Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Electric car-2015 Nissan Leaf

As a recent past lease owner of a Nissan Leaf for three years:
positives: no emissions
no oil
no gas
$395.00 paid to Nissan: never buying or leasing another Nissan product
One 480 volt charging station within a 40 mile radius of home
2015 year of vehicle, max mileage range=70 miles, flat surface, 70+degrees F, no fan, no lights, no
wipers, drive 45mph
normal mileage range=50 miles (not 106)
when driving in a four season climate: no heat below 40 degrees F outside air
driving more than ten minutes in winter, freeze in car, leaks air badly
regenerate battery: 3 percent down 7 miles of mountain
18 percent used going up same 7 mile slope
charging time, after driving 40 miles at night in rain, 70 mph, used 82 percent
Do not lease, never buy this vehicle.

1 Like

Leasing is economically unsound no matter who you lease from.

I do not understand why paying $395 to Nissan has convinced you never to buy a Nissan.

It’s well known that the 1st gen Leaf is not a long-range vehicle. If you needed longer range than it offered, why did you lease it?

1 Like

Those drivability problems do seem to be extremely limiting, but since you only paid $395 for the car, at least you got a bargain price when you bought it.

1 Like

If there were only one gas station within 40 miles of your home would you buy a conventional car?

The Leaf is a fair weather city commuter car, it was never meant for highway driving or hily terrain.

I have two friends who own a Leaf, both are happy with it and recognize the limitations.


Someone did not do any research at all before signing the lease agreement. Is that $395.00 the monthly payment ?

Perhaps it is the monthly payment, but the paucity of details from the OP makes it sound like the total purchase price of this vehicle was less than $400.
Could the OP provide more details and some clarification of his/her original post?

$395 is the fee to turn in the car, would normally be waived if buying or leasing another Nissan.

Data from owners rates the Leaf as better than average for reliability and owner satisfaction. It has been redesigned for 2018.

Why did the OP’s 2015 fell so short on owner satisfaction? (Consumer Reports does not report on Lessee’s satisfaction, as far as I know.) Something wrong with this particular car that Nissan did not find and fix? Why? Was the Leaf a poor fit for this driver’s driving needs and conditions? Could that have been predicted and avoided?

One advantage of leasing is you know the way out and you don’t have to try to sell or trade in a car you own and despise.

The practical range on the car is about half the advertised max range. If a shifty dealer sold you on a 105mi range and get 50mi than satisfaction is going to be low. I’ve heard this as a common complaint. It’s only an issue if you were mislead.

I love my leaf. Work is 15 miles from home. Round trip is no problem even in winter. I haven’t bought gas for 3 years.

To get more range. Turn on eco mode, don’t run your heater.

If you are routinely driving 50+ miles a day. The leaf is not for you and you would be disappointed with it.


Welcome, jmirick! As a potential electric car owner, I have a question: do you own a conventional car to use on longer trips, or rent one, or just what?

I’ll have to decide if one car rather than two will take me into my 70s and beyond - and if it’s to be just one, electric probably wouldn’t work well for me, at least with the present engineering and recharging infrastructure. If I can afford two, an electric could be one of them, except it seems like buying a used one is asking for trouble in a few years, and new ones are so expensive. Your thoughts?..

We have two cars. My wife has a Hylander Hybrid and I use the Leaf for commuting to work and short trips around town on the weekend.

I bought the Leaf used. They lose value fast so you can prob get a deal. My monthly payment was around $100 and I was saving more than that in gas monthly.

You could also consider something like a plugin electric (volt). That should get you the range you need, but on short trips you wouldn’t use any gas.

I’ve loved having a EV… but you will have limited range. If you are going over 50 miles… the battery will get low and you will get stressed out :slight_smile:

If you’re worried about range, and you’ve got the cash, you can get a used Tesla, with warranty, for less than 40 grand and get over 200 miles of range out of even the least costly ones. It sounds expensive, but these are high 5, often 6 figure cars when new.