So I’ve decided it time to replace the Leaf.

I’ve done a heap of research including getting lease estimates from Smartleasing and had narrowed it down to 3:

Then BYD came along and announced the Seal with some pretty good specs and even better pricing.

So today Lilly and I went out to test drive the XC40 and the iX1.

First impressions

XC40 Recharge

Well, we didn’t actually drive the XC40. They gave us a C40 Recharge since the XC40 demo they had was the Recharge Twin.

What I immediately noticed was that the steering was quite stiff and the brake was very touchy. I drive the Leaf almost exclusively in one-pedal mode so the not very progressivr brake pedal was starting to annoy me. But it was pretty easy to find the option to change to one-pedal mode from the settings on the middle display.

After that it was a great car to drive. It felt very similar to the Leaf although more solid, a bit roomier and very quiet. When putting the foot down the car still felt very solid compared to the iX1.


The demo was in the xDrive30 model and I was surprised at how powerful it is. It actually took a bit of getting used to and there were a couple of moments where I thought you could really get yourself into a bit of serious trouble if you’re not careful. I probably put it into Performance mode too early because it was a jerky drive initially. But the way the middle screen is organised is terrible. There are far too many icons and some of them seem to take you to the same information. So I couldn’t figure out where the one-pedal mode was.

Then I shifted it to B mode and got some very aggressive regen when I lifted off the pedal. It also seemed that it was also the car’s one-pedal mode. The last set of traffic lights before returning to the dealership I got my chance to do a launch and whooooo! Hit 70 km/h before I knew it and looked in the rear-view mirror to see that the car behind me had barely entered the intersection while I was about 50m down the road. Honestly, who the fuck needs that sort of power?

Second impressions

So I’m writing this bit the next day and I’m leaning towards the BMW. Partially because I was probably going to get an X1 to replace the Jeep if I hadn’t found that the Leaf and Ioniq were in my price range at the time. The BMW also felt a little more luxurious and the light coloured interior wa nice. The 40-20-40 split rear seats were also a nice touch.

Further thoughts

But now that I’ve worked through the options by writing them down, I think I prefer the Volvo. Time for a cost-benefit analysis.

Final thoughts

Which car feels like I’m spending $90k on it.

The Volvo is a more powerful and slightly roomier Leaf. Although Lilly still needed to mind her head when getting into it.

The BMW feels bigger and the Oyster interior makes it feel bright and airy. The XC40 Recharge Twin has more power and is quicker but the rest isn’t much different from the RWD version. Which makes me lean towards the iX1.

Of course finance is the final hurdle. Smartlease won’t deal with me until my probation period at work is served. I thought that converting from contracting to permanent after 7 years would make things simpler and yet there are new hurdles. C’est la vie!