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Used 2017 Nissan LEAF SL Hatchback Review

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2017 Nissan LEAF SL Hatchback.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

5 out of 5 stars
More that I thought, Peppier that believed.
A Silva,12/02/2017
2017 Nissan LEAF SL 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)
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 120 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 60% 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 newer model has more range, safety features and better styling but we’ll stick with our older model. So far, no problems at all!

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2017 Nissan LEAF SL Hatchback

Pros & Cons

  • Cabin is quiet and comfortable
  • Greater range than most other similar EVs
  • Spacious cargo volume
  • Dated design compared to competitors
  • Acceleration is slow, even for an EV
  • Interior controls are fussy to use

Which LEAF does Edmunds recommend?

Now that the same 30-kWh battery is standard in all three trim levels of Leaf, our recommendation is to get the Leaf S. With the optional, and highly recommended, Charge package (includes a 6.6-kW charger for quicker Level 2 charging and an extra port for ultra-fast Level 3 DC charging) added to the base price, the S is still priced less than an un-optioned Leaf SV. Plus, we think you still get all the features you'll really need with the S.

Full Edmunds Review: 2017 Nissan LEAF Hatchback

What’s new

The 2017 Nissan Leaf returns with one big change: The S now comes with the same 30-kWh lithium-ion battery that was previously available on the SV and SL only, giving all Leafs a 107-mile range. The SV and SL still separate themselves from the S model with their standard Charge package (includes a DC fast-charger port and quicker on-board charger) and extra features.

Vehicle overview

The first of the real battery electric vehicles on the market, the Nissan Leaf stands as the default electric car for the everyday buyer. And as the market for electric cars increases (the new Chevrolet Bolt and the forthcoming Tesla Model 3, for example), the Leaf's days, as it sits, are numbered. In order to keep Leaf sales moving, the 2017 Leaf S receives the same 30-kWh lithium-ion battery as the SV and SL variants. This increases its range from 84 to 107 miles, a welcomed boost. Otherwise the chassis, suspension, interior and exterior remain the same. But we're not complaining since the five-seater hatchback is roomy and functional and, most importantly, easy to use.

If you can wait, an all-new Leaf is destined to drop from the Nissan tree and address many of the concerns we've had about the Leaf, such as a modern interior layout, a new look, better performance and, most importantly, even more range. But if all you need is easy-to-use, affordable and gasoline-free transportation, the 2017 Leaf is still worth a look.

Notably, we picked the 2017 Nissan Leaf as one of Edmunds' Best Used Cars, Trucks and SUVs.

2017 Nissan LEAF models

As the lowest trim level, the 2017 Nissan Leaf S is a bit bare-bones, at least as electric mobility goes. But you can add the the optional Charge package for quicker recharging. Otherwise, it's still a very functional car. The SV adds the Charge package and navigation as standard, but it still doesn't beat the S in the value proposition. The top-level SL adds leather seats, LED headlights and a host of comfort features that might edge out the S if you'd like a pampered electrified ride.

Nevertheless, all three feature the same suspension and powertrain, and mainly differ in infotainment, interior materials and wheel choices. Our choice, the S, comes with steel wheels, an 80-kW AC synchronous motor (produces 107 horsepower and 187 lb-ft of torque), front heated seats and a 60/40-split folding rear seat. You also get a rearview camera, a 5-inch central display, Bluetooth connectivity, and a USB port for streaming audio and charging your smartphone.

The optional Charge package includes the quicker 6.6-kW onboard charger and extra DC fast-charger port.

The SV comes with alloy wheels, the Charge package, a 7-inch touchscreen, navigation and NissanConnect, Nissan's web-connectivity system. The seats are still fabric, but rather than cloth, they're made out of a sustainably sourced, suede-like polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

As the top model, the SL adds LED headlights, foglights, heated rear seats (heated front seats are standard for all trims) and leather upholstery.

The SV and SL can be had with a Premium package, which includes a Bose audio system and a 360-degree camera system.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2015 Nissan Leaf SL (electric | direct drive).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Leaf has received some revisions, including the addition of the 30-kWh lithium-ion battery. But our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Leaf.


One could argue the Nissan Leaf is the best-selling EV because it was first to market, a head start that generated a publicity wave it's still riding. But now there are several EVs that offer more range, a more inviting interior, better utility and more style than the Leaf for a little less money.


Few will complain about the Nissan Leaf's smooth ride and nicely shaped leather (SL only) seats. But the thing that stands out is what's nearly absent: noise. The electric motor goes about its business in silence, and there isn't much road rumble or wind noise either.


Easy to enter and spacious once seated, but the driving position isn't great for folks taller than average height. Clumsy shifter, navigation and climate system controls, and the cargo compartment's ultimate utility is compromised by an intrusive chassis component and a poor seat-folding design.


There's not much space in the door pockets and center console box. Under the rear hatch there's a decent amount of standard cargo space with the seats in use, but a cargo area bulkhead interferes with ultimate utility when the bulky rear seatbacks are folded.

Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2017 Nissan LEAF in Virginia is:

$66.83 per month*