Is NISSAN LEAF a family-friendly car? Perspectives From My Hubby...

~ Posted on Monday, November 12, 2012 at 12:46 PM ~

(** NOTE: The following is written by David Tan)

When we first got wind that we were short listed to become part of the Nissan LEAF ambassadors, I had a whole list of things I wanted to test on the car. The typical nerd who wants to just know the parameters of the car; things like range, handling, gadgets, widgets, basically the bells and whistles. This car engages me in many levels. I will attempt to reveal them to you. Layer by layer.


To the Star Trek fans out there, this ship.. I mean car, gives the information heads up display (HUD) similar and not too far fetching from a Federation shuttle pod!

When you press the ON button, you’d be hoping one day you can hack the boot up sound to play: “Space… the final frontier…”.

When I reverse the car and align it on the road while the shuttle bay doors *ahem* auto gate is closing, and as you gracefully and effortlessly accelerate this car, the feeling is indescribable. It’s probably the closest we Trekkie fans of this generation will ever experience Star Trek shuttle with impulse drives! (Bearing a temporal time shift anomaly).

This car brings you from a standstill to 80km/h real fast and it does so without all the grunting, churning, revving and gear changing awkwardness. If this car had a voice automated command, it would say “Computer! Full impulse burst... ENGAGE!”

The beauty of all this Trekkie feeling is, you don’t need to be a Federation pilot nor engineer to drive this car. The car reeks of Doraemon’s simplicity, at the same time a huge cushion of safety designed to protect the user form his/herself.

Guys, I know all of us have very loving, caring, beautiful young wives (Shaddap and keep nodding if you know what’s good for you!!!). But does any of the below sound familiar to you?
  • Sending your wife’s car for oil change maintenance. (Why? Reached the mileage? No reached the time duration)

  • Driving your wife’s car out to refill petrol. Why? Very dangerous nowadays... plus when your wife ask you to do it... Wrong time to be a manly man…

  • You are at the office and the phone rings “honey the car cannot start, how yah? Can you come home?” @#($&)#@$&#@)$@#(!!!!!!!!

  • How many of them struggle with steep slopes at a traffic light? (aka bukit)

Well men, I have good news for you!
  • The Nissan LEAF DOES NOT require oil change. (What? It’s a miracle!!)

  • The car charges from home and in future at places like the shopping malls/super markets.

  • Yup, no more early morning dead battery emergencies.

  • The Nissan LEAF has an auto releasing handbrake that disengages the moment you start moving forward thus making the slope no longer a nightmare for many (including some men)

There is something very primal in us that leads towards, deep revs, gear change, torque transfer timings. But every now and then we need the TLC and pampering. Once the swimming pool I frequent for my daily swim was closed due to rain, I found myself instead spending an hour just driving to nowhere. It’s almost therapeutic.

There is no better feeling I have knowing my wife is driving the car with my children in the Nissan LEAF. Why? Not only because it’s has an NCAP safety rating, 6 airbags, reverse camera, isometric anchor for child seats or even the option to disable the front passenger side airbag so you can put your toddler car seat in front. It is actually how they are sewn together.

A lot of thought and ergonomic design has gone into the car to make all these features human. I only have 1 request. Please Nissan, please, please, insist on the 6 airbags when the car is finally on sale in Malaysia.

Like it or not everything boils down to dollar and cents right? Well I’m not going to give you guys too much data too soon (it’s only been a week), let’s try a whole month of heavy driving and then find out on an average monthly usage.

But all I can tell you now is my average charge (near empty) is about 14kwh so let’s take say 30-40 cents heck lets use 40 cents as a higher average rate we pay to TNB.
That equates to RM5.60 a day.

31 days of driving this car at full should cost between a range of RM130.20 – RM173.60 for daily average of 80kms (heavy traffic kl driving) that’s 2480km.
Compare that to my Nissan Sentra n16 SGL 1.6litre. To achieve 2480kms (average at about 350km per fill up of RM75 (Ron95), that’s 7 refills which cost RM525.

RM173.60 vs. RM525.
I’m looking at 66-75% savings.
RM351 a month extra.

That’s a 10% increment to a person who makes RM3,510 a month. Ever heard of a car that gives salary increments? Yeah me neither. Need more perspective?

RM351 can buy 2 weeks grocery for a family of 2 adults 1 elderly and 2 children.
It can buy 7 bags of 50 pieces of premium grade diapers.
RM351 a month into your mortgage can significantly reduce the repayment time.
Saving RM351 a month for 7 years at a savings interest rate of 3% equates to RM32,763.06 (calculated using savings calculator from

I must admit that I like everybody else am scared and pessimistic about how far this car can go before needing a recharge.

I pre-plan my routes and make sure.

Then how about my trips to Penang and Melaka for holiday? Well driving the car for 1 week so far I’m still trying to see what’s the maximum range this can go efficiently.. Furthest I’ve gone is PJ -> Shah Alam -> KL (super duper jam) -> back to PJ on 1 charge.

But there is a part of logic in my brain that tells me. “Hey David, this thing called planning route... isn’t this logical to do even if you are on combustion car?” See what I’m getting to here is this.

I’ve come to a realization that petrol is a lazy excuse to waste energy. Because the petrol pump is available everywhere there is not really a need to over plan routes. “Oh hey, David, it’s easy for you to say. How about us who don’t really have a choice?”

Exactly, choice! Nissan has been spearheading that choice to give us that ability that one day we can CHOOSE to throw down the addiction we have towards fossil fuel.

We hear, watch, read and even experience the effects of our carbon footprint we’re leaving behind. For who? Our children to inherit?


Ok so this is where I signoff for now. Before I do, I’d like to leave you with some words of a theoretical physicist.

Dr. Michio Kaku said, “We are in an era now that we have the power to destroy ourselves as a civilization or bring it to the next level of technological and civilization breakthrough.”

And I personally believe that the Nissan LEAF is a herald of things to come in the not too distant future ☺


Journal by Plan B, Publika

~ Posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 7:00 AM ~

On 20th October 2012, my family and I went to Journal by Plan B, Publika. This is the first time we went to this shopping mall. We were there for the 2nd ambassadors gathering for Nissan LEAF.

On the way there, my 3.5 years old boy complained of having stomachache. He told me he felt like punching pains and wind pains in his tummy. I was worried and totally had no concentration during the gathering. Thank God hubby and I are the couple ambassadors so it does not look that bad (hopefully) for me to be missing occassionally during the gathering.

My main priority is to entertain my boy, to bring back his good spirits and happy mood. When we reached there, my boy insisted to wear his diapers and said he felt like pooping. If we were at home, he totally has no problems pooping in his potty but since we are out and it's a new place, I gave in, brought him to the toilet nearby and put on a diaper for him.

While waiting for the others to arrive, I brought Ben to check out the malls. There seems to be some sort of green recycling event around the mall. Snapped some pictures with my boy admiring the creations and exhibits there.

I also snapped some pictures at the place we gathered, Journal by Plan B, which most people called 'Plan B' instead. Love the book decos stacked all the way up in front of the restaurant and the quirky chairs hanging and dangling from the ceiling.

When all the ambassadors arrived, a waiter came around to take our brunch orders. I ordered a turkey ham sandwich for myself and a strawberry cheesecake for my boy hoping it will cheer him up when he sees strawberry, his favorite! All the while, my hubby tended to my girl, thank God she is easy to care for during the initial period.

I actually have to bring Ben in and out, because he was getting restless and as a mum, anything as long as he is feeling happy. It pains me to hear him telling and complaining that his tummy is painful. About an hour later, his mood improved tremendously and he told me he does not feel any pain in his tummy anymore. Yay!

From then on, I can finally relaxed a bit and enjoyed my brunch - what's left of it as hubby fed my turkey ham to my girl! Arghh!!! Oh well, as long as my kids are happy!

Less than 3 weeks for us to spend with the Nissan LEAF… time goes by real fast!

Nissan LEAF - Week 1, the glam-ness, the giddiness & my complaints!

~ Posted on Monday, October 22, 2012 at 4:49 PM ~

Seems just not too long ago that I blogged about us Turning Over a New LEAF... and it is already 1 week passed by! Before that I just want to thank ETCM again for appointing my hubby and I as the first couple ambassador to test drive their awesome Nissan LEAF car. The experience so far has been extremely surreal and propelled us to a whole new level of glam-ness hahaha…

We smiled all the way as we drove out from the compound of Dua Residency, the venue where the meet and greet session was conducted between ETCM, the 2nd batch ambassadors and the press media staff.

Look at my hubby’s grinning from ear to ear face hahaha… he’s very excited to be able to test drive this car! The last time I remembered seeing him grinned like a small kid is when he’s carrying Alyson after she was born. So I guess the Nissan LEAF is kinda like our 3rd baby?

Anyway we drove our LEAF back home, my sister-in-law, Monica (hubby’s 2nd sister) drove hubby’s Nissan Sentra back home and was trailing behind our car happily when hubby decided to test the LEAF within the first hour itself and drove faster. So fast that my SIL complained later on that she lost sight of us the moment she saw our LEAF sped up and gone…whoosh…

We reached home first to park our Nissan Sentra and fetched Monica home. Picture below taken when hubby reversed our LEAF. Love this feature! I mentioned about this feature when we were being interviewed by the NTV7 reporter as I feel this is very important after reading and hearing many news articles and reports about cases of children being hit by cars as their family members accidentally reversed into them. I also feel this feature is good as it also helps us to decide better when reversing and parking (I’m not very pro in parallel parking, guilty!) By the way, the camera screen only turns on the moment it detects you are reversing.


Instead of fetching Monica home, we decided to detour to visit hubby’s 2nd brother, Daniel who is the chief-mechanic in a workshop in Petaling Jaya. Once there, we proudly showed him the car and he went for a test drive with hubby (and my 2 kids who fell asleep halfway driving back home) We then let Monica test drive the car to her home with us in the car and her comment after the test drive was: “No words to explain! The torque is super instant pick-up! I wannntttt aarrghhhh...”

Hubby took over the car once we reached her condo and we rested for a while as we need to prepare to go to a baby fullmoon party few hours later. During the party, hubby fetched about 6 of his college mates in the car for test drive while I stayed at the party with our 2 kiddos. All came back beaming and love the experience!

Before we head home, we dropped by at hubby’s 1st brother house and fetched him and his best friend for a test drive. Hubby’s eldest brother and his best friend love the car as well and commented on the smooth and crispness when hubby drove faster, something about the torque equivalent to a race car hahaha… After that, we went home and hubby charged the car and leave it until the next morning.

He also set the timer in the car to start the air-conditioning system at 10.30am in the morning as we normally leave for church on Sunday at 11am.

Picture above taken on day 2 of us owning the Nissan LEAF. Noticed the lights on the Auto, A/C button? That turns on at 10.30am sharp and if you noticed the ON/OFF button on the middle right portion of the above picture, it actually shows the car is not started yet, only the air-conditioning system. Cool eh? When everyone got ready to leave for church, we entered the car, cool and comfortable for everyone, no waiting time for the car to cool down, nice!

While we were waiting for my mother in law to get ready, our kids as usual, got into mischievous mode (my 3.5 years old Benjamin) and koala mode (my 13 months old Alyson) I’m sharing this picture below to show you how much leg space there is in front the passenger seat that my boy can stand and played there while waiting for his grandma to get ready. You can see my girl clinging like a koala to my hubby hahaha…

And picture below taken as hubby reversed to park our car at the church compound. Hubby said there are people standing around looking at the car as we finished the church service 2 hours later and he went to get the car to fetch us.

After church, we went to Section 17 Petaling Jaya for some chicken rice take-out and while waiting for hubby to order our meals, I saw a lady snooping around our car (my kiddos and I were still in the car waiting) and I then saw my hubby approaching her with our packs of rice and he struck up a conversation with her. They walked around the Nissan LEAF and at one point, the lady while holding her bags of grocery from the wet market, leaned her ears over the front bonnet of our car to hear whether there is any sound emanating from the car. As weekdays came, hubby took over the car to test drive it and he drove around to several clients’ location (OUG, KL city, Shah Alam, Damansara Jaya among few) and I have no idea how many of his clients got to test drive the car. Feedbacks from his clients will be shared in another post of mine OK?
As for myself, I got to test drive the car twice in the first week so far. I was on the verge of falling sick actually when I self-took this picture below, so apologies if I seem a little pale and giddy… haha…

I posted the picture below on my Facebook page and a friend commented about the lack of space in the driver’s seat since I was sitting so close to the steering and I quickly let her know that it is not because of the car being cramp (definitely NOT!) but more to my own preference as I prefer my seat to be closer to the steering.

To be honest, the 1st time I sat in the driver’s seat, I felt like I was sitting in a spaceship big car, the steering seem so far away and I felt like a small kid too! Once I adjusted the distance of my seat and making sure I leaned back comfortably and the mirrors are nicely positioned, I am a happy mummy!

On day 4, we went to Tropicana City Mall to do some minor shopping. There were some nice bargains on the diapers that our kiddos wear so of course being a frugal mum, I grabbed as many as I could heheheh…  Picture below showing you guys the spacious area in the boot of the car after we put in the 4 packs of diapers we bought. Hubby commented “This picture is nothing to shout about, we must take another picture when we go for our actual fortnightly grocery shopping at NSK soon.” And I do agree, those fortnightly grocery shopping is kinda scary because we buy a lot of stuff! So stay tuned as I’ll definitely share the pictures when the time comes!

I also want to share a little bit of observation about the lighting of the car at night. Picture below taken on day 6, correction, night of day 6 to be exact. Hubby was driving in after he got back from his daily swimming exercises. Look how bright is the light!!!

I guess that’s all the updates I can share for now. All the people who get to test drive the Nissan LEAF with us during the first week have nothing but good things to say about the car and really looking forward to seeing it being sold in Malaysia though some do expressed their concerns about the range anxiety and also hopes that there will be more charging stations made available soon.

My hubby for one is pretty much sold on owning this beauty if it is within our budget (*hint *hint Nissan any discount? *cheeky look* Hehehe…)

Sigh, talking about my hubby now reminded me that I do have something to complain about this car…

Yes people, finally some negative complaints on this car!

So yeah, this car is making my hubby whiny every day! Every night as hubby drives his Nissan Sentra back into our porch (it is parked behind the Nissan LEAF) hubby will come back whining to me that his Nissan Sentra sounds like a lorry now that he is getting used to driving the LEAF. He whines at every creaks and noises from his Sentra and dreads the 6 weeks ending soon.