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2011 Nissan Leaf

2011 Nissan Leaf

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4.5
Average based on 29 reviews
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability
1-10 of 29 reviews

Welcome to the 21st Century!

by from Salem OR on April 27, 2012

I've had my 2011 Leaf for a month now. It's my only vehicle. I admit that I REALLY had to think about whether or not to buy this car because of the range limitations, but after analyzing my driving ha...
I've had my 2011 Leaf for a month now. It's my only vehicle. I admit that I REALLY had to think about whether or not to buy this car because of the range limitations, but after analyzing my driving habits, reading some reviews and information, and looking at how much my old car was costing me I decided to go for it. Since then I've had no regrets. Let's talk about Leaf economics: So far I've spent a grand total of $4.25 for electricity to drive about 600+ miles. In my previous car I was spending $170 a month in gasoline and probably another $50 in maintenance (if you averaged it out per month.) In the NW (where I live) off-peak power is $.044 / kwh (I have time of use billing plan) and it's mostly generated by hydro and a various renewables (wind, etc...) So, as you can see it's saving me about $220 / month. In addition there is a $7500 Federal tax credit for this car. Range anxiety, nope! I've taken this car to every family event, errand and work daily. Not a single problem with range or anything else. I don't use a 220v charger I just plug it in at night (the charger starts at 10 PM) to the 110v charger it comes with. That's gives me about 9+ hours of charge time per night. That is enough to bring it to at least 45%, but since it is rare to drive more than 40 miles per day for me, it's at full charge every morning. If I need to travel further there are charging stations all over the major cities here and a network of fast DC chargers are being installed on the major highways and in the "junction" cities around state. These bring the car to 80% charge in 1/2 hour. Look up the "Green Highway Project" for more about this and maps, etc... So, I'm trying to figure out why everyone is so negative on range with these cars. I've seen nothing but savings! And have had NO issues with range. Finally, the car as, well, a car. Putting aside electric power stuff, this car is a match for any other compact to mid-size vehicle on the road. It's got plenty of space for four adults. Lots of cargo room. It rides nicely and is nearly silent at lower speeds. The acceleration is more than adequate, in fact I think it would have given my G35 coupe a run for the money up to 30 or 40 mph. It handles well. Steering is a bit mushy, but OK under normal conditions. The sound system is good. Accessories are near luxury car standards with nav, Carwings, steering wheel controls, etc... There are also some cool Carwings internet features and the ability to control/monitor some of the car functions from a cellphone or a desktop web browser. Out of the six cars I've bought in my lifetime this is without a doubt, the happiest I've been with a new car.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

14 out of 14 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Predictable 2,000 miles a month without gasoline

by from Fontana, CA on March 14, 2012

After driving the car for six months and putting over 13,000 miles on it, the car is excellent. A well planned-out electric vehicle that I get full use out of. The charging station location feature is...
After driving the car for six months and putting over 13,000 miles on it, the car is excellent. A well planned-out electric vehicle that I get full use out of. The charging station location feature is great. The remote climate control is needed and important. Charging at home, over night is a wonderful change in lifestyle. I needed extra cushion for my lower-back and elbow on the center arm-rest, which is my only negative on the interior, but I need those in my last car too. My last new car was a 350Z, so the I'm not into four-door hatchbacks, but all electric is an acceptable trade-off. Performance off the line is excellent and there is more than enough power to merge onto the southern California hi-ways (fast). It's not a high performance car, but surpasses the typical economy car. I constantly drive 2,000 miles per month, half of my fuel (electricity) is public and free-of-charge. The half that I pay has been about 400 kwh or $50 per month. So $50 per 1,000 miles without using the lower night rates because I just haven't bothered calling my electric company to change my rates. Full insurance coverage is less than $80/month.. I needed a new car and I would have had the same payment + $200 in gasoline, so the value is there. Excellent car and I will never go back to a gasoline vehicle.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

11 out of 11 people found this review helpful. Did you?

9 months of joy!

by from Ft.Worth, TX on December 20, 2011

I have owned my Leaf for 9 months and have loved every minute of it. Just try to imagine how it feels to say "I have not purchased gasoline or had my oil changed in 9 months!" Every morning I leave m...
I have owned my Leaf for 9 months and have loved every minute of it. Just try to imagine how it feels to say "I have not purchased gasoline or had my oil changed in 9 months!" Every morning I leave my garage with a "full tank" so to speak. Because I have a wall-mounted charger i the garage it only takes a few seconds to plug the Leaf in every evening when I get home from work. The "range anxiety" that people talk about will disappear in a few weeks of driving the car. As long as you can charge at home every day and as long as you drive less than 40-50 miles per day, you'll probably never even give it a thought. I believe a lot of people over-estimate the distances they drive. I have experimented and asked people at work questions like "how far is it to the Mall?" Many people replied with answers ranging from 10 to 20 miles. In reality, it is 6 miles. So when you finally start to understand how far things really are (or aren't) then the range of the Leaf suddenly looks a lot longer. I have let about 20 people drive my car over the last 9 months. Every single one has been surprised, if not blown away, by the acceleration of the vehicle. It exceeds all expectations. I've even been challenged at a few traffic lights and won. I'm not big into being "green." I mean, I'm not against it, but it was certainly not my motivating factor in my purchase. I love the high-tech feel of the car. It really does feel like a car of the 21st century. I also love the money I save on gasoline, and the convenience of being able to fill up at home. Once you own a Leaf for a month or so, you'll discover something odd when you ride with friends in their gasoline cars. You'll realize for the first time how smelly they are, how much they vibrate, and how noisy they are. The best analogy I can think of are smokers. I've been told by people who quite smoking after several years that once exposed to cigarette smoke again they will suddenly realize for the first time how stinky it is. So now when I ride in a friends' gasoline car I really feel like I might as well be riding in a steam-powered car or some other obsolete technology.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Great commuting or second car

by from Seattle, WA on September 21, 2012

I've had a Nissan Leaf for 16 months and have driven it about 16,000 miles so far. It's a perfect car for commuting and driving around town. My commute is 45 miles round trip per day which is more tha...
I've had a Nissan Leaf for 16 months and have driven it about 16,000 miles so far. It's a perfect car for commuting and driving around town. My commute is 45 miles round trip per day which is more than most people in America and I only need to charge to 80% on a typical day which extends battery lifespan. It is not for those that commute more than 50 miles per day round trip. Look at the Volt or just a hybrid if you drive more than 50 miles per day. The car accelerates quickly, is super quiet, and handles very well. It has a lot of nice premium features like Bluetooth, navigation system, and electronic stability control that you just don't see in subcompacts. It can seat 5 comfortably. While it cannot be an only car for most people, it can be an everyday car for a 2-car household that has a gasoline car for longer trips. A garage or carport is needed so you have a reliable place to park it every night for charging. If you live in an area like Seattle where there is a growing public charging infrastructure, you can take it on longer trips.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Never go back to gas

by from OC, CA on January 2, 2012

Greatest buy I've ever made. The only star I reserved is that I think the cabin can be made bigger if Nissan is able to fully utilize the benefit of electric power train. There is still a lot of room ...
Greatest buy I've ever made. The only star I reserved is that I think the cabin can be made bigger if Nissan is able to fully utilize the benefit of electric power train. There is still a lot of room under the hood. If some space can be moved to the passenger space, it will be perfect. there is no engine in the world can beat the comfort and the immediate response of electric motor. The car is in complete quiet even in full throttle. I love that the most.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Premium Luxury Ride Quality

by from San Diego, CA on August 17, 2011

I've owned my LEAF for 8 months and nearly 6,000 miles at this point. I'm truly impressed with this vehicle. The technology is amazing. The ride is planted because the battery pack creates a low cente...
I've owned my LEAF for 8 months and nearly 6,000 miles at this point. I'm truly impressed with this vehicle. The technology is amazing. The ride is planted because the battery pack creates a low center of gravity. Also, it's very quite. Those two attributes inspire a luxury feel to the vehicle. I like the open feel of the interior. Being a completely new vehicle, in every way, I expected we would have some early adopter issues. But thus far it's operated flawlessly.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you?

An amazing car

by from San Carlos, CA on November 24, 2011

We have owned a Leaf since July 2011 and we love it! It drives very nice, always ready to jump on your command. It is very quiet. By owning this car, I don't sponsor governments I don't like, keeping ...
We have owned a Leaf since July 2011 and we love it! It drives very nice, always ready to jump on your command. It is very quiet. By owning this car, I don't sponsor governments I don't like, keeping the "gas" money in the country. I don't pollute the air (have solar panels creating the electricity that drives the car). And we enjoy driving the car. Thank you Nissan, you did a fantastic job!
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Better than expected

by from Denver, Colorado on December 26, 2011

I've wanted an EV for years and this car is the ticket. After 9000 miles, the best way to describe the experience is to say... Gas is so old fashioned. The Leaf is quick, quiet, and so very smooth. Al...
I've wanted an EV for years and this car is the ticket. After 9000 miles, the best way to describe the experience is to say... Gas is so old fashioned. The Leaf is quick, quiet, and so very smooth. All the little things don't seem like much until you look back. The handling is nicely basic and low slung. Pre-heating and cooling on a timer or with an internet click. Always full when you want to go. No oil changes. $3.00 of electricity will move it about 150 miles. The perfect commuter.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Amazingly surprising!

by from The Piedmont, NC on May 14, 2013

When I first considered an EV (Electric Vehicle,) I assumed it would be like driving one of those kiddy-cars-- slow. Wow! Was I wrong! During my test drive of the Nissan LEAF, I merged onto a highway ...
When I first considered an EV (Electric Vehicle,) I assumed it would be like driving one of those kiddy-cars-- slow. Wow! Was I wrong! During my test drive of the Nissan LEAF, I merged onto a highway where everyone was going 65-75 mph. I was not only able to move into the traffic easily, but it felt like I was flying a jet plane! AND, I never have to buy gas again. I searched owners' forums for over two months. The LEAF owners who were disappointed were those people who needed to go a long way between charges, but for those of us who don't need a car for a long trip, the car is fantastic! I got the "SL" which is the top-of-the-line-- navigational system, Blue Tooth, rear-view camera-- so many things that I am reading the owners' manual every day and learning new things-- like setting the charge or climate control by remote, (telephone, computer, etc.,) ahead of driving. But for me, the main feature is that there is only a limited supply of oil on the planet, and I can no longer afford the ever-increasing cost of gas/oil. Electricity can be made from lots of sources. I can run my errands, go to work, come home, plug my LEAF into a regular socket, and come back to it in the morning, fully charged. Why did I choose Nissan? Well, I own a 1987 Nissan Stanza wagon with four-wheel drive-- it was one of the first yet-to-be-named "SUV's," from which all others were designed. That car has over 260,000 miles on it and has NEVER had a major incident/repair. That's all I need to know. I believe EV's are the way of things to come-- someday (soon?) gas stations will be converted into electricity stations-- plug in (and of course pay for) a designated time/amount of electricity. In the "Quick Charge" mode, you can get 80% charge in about 30 minutes. You can have a charge port installed at your home, (though so far, I find it unnecessary.) I'm on the SE coast of the USA, where change isn't embraced the same way it is in other areas, (e.g., the west coast,) so we have public charges only at places like post offices, libraries, and of course dealers. But should you want to go over 100 miles a day, I learned that some LEAF owners offer their own, private ports to other LEAF owners-- plug in, "sit a spell," and be on your way. That feels very "Little House on the Prairie" to me, and maybe it is, maybe EV owners are the modern-day pioneers in travel. Once you drive the Nissan LEAF, you'll know why the 2011 was named World Car of the Year!
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Pleasure to drive

by from South Central Pennsylvania on December 13, 2012

I love this car!! So easy to drive and comfortable. No problem on range with the short trips that we have to make. Kept my 2005 Prius to use for long trips.
I love this car!! So easy to drive and comfortable. No problem on range with the short trips that we have to make. Kept my 2005 Prius to use for long trips.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Our Expert Review: 2011 Nissan Leaf

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