I am not your prototypical Leaf owner. For one, I live in Connecticut...one of two Leaf owners in the state...I have a long commute (45 miles one way) and, at the moment, I don't have a Level 2 charger where I work (I'm working on that, but the Chevy Volt has made convincing my company to get one very difficult). After a few rookie mistakes (driving 70 mph to work in the cold w/o a full charge), one of which found me driving into my garage with 4 miles of charge left, I have learned to drive back and forth to work with no range issues. The Leaf definitely makes you think about the way you drive and makes you think about your trips before you go anywhere. That being said, I love my Leaf.
When buying the LEAF start off with the lease. This way get the $7500 deducted from the price right away. After that is done, you refinance and buy it. I did this and got my discount right away without waitng. Next, Home Depot has a 240v battery charger online that is a couple of hundred dollars cheaper than what is offered anywhere else. If you have a gas dryer use the electrical connection for that circuit and save more money. Driving tip, I have found that following behind large trucks on the highway increases the range considerably. I auctually got the 100mpg when I drove under 60mph when following these trucks
Prior to this vehicle I had a 3rd gen Prius. I much prefer the drive of this. The power train is more responsive, and at low speeds the car is much quicker (though no quicker at higher speeds). I am in NY state and have taken this through a winter now. Including winter my average miles/kWh are in the low 3's. 3.9 miles/kWh that EPA claims are quite optimistic. The heat destroys range, as does highway driving. Nonetheless, at 3.2 miles/kWh and at 75% charge efficiency (120V charging) and $.11 kWh I am still about 87 miles per $4.00 in electricity.
Things to know: You will NOT get the EPA rated distances, especially at freeway speeds, or with the heater on! I am sure this is also true for the Volt. Besides this, the car did well until I got a flat. Remember that the leaf has no spare, and Nissan has not figured out what to do about that. They include a little electric pump and sealant. DO NOT USE THEM!!! It will cost you a fortune! Worst, the car now fails to start, and the dealership has not been able to get an answer in OVER A WEEK AS TO WHY! No car for me! More disturbing is the fact that it is related to the BRAKING SYSTEM , and the computer does not understand that the brakes have been touched!
Had for over a month and with nearly a 1000 miles, I haven't had to purchase any gas yet for our other car (gas of course, we always drive the Leaf whenever possible). The Leaf feels like a luxury car, not a economy car. Quieter than a Lexus, a smooth ride and based upon the electricity used so far, averaging around 140 mpg equivalent. The city driving range has been around 80 miles which for my daily commute has been good.