2013 Nissan Leaf Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2013 Nissan Leaf Hatchback

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Nissan Leaf Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine .0 L 0-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 1-speed Direct Drive
  • Horse Power Info is not yet available.
  • Fuel Economy 129/102 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2013 Nissan Leaf

  • Although there are a handful of choices now for an electric vehicle now, the 2013 Nissan Leaf is still the most established. It's a smart choice for an EV.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Spacious, quiet cabin; ample features; established in terms of reliability and availability; affordable base price.

  • Cons

    Limited cruising range; mediocre performance.

  • What's New for 2013

    The 2013 Nissan Leaf receives a new 6.6-kW onboard charger that cuts charging times in half. There's also a new "B-mode" driving mode that increases regenerative braking during deceleration. Finally, Nissan has added a more affordable S model to the lineup.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Makes me enjoy driving!

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Vehicle: 2013 Nissan Leaf SV 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)

This is the best car I've ever owned. Front seats are very comfortable. It is whisper quiet even at high speeds, has adequate storage area, seats 4 comfortably. We decided to lease the 2014 because technology is changing and - like a laptop - it could be hard to resell a few years from now. We got the $7500 rebate, a great trade-in on the 2006 Prius and the payments are incredibly low - $183 a month. The quick charger works great and recharges the car in a few hours and the city paid for half of the cost! It's a no-brainer: it's the perfect second car for running errands around town and 90 miles will cover a lot of errands! Love it!!



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Getting used to value!

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Vehicle: 2013 Nissan Leaf SL 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)

I have owned my Leaf for about 3 yrs now and I still marvel at all the gas, oil, and maintenance dollars I have saved over the years. I also own a Highlander hybrid and it's amazing how much just routine maintenance costs each year. The LEAF still looks new and has not had the first problem. Of course, it would be nice if the range was over 70 miles, but as a 2nd car that is really all I need. From a value standpoint this is one of my best buys. My wife and granddaughters all fit fine in the front and back and it's a great car about town. I charge the Leaf about 95% in my garage and my electric bill is still in the same range as it always was - you would never know I charge a car daily.



2 of 4 people found this review helpful

Know what is important to

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Vehicle: 2013 Nissan Leaf SL 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)

I lease a 2012 Leaf. It comes with no spare tire, a real drag. It is not a winter car for those who have trouble driving in snow. It needs winter tires for the front, and I don't know how much that will help. Using heat,wipers,defrost, and driving in snow lessens the range by 30%. I commute 26 miles uphill <1000 ft and I've used 80% of the power to do it in winter on bad days. I use a 120volt space heater to warm the car first. Better range (126 mi/charge) 2016. Ad now is misleading . 126/106 isn't the range, but the mpg equivalent- comparing it to a gas car. Don't be fooled. Solar roof is available only overseas,not in usa yet. Decent second car, my 1st, but I'm waiting to 2016 for next..



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Going ev - sooner the

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Vehicle: 2013 Nissan Leaf SL 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)

I sat on it for 6 months before i pulled the trigger. My daily commute is 40 to 60 miles (one way) and I spend $600.00 a month on gas. model:SL with 360 all around view with Bose sound system I stopped by my health club (before or after work) to charge my car while I work out. Travel takes more planning than driving ICE vehicles but eventually becomes systemic. at times when I get low on battery capacity, i just move over to slower lane. i watch power meter like a hawk and rarely go over the 4th circle.



13 of 47 people found this review helpful

Not a cold weather car!!

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Vehicle: 2013 Nissan Leaf SV 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)

If you live where it rains or snows don't buy this car. The car body designers never drove this car in rain or snow. The spray from the tires creates a truly ugly car within miles. The snow build-up in wheel wells and the 6-12 inches of crud on the running boards is beyond annoying. Try to buy a splash guard post-factory? Not available without a special order and a 4 to 5 week wait. The actual driving range in winter is lowered by several factors: 1. less charge in cold temps (10-12 miles less) 2. if you use the climate control 15 to 20 miles are subtracted from your range estimate. So if you want a car that can go 50 to 60 miles and turn your garage into an ice rink...this is the one.



4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Loving it! it handles like

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Vehicle: 2013 Nissan Leaf S 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)

I absolute love driving the 2013 Nissan Leaf S model that we have leased. It reminds me of the driving dynamics of the Mini Cooper that we used to own. The biggest problem is that I tend to drive about 15 miles above the speed limit with the Leaf because it's so quiet and smooth. One thing that I'd wish for is better/smoother braking when regenerative braking is being applied. Another is better location of some of the control buttons on the left side of the steering wheel. The majority of these buttons are not illuminated and are hidden by the steering wheel.



Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 129
  • cty
/
  • 102
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2013 Nissan Leaf Review

What's New for 2013

The 2013 Nissan Leaf receives a new 6.6-kW onboard charger that cuts charging times in half. There's also a new "B-mode" driving mode that increases regenerative braking during deceleration. Finally, Nissan has added a more affordable S model to the lineup.

Introduction

One of the first full-electric vehicles marketed to American buyers, the Nissan Leaf enters its third year of production with a handful of refinements that should keep it foremost in the minds of EV shoppers. Now assembled at Nissan's Tennessee plant, the 2013 Nissan Leaf features a new 6.6-kW onboard charger that can replenish the battery in about four hours using a 220-volt electricity source. That's about half the time it took previously.

The bigger news, however, is the introduction of the more affordably priced entry-level S trim level. With it, Nissan has made the Leaf one of the most accessible electric cars on the market. The S is not a bare-bones stripper model either, as it features power accessories, keyless entry, heated front and rear seats, Bluetooth and USB/iPod connectivity. The Leaf's older 3.6-kW charger is used here to keep costs down, but the new, quicker charger -- standard on the upper trims -- is an option.

There's a lot to like about the Leaf, including a spacious cabin and a tall, airy greenhouse that comfortably seats four full-size adults and provides excellent visibility. For 2013, increased cargo capacity makes the electric hatchback even more useful. On the road, the Leaf offers peppy acceleration and, were it not for the lack of engine noise, you might think you were driving any number of gas-powered compacts.

If you're an EV shopper, 2013 is a good year, as there are now more choices than ever. The 2013 Ford Focus Electric is the most formidable challenger, with a slightly more powerful electric motor and sharper handling. The 2013 Fiat 500e is smaller than either, but offers shoppers in California (the only state where Fiat plans to sell it) another urban-friendly alternative. Honda is also in the game now with its competitive Fit EV.

For long-distance commuters, the Chevrolet Volt, Ford C-Max, Toyota Prius and Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid all offer a combination of gas and electric power and greater range. Still, if a full-electric vehicle makes sense for your lifestyle, the 2013 Nissan Leaf is a smart choice.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Nissan Leaf is an all-electric four-door hatchback available in S, SV and SL trim levels.

Standard equipment on the S includes 16-inch steel wheels, heated exterior mirrors, a battery heater, keyless ignition/entry, full power accessories, automatic climate control, a heated tilt-only leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front and rear seats and 60/40-split-folding rear seats. Also included are a 4.3-inch LCD information display, Bluetooth, an advanced trip computer and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, a USB/iPod port and auxiliary audio jack. A rearview camera and upgraded 6.6-kW charger are optional.

The SV adds the upgraded 6.6-kW charger, 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a hybrid heater system, cloth upholstery made from recycled material, a six-speaker sound system with Pandora radio streaming, a 7-inch touchscreen, a navigation system and Nissan Connected, a remote vehicle access system that reports battery recharging data and can activate the climate control via a smartphone. The SV's LED Headlights and Quick Charge Port package adds, as you can likely guess, automatic LED headlights, foglamps and a quick-charge port that facilitates charging to 80 percent capacity in 30 minutes at high-voltage public charging stations.

The SL tops off the lineup with the SV's optional features as standard plus 17-inch alloy wheels, a spoiler-mounted solar panel (used for powering the Leaf's accessories) and leather upholstery. A premium seven-speaker Bose sound system, packaged with a 360-degree-view monitor, is optional on both SV and SL trims.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2013 Nissan Leaf is powered by an 80-kilowatt electric motor (107 horsepower and 187 pound-feet of torque) fed by a 24 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. In Edmunds performance testing, a Leaf accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 10.2 seconds, which is a bit slower than the Fit EV and Focus Electric.

EPA estimated range with a full charge stands at 75 miles, a couple miles better than last year thanks to improvements to the Leaf's regenerative braking and aerodynamics. Of course, real-world range varies due to driving style, traffic conditions, cruising speed, battery age and ambient temperature. In terms of efficiency, the EPA says the Leaf will typically use 29 kWh per 100 miles driven (remember that the lower the number here, the better). Converted, that's an energy efficiency equivalent rating (MPGe) of 129 mpg city/102 mpg highway and 115 mpg combined.

Safety

The 2013 Nissan Leaf comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. A rearview camera is optional on the base model, while SV and SL trim levels can opt for a 360-degree-view monitor. In Edmunds brake testing, a 2012 Leaf came to a stop from 60 mph in 130 feet, which is a bit longer than average for a compact hatchback.

In government crash testing, the Leaf received five out of five stars for overall protection, with four stars for total frontal-impact protection and five stars for total side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Leaf its highest rating of "Good" in frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Leaf's battery pack is located under the floor beneath the seats. This space-efficient placement is partially responsible for the car's roomy rear seats, which provide comfortable accommodation for adults. There's no shortage of headroom in the first row, though taller drivers may find their legs a little crunched. Nissan relocated the onboard charger to the front of the 2013 Leaf, increasing rear cargo space to 24 cubic feet behind the rear seats. Folding the rear seats yields 30 cubic feet of space.

A split-level instrument cluster dominates the cabin. The center control panel features a touchscreen, which controls the navigation system and shows special displays for parameters like cruising range and energy efficiency readouts. You can even program the start time for the recharging system to take advantage of lower electricity rates. Interior quality is similar to other compact cars, but overall fit and finish is a cut above.

While you can charge the Leaf on a standard 110-volt household outlet, this is best reserved for when you can park the Leaf overnight. For most owners, a 220-volt home charging station is almost a necessity. At around $2,200, it's a practical investment that can fully charge the Leaf in four hours if your car has the 6.6-kW charger.

Driving Impressions

If you've driven a hybrid, you know how silent they are in electric-only mode. The 2013 Nissan Leaf cruises with this kind of serenity at all times, with only a vague high-pitched whine detectable under heavy throttle. Even the high-pitched noise the Leaf generates to alert pedestrians at low speeds is largely undetectable in the cabin. The downside is that wind and road noise are more noticeable at highway speeds, but overall Nissan's EV is impressively quiet.

Due to its all-electric nature, the Leaf offers brisk acceleration from a stop, though getting up to freeway speeds can feel a little belabored. Many newer EV or hybrid competitors are a bit quicker. The Leaf's brake pedal feel is firm and sure, though, without the strange, vague feel of many regenerative braking systems. With its battery pack mounted low in the body and a well-tuned electric power steering system, the Nissan Leaf is surprisingly steady around turns. It responds pretty much like other well-engineered compact family cars, and in most ways it feels very normal to drive.

Talk About The 2013 Leaf

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