Nissan Leaf (2011–2018)

What's good

Very easy to drive.

Smooth, quiet and relaxing. 

Battery can be charged to 80 per cent in 30 minutes with a fast charger. 

At the 2011 New York International Auto Show, the 100-percent electric, zero-emission Nissan Leaf was named 2011 World Car of the Year, edging out the BMW 5 Series and the Audi A8 for the top spot.

Awarded 5 Star NCAP safety rating: 89% Adult Protection, 83% Child Protection, 65% Pedestrian Protection and 84% Safety Assist, total average 80%.

Voted 2010 European Car of the Year.

11-7-2016: Report of Nissan Leaf taxi making 160,000 miles in 3 years with no trouble.

What to watch out for

Basic models have a simpler heating system, reducing range in the winter.

Without access to a fast charger it takes more than 10 hours to charge from flat.

11-03-2011: Nissan Motor Co has received complaints from owners that its Leaf electric car on occasion fails to start, posing a potential setback for the automaker's goal of promoting zero-emission vehicles. Japan's No.2 automaker said on Monday it was looking into the exact cause, which it traced back to the Leaf's air-conditioning unit. Nissan is investigating whether the glitch was in a certain component or the programming, spokesman Toshitake Inoshita said. Nissan plans no recall for now since the issue does not affect safety, but will decide how to proceed after identifying the source of the problem, he said. "When we know the exact cause, we will decide whether to issue a service bulletin, or take other steps," Inoshita said. He added that the phenomenon was reported in both the United States and Japan, although he did not have an exact figure for the number of complaints.

19-7-2012: Not a problem for the UK, but report that the intense heat in Arizona is reducing the capacity of the Nissan Leaf battery packs. One Arizona driver said his single-charge driving range is down to 44 miles from about 90 miles a year ago, while another says that three of the car's 12 battery-capacity indicator lights are already out, according to KPHO. The forums at indicate similar complaints have been recorded in other parts of Arizona, Texas and California. A table of battery capacity losses is being kept online here. Nissan North America Director of Product Planning Mark Perry said in a recent video, "Heat is definitely not a friend of batteries. But I'm talking about severe 130-, 140-degree Fahrenheit kind of heat... Don't park your Nissan Leaf – or any electric vehicle – where it's going to be more than 120 or 130 degrees. (Source )

19-9-2012: More on Range Loss in Hot Climates

20-9-2012: Very Comprehensive American Owners Leaf Range Test

23-9-2012: Nissan admitted that driving a Leaf more than 12,500 miles a year significantly reduces its battery capacity.

26-9-2012: Nissan defended its position by stating that the Arizona Leafs had been used in extremely high temperatures of as much as 56 degrees centigrade, and had frequently been 'fast charged', two actions that rapidly diminish the capacity of any rechargeable battery.

5-7-2015: Complaint of wear to outside edges of all four tyres on a 2014 Nissan leaf Tekna. A four wheel alignment check resulted in a small adjustment on the front, but the rear camber on the nearside is out of spec and the toe on the rear offside is also out of spec. The rear is non adjustable and the Nissan dealer suggests the car has been down a pothole which has affected the rear suspension although there is no visible sign off damage and the tyre wear is down to normal wear and tear. Apparently this is a common issue on Nissan Leaf Teknas.

17-1-2016: Report that 'Carwings' service that came as part of a Nissan Leaf puchase package and that is supposed to locate recharging points is hopelessly incomplete and out of date so cannot be relied upon.

5-11-2016: Report of brakes of a 2015 Nissan Leaf failing and leading to a crash that wrote off the car. Owner was approaching a line of traffic and attempted to brake, but nothing seemingly happened. This resulted in crashing into the back of a stationary car. This was classified as a fault accident, but owner later found this thread and believes otherwise:

10-8-2018: Report from reader who wanted to go green, yet needed a car capable of 25,000 miles a year and was assured that the Leaf was. In practice, he writes, "it is a brilliant car and fun to drive, but it really is not practical. I was led to believe that there was an extensive network of fast charging points which would enable me to keep the car charged and this is not the case. If I want to travel from my home in Huntingdon to Norwich and back in a day it is virtually impossible without very long diversions. Consequently I contacted Nissan to ask them if it was possible to reduce my mileage contract and they have told me that this is not possible."

31-1-2019: Report of seriously depleted battery capacity in 2012 Nissan Leaf.

18-2-2019: Report of quotation of £7,800 for replacement battery for a 2010-2018 Nissan Leaf. Seems overpriced for a 30kWh battery that, on the basis of £180 inc VAT per kWh should be about £5,400 inc.

15-4-2019: Reader report of used 2014 Nissan Leaf, bought at just 3 months old. Range supposed to be 124 miles. Reader got 100, "which was really 80". Now 5 years old, dash says 80 on a full charge but only goes 60 miles.

15-4-2019: Report of plug-in switch for Nissan Leaf failing and costing a lot to replace.

7-8-2019: Report of internal bearing of a/c compressor of 2013 Nissan Leaf failing. a/c was regassed in April 2019 by an independent a/c specialist who also replaced one of the valves because it was leaking ans said that the grey seal on the valve was damaged, probably at time of manufacturer. Nissan initially quoted £2,204.42 to supply and fit a new a/c compressor, then considered goodwill, but later turned it down. Owner posted a couple of youtube videos: 2014 Nissan LEAF Leaking Air Conditioning Port Valve: / 2014 Nissan LEAF Air Conditioning Compressor Problem - £2,204.42 Repair Bill:

30-8-2019: Report of serious degradation of 24kWh battery of a 2014/64 Nissan Leaf at 28,600 miles. "1st battery marker has gone, but battery will no longer a) charge to the original level b) only lasts about 35 miles." Owner getting no help from dealer.


Built 01/07/2013-03/03/2014. Number of cars involved 10,248. Manufacturer reference R1511. Problem Engine push start switch may remain in the pressed position and not return after switching the engine on.

19-07-2017: R/2017/173: HEADLAMP AUTO AIM FUNCTION MAY NOT OPERATE. Due to a non confromity in production the headlamp auto aim function may not operate. Reconfigure and then reinitialise the headlamp leveliser control unit on affected vehicles. Build dates: 12-02-2017 to 29-03-2017.

What is your car like to live with?

We need your help with our latest Satisfaction Index, so that we can help others make a smarter car buying decision. What's it like to live with your car? Love it? Loath it? We want to know. Let us know about your car - it will only take a few minutes and you could be helping thousands of others.

Help us with the Honest John Satisfaction Index now