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2011 Nissan LEAF

Style:

Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 76 Ratings for the 2011 - 2017 models.

Review this car
more rating details
  • Value
    8.3/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    8.9/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    8.6/10
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Quiet But Always Noticed

By on Sunday, March 20, 2011

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

"The overarching impression from the Leaf is that it's a "real car." When you see a Leaf, you know it; its front and rear are both distinctive enough to distinguish it from similarly shaped hybrids. It's not an electrified version of a gas car, it's a model all its own — not unlike the Prius. One of the most interesting features is a small solar panel atop the SL trim level's liftgate spoiler. Don't be misled; this little thing doesn't add range — it just trickle-charges the regular 12-volt battery. I'd be willing to bet the high-voltage battery pack loses more energy when sitting parked than the solar panel collects. Due to the nature of electric motors, the Leaf has robust torque from a standing start — enough to spin the tires before the traction control intervenes, especially when turning after a traffic signal turns green. With a zero-to-60 mph time of roughly 7 seconds, off-the-line acceleration is sprightly up to around 45 mph, and then you see the rate begin to decrease — to a degree that you must be patient if you plan to pass at highway speeds. This is the nature of an electric drivetrain with no conventional transmission and only one "speed." The top speed is electronically limited to 95 mph. I found myself speeding inadvertently — a lot. This is always a good sign in a car. It reflects low noise levels, stability and confidence, things you don't always get in typical cars, much less in efficient ones. In normal driving, the car's dynamics are agreeable, and this is all most drivers will ever encounter. If you push the car harder, it corners differently than normal cars do. Best I can tell, it's because the 600-pound battery pack lowers the center of gravity dramatically, even compared with the Chevy Volt. The pack is under the front and rear seats entirely, which positions all that mass low and between the front and rear axles. In a normal car, when you take a sharp turn the body leans and the inside wheels get light, making the outside tires work harder to hold the car on the road. In the Leaf, when the tires begin to lose their grip, they seem to do so in unison. I'm struck by how simple it is, and I don't mean that in a bad way. The car has a battery pack connected through associated electronics to an electric drive motor that powers the front wheels through a few reduction gears and a differential. That's pretty much it. No clutches, no conventional transmission, no secondary source of locomotion."

78 people out of 90 found this review helpful

new owner comments

By on Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 700

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great for what its intended for."

Cons: "May face some long term range drop."

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

"We've only owned our Leaf for a few weeks, so our experience is still limited. However, I wonder why another owner who uses his car 20K a year and wants to drive more than 65 m/h bought this car? Our situation seems perfect for a Leaf, as we use it to commute and do local errands averaging 25 or 30 mi/day on weekdays. Even if the battery does eventually degrade by 20% as reported in hot climates like Arizona, we'd still be okay. So we're happy so far, and with a Prius for long trips our total gas savings over our previous car arrangements offers direct energy cost of about 25 percent of what we paid when we had a Nissan van and a Corolla. And we only use 17 percent of the gas we did before. Take that Big Oil."

13 people out of 15 found this review helpful

After watching for three years I took the plunge.

By on Wednesday, July 8, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun to drive, ultra reliable by all accounts."

Cons: "You need to owe the IRS $7500 for full tax break"

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

"Actually it was the BMW i3 ads that got me moving. The family said that was my car (the Tesla was not an option). After seeing both the i3 and Leaf at the auto show it was clearly the Leaf. In my case a 2015 SL with surround cameras and the Bose sound system. The fit and finish appear flawless. My range is around 100 miles. The air conditioning is excellent as well as the sound system (I'm not convinced it is worth the money though). My home only had an 80 amp service so to take advantage of a 6 kw level 2 charger I needed to modernize up to 200 amp (with a 50% contribution by the State). My family is tall so the extra headroom inside front AND back gives you an appreciation the roofline design. I think the instruction manuals total over 700 pages, but if you are the husband or wife of a geek you just get in and drive. It is that simple. The Carwings navcom system? That could use some improvement. This car is a real tour de force of Nissan engineering. Everywhere I look I see thoughtful design and excellent execution. 2 cents per mile fuel cost (in my case nuclear!) and service requirements pretty much limited to tire rotation and annual battery checkup are of course worthy of mention. So I tell my friends...great car for urban/suburban driving if you have a second car for road trips and a place to hang a 220 volt charger. I couldn't be more pleased with my purchase."

23 people out of 27 found this review helpful

Love this cur but....

By on Friday, November 4, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,250

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great economy"

Cons: "Range Anxiety"

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

"I simply love this car however, this is not for everyone. A) Buy this car only for commute and preferably less than 25 miles each way b) Buy this car only if you can live with range anxiety. You always have range anxiety. c) Buy this car only if you are ok with not zipping through the freeways all the time. Freeway range is lesser than city range. d) Buy this car only if you are ok in changing in your driving habits Mileage is phenomenal. Controls and nav systems are better than expected. Seats look cheap."

17 people out of 20 found this review helpful

If you fit the EV profile - LEAF is near perfect

By on Sunday, April 21, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 700

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Low cost of operation, Drive experience"

Cons: "Low quality carpet"

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

"This 2013 LEAF SL is our second LEAF. We had a 2011 SL on which we accumulated 12,000 miles in two years. Yes, we are low mileage drivers. Why the upgrade? Improved range, leather interior and some other feature upgrades - such as optional Bose audio and around view monitor that uses four cameras to check out surroundings while parking. LEAF is not for everyone. With it you can't drive from San Diego to Las Vegas. But with all of the money that you save on gas, you will be able to fly to Vegas, save time, and save money. The number one question I receive is "How far will it go?" My answer is consistent - if driving range is that important to you, this is not the right car for you. But if you fit the EV profile - daily drives total less than 60 or 70 miles (which is roughly 80 percent of the market according to various studies), LEAF is near perfect. The EPA range is 75 miles, but many drivers report the dreaded range anxiety as mileage increases, which is why I posited 60 to 70 miles above. Annual energy cost (according to the EPA) is $500 for someone driving 15,000 miles each year. The average new car achieves 23 miles per gallon (combined) and will consume $2,550 worth of gasoline each year at current gas prices. $2,050 energy savings each year of ownership adds up to significant savings. These numbers will need to be tailored to your own annual mileage. Pros? Time savings (no hunting for gas stations then waiting to fuel, and charging while we sleep). Reduced operating costs (no oil & filter changes, no tune-ups, no waiting for the above). Reduced dependency on oil. Cons? Nissan could have used a better quality material for the carpet. The floor mats help, but the carpet material is cheap. If that's the only con... I can live with it. Would I do it again? I already did!"

22 people out of 26 found this review helpful

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