8 years ago when I moved to Arizona with my Ford Escort ICV, I found myself considering window tinting for the first time. I ended up getting very high quality tinting (except on the front window where I guess it is or was illegal?) and it made an immediate difference in my use of the vehicle. The sun can just be very difficult to deal with in AZ. Prior to the tinting I had found that even with the A/C on full-blast, it was kind of a lost cause in trying to keep the car fully cool. It is also a matter of the sun coming directly into the vehicle. Also, I don't know that I experienced a measureable uptick in MPG, but I don't think it hurt.
One of my first reactions to my drive of my leaf today, now that I've finally had a chance to get back to my first few drives, was that it was a warm autumn day in Southern AZ and while not as bad as direct summer sun, it was still a challenge. I needed to preserve my bars, so I was trying to drive without taxing the A/C and fan, but it was hard. Although not the only factors in making it hard, I'd estimate that the Leaf's tinting doesn't seem as good as in my Escort and that the Leaf has need of the absolute best tinting, not only to reduce load on the battery but also because there seems to be a lot of window space. The same qualities that might make the vehicle attractive and roomy feeling also may work against it a bit in the HVAC load area. I guess the AMC Pacer was a classic example of this?
http://www.stltoday.com/classifieds/tra ... d5eb2.html
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"...Having all that room under the hood came in handy for adding accessories, such as an A/C compressor. And that was a good thing, because the huge expanse of glass, while providing a terrific view from the passenger compartment, promised a very warm summer driving experience. ..."
I am not sure if the Leaf already has tinting, but I'm guessing if it does, it is not quite the best, so my suggestion to Nissan is to investigate this a bit further and just make sure that all Arizona and other hot-climate Leafs go out with the very best window tinting available. Also, I guess I'd look a bit more into the front-window problem, although I'm not sure if there's any legal solution that has been developed.
Sorry, if this is clueless, I'm just writing quickly and haven't had much time to do homework.