The Puck is a waste of valuable interior real estate, as is the parking brake. A sensible location when mechanically attached to a transmission and rear brake drum actuator, but unnecessary for the simple electrical switch that they have become. Also, operation is not intuitive. Pulling what looks to be a parking brake release sets the parking brake ??? And the puck ruins the PRNDL convention that is the standard subconscious expectation. Pulling the puck to R or D will give you neutral if held too long. Pulling to N gives you… Park ? The position of the Puck and Parking brake tells you nothing, there is no tactile feedback. You need to look at the dashboard to know if/what gear the LEAF is in, and if the parking brake is on or released. Both are distracting.
At the Fit EV introduction, drivers got into the Fit EV and drove off. An ignition key you could twist, a drive selector and parking brake that operated as expected, needed no instruction. Two drivers needed assistance to get underway in the LEAF that Honda provided for comparison in the short time I was there. 5 days and 600 miles into driving the LEAF myself, it is still a conscious effort to get underway, and this from a MINI driver. Sure, drivers eventually get the hang of it, as I did. But I can blame the quirky nature of the MINI on an effort to evoke the original Mini’s retro driving experience. The LEAF was a blank slate. An opportunity to make it better or make it intuitive. Instead, the LEAF drive select and parking brake seem to have shunned convention for the pure novelty, at the expense of driving and interior utility.
- 2009 BMW MINI E > 2013 Honda Fit EV > 2017 Chevy Bolt EV
- 2013 Ford C-Max Energi > 2020 Jaguar I-Pace HSE