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ransom
ransom UberDork
10/13/13 1:14 p.m.

The WRX is gone, and we now have on lease this 2013 Leaf SL. We were, as noted in my previous thread teetering on the brink of doing a TDI Sportwagen instead, and Thursday evening we had lamented that the lease terms from Nissan had mostly seemingly standardized on 36 months, and wouldn't it be nice if they did 24 again so there was a bit less of a haul if it turned out not to work out for us... Lo and behold, the next morning the dealership we'd been to and had a reasonably favorable experience at on the last test drive was running just such a thing.

I have no idea how we really did on the negotiations, and as usual, now that it's over, I almost don't want to know. Anyhow, it felt a lot better than when we bought the WRX. That said, they came within one vague answer of us walking away and buying the TDI just because we had a simple, concrete price via my CU's service and were so tempted to go that way anyhow. Feeling like we had a Plan B that we were tempted to make into Plan A made it less stressful.

It's a neat little car. I think I, so far, am settling into driving it more aggressively than the WRX; it's still quite efficient even when you're having fun, and that thrust at city speeds is fun. And there's no external indication that you're driving like a fiend 'til the tires squeal (which I haven't actually done yet; I've actually only driven it home from the dealer and out for breakfast ingredients).

Right now we just have the 120V power source. It's not unlikely we'll add a level 2, 240V unit, but the reality is that so much of our driving will never come close to using the full range in a day that most of the time we'll start with a full charge in the morning even with the trickle charger. I suppose I'll only have to get annoyed with the setup once or twice before deciding it's worth it for the L2, though. Plus it's a very Portland upgrade to the house's marketability

For now we're planning on taking the Leaf for shorter out of town trips where we can plan for charging, and renting something for longer trips. We've agreed that if that ends up making either of us mental I get to go get some kind of road trip car, but we're going to try not taking on the parking, insurance, maintenance if we can avoid it...

Got a lot to learn about the nav/widget details. It was neat to turn on the heater while I started to prep breakfast and go out to a warm car, bu it was also a warm car with fogged windows, so that could use a little looking into...

Anyhow, I'm stoked for our new adventure. If I'm honest, as a car, I think I preferred the Sportwagen, but in terms of picking the right tool for the job for two people who drive almost exclusively around town, averaging probably 25 miles a day (and quite possibly less than that), it was just too compelling to pass up. Add to that the fascinating technology, the sense of adventure, and the fact that the free market waits for demand before doing development... I'm excited to see how this goes.

One last observation about driving it: It's really easy to wind up exceeding the speed limit; there's very little sensation of speed. The ride is taut and nice, but there's little wind noise, and no engine noise.

Mr_Estrotica
Mr_Estrotica Reader
10/13/13 3:12 p.m.

That's really quite cool! I'm looking forward to watching you run it around a bunch of cones, but mostly I want to see it out in the English pit next time there is an ORG meet there.

Keep us up on how you feel after the first month/500 miles. This something we've talked about doing at my house, too (although we're looking more in the disposable beater direction for Crystal to run up all the mileage on).

Vigo
Vigo UberDork
10/13/13 4:52 p.m.
I think I, so far, am settling into driving it more aggressively than the WRX; it's still quite efficient even when you're having fun, and that thrust at city speeds is fun.

Huzzah, my hoons-per-kWh argument is vindicated!

bastomatic
bastomatic SuperDork
10/13/13 5:03 p.m.

Nice! I do wish sometimes I had sprung for the SL, but the SV has done well enough so far. I think if I had listened to the stock speakers I may have opted for the premium pack.

I keep mine in B mode and Eco about 99% of the time, turning off Eco for a nice NOS kind of feel when overtaking traffic.

Watch your speed in neighborhoods, it is very easy to look down and find you are going 40 with no aural feedback from the drivetrain.

Matt B
Matt B SuperDork
10/13/13 5:16 p.m.

Also looking forward to updates. I had a surprising amount of fun when I test drove one. If I didn't already have 3 vehicles that I won't part with I'd have one already.

EvanR
EvanR HalfDork
10/13/13 6:13 p.m.

If it's personal you don't have to answer, but what is your down and monthly?

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
10/13/13 6:47 p.m.

FYI, we got a pretty hefty tax credit (almost $600 if I recall correctly) for installing our 240V charger. That kind of justified the cost for me. Plus 4-hour charges are sweet.

jg

ransom
ransom UberDork
10/13/13 7:29 p.m.

In reply to EvanR:

We are doing a 24-month lease, put down IIRC (and yes, you'd think I wouldn't need the papers in front of me the next day) $3800ish ($1999 cash and the remainder from what was left from the trade-in after paying off the WRX). Which was a chunk, but makes our monthly a reasonably nice $204. That included rolling ~$600 in license and reg into the cost of the lease, but doesn't include a ~$400 "disposition fee" when we exit the lease.

ransom
ransom UberDork
10/13/13 7:32 p.m.

In reply to JG Pasterjak:

I keep forgetting that Oregon, I think, has something similar (I plead fried brain from the selection process; I also forgot to clean up after some friends' cats this weekend like I said I would...); I need to look up some reviews on the Clipper Creek L2 unit, as they have a version right at $500 (though I'm going to need a hefty run of big copper to wire it in).

It would definitely provide some peace of mind to have that 4-hour charge, and if the cost is mostly offset by the credit, why on Earth not?

ransom
ransom UberDork
10/13/13 7:35 p.m.

In reply to Mr_Estrotica:

Will do!

BTW, your new avatar keeps making me think of this, but you should probably watch this first if you haven't already seen it...

ransom
ransom UberDork
10/13/13 7:38 p.m.
bastomatic wrote: Nice! I do wish sometimes I had sprung for the SL, but the SV has done well enough so far. I think if I had listened to the stock speakers I may have opted for the premium pack.

We were also partly swayed by the Around View. As crappy as rearward visibility is out of new cars... well... okay, there's some geek gadget lust, too...

bastomatic wrote: I keep mine in B mode and Eco about 99% of the time, turning off Eco for a nice NOS kind of feel when overtaking traffic.
So far I'm liking B mode, non-Eco. I feel like it takes too much pedal to get the thrust I want in Eco mode, and the car feels much more eager and lively out of Eco.
bastomatic wrote: Watch your speed in neighborhoods, it is very easy to look down and find you are going 40 with no aural feedback from the drivetrain.
'Struth!

ransom
ransom UberDork
10/13/13 7:39 p.m.

BTW, as long as I'm monopolizing my own thread, I love that that pic shows exactly 50 model years' gap. '63 Ranchero next to '13 Leaf.

bastomatic
bastomatic SuperDork
10/13/13 8:06 p.m.

Nice. My other daily is a 1973, which I find amusing.

bastomatic
bastomatic SuperDork
10/13/13 8:09 p.m.

For a level 2 station, I am contemplating having a third party upgrade the cable that Nissan supplies to handle 220. It costs around $300 if I remember right, and then I could bring it with me and plug into RV sites and dryer outlets if they are available.

ransom
ransom UberDork
10/13/13 8:14 p.m.

In reply to bastomatic:

What does that get you for speed? Clipper Creek's plug-in model is I think $550, and I think is a 4-hour charge (might be 5; it's a 30A, not 40A 240V).

bastomatic
bastomatic SuperDork
10/13/13 8:47 p.m.

It says 3 to 5 hour, it is a 30 amp cable, so should be identical to the clipper creek model you mention.

You do have to ship your cable to them, so you would be without the trickle charger for perhaps a week.

Linky

Mmadness
Mmadness Reader
10/13/13 9:16 p.m.

I'll leave this here: http://www.caranddriver.com/features/the-nearly-10-g-nissan-leaf-getting-an-ev-to-grip-like-a-911-feature

ransom
ransom UberDork
10/13/13 11:32 p.m.

In reply to Mmadness:

If you find that interesting, you may also want to peek at this.

Nothing Earth-shattering. And of course since I'm leasing none of it makes much difference to me.

I'm a bit curious about where Leaf performance goes, but in immediate terms it's mostly a really neat, really efficient way to leave my time and energy to make the 2002 live again

Klayfish
Klayfish SuperDork
10/14/13 6:47 a.m.

Gee, that car looks familiar. Same color as mine and all, very nice. I have the huge "Zero Emission" stickers for the doors Nissan sells, just haven't had them put on yet.

As for the windows fogging, if the compressor isn't running, that'll happen quickly in the Leaf. Mine does it too if I have the windows closed and no fresh air coming in. A quick blast of defroster clears it right up.

You may want to look into Level 2 charging. It makes life so much easier. I had my factory EVSE converted for under $300 to accept Level 2. It makes it nice so that if I come home from work and want to run back out in an hour and do errands, I can. With Level 1, I couldn't do that.

The tires will squeal fairly easily. As much as I love my Leaf, sporty is not an adjective I'd use to describe it. The word I always use for the handling is adequate. It's not bad, but it's not great...it gets the job done.

I've done a lot of playing around with Eco vs. non-Eco and I have found there to be zero difference in my miles/kwh. None. So I leave Eco off most of the time. I'll use B mode if I'm in an area with lots of stops signs or lights, but for long open roads I leave it in regular D mode.

ransom
ransom UberDork
10/14/13 9:39 a.m.

Twinsies!

I need to look over the books a bit, but I'm guessing the simple answer is that the phone's ability to turn on HVAC just turns on whatever settings it was left on? So one's gotta leave it in defrost mode in order to come out to clear windows...

Klayfish wrote: Gee, that car looks familiar. Same color as mine and all, very nice. I have the huge "Zero Emission" stickers for the doors Nissan sells, just haven't had them put on yet.

In all the hubbub, I actually failed to notice that this one has the small, chrome letter version of the "Zero Emission" thing on the doors... I'm sorely tempted to get little magnets to add a carat inserting "tailpipe" or "local" in the middle of those two words. Again, I'm stoked that we can get our energy use offset with wind power here, but it's still not like it's perfectly clean...

I think today, definitely this week, I'm going to drive it out a local twisty road to a burger place for lunch. I'm just curious...

JohnRW1621
JohnRW1621 UltimaDork
10/14/13 9:53 a.m.

Around here, I would want a sticker on the back referencing powered by coal.
This was the only example I could find.

Where you are, maybe something like this:
http://www.cafepress.com/mf/61251491/nuclear-powered-car_bumper-sticker

ransom
ransom UberDork
10/14/13 10:13 a.m.

In reply to JohnRW1621:

Well, actually more coal than nuclear here:

But we do have the option to purchase more of our energy via wind (not that our specific electrons come from there, as if that mattered; people just tend to point that out when this comes up), and the extra wind charge goes into more windmills. Not perfect, but pretty cool...

JohnRW1621
JohnRW1621 UltimaDork
10/14/13 10:24 a.m.

How about, "This car powered by waterfalls"
Dam Powered or Dam Power Full

For here in Ohio, this is the 2011 breakdown:

ransom
ransom UberDork
10/14/13 10:26 a.m.

In reply to JohnRW1621:

Ha! I like it...

"Dam the Columbia, full speed ahead!"

(EDIT: For those not from the area, the Columbia is one of two large nearby rivers. You guys probably could've guessed that, but hey...)

tuna55
tuna55 PowerDork
10/14/13 11:56 a.m.

I giggled as I checked the price of gas, instinctively wondering if I should fill it up.

The weirdest one was when I got gas in the Leaf - for the lawn mower.

You'll like it. I am enjoying my lowly S.

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