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Nissan LEAF Earns “Top Safety Pick” from IIHS

Press release from Nissan: 

2013 Nissan LEAF

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Now in its third model year, the highly innovative, industry-leading Nissan LEAF pure electric vehicle added another award to its trophy case with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) “Top Safety Pick” designation, which recognizes vehicles for excellent performance in four passenger safety tests.

The LEAF achieved the Institute’s highest rating of “Good” in front, side, rollover and rear crash tests. Nissan LEAF joins Nissan Altima and Infiniti M37/M56 on the list of 2013 Top Safety Picks.

“Driver and passenger safety are top priorities for Nissan and the ‘Top Safety Pick’ designation by IIHS reflects the design and innovation that have gone into this car to make it a practical, no-compromise electric vehicle,” said Erik Gottfried, Nissan’s director of electric vehicle sales and marketing. “The new, U.S.-assembled 2013 Nissan LEAF provides customers with a remarkable level of value, comfort and security at prices competitive with gas-powered cars in a fun-to-drive package.”

Standard 2013 LEAF safety systems include Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt sensors and occupant classification sensor, front seat-mounted side impact supplemental air bags, roof-mounted curtain side impact supplemental air bags for front and rear-seat outboard occupant head protection, 3-point ALR/ELR seat belts (driver’s seat ELR only) with pretensioners and load limiters, child seat upper tether anchor, LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system and child safety rear door locks. Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Traction Control System (TCS) are also standard on all LEAF models.

“The IIHS ‘Top Safety Pick’ recognition speaks to the ‘zone body construction’ design from Nissan’s Safety Shield Concept to help protect occupants in a wide variety of crash scenarios,” said Robert Yakushi, Nissan director of product safety.

For more information, go to Nissan’s original press release.



1 comment to Nissan LEAF Earns “Top Safety Pick” from IIHS

  • mataliandy

    I test drove a Leaf in December, and absolutely loved it – it had the smoothest ride of any car I’ve ever driven. I was entirely ready to buy it, but it turns out our off-grid solar PV system is too small to cover the extra charge load, so we’re going to have to wait until we can upgrade our system – but when we do, this is the car we’ll buy next. There is a great federal rebate for all-electric vehicles, which means the Leaf will pay for itself in fuel savings over the life of the car. So not only do you save CO2 (even in states with coal powered electricity, except part of Colorado), but you essentially pay yourself to buy the car with fuel savings! For people for whom leasing makes sense, Nissan has an extremely good lease deal (I drive too much, so the mileage overage penalties would wipe out the savings).

    I didn’t get to try a Chevy Volt, which is a step between a regular hybrid and an electric car. I wish one had been available at the time I was in need of a new car. I know a couple of people (in California, not VT, alas) who have them, and love them. They report using almost no gas at all, getting mileage in the neighborhood of 100 MPG, with no worries about range. An interesting thing that tends to happen, though: they’re more likely to run out of gas – not because they use much gas, but because they go so many months without needing gas that they forget the car needs any! Not a bad problem to have.

    I ended up with a Prius C, which I really like. It’s smaller and lighter than the regular Prius, so its mileage is better – at least if you don’t drive like a maniac. I’m averaging 50 mpg on my long highway drive over the White Mountains, and 60+ when I drive locally on secondary roads.

    Reviewers keep comparing it to the regular Prius, and giving it unflattering reviews, but it’s supposed to be a hybrid equivalent to the Toyota Yaris, Ford Focus, or Honda Fit. When you compare it to those vehicles, its fit & finish is better, it handles better, peppier than the Focus, and is far more comfortable than the Fit. It has a very tight suspension, so you really feel the road, which some people don’t like. But I prefer that kind of road feel, especially in ice, snow, and mud. It’s easier to know what you need to do to counter bad road conditions if you can feel what is happening when it’s happening.

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