Be honest, when did you last turn on your car’s air conditioning and think about the power – and the fuel – that it was using? Never. 
You certainly will when you drive the electrically-powered Nissan Leaf, because pushing that aircon button can cost you up to 10 miles of driving range.
Similarly, switching on the LED headlights, electrically-heated seats and steering wheel and seven-speaker Bose sound system all chip in with using power.
That, of course, is precisely the same for any car, whatever the fuel source, but no car demonstrates quite so graphically as the Leaf that every luxury comes at a cost.
The most important improvement for the 2016 Leaf lies hidden beneath the bodywork – a new 30kWh battery that offers a 25 per cent increase in driving range and, Nissan claims, up to 155 miles in ideal conditions on a single charge.
It is unlikely that you will get close to that in the real world, but as an example I drove from Witney to Kidlington, on to Oxford and back to Witney in rush-hour traffic and still had a 77-mile range left.
The extended driving range broadens the Sunderland-built Leaf’s appeal, making it a much more practical, and most importantly, anxiety-free proposition for drivers with a commute of say 80-90 miles.
Recharging the Leaf’s 30kWh battery is the same as with the 24kWh unit. So you can recharge it at home, at a public charger, or from the network of fast chargers which is expanding across Europe. In the UK, there are about 500 Leaf-compatible rapid chargers, covering more than 95 per cent of the UK’s motorway network.
One of the Leaf’s most useful features is its ability to interact with and be controlled remotely via a NissanConnect EV app. The smartphone-enabled system allows you to check charge status and pre-heat the cabin on cold winter days.
Another advance is the new charging map that not only displays which charging points are available in the area, but also those that are being used.
Standard equipment across the three-model range is high and includes automatic air conditioning, hill start assist, Bluetooth phone link and a tyre pressure monitoring system. The top-of-the-range Tekna model adds everything from heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, 17-inch alloy wheels and an around-view camera monitor. It also came with a seven-inch touchscreen that allows you to zoom in and out of maps and flick between menus by moving fingers on the screen.
The car is so quiet that Nissan has built in an “approaching vehicle sound for pedestrians” system which, at low speeds, emits a sound to alert pedestrians that a vehicle is approaching. When the vehicle’s speed reaches 19mph and pedestrians can to hear the car moving, the “approaching sound” automatically turns off.
While this five-door hatchback remains pricey, sophisticated and clearly not for everyone, the Leaf remains a car for the thinking driver.

Model: Nissan Leaf Tekna
Price: £27,975
Insurance group: 20
CO2 emissions: 0g/km
Top speed: 86mph
Length: 444.5cm/175in
Width: 196.7cm/77.5in
Luggage capacity: 13 cu ft
Warranty: Eight years/100,000 miles for electric drive components
Rest of vehicle: Three years/60,000 miles: 13 cu ft