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Federal Tax Credit Up To $7,500!

The 2011 Nissan Leaf electric car qualifies for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500, effectively reducing the net base price from $33,720 to $26,220. In addition, some states offer their own purchase incentives, which can be combined with the federal credit. Other electric vehicle-related perks that vary by city or state include single-occupant access to carpool lanes, free metered parking and significantly reduced vehicle registration fees. Home charging stations, which cut charging times in half compared to standard wall outlets, are also eligible for attractive incentives. Nissan offers a useful state-by-state guide to Leaf-specific incentives and perks at nissanusa.com.

2013 Nissan LEAF

Overview
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2013 Nissan LEAF Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 8.0

The 2013 Leaf is the epitome of Nissan's determination for the continual advancement of electric cars. Case in point, the 2013 Nissan Leaf boasts an extended range, faster charge times, and a new entry-level "S" trim that holds the title as the most affordable 5-passenger electric car on the market. Although the notion of owning and operating an electric car might seem a bit daunting, the Nissan Leaf delivers the same basic driving experience as its conventional rivals. In the end, however, the pitfall of every modern electric vehicle is limited range, and the Leaf's EPA-estimated sub-100 mile range disqualifies it as a feasible alternative for many car shoppers. While the 2013 Leaf is unable to evade its fundamental shortcomings, green-minded buyers who have been waiting to purchase a reasonably-priced electric car will take delight in Nissan's zero-emission marvel.

You'll Like This Car If...

Whether you seek to reduce your carbon footprint, eliminate fuel costs, or simply despise gas stations, the all-electric 2013 Nissan Leaf won't disappoint. In addition, the Leaf's new pricing strategy proposes a strong affordability advantage over competitors like the Ford Focus EV, Honda Fit EV, and plug-in Chevrolet Volt.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you have an unpredictable driving schedule, travel more than 100 miles per day, or live in a residence without 220-volt power support, we recommend setting your eco aspirations on a plug-in hybrid like the new Ford C-Max Energi, Prius Plug-in or the Chevrolet Volt.

What's New for 2013

Now in its third year of production, the Nissan Leaf undergoes a significant price reduction along with a number of enhancements for the 2013 model year. Key revisions to the lineup include a new entry-level "S" trim, a newly available onboard 220-volt charger that reduces charging time to roughly four hours, and improved energy efficiency thanks to refined aerodynamics, additional regenerative breaking capabilities, and better energy management.

Driving the LEAF
Driving Impressions

Save for the absence of engine noise, the 2013 Nissan Leaf drives and handles like any mainstream vehicle. Whether in urban stop-and-go traffic or on a windy back road, we...

... found the Leaf to be utterly unremarkable, and we mean that in a good way. The electric motor's abundance of low-end torque provides brisk acceleration, particularly when pulling away from a stop. Although it restricts overall power output, activating the driver-selectable Eco mode can boost maximum range by nearly ten percent. The electric power steering is light and properly weighted for both highway and city driving. Press on the brakes and you'll notice that the 2013 Leaf lacks the vague, unnatural brake feel associated with most regenerative braking systems. Even the low-rolling-resistance tires serve up more grip than expected, allowing, if not encouraging, a modicum of spirited motoring.

CARWINGS TELEMATICS
This handy smartphone application allows Leaf owners to monitor their vehicle's state of charge, begin or end a charging session, and adjust the climate controls from virtually anywhere.

WHISPER-QUIET OPERATION
Although electric powertrains are inherently quiet, Nissan engineers worked to further reduce ambient noise levels by incorporating such sound-suppressing technologies as vortex-shedding body pieces, an acoustic front windshield, and an aerodynamic antenna. With the Nissan Leaf, tranquility comes standard.

2013 Nissan LEAF Details
Interior

The 2013 Nissan Leaf's contemporary exterior is complemented by a futuristic yet user-friendly interior. The spacious greenhouse can accommodate four full-size adults and a small amount of cargo. Furthermore, the tall roofline and generous expanses of glass give the cabin an airy feel. The front seats are relatively comfortable, though they don't provide much side support. In a nod to the Leaf's eco-friendly mission, the seat upholstery is crafted from recycled materials. And since a bag of golf clubs nearly exceeds the physical limitations of the diminutive 11.7-cubic-foot cargo bay, the rear seat features a 60/40-split design for transporting larger items.

Exterior

Although it might seem as if Nissan's design team borrowed a few styling cues from a 1980s sci-fi film, the Leaf's unconventional shape was developed to optimize aerodynamic efficiency. Additional streamlining elements include contoured taillights, ultra-lightweight alloy wheels wrapped in low-rolling-resistance tires, and headlight fins that direct air away from the side mirrors. These wind- cheating components yield a slippery 0.29 drag coefficient while helping to minimize wind noise. Recharging the Leaf is a relatively simple process, as the charge port resides conveniently within the front grille area.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

In base "S" form, the 2013 Nissan Leaf includes automatic climate control, keyless access with push-button start, heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and a 4-speaker audio system with Bluetooth connectivity and a USB port for portable music players. Mid-tier SV models add navigation, Pandora Internet radio compatibility for iPhones, and aluminum-alloy wheels, while the range-topping SL trim includes a solar panel on the rear spoiler, low-draw LED headlights, and a quick-charge port capable of delivering an 80 percent recharge in 30 minutes with a public DC fast charger. In terms of safety, every 2013 Leaf comes equipped with six airbags, a full range of electronic stability aids, and three years of complimentary roadside assistance.

Optional Equipment

The Nissan Leaf sees a handful of enticing new features added to its options list for 2013. Chief among them is Nissan's celebrated AroundView monitor, which provides a birds-eye view of the vehicle while parking, and a 7-speaker Bose premium audio system. Regardless of which model grade you choose, the 220-volt home charging station is a must-have for any electric car owner. This hardwired unit carries a rather lofty $2,200 price tag, though tax credits are available to help offset the cost.

Under the Hood

Energized by a 24kWh lithium-ion battery pack mounted beneath the floor (warranted for eight years/100,000 miles), the Leaf's 80kW/107-horsepower motor churns out 207 lb-ft of torque from zero rpm. Power is directed to the front wheels via a single-speed reduction gear, enabling a 0-to-60-mph sprint of about 10 seconds with a top speed of 90 mph. In the end, the Leaf's forte is an ability to run on inexpensive energy, and Nissan claims a full recharge will cost approximately $3.00. For those who are unfamiliar with electric cars, cold temperatures and aggressive driving habits will have a significant impact on total range, so be sure to consider the facts before heading to the dealership.

AC synchronous electric motor
24kWh lithium-ion battery pack
80kW/107 horsepower @ 2,730-9,800 rpm
207 lb-ft of torque @ 0-2,730 rpm
EPA-estimated range: N/A
EPA city/highway fuel economy equivalent: N/A mpge

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2013 Nissan LEAF Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 71 Ratings for the 2011 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.2/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    8.9/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

Awesome, Economical & Super Dependable!

By on Wednesday, June 1, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Most Everything, No Oil Changes, No Transmission"

Cons: "Only 70 miles on a full charge"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"We bought a used, 2 year old Leaf SL and it's our favorite toy. Quick sub 50 MPH acceleration, comfortable, spacious, quiet and quirky. I'm addicted to not buying gas. But installing a 240 volt charger is a must, must have! The 240 volt charger will juice up the Leaf with 25 miles range in an hour/ or full charge in 3 hours. But that's provided your model has the quick charge option. The Leaf is one of three cars that we own, and it would be somewhat limiting if it were our only vehicle, due to the range constrictions of 70 miles. And 70 mile range means you're driving very conservatively, in ECO Mode and with the Brake Regenerative function, as well. I'm no stranger to high end vehicles. I currently own an older model Boxster and Infiniti Q45, and adore them both. I've also owned a Nissan 350Z, Mercedes E class, BMW 735IL, Saab Turbo convertible, Honda Prelude, Toyota Cellica GTS, and Audi. So, when I say the Leaf is overall, one of the most favorite cars I've ever owned, you can get an idea of what I've experienced. If 70 miles range meets your everyday needs, consider the Leaf. You can always use charging stations when necessary, but that can be a bit of an inconvenience. Don't forget, you must invest the $500 for the 240 volt charger, and another $150 or so for an electrician or qualified handyman to install the plug for it."

8 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Excellent car.

By on Thursday, May 12, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Quiet, reliable, easy to drive, economical"

Cons: "None for my mission"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"It is a perfect car for my needs. I never have to stop at a gas station. I don't have to change/check oil. I only use the standard 110 VAC charger, no big deal. It has ample power and range. These electric cars are the future, a little sad but it the future. We enjoy the quietness and the ease in driving. I also have a pick up truck and sports car, but for our work commute, errands and grocery getting this thing is perfect. I have had two field campaigns for software and a warranty repair for the air conditioner."

5 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Great little electric car!

By on Friday, April 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "fun to drive, clean air, quiet"

Cons: "range"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I absolutely love driving this car - it drives so much better than my Prius! Especially when making a turn, it feels solid. Has great acceleration and drives like a regular car. I also love the room inside despite looking small from the outside. Never ran out of juice but then again, I planned my trips ahead of time. I just really wish they had an option with extra range or engine!"

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Nice car,but does not meet Nissan specs. on milage

By on Thursday, March 10, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Nice to drive, lots of options"

Cons: "Will not go the distance indicated on batter range"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Nice little car but don't expect to go any further than 35 miles on a charge. Nissan should replace the battery so the can would go at least 60 miles as indicated, but they will not. I have owned several Nissan's, but will never buy another one because of how Nissan has treated me regarding this car and it's battery problems. DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT THEY TELL YOU ABOUT THE RANGE"

7 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Battery capacity loss is real

By on Tuesday, December 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Comfortable, surprisingly good pick up"

Cons: "sticky brakes, extreme loss of range"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Great driving comfortable car; however, battery capacity loss is real and makes the car impractical. Even within the 3 bar loss allowed under the capacity warranty, the Leaf's miles have dropped to 40 miles (less in the winter). Also, the brake tends to stick while stopping, which require mashing the brake pedal into the floor to fix. Not a big deal, but a nuisance non the less."

8 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Depreciation nightmare

By on Sunday, November 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "GPS"

Cons: "Worthless resale value for purchasers"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Although the car is low maintenance and cheap to drive the range has always been about 70% of what Nissan claims. I bought the 8 yr 100k mile warranty 0 deductible but have not needed to use it once. Drive out price with TT&L and 0 down was 42,187. I owe 20,321. today and the can only get 10k on a a private sale. My payment is 552.00 a month on a 4% loan. I should have waited 7 months at the time and gotten the Tesla my wife wanted but I was in too big a hurry to stop polluting. Nissan should do more to help the early adopter purchasers get out of this cash burning machine."

27 people out of 39 found this review helpful

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