be a nice benefit. It will also let us make one particular, frequent trip in the Leaf comfortably, at least in those cases when we don't need the extra cargo space of my wife's Rogue.
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  8. Lou Grinzo

    Lou Grinzo Member

    Once the car and I am in the same place (should be tonight or tomorrow), I can take a few pix and post them. I'm not normally a black car guy (heresy on this site, I know), but I like the Leaf in that color. The thing I like the most about the redesign is the lift gate and back end, which not only looks much better but (to my eye) resembles the Murano.

    I got $7,500 for my old Leaf. Normally I would consider that a horrifically low number given the car's pristine condition, low mileage, and original price. But I'm guessing once the 60 kWh pack Leafs and other EVs are out, the resale on my 2013 with its puny 24 kWh pack will be roughly the price of a day-old loaf of bread. So trading it in now and getting a new Leaf with the discounts and incentives I mentioned upthread seemed prudent. (Plus, my total cost to acquire the 2013 Leaf, including lease down payment, all lease monthly payments, and the buyout, was only $18,000. So my net cost/year for the car itself was only $2,100. I suspect my new 2018 won't do quite that well.)
    Marcel_g and Domenick like this.
  9. Lou Grinzo

    Lou Grinzo Member

    A brief update, now that I'm back from my unscheduled trip out of town and I've had a chance to drive my new car a bit.

    Specifically: I'm still unsure about e-pedal, Nissan's single-pedal driving mode.

    I've tried it a few times for several miles of in-town driving and it's... weird. Lift off the accelerator and the car decelerates pretty sharply, but obviously this varies with how much you lift your right foot. My biggest problem with it is that to maintain your speed you have to remain much more aware of exactly what your right foot is doing. I don't find this a comfortable way to drive, and I think it's mildly distracting.

    I will keep trying it, though, to see if I can make peace with it. If I had to bet the cost of lunch at my favorite pizza joint, I'd guess that after a bit more experimenting I'll leave it off.

    Also: Let me repeat something I mentioned upthread and say that I'm willing to answer questions about the 2018 Leaf SV. So feel free to ask.
    Domenick likes this.
  10. It's good to know it's switchable, at least. So, with it turn off, is there absolutely no regen, or is it just a lot less strong. I think it still comes into play, blended with the friction brakes when those are applied (hopefully I'm not mixing it up with another car).
  11. Lou Grinzo

    Lou Grinzo Member

    That's exactly how it works (light regen on lifting off accel., much stronger regen when applying brakes), exactly like my 2013 Leaf.
    Domenick likes this.
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  13. Marcel_g

    Marcel_g Member

    Lou, can I ask how wide the hatch opening is? Is it the same as the gen 1 Leaf, at 37"? I like the look of the increased cargo space, but I was hoping for a wider hatch opening. I think the Kia Niro has a wider hatch but for the rest has similar interior dimensions.
  14. Lou Grinzo

    Lou Grinzo Member

    As best I can tell, the cargo space, hatch opening, etc. are identical between my 2013 Leaf and the 2018.

    A lot of people online comment about how the 2018 is more of a significant refresh and less of a complete redesign. I agree, and that's one of the things I like about it, coming from my 2013 S. This car (an SV level) has a much better interior in terms of the infotainment stuff, the bigger battery, and the hybrid heating system that often uses a heat pump instead of resistance heating. In daily driving, my wife and I like to say it feels just like our old car, but much better.

    And one more thing about the HVAC: The heat works noticeably better than the unit in my 2013. I assume this is due to the heat pump, but whatever the case, the heater throws much more heat than we ever got in my 2013, even after the infamous $1,800+ repair. In really cold weather, below 10F, my 2013 would barely warm up the cabin.
  15. Marcel_g

    Marcel_g Member

    Ok thanks ! - my next EV I’m looking for a bigger cargo space, so I can fit bigger paintings in it and carry my gear to art shows, and take the family camping. I currently rent for that, but if I factor in the monthly costs of those rentals, I could maybe afford more EV than my 2017 Leaf.

    I’m hoping the Niro EV or the rumoured Nissan CUV might fit the bill. The e-nv200 would be great, but not here in NA. The model Y might work too, but I’m not hopefull about the base model being available in 2020/21.

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