Who would have thought that an electric vehicle would walk away with top honours in 2011? Well, it seems one of them has. Nissan’s new poster boy after the GT-R, the Leaf, has made an impression on auto journalists and walked away with the European Car Of The Year (ECOTY) gong. ECOTY is instituted by an organisation of 57 respected auto journalists from 20 European countries.
The Leaf emerged victorious with 257 points, beating strong competition from Alfa Romeo’s Giulietta at 248 points and Opel/Vauxhall’s Meriva mini-van at 244 points. Powered by a 120 bhp electric motor and laminated lithium-ion batteries, the Leaf can hit a top speed of 145 kph and has a range of 175 kilometres. It boasts creature comforts such as air-conditioning, parking camera, sat-nav, advanced telematics and controls for charging, heating or cooling the car remotely or via mobile phone.