2012 Nissan Leaf Consumer Reviews

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2012 Nissan Leaf
4.1
Average based on 21 reviews
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability
1-10 of 21 reviews

Great commuter car if it fits your lifestyle

by from Kansas City, MO on April 20, 2014

Let's cut to the chase: The number one issue is range. With an 11-mile one-way commute and a charging station at work, I purchased an off-lease 2012 Nissan LEAF SL to use as my daily driver. Nissan re...
Let's cut to the chase: The number one issue is range. With an 11-mile one-way commute and a charging station at work, I purchased an off-lease 2012 Nissan LEAF SL to use as my daily driver. Nissan recommends an 80% charge to maximize battery life, so the rated distance to empty is around 70 miles. Depending on driving style (e.g. highway miles increase air resistance and thus reduce range) and use of accessories, a 50-60 mile range is more realistic. Please do not expect a 100-mile range that some reviewers have assumed (partially due to false input from car dealers). Once you have determined that the range will work for you, it's a fantastic car. The materials used are high quality and the seats are very comfortable. The cabin has an open, airy feel. The acceleration is instant due to the electric motor torque. Despite the small hatchback look, it has plenty of legroom and space for passengers. Speaking of look, it's...well...different. I like the non-conformist look. Some might say the front looks like a carp. To each their own. The rear luggage space is good enough for groceries and small baggage, but clearly this is not a road trip car. The rear seats can be flipped down for more cargo space. The accessories including entertainment, Bluetooth (for audio and phone), charging ports, GPS (if so equipped), and connection to CarWings telematics are top-notch. You can see your car's charging state at any time and turn on climate control while the car is still plugged in. A 240V home EVSE (car charger) is recommended, but not absolutely necessary. Any 110V outlet becomes your "fueling station", although at a reduced rate from the 240V stations. You can find public charging stations (many are free) using commonly available web sites and apps. If you fit the above driving profile and are ready to benefit from reduced fuel costs (about 1/3 of gas!), having a fully charged car every morning, and the reduced maintenance (no oil changes, no tune-ups, no exhaust repairs, reduced brake jobs due to regenerative braking), the LEAF might be for you. Consider that by 2016-2017, a second generation with increased range may be available, so it makes sense to buy used and reduce your depreciation.
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Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

19 out of 19 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Perfect!

by from Atlanta, GA on November 2, 2012

I've had my Leaf for about a month now and already have 1100 miles on it. I typically drive between 45-55 miles per day and have roughly 1/3 capacity remaining in the battery at the end of the day. Ju...
I've had my Leaf for about a month now and already have 1100 miles on it. I typically drive between 45-55 miles per day and have roughly 1/3 capacity remaining in the battery at the end of the day. Just like others have said, your range is really determined by how you drive the car. Fortunately, the Leaf has lots of feedback to the driver about how you are driving. My initial range anxiety has dropped as I've got to know this car more. While the car is not packed with luxury you will find it has most of the required creature comforts. The car comes nicely equipped. Some of my favorite features so far are the remotely activated climate control as well as climate control timer. The steering wheel heater is also a novel innovation as well. I do strongly recommend the using a 240V home charging if you plan to drive it a lot per day (45+ miles) as the 120V charging can take a really long time to re-charge. If you live in an older home like mine be prepared to deal with electrical issues that come with older homes like having a full breaker panel or not enough amps coming to your house through the meter. It can be a hassle but its all worth it in the end.
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Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

16 out of 16 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Very Quite and Fun to Drive!

by from San Diego, CA on January 12, 2012

We bought a 2011 Nissan LEAF almost a year ago. We have just over 12,000 miles on it at this point. The ride is solid, the car is extremely quite, it's a blast to drive, and it's now our primary vehic...
We bought a 2011 Nissan LEAF almost a year ago. We have just over 12,000 miles on it at this point. The ride is solid, the car is extremely quite, it's a blast to drive, and it's now our primary vehicle. The battery pack gives the car a low center of gravity so it feels planted in the turns. The car has a five star safety rating which was important to our family. It's also nice to wake up to a fully charged car and not have to hassle with going to gas stations!
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Purchased a used car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car

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

Most Fun and Versatle Car I've Ever Owned

by from New Orleans on April 26, 2013

ELECTRIC! That's how I feel.. That's what this car is. Laughing at Gas Prices!. Many, Many people tried to dissuade me from this purchase decision because of the limited range -- roughly 100 miles. Bu...
ELECTRIC! That's how I feel.. That's what this car is. Laughing at Gas Prices!. Many, Many people tried to dissuade me from this purchase decision because of the limited range -- roughly 100 miles. But it was always a commuter's car decision. When the Hurricane comes, I'll park it on the 2nd floor of a nearby parking structure and evacuate (if I do) with my wife's Prius. However, evacuation is even less likely now, because the 24 kWh found in the car will eventually be used to more than double the batter back-up of my home which allows me to have 2 weeks of emergency power! I find the car a pure delight to drive... Incredible responsive! More like a sports car than any car I've ever owned. Charging as a concern has disappeared: I charge every night and 99% of the time never have to think about it: the automatic system of charging to 80% makes this a no-brainer and automatically prolongs the battery life. Why don't you have a pure electric car? You will.. So why wait? Myron
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Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

12 out of 12 people found this review helpful. Did you?

My All Electric Sports Car

by from New Orleans, LA on November 19, 2013

I love this car much more than any other car I've ever owned... And that's saying a lot since I've owned cars continuously since 1968. I'm a professional energy conservation consultant and the energy ...
I love this car much more than any other car I've ever owned... And that's saying a lot since I've owned cars continuously since 1968. I'm a professional energy conservation consultant and the energy savings even pleases me, the hardest of critics. What really surprised and delighted me after I bought it is the extremely fast acceleration. I bet I can beat a Corvette for the first 2 seconds from a dead start. I am not disappointed with the range.. its greatest weakness since it pretty much delivers as predicted. However, to be completely honest the 100 mile range is not a good estimate at highway speeds.. since at 60 mph the energy is consumed about 1/3 faster so the total range is only about 60 miles. However, 95% of the time, I'm driving within the city for much less than 60 miles a day so I don't care about the range. Moreover, the car I bought is the top of the line with wonderful navigation which can be set via a telephone number! and a back-up camera better than anything you could buy on a fully-loaded Toyota Prius. This is definitely a great 2nd car, but I would be hesitant to recommend the car to an individual who has to drive more than 100 miles a day more often than 10 times a year. I don't really care about styling either inside or outside.. that's why the best it can be is GOOD. The only negative I have to say about this car is that you have to be pretty vigilant about range.. and I have been really stranded once and almost stranded a second time. However, that said, Nissan provides free towing to the nearest charging station.. so that problem is not a game-changer.
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Performance
Exterior Styling
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Value for the Money
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Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

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

No gas ever!

by from Dallas, TX on December 3, 2012

Great car for around town with no gas and fun to drive. Great pickup with top speed at 90MPH. I am saving over $200 a month in gas and have leased this vehicle for under $300 per month with 15,000 mil...
Great car for around town with no gas and fun to drive. Great pickup with top speed at 90MPH. I am saving over $200 a month in gas and have leased this vehicle for under $300 per month with 15,000 miles per year on a 24 month lease! The MSRP on this vehicle is over $38,000!
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Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

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

Love this car

by from on March 25, 2013

This such a sweet car. Nissan has done an outstanding job with this electric car. I love not buying gas anymore.
This such a sweet car. Nissan has done an outstanding job with this electric car. I love not buying gas anymore.
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Exterior Styling
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Value for the Money
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Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

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

Love it, MORE fun than I thought it would be.

by from Chicago on November 13, 2013

Just so fun to drive. I just do short trips so who cares if it only goes 90 miles. We have a second car. It is like a race care when you step on the peddle. It handles surprisingly well. This car is ...
Just so fun to drive. I just do short trips so who cares if it only goes 90 miles. We have a second car. It is like a race care when you step on the peddle. It handles surprisingly well. This car is much better than expected.
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Exterior Styling
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Value for the Money
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Purchased a used car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car

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

With little planning, this could be your best car

by from Laurel MD on May 26, 2016

I wasn't sure if this would work for me because of the limited mileage (84 miles per charge), but I realized with careful planning, and change in driving habit, this would be one of the best cars I ha...
I wasn't sure if this would work for me because of the limited mileage (84 miles per charge), but I realized with careful planning, and change in driving habit, this would be one of the best cars I have. I have to of course remember to charge every day, and with regular home outlet, it takes 6-8 hours for complete charge, approx cost per charge is between 60 to 80 cents. You cant beat that. The car is very comfortable, and drives well. The realistic mileage range I would say is more like 55-60 miles, rather than actual 82 quoted. My work is less than 10 miles, and I put approx 25 miles everyday. The car also has something called, carwings, that sends you a text message or email when charging is complete, or interrupted. If this is your only car, I would be hesitant to recommend, but if you have other cars to drive longer, you cant go wrong with this.
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Value for the Money
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Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Incredible: First real consumer electric car

by from Northern VA on January 18, 2013

I was nervous in making the jump to an electric car. I was an early Toyota Prius buyer in 2001 and loved that car, but that didn't require as much deliberation about lifestyle as taking the jump into ...
I was nervous in making the jump to an electric car. I was an early Toyota Prius buyer in 2001 and loved that car, but that didn't require as much deliberation about lifestyle as taking the jump into this car did. I found that a lot of my anxiety was completely unfounded. This car is amazing! Nissan did a fabulous job of making an electric car that takes about the least adjustment that anyone can imagine. It fits my family, has all the creature comforts, and in driving around the suburbs for the first month that I have owned this car, in the middle of a cold, rainy winter, I have never even come close to running out of charge -- with wipers, heater, defrosteres, everything running. Sure, it's not for everyone. It won't make your cross country road trip or even medium sized roadtrips. But for doing the suburban dad thing, commuting to work, hauling my kids around, and running errands, it is a great car. And so cheap to run. I charge at night for less than 6 cents per KWH. Meaning driving 900 miles a month costs me about $13 in electricity. And in 2013, Nissan is really doing a first by making this electric car as affordable as a moderately priced gas family car.
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Value for the Money
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Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

17 out of 18 people found this review helpful. Did you?