On Monday NLPC’s Mark Modica smartly called into question Consumer Reports’ sudden change in opinion about the electric hybrid Chevy Volt from a vehicle that they once believed “doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense,” to one the publication recommends. The next day, however, CR delivered an online review of the major all-electric vehicle on the U.S. market “the Nissan Leaf ” and while not intended to be scathing, the account given by reviewer Liza Barth makes the car sound so unappealing, she should have panned it outright.
I wish I could reproduce her entire account here without a charge of plagiarism, to detail exactly what a turkey the Leaf is, so make sure you follow the link to Barth’s assessment. And while giving somewhat a nod of approval in a late September review based upon CR’s very controlled facility testing, Barth’s real-life experience told the true story.
Her test of the vehicle was over the course of a long weekend, beginning on a Thursday evening. On her Friday morning commute from her New Jersey home to CR’s Yonkers headquarters which she said normally includes a 33-mile ride that incorporates the Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River. She already suffered a case of range anxiety. “So,” Barza wrote, “I opted to travel fewer miles and pay the $12 toll over the George Washington Bridge and another $2.25 over the Henry Hudson Bridge.” Ouch.
Barza contended that she and her kids enjoyed the Leaf and had fun driving it, but apparently only so long as she traveled no farther than the corner store (or an equivalent distance). Then she and her husband planned an evening dinner date, so she plugged the Leaf in during the afternoon for five hours (isn’t that an entire afternoon?), which she said only raised the range from 25 miles to 75 miles. “I wasn’t confident we would make it there and back to our dinner location, which was 60 miles round trip,” Barza recounted. So the Leaf could not transport them for the evening.