The rating of the Nissan Leaf has been upgraded from 2011 to 2012. The car is unchanged and test results have been carried over from the previous year. The 2012 rating reflects the Leaf's performance of against Euro NCAP's latest requirements.
The passenger compartment of the Leaf remained stable in the frontal impact. The stiff centre console and structures surrounding the steering column posed a risk of injury to the knees and femurs of occupants of different sizes to the dummies used in the test, or to those sat in different positions. In the side barrier test the Leaf scored maximum points with all body regions being well protected. In the more severe side pole impact, protection of most body regions was good and that of the chest was adequate. The Leaf was tested with a live battery. No electrical hazards or problems were encountered during any of the impact tests. The protection provided by the front seats and head restraints against whiplash injuries in a rear impact was rated as marginal.
Based on dummy readings, the Leaf was awarded maximum points for its protection of the 18 month infant in the dynamic tests. The passenger airbag can be disabled to allow a rearward facing child restraint to be used in that seating position. However, information provided to the driver about the status of the airbag is not sufficiently clear. Permanently attached labels clearly warn of the dangers of using a rearward facing child seat in that seat without first having disabled the airbag.
Protection provided by he bumper to pedestrians' legs was predominantly good. In most areas where a child's head might strike, the bonnet offered good protection. In those areas likely to be struck by an adult's head, protection was in most areas either good or marginal.
Electronic Stability Control is standard equipment and met Euro NCAP's test requirements. The driver and front passenger seats have a seatbelt reminder system as standard. A driver-set speed limitation device is also standard equipment.