This is our 2nd LEAF that we leased since 2012, and we decided to purchase it! Not only has it been an amazing and well-built car with no service issues, it’s saved us so much $ we can’t even begin to imagine! So easy. Just plug it in when we get home and it’s ready to go in the morning!
I have been looking at the Leaf for several months. We just wanted one for our local driver (4-6K miles a year) to replace our 15 year-old Camry. I first considered buying new for $20,000 off MSRP ($10,000 Fed/State tax credit and $10,000 dealer discount) bringing an SV or SL model down to $16 - $18K, but that was really more than I wanted to pay for a light local driver. I never found a $33K S model listed for $10,000 off MSRP, otherwise I may have bought a 2017 for $13K. In the end, I opted for a one owner, off lease, 2015, with 27,000 miles, 12 bars, and certified by the dealer. The car is indistinguishable from new and cost $9300. I bought it for my wife, but find I have been driving it a lot more than her, even though I am a big guy (6' 4", 235) and love my 2013 Toyota Highlander Limited. I love the value, the power, and mostly that it doesn't have a tailpipe. We have seen the future.
UPDATE: Having the car for 7 months now I would like to update a few thing. Upgraded charging station: Had the electrician run a 220 line to the garage and installed an electric meter in October. Found a Clipper Creek HCS 30 charger on eBay for a 435 and had the electrical hook it up. From October 13 until March 15 we have used 1390 kW for charging and preheating the car. Winter: Bought Michelin Ice tires for the winter and they have worked well. We lost a bit of miles per kW, dropping from 3.8 to an average of 3.5. While my wife can drive it to work and back, with side trips, for two days before we charge it, we ended up plugging it in most nights just so it could be warm for her drive to work. Then she just uses the seat and steering wheel heat. On trips across town I used the heat and the energy display tell how much milage you loose - I'd rather be warm. Electric usage: for the first two months of usage, I tracked how much electricity we used compared to how much gas we would have used. We would have paid 2.5 times more using gas at 22mpg. I saved $108.52. With the meter installed, which includes heating most days this winter, gas would have cost twice as much, saving just under $400.00. Our cost of a kW, including distribution and the like is currently $.15. This savings paid for my Clipper Creek charger and part of the electrical work. How many miles? In the winter, I figure my wife has about 70 miles. The tires reduce some and she does use the heater for longer trips. Lately it said I have 78 miles. I do not know how it figure this, if it goes on past performance or what. I have been taking the freeway across town at 70 mph over the week end, now I am using to drive my mile to work since my wife is out of town. She has come home several times with the dashes showing . I use SpyLeaf to give us the exact milage they say is remaining. Charging: The Flint area is dismal for electric cars. Thankfully Consumers Energy has one public charger 3 miles away and down town has two on the university, though I do not know how accessible they are to use. The local Nissan dealer is a mile away from where my wife works so she could away stop in and charge for 20 min if she needed. A trip to the Detroit area would include a stop at the Nissan Tech center for their fast charger: 20 min to 80%. A 20 min walk is nice in the summer. We greatly enjoy having the car and I alway look for a reason to drive it. If I could find a low battery one dirt cheap, I would use it to drive to work (1.7 mile round trip) and around town. ORIGINAL REVIEW: If you are looking for a LEAF, do your homework. Figure out how many miles you drive a day to help you decide if this car will work for you. Batteries seem to be a biggest problem after a number of years of use and there are forums for the LEAF that will tell you what to look for and how to check them. It is such a different car, from your internal combustion engine car, that you need to think different. If you want to follow manufacturer recommended service, you take it in every 7500 miles and they check a few things. Every 14,500 miles they change the break fluid. That's it. On my 2015 I figure we have 85 miles to use even though it says we have 110 miles available. That is more than enough to get to work 10 miles away and run errands along the way. We are now charging every other day. The day after we bought it, we had gone 75 miles and still had 20% of the battery left. As it gets cold, expect the milage to go down - part in heating the car and part due to how cold can effect a battery. For us, even if it is cut by half, it would still serve our needs. As with every electric vehicle, this one has a sweet spot: 38 mph. If you could drive that on a nearly level road I have read you can get 134 miles out of it. Meanwhile in the real world, be conservative and decide if the milage it will normally achieve based on the number of bars left on the battery are right for you. If so, get it. If not...your choice. Oh, I didn't rate the safety cause we have not had it over a winter and I do not know what they mean by active safety.