View Local Inventory
SAVE

2012 Nissan Leaf

Change year or vehicle
$6,377 — $10,721 USED
18
Photos
Hatchback
5 Seats
100 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 2 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Drives like a &quot
  • real car&quot
  • Sprightly acceleration
  • Zero tailpipe emissions
  • Low fuel cost
  • Many tax incentives
  • Remote charge control

The Bad

  • High floor in backseat
  • Range varies with temperature, terrain
  • Charger installation can be pricey
  • Slow rollout
  • Limited public charging infrastructure
  • Resale value a mystery

What to Know

about the 2012 Nissan Leaf
  • Pure battery-electric car
  • Five-seat compact hatchback
  • 100-mile range (estimated)
  • 95 mph top speed
  • Programmable charge time
  • Buy or lease

We’re looking for the best deals on a Nissan near you…

Are you looking for more listings?

Change location

Please enter a valid 5-digit ZIP code.

Search Again

— OR —

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview

The five-seat Nissan Leaf is a purely battery-electric mass-market car. With no onboard range-extending generator like the Chevrolet Volt's, the Leaf has a range of roughly 100 miles, period. A five-seat compact four-door hatchback, the Leaf is eligible for federal and state incentives.

Standard features include a 120-volt trickle charger, a navigation system, wireless connectivity and the ability to schedule charge times via web or smartphone. The uplevel SL trim level adds features like automatic headlights, fog lights, a solar panel, backup camera and a cargo cover.

New for 2012
The 2012 Leaf adds a standard battery heater, heated side mirrors, a heated steering wheel, and heated front and rear seats. A quick-charge port is now part of the SL trim level's features list.

Exterior
Among high-efficiency four-doors with aerodynamic shapes, the Leaf manages to look distinctive, mainly due to its curvy rear end and raised headlights, which are designed to deflect oncoming air around the side mirrors to reduce drag and noise. Exterior features include:

  • Standard 16-inch alloy wheels
  • Standard rear spoiler
  • Small solar panel atop the SL's liftgate spoiler trickle-charges the regular 12-volt battery


Interior
The five-seat Leaf has a 60/40-split folding backseat that extends the cargo area forward. Though it's a hatchback, the cargo volume behind the seats is closer to that of a sedan's trunk. Interior features include:

  • Standard cloth upholstery...
Vehicle Overview

The five-seat Nissan Leaf is a purely battery-electric mass-market car. With no onboard range-extending generator like the Chevrolet Volt's, the Leaf has a range of roughly 100 miles, period. A five-seat compact four-door hatchback, the Leaf is eligible for federal and state incentives.

Standard features include a 120-volt trickle charger, a navigation system, wireless connectivity and the ability to schedule charge times via web or smartphone. The uplevel SL trim level adds features like automatic headlights, fog lights, a solar panel, backup camera and a cargo cover.

New for 2012
The 2012 Leaf adds a standard battery heater, heated side mirrors, a heated steering wheel, and heated front and rear seats. A quick-charge port is now part of the SL trim level's features list.

Exterior
Among high-efficiency four-doors with aerodynamic shapes, the Leaf manages to look distinctive, mainly due to its curvy rear end and raised headlights, which are designed to deflect oncoming air around the side mirrors to reduce drag and noise. Exterior features include:

  • Standard 16-inch alloy wheels
  • Standard rear spoiler
  • Small solar panel atop the SL's liftgate spoiler trickle-charges the regular 12-volt battery


Interior
The five-seat Leaf has a 60/40-split folding backseat that extends the cargo area forward. Though it's a hatchback, the cargo volume behind the seats is closer to that of a sedan's trunk. Interior features include:

  • Standard cloth upholstery
  • Standard navigation system, satellite radio and Bluetooth connectivity 
  • Dash screen can show a graphical range indicator on the map and provide multiple energy-readout screens to help gauge energy use and remaining range
  • Available backup camera


Under the Hood
The Leaf uses a 340-volt battery pack to power an electric drive motor, which drives the front wheels with 107 horsepower and 207 pounds-feet of torque. The charging port is in the car's nose under a door. Mechanical features include:

  • Depleted battery can recharge in eight hours at 240 volts or in 20 hours at 120 volts
  • A public quick-charge station (where available) can charge a depleted battery to 80 percent in about 30 minutes, but it requires the available quick-charge port


Safety
The Leaf's high-voltage battery pack is designed to disconnect in the event of an airbag deployment or water intrusion. At the behest of rescue workers, Nissan incorporated an access panel into the floor that has a kill switch for first responders. Standard safety features include:

  • Side-impact airbags for the front seats
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Antilock brakes
  • Electronic stability system
  • Traction control

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.3
42 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.1)
Performance
(4.2)
Interior Design
(4.3)
Comfort
(4.5)
Reliability
(4.1)
Value For The Money
(3.9)

Read reviews that mention:

(4.0)

Good around town full electric car

by CyberYeh from San Diego ,CA on December 6, 2018

Plenty of space inside for 5 people, and storage space is decent. Nice kick when you put your feet on the pedal since it's electric. Pretty comfortable drive and handles well. Happy I don't need to go ... Read full review

(1.0)

Limited Electric car

by jayjay from sanger,ca on November 3, 2018

Almost seems like this car was intentionally crappy to push newcomers to hybrids and electric cars back to gas. But there are better electric cars out there. This isn't a good one..... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2012 Nissan Leaf currently has 0 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2012 Nissan Leaf SV

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Nissan

New Car Program Benefits

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    36 months / unlimited distance

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits

  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    6 years/less than 80,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    84 months/100,000 miles from original new-car in-service date

  • Powertrain

    84 months/100,000 miles (includes LEAF electric vehicle system and powertrain)

  • Dealer Certification Required

    167-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All CPO Program Details

Latest 2012 Leaf Stories

Change year or vehicle

0 / 0 0 Photos
0 / 0

Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Leaf received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

What's your location?

To find the best deals near you, please enter your ZIP code.