2017 Nissan LEAF Review
2017 Nissan LEAF Review
View more photos
View more photos
View more photos
View more photos
View more photos
Used LEAF for sale
See Edmunds pricing data
Has Your Car's Value Changed?
Used car values are constantly changing. Edmunds lets you track your vehicle's value over time so you can decide when to sell or trade in.
Edmunds' Expert Review
Vehicle Test EngineerCalvin Kim is an automotive journalist at Edmunds.
- 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
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.
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.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2017 Nissan LEAF SV 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $0.14 per kWh for electricity and $4.00 per gallon average in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
Avg. Compact Car
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.
Edmunds' Expert Rating3.5 / 5
The first of the "real" electric vehicles, Nissan's Leaf has satisfied many owners. But a lot has changed, and the 2017 Nissan Leaf is no longer a class leader. Familiar looks, a vanilla interior and lack of advanced driver aids will cause those wanting to own a cutting-edge EV to look elsewhere.
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.
|Overall||3.5 / 5|
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.
Like most electric cars, the Leaf can be fairly responsive off the line. But that sensation doesn't last; it runs out of enthusiasm at highway speeds. Most newer EVs eclipse the Leaf's lackluster zero-to-60-mph time of 10.2 seconds.
The Leaf's ultimate panic-stop distance from 60 mph of 122 feet is reassuring, and the pedal does feel firm. But response is still somewhat nonlinear and can be hard to judge during routine stops.
The Leaf goes where you point it, and it gives the impression that it likes changing direction. You'll have to rely solely on your eyes to judge how much to turn the wheel, though, because little road feedback comes back up to your hands.
There's a sense of balance and coordination, and it persists to the point where the tires start to squeal. The limits are too low and the body roll becomes too pronounced for it to be considered sporty, but that's not its mission.
Most EVs get this right because their no-shift direct-drive architecture and bountiful drive-away torque make them feel effortless and refined when the light turns green. The Leaf is no exception.
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.
The seats have a good basic shape, and they manage to be fairly supportive while still offering a nice amount of give. We couldn't test them on an extended drive because of the Leaf's limited range. All-day comfort is a moot point.
The Leaf has a generally smooth ride that is neither overly stiff nor excessively buoyant. It absorbs most large bumps with little jostling, but only if the bumps come one at a time. It can start to feel busy on uneven, cracked surfaces.
Noise & vibration5.0
Electric propulsion is utterly silent and lacks the commotion associated with gear changes. Wind and road noise are all that's left, and neither is especially bothersome. The regenerative brake system does not draw attention to itself.
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.
Ease of use1.0
The driver seat is too high, and the tilt-only steering wheel is far away. The shifter is so confusing it comes with its own diagram. Too many look-alike buttons, no knobs and a small touchscreen for navigation, audio and climate control systems pretty much sink the Leaf in this category.
Getting in/getting out4.0
The doors open wide, the sill isn't too high and the door opening is tall enough to prevent excessive ducking. This is true even in the backseat because the roofline lingers near horizontal. Foot-entry space is tight if you wear big shoes.
The Leaf gets high marks for front and rear legroom. There's decent headroom, too, but the driver's perch doesn't adjust far down enough to prevent taller pilots from being eye level with the mirror and gazing out through the windshield tint band.
Loads of glass and the hood is low. The weird headlight bulges actually make it easy to imagine the front corners when parking. The peek-a-boo windows ahead of the side mirrors are a plus. The rear over-the-shoulder blind spot is a bit big, though.
The interior materials and trim don't quite live up to the expectations of the purchase price, which is heavily influenced by the expense of the EV componentry. But the panel gaps are even, and most of the trim pieces line up nicely.
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.
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.
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.
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
Surprised it's So Nice
2015 Nissan LEAF SL 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)
We bought our 2015 Leaf SL for an around town car. It's perfect for any trip of 35 miles radius from home (70 miles round trip). When traveling further there are loads of Free charging stations to be found. Home charging cost is about 2 cents per mile driven based on the local FP&L 10.6 cents/kwh electric cost. I'm a big guy with a bad back. I looked hard at the Chevy Volt but due … to the lower roof line it was hard for me to get into it without contorting my neck to duck under the roof. The Leaf roof is tall and actually is easier to get into than my Lexus RX450h. Acceleration is ample and very quiet. It just pulls. In ECO mode the accelerator is remapped to make response pretty dull but acceptable. Turn off the ECO mode and the accelerator is very responsive. ECO doesn't reduce acceleration it just takes more pedal movement to get the same response. We installed a 240 volt charging station at the house which cost about $500 for the box and $150 for electric installation. It is well worth it. It fully charges the Leaf in about 3 hours vs the 15 hours it takes using the supplied trickle charger. Without the offered rebates the car would not be one we would have considered. We negotiated a $5,000 dealer discount, A $6,000 Nissan rebate and a $7,500 Federal tax credit so that reduced our real cost to $20,000 for a $38.500 MSRP Loaded SL. Or SL has Bose Stereo, Navigation, Leather etc. We estimate the car will be worth only $10,000 after 5 years but that is not bad considering depreciation after rebates are factored in is only $2,000 per year. Maintenance cost should be minimal since no oil changes etc. The only issue may be battery degradation over time Fuel (Electric) is costing us about $20 extra a month on our electric bill for 1,000 miles driven. NOT BAD. The car has a free iPhone or Android APP that allows you to view charging status, battery status and even start the Air Conditioner remotely. In Hot Florida we use the AC remote start up all the time before leaving a restaurant to make sure he the car is cool by the time we get to it. Update: 20 month of ownership update. It's still our go to car for local trips within a 30 mile radius of home. Range has reduced very slightly due to exoected battery degradation. In 20 months battery and range has degraded 6%, and this is in Florida heat. The only problems so far is the 67 cents CR2025 coin battery in our key fobs needed replaced and a recall on the passenger seat pressure sensor. Update: after 36 months traded it in on. 2018 Leaf SV. The 2015 was a great car but the 2018 has almost 2x the range due to the larger 40 kWh battery vs the 24 kWh battery in the 2015. . THEN after owning the 2018 for a year I traded it in on a 2019 SL Plus with the 62 kWh battery. These Leafs are great cars.
5 out of 5 stars
Don't be shocked! It's a great electric car!
2016 Nissan LEAF SL 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)
I leased my 2016 LEAF about 900 miles ago and I have to say I'm "shocked" at how great it is. It's the SL version which means it's fully loaded with all options. The car is well built and very solid. With all the incentives, I got a great deal and will be able to buy it in a few years at an awesome price. Fully charged, it is capable of 125 miles. This is plenty for my daily 40 mile … round trip commute. I installed a 240 V level 2 charger myself with not too much difficulty. I'm fairly handy and have a newer home with 200 amp service and spare breakers. I bought the NISSAN charger or EVSE online. I charge the car on early Wedsnesday mornings and again on Sunday mornings during off peak hours. It charges from empty in less than 5 hours but I usually only need about 3 and a half hours to go from 20 miles to about 110. It costs me about 2 bucks per charge. This is easy to do beacuse it's fully programmable. It's incredibly loaded with technology that makes it fun to drive. While searching for an alternative vehicle, I drove the VOLT and Prius. I was not impressed with either one. The VOLT has hardly any rear headroom and is a joke for tall people to sit in the back plus it's a true four seater at best. The Prius was interesting but seemd to lack any pep. The LEAF is decievingly large inside due to its height. It also has great acceleration due to its torque from the electric motors. Driving an electric car is a unique experience. It's silent and smooth. There is no drag when using the A/C and no strain from a gas motor. It accelerates effortlessly, quietly, and smoothly. I don't have trouble with range because there are many chargers available in my area plus at any NISSAN dealer. I still have gas cars for long trips though. But, I don't travel much anyway. I love pulling into my garage silently, having no motor to heat up the garage, no smells from oil and exhaust etc. It requires no maintenance except tire rotations. No belts, exhaust, oil etc. I'm no hypermiler either- don't have to be- I use the climate control liberally, drive at normal speeds on the highway every day, plus I'm a car guy and own a classic musclecar which I drive pretty hard on the weekends. I guess I'm not the typical electric car owner but it's just a blast to drive the LEAF. It has a nice sized hatch area for groceries unlike the Honda Fit. The electronics are intuitive and easy to use. The nav is great and the Bose sound is very good. I would say to anyone on the fence, examine your driving practices and see if it's for you. I should add that the build quality is exceptional and the materials are excellent. I am VERY picky with cars and don't have any major cons for this car. I will say that the center armrest could be improved by making it adjustable to slide forward. There is a little more wind noise than I like but it's a smaller car. There is no lock on the glove box. There should be courtesy lights for rear passengers. I hope this review helps you. *UPDATE* Feb 2017 Okay, so I first reviewed this car in September of 2016 so I think it's time to update my review. I see some people saying some poor things about it but it's not been my experience. I have almost 16,000 miles on the car from a new lease and have ZERO battery life degradation. All battery life bars are full as new. It does not charge to what it did when new (135) but does charge up to 109 which is in line with Nissan's projections. I live in a Northern cold weather climate and will say that using this car in winter weather DOES affect the mileage rather significantly when driving at highway speeds. Cons: The use of all the electric accessories in winter weather (especially the climate control) can drain the battery quickly. At lower city speeds however, I find the effects to be not as drastic. The A/C in the summer is a high drain on the battery also. Driving on snow or ice can be especially tricky due to the torque of the motors when accelerating from a stop. The windshield washer sprayers are terrible. They are not set up to spray high enough and don't immediately activate the wipers. No daytime running lamps, headlights don't automatically turn off in the constant ON position- they could potentially be left on though there is an alarm. Pros: no gas or maintenance other than tire rotations. Powerful headlights (SL). Great Bose stereo (on the SL), EFFORTLESS electric power steering, nice leather, navigation is excellent, easy Bluetooth, lots of media options, heated steering wheel is AWESOME, I have no complaints with the heater, surprisingly roomy because of its tall cabin, jackrabbit acceleration. This car is not for everyone. It's NOT a highway car for sustained drives. It is ideal for close to home driving, running errands, grocery shopping etc. Forget about unscheduled impulse drives however because you have to take your range into consideration. If most of your driving is close to home this car could be perfect for you.
5 out of 5 stars
Zippy, fun car!
2015 Nissan LEAF SV 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)
The Leaf is a really fun car to drive. It handles well, feels very solid and well made. I think it's zippy- I don't understand the 'slow acceleration' comment from Edmunds. I loved my previous car but sold it to friends in order to go with new technology. I leased rather than purchased- you want to be able to move on to a higher range vehicle in a few years. Hope Nissan comes out with a … 150-200 range version in 2018 - I'll be waiting in line... If you don't like the odd look of the Leaf (many don't) it's all the more reason to be driving it - you won't have to look at it! Inside, it is a nicely appointed, spacious car. As far as charging it - I plug it in to a standard outlet in my garage and it charges overnight. Just like my iPhone and iPad.... A regular, nightly procedure. 100 percent charged by 7 a.m. Love it. Leased January 2016. Adding a comment here.....LEASING is a better deal than purchasing.
5 out of 5 stars
2017 Nissan LEAF S 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)
I have sold my Nissan Leaf. My decision to sell was for one main reason, a point I made in my initial review. RESALE VALUE! The second winter of ownership gave me a better handle on how the battery degrades with age. In weather that was only going to get colder, I saw my range drop below 90 miles per charge. So, on January 1, 2019, I sold the vehicle for $14000.00. I was fearful the … range would continue to drop and thus so would my car value. My second concern was the fact that you must have a second car to get the full benefit of the car, otherwise planning your trips would be more stressful. I just decided it was not worth trying to juggle that as my vw van was starting to have problems and I didn't want to get stuck without a vehicle. I DO NOT REGRET PURCHASING THE VEHICLE. The rebate allowed me to pay no federal income tax for the 2017 year. I got to experience owning an electric car, and I truly believe I came out ahead financially. Would I buy another electric car? If the right deal came along, I would.
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2017 Nissan LEAF, so we've included reviews for other years of the LEAF since its last redesign.
Features & Specs
- Base MSRP
- EPA Battery & Range
- EPA KWh/100 mi.This value tells you how much energy in kilowatt-hours a vehicle would use to travel 100 miles. Unlike mpg, however, where a larger number is better (for example, a vehicle that gets 30 mpg is better than one that gets 20 mpg), a smaller number is better in kWh/100 miles because you are using less battery energy per mile.: 30
- Time To Charge Battery (At 240V)This can be tough to pin down, but we assume for simplicity that the 240V power source will enable the vehicle's onboard charger to operate at full capacity, and that the battery is fully depleted and will be recharged to 100%. Given those assumptions, the value provided is simply the battery's capacity divided by the onboard charger's power rating. For example, a battery rated at 100 kWh will need 12.5 hours to recharge fully using an 8.0-kW charger.: 6.0 hr.
- EPA Electricity RangeThis value is the estimated number of miles that a vehicle can travel in combined city and highway driving (using a mix of 55% highway and 45% city driving) before needing to be recharged, according to the EPA's testing methodology.: 107 mi.
- EPA Combined MPGeA combined total of 45% city MPGe + 55% highway MPGe: 112 MPGe
- 5 seats
- Type: front wheel drive
- Transmission: 1-speed direct drive
- Basic: 3 yr./ 36,000 mi.
- EV Battery: 8 yr./ 100,000 mi.
- Length: 175.0 in. / Height: 61.0 in.
- Overall Width without Mirrors: 69.7 in.
- Curb Weight: 3,323 lbs.
- Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 23.6 cu.ft.
Our experts like the LEAF models:
- RearView and Around View Monitors
- Provides a camera view of what's behind you. An optional Premium package for SV and SL trims provides a 360-degree view around the car.
- Advanced Air Bag System
- The front airbags adjust inflation rate based on crash severity, while side bags adjust based on seat position, helping to minimize injury.
- NissanConnect EV
- Using an app on your smartphone, it lets you know when your battery is charged and can set the interior temperature for maximum comfort.
NHTSA Overall Rating
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall4 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger3 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverallNot Rated
- Side Barrier RatingOverallNot RatedDriverNot RatedPassengerNot Rated
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront SeatNot RatedBack SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover10.9%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
More about the 2017 Nissan LEAF
Used 2017 Nissan LEAF Overview
The Used 2017 Nissan LEAF is offered in the following submodels: LEAF Hatchback. Available styles include SV 4dr Hatchback (electric DD), S 4dr Hatchback (electric DD), and SL 4dr Hatchback (electric DD). Pre-owned Nissan LEAF models are available with a undefined-liter electric engine, with output up to 107 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2017 Nissan LEAF comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 1-speed direct drive.
What's a good price on a Used 2017 Nissan LEAF?
Price comparisons for Used 2017 Nissan LEAF trim styles:
- The Used 2017 Nissan LEAF S is priced between $12,909 and$19,590 with odometer readings between 22901 and59914 miles.
- The Used 2017 Nissan LEAF SV is priced between $11,639 and$17,590 with odometer readings between 26147 and74089 miles.
- The Used 2017 Nissan LEAF SL is priced between $14,998 and$20,990 with odometer readings between 10300 and48961 miles.
Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.
Which used 2017 Nissan LEAFS are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2017 Nissan LEAF for sale near. There are currently 44 used and CPO 2017 LEAFS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $11,639 and mileage as low as 10300 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2017 Nissan LEAF.
Can't find a used 2017 Nissan LEAFs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.
Find a used Nissan LEAF for sale.
Find a used Nissan for sale.
Find a used certified pre-owned Nissan LEAF for sale.
Find a used certified pre-owned Nissan for sale.
Should I lease or buy a 2017 Nissan LEAF?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.