2012 Leaf

Consumer Reviews
2012 Nissan Leaf

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4.3 out of 5 stars

4.3

39 Reviews
2012 Nissan Leaf
4.5 out of 5 starsComfort
4.2 out of 5 starsPerformance
4.2 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
4.4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
3.9 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4.2 out of 5 starsReliability
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What Drivers Are Saying

1 - 10 of 39 reviews

4 out of 5 stars

Great commuter car if it fits your lifestyle

by KarlB 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 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.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

184 out of 184 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

With little planning, this could be your best car

by V Patel 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 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.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
3 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

46 out of 46 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Great sub-compact electric car.

by Palliden7 from Sedona, Az on July 9, 2017

I have been interested in electric cars, even considered converting a previously owned vehicle but the cost was prohibitive. I really love the Leaf even though the battery capacity was slightly depleted. So, on a current full charge I can drive the Leaf 50 miles. Around town the vehicle is a blast to drive. If you live in a warm climate have the windows tinted so the AC doesn't drain the main battery pack. Recharging should be done with a 220 volt outlet where one lives. Using the 120 volt charger that comes with the vehicle takes forever!

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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

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5 out of 5 stars

My All Electric Sports Car

by MyronRater 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 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.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

50 out of 51 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Most Fun and Versatle Car I've Ever Owned

by MyronRater 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. 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

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

40 out of 41 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Incredible: First real consumer electric car

by Cartech pioneer 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 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.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
2 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

Very Quite and Fun to Drive!

by Terry D. 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 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!

5 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car!!

37 out of 39 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

A very practical car

by Gman from Mid-Atlantic on February 11, 2012

The Leaf is smooth, quiet, handles nicely and has very good acceleration from a stop. The seats are not super comfortable (had to get a cushion for lumbar support), but the interior is nice and modern. The GPS is not great but the infotainment display is pretty good overall. Remote climate control and monitoring (via iPhone app or Nissan website) is really neat. Car can be scheduled to charge at a particular time so you can set it to only turn on when electricity rates are lowest at night. I do this and end up paying less than 2 cents a mile (so operating costs are obviously extremely low compared to a gas-powered vehicle). Seat warmers are very good and minimize need for the heat which drags down the range. Realistic range is more like 75 miles, but if you have a short commute, the Leaf is a good choice.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

No gas ever!

by Jon D 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 miles per year on a 24 month lease! The MSRP on this vehicle is over $38,000!

5 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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

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5 out of 5 stars

Nissan LEAF

by Alex from Fairfax, VA on February 9, 2012

For the folks who gave it one star for range, you have no idea what you are talking about. I drive 40-60 miles a day and get back home with plenty of range left and this is while only charging to 80%. The range meter on the car (called the "guess-o-meter" in LEAF circles) does not do a great job estimating range at the top end, but is more accurate as the battery draws down - this is something you learn how to deal with quickly as you drive the car. For anyone with a commute under 60 round trip, this car will easily meet your needs unless you go 80mph all the time. Range is influenced by temperature and driving habits. Expect 80-90 miles in moderate weather if driven properly. If you drive it like you stole it and run the heat @90, it'll go 50 miles. Expect 3.5miles/KWh (this is after charging losses). In VA where it's $0.10 a KWh, that's ~$0.03 a mile. A 25mpg car with gas @ $3.75/gal is $0.15 a mile. I currently save about $120 a month in fuel.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

26 out of 28 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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