Our 2017 Leaf SL excels in many ways including peppy performance, amazingly low operating costs and a quiet, dignified ride. The range of the vehicle has been around 135 miles, which is greater than advertised. With federal and state tax incentives, a big discount offered by our local utility and our dealer, we paid about 50% of the sticker price. With our trade in of of 2010 CRV, our out of pocket expense was less that $10K. The Bose sound system is excellent, the seating comfort is better than expected and the handling is solid. But the energy savings are off the charts. In one month we drove 581 miles and it cost us just $14.00 in electricity counting a few free "fill ups" from nearby stations. We are extremely pleased with the Leaf knowing we are not spewing exhaust into the environment.
The worst thing about this vehicle is resale value. You can purchase these vehicles for 1/3 the cost of new, but beware if you get the "s" model , you will not get the bigger battery unless it is a 2017 or newer. This larger battery will give you more range. My vehicle, which i have had just short of 3 months, has a range of 112+ miles with a full charge. The charge time is around 14 hours, depending on how much range was left on the vehicle at plug in time, and that is with the normal 110 volt household outlet. This vehicle, in my opinion is not great in any way, such as comfort, dependability, etc., but that it is not why I purchased this car. My goal was saving money on gasoline, oil, maintainence and in that regard it is a GREAT vehicle. It is the perfect car for the way I drive. This vehicle does not like freeways. The range drops whenever you engage the cruise control. The range shrinks much quicker as you increase your speed. However, if you drive the city streets, it is the complete opposite. For example, I drove 18 miles for a doughnut craving. I had a full charge (115 miles on that day) and when I hit the store I only had 88 left. I drove the return trip on the city streets and when I got back to my driveway, I had 91 miles of range. Yes, that is not an error. I actually gained 3 miles. This was with my vehicle in B mode. That mode is 1 of 2 forward modes the transmission allows. The D mode is the default mode when you shift into forward gear. To get into B mode you double shift. This gives your braking system more regenative power. So, as you drive you charge the battery whenever you release the accelerator or apply the brakes. The range increase is real. I can charge to full and not need a recharge for many days, in spite of making multiple 20 plus mile trips. In this regard the vehicle is fantastic. In most other area, it is just adequate. It has sufficient comfort in the cabin, enough to allow my wife to be comfortable in it, despite a bad back. The airconditioner is above average, blowing extremely cold after just a minute or two. The back seat is adequate for my 16 year old average size grandson. The rear hatch cargo area is, however, small. Still, to this point, I have not had a problem bringing home the groceries. The cars styling is a bummer. I have plastered a alien sticker on the roof area behind the rear door and have proclaimed the car my "space ship". I did not purchase the vehicle for looks. My youngest daughter thinks it is "cute". My oldest daughter enjoyed driving it and I think they both are interested in buying one. They have asked me how much it has increased my electric bill and I can honestly say after getting two electric bills since I took possesion, it was less than a couple of dollars more. Maybe I just haven't had the vehicle long enough to evaluate that because even I feel the increase should have been larger, but at this point, it is what it is. The ride of the vehicle is smooth and rattlefree. I have heard the brakes do not feel normal on these electrics. I find them no different then the Cruze that I drove before. I perfer this vehicle over the Cruze in most catagories. I have not used the higher watt chargers that are available to the public so i can't comment on that. Likewise on the heated seats, haven't used them. The sound system is average. I have heard the range drops in the colder months of winter. I will update as my experience broadens. As of now, I am thrilled with the car. It fits into my lifestyle perfectly and using it allows me to put less mileage on my vw van which I take on vacations and for hauling larger items. The addition of a second vehicle makes owning this vehicle a no brainer. Also, the $7500 tax credit makes this car a good value. I was able to get $12K off the sticker at the dealership. Extremely happy with my purchase. UPDATE, I have now driven the car for 7 plus months. My mileage is now at 3789. The cost of driving the car averages $20 per month in AEP electric bill increase. The winter weather does degrade the battery, but only by 10 or so less driving distance. The heated seats are not as warm as the ones in my vw van, but do allow some comfort. Using the heater is a big drag on the driving distance. In a conventional car, once your car warms up you have constant heat on demand. The Leaf gives heat differently. It requires a warm up time each time you push the heater button. Also, increasing the temp does not increase your battery drain, so crank it up. When you turn off the heater, close the vents or you will get cooler air coming into the cabin. I have noticed that the initial drop in range does not continue to deteriorate IF DRIVING ON CITY STREETS. However, the combination of using the heater AND freeway driving zaps the battery very severely. Expect to get less than half of displayed mileage. Another negative is because of the design of the back of the vehicle, this area seems to collect dirt. I clean the back window often.