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2011 World Car of the Year: Three finalists – one’s not a car

Sat, 05 Mar 2011

Nissan LEAF in a bubble at Geneva

It looks like the WCOTY (World Car of the Year) is infected with the same set of vested interest as the European Car of the Year – they’ve voted the Nissan LEAF as one of the three finalists.

By any sane measure the Nissan LEAF is not a car. It is at best a very good second mode of transport for those who don’t seek value and live in an urban area. As a car to replace any ICE (internal combustion engine) car, it’s a non-starter.

First off, it is atrocious value for money at £30k (a price that is probably supported by Nissan). That’s twice what a Focus or Golf would cost you. LEAF supporters would say it’s only £10k more because the taxpayer (you and me) chip in £5k.

Well, if that £5k subsidy isn’t as clear an indication of how overpriced the LEAF is, I’ll go to the foot of our stairs. As my dad would have said. And the fact is the subsidy is only there for the first 8,000 cars anyway.

That the damn thing can only take you for 40 miles before you have to turn round and go home is bad enough. But you then have to wait overnight for it to refuel before you can go out again.

No, the LEAF is not a car. It’s a toy. A toy for wealthy people to play at eco-mentalists. Let’s just pray that the WCOTY jury are sane and strong-minded and pick either of the other two candidates for WCOTY – the Audi A8 and BMW 5 Series.

Just to prove the World Car of the Year Awards are completely potty, the Nissan LEAF is also nominated in the Green Car of the Year Awards along with another overpriced and over-complicated sacrificial offering to the green lobby – the Chevy Volt.

Thankfully there is one brilliant, proper car in the Green car finals – the BMW 320d EfficientDynamics – which wipes the floor with the pair of them. And it’s a cheaper.

The world’s gone mad.

By Cars UK