Post by dave on Jan 25, 2019 3:12:57 GMT 11
My Leaf has finally arrived, and I thought I'd share some things in this thread, particularly things I would have loved to have known when considering. Hopefully this wall of text isn't too daunting, it's mainly for the version of myself that spent too many hours trying to piece together the puzzle and work out where the high value propositions were.
I bought a 2017 30G, with the help of Ben at J-Spec, some pics are available on his facebook page. I paid ~$30k by the time it was shipped, complied, stamp dutied, and registered with instrument cluster conversion and conversion of the EVSE cable (Japan is 110v). I would expect to be in positive territory if I was to sell but who really knows, I did pay more than I needed to I think but I didn't want to wait forever, the auctions have few models with the 360 camera available. Battery has all the bars but Leaf Spy reports SOH to be 83% - those things seem in-congruent to me but I am new to the Leaf world.
My intent was to get something fairly cheap as a second car (short commute distances and Tesla reservation), but I ended up going higher as my wife has some tight parking at work so I wanted to 360 camera support - it turns out this comes hand in hand with the Bose sound and you're pretty much at the top of the line with (as far as I know) every option ever offered in the Japanese market. I was unable to ever find evidence that the speed limiter was ever made available outside the US. The 360 camera does make parking really nice, every bit as useful as modern audio/visual sensors, and way more useful than basic sensors that just beep.
I'm in Brisbane, for compliance I used Japan Imports, and everything went smoothly with some bonuses, but one shouldn't be in a hurry as delays are inevitable. I had been prepared to pay quite a bit separately to get the instrument cluster converted to English, but Chris did this for $165 as part of the compliance which was a huge bonus both in convenience and savings of time and money. My only option for conversion of the head unit (currently) is removing and posting to somewhere in the Russian federation for around AU$1100 (incl Android Auto). Probs not going to go there, but maybe. I understand the car may be either undriveable or will complain heavily in the absence of the head unit. A cleaner option for those not wanting a high spec Leaf is to take the base model and replace the head unit entirely - this will be a truly bottom of the range though, not even basic cruise control. I've been able to connect my phone for calls and media streaming via bluetooth with little trouble, using Google Translate via the phone camera - pretty straightforward. GPS will never, ever work sadly, and the FM radio will require a little inline dongle to shift the Australian frequencies into the Japanese range, meaning 97.3, for example, won't be at 97.3.
Now come the surprises! Upon collection I discover this has a factory Nissan "Drive Recorder" (dashcam), Forward Emergency Braking (aka AEB), and, subject to some further investigation Intelligent Cruise Control. I've never heard of any of these as an option pre-2018 before, nor have I been able to find out anything googling, Chris at Japan Imports has similar options on a very nice 2016. The ICC a true blessing, coming from a Merc with Distronic Plus I have been dreading going back to "active" highway driving. I've only had a very brief drive today and can only say that it doesn't seem to work under 40kph, and did seem to work above 40kph, but I'll stop short of rejoicing until I am certain (and not seeing what I want to see). I didn't find evidence of the radar sensor, it's possibly camera controlled like my wife's BMW, will report back with facts when I have them. Quite possibly the telltale sign of this is windscreen camera visible in the pics, it's similar in shape to Merc and BMW assistance cameras, although it's possible some models could just have Lane Departure Warning and nothing else and still have the camera. Tech from the same year on a different Nissan uses the camera for pedestrian detection, that's all I know, any volunteers?. The dashcam didn't show up in the pics, but it's mounted to the driver side of the driver assistance camera and looks like a 3rd party dashcam until you see how it's wired. Seems to be great (I've spent a lot of money on various dashcams), but is only forward facing. Has a parking mode but I haven't tested that. The model is G20A0-C9980, made by Kenwood and required an SD card to be specially formatted with software before it would work. It also comes with software for viewing footage which appears to be written in dot net so there's a possibility of translating it if there's enough interest. The microsd card is readable on Windows too so the software isn't necessary.
In retrospect, if I had know about these options they would probably have made my must-have list. But there is very little info on the web, my guess being everything is only in Japanese so English search terms won't help.