Nissan's LEAF holds the distinction of being the first widely available and affordable all-electric car. Overall, it's a civilized vehicle with very low running costs. It's very quiet, rides comfortably and is easy to enter and exit. The main drawbacks are its limited driving range of only about 75 miles per charge and long recharge times. This makes it best used as a commuter car or an urban runabout.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Consumer Reports’ Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey can improve the chances of finding a compatible car match. How? Our survey data reveals whether, all things considered, owners would buy the same car again. The answer to that question is what determines our owner-satisfaction rating, which is a powerful piece of intel because it predicts how well a particular model will satisfy other owners.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Owner Satisfaction with:

Driving Experience

Includes acceleration and handling

What Owners Say

"Excellent acceleration Light and responsive steering Perfect urban transportation in stop and go traffic"

Michael L., MB (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"Very good acceleration fun to drive"

Joseph C., NY (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"I love the ev responsiveness, smooth ride. There’s plenty of power for passing in drive mode, otherwise I usually us the eco mode. I would definitely buy another all electric car."

Anonymous, WA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"Fastest car I've ever owned. It launches from stop and leaves most ICE cars in the dust. It's peppy and handles well. Even my boyfriend who's owned a few muscle cars likes driving my car. It's the battery life that's killer. I drive uphill to work on the freeway. A fully charged battery (which was replaced under warranty as it had only 50 miles of range when I bought the car used), will have 25-30 miles of range left by the time I get to work, which is exactly 19.2 miles door to door from my place. I need to charge to get home."

Anonymous, CA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"Holds road on well. Great acceleration."

Anthony K., OR (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"I like the ability to change to ECO mode when I don't need quick acceleration. Car handles well under both modes."

Anonymous, OR (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"It's no sports car, but it accelerates and handles better than most in congested city driving, especially pulling away from stoplights. Our other (non-EV) car goes unused unless we have no choice."

Anonymous, HI (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"The car accelerates like a magic carpet ride. Soundlessly smooth. On the down side the car is like an enlarged golf cart. You can't really drive it more than about 30 miles from home and expect to get back again. It is not a real car."

Kirk F., CA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"like all electric cars, instant max torque. faster off the line than any $100,000 gas car"

Anonymous, HI (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"It has instant acceleration and handles extremely well."

Anonymous, TX (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"snappy acceleration"

Brent R., ON (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"quick, responsive handling excellent, instant low speed acceleration"

J S., CA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"Great Acceleration, but uses battery quickly. Finding working charging station sometimes difficult."

BRUCE S., CA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"The drive is actually ok. The problem is that the range is SO unpredictable, and so limited that you simply can't trust it to get you anywhere. Nissan has refused to address the inaccuracies, and simply state that you signed a waiver saying the range would vary."

SIVA A., CA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"There is nothing like driving electric. Fast enough. Quiet. No viBRATION no emissions. Little maintenance"

Anonymous, CA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"Acceleration is great, but range anxiety is tough."

OWEN P., WA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"FUN TO DRIVE. QUITE;GREAT ACCELERATION;"

Anonymous, FL (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"It's turn radius is not as good as the previous car I had, a first gen Prius which could turn on a dime. This one is much less flexible. Acceleration is good--no complaints there."

LESLIE H., CA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"Acceleration from standstill is very good and response is instantaneous. Handling is not bad but not inspiring."

Anonymous, CA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"Driving all electric is a thrill. I love the acceleration. It is very stable in handling with the low center of gravity. And it's so quiet! I'm just holding out for greater battery range that I can afford. Best around town, run errands car EVER!"

P P., OR (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"Being an electric car the acceleration is fantastic."

ELLEN G., CA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"Electric acceleration is brisk, and it handles perfectly for an in town car that is occasionally taken on the freeway."

Anonymous, OR (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"Plenty of acceleration available, even for a 7 year old model."

M T., HI (2011 Nissan Leaf)

Comfort

Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"It is a very quiet car. It rides very smoothly and feels heavy for the size of car that it is. The electric drive is SO SMOOTH. The seats are fine, but because of the limited range, we never really drive it long distances. It is a perfect commuter car."

Anonymous, TN (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"Only road noise. Fairly quiet when windows are closed."

Anonymous, WA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"Very comfortable seats. Good height Zero noise. Is excellent Very smooth and rattle free ride"

Michael L., MB (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"The seats are very basic and use cheap fabric. For an expensive car, it should come with leather seats and a much nicer interior. I use a seat cushion to make the driver's seat more comfortable. Back seats are cramped, I almost never ask more than one person if they'd like a ride in my car if we go out to lunch as a team."

Anonymous, CA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"I find the Leaf to be very comfortable and quiet. The heavy, low down weight of the batteries makes for a smooth ride and secure handling. The climate control works well in the A/C mode but heating uses too much of the battery power so is rarely used."

WILLIAM M., CA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"basically comfortable except large A-pillar makes visibility a bit difficult."

Anonymous, CA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"The heater kills the little range you have."

KIRK F., CA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"Driver's seat should be adjustable. Mine is not."

RICK F., CA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"It's very quiet, the quietest car I have ever owned. It also provides me psychological comfort, because I can drive it without feeling that I am doing harm. Whenever I drive or ride in a vehicle that emits CO2 and other pollutants, I feel some regret. In a zero emission car, I feel no regret."

JOHN R., CA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"Sun visors could be bigger."

JAMES B., MO (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"The seats are very comfortable. The ride is smooth and blissfully quiet."

John R., CA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"Love having no engine noise. Seats and cockpit are very comfortable. It rides comfortably and smoothly."

Anonymous, OR (2011 Nissan Leaf)

Value

Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?

What Owners Say

"Has been a tremendous value environmentally and financially. In one year I spent $30 to rotate the tires. Saved further by not needing break replacement or oil changes. Saved thousands in fuel costs compared to the cost of electricity. The car is always ready to go in the morning. Environmentally, I prevented 55,000 pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere."

Raymond K., CA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"The lithium ion battery degradation over 7 years in a moderate climate was severe. This is especially disappointing because the car was only driven for 20,000 miles during this period and routinely charged to 80% capacity in order to extend battery life."

Anonymous, CA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"With our home charger & solar panels, the car is essentially powered by the sun. For free."

Anonymous, HI (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"the best value"

Anonymous, HI (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"It was a good value until the battery lost its ability to use the car for in town driving only."

Connie D., OR (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"It is very inexpensive to drive as compared to a gasoline engine and it accelerates immediately! It is a great, quiet ride."

Anonymous, TX (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"It has saved me over $1000 a year on gas alone and no service cost since there is no oil to change."

Anonymous, CA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"All electric."

Anthony K., OR (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"As a first generation early model, it may expectations. It did require some workarounds to circumvent the Automatic climate controls in order to get more range from the battery. All short comings were addressed in later model years."

Anonymous, CA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"I am dissatisfied because I don't feel comfortable driving my Leaf 35 miles on an uphill grade to visit my grandchildren. I haven't driven it there for about 6 months or more. And when I did drive it there, I would have to recharge it before I returned home (overnight). A group of Leaf owners sued Nissan because their batteries were not keeping their charge, and Leaf decided to repair or replace?? (can't remember which) if the charge reached 8 bars at full charge. Our Leaf fully charged at"

Anonymous, CA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"Very utilitarian. Looks "boxy" but lots of passenger and cargo space inside. Peppy handling, good visibility inside, easy to park."

Anonymous, CA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"At 70,000 miles, the battery capacity decreased to 70% and is continuing to decrease. Contact Nissan and they would only pay for 1/2 of the battery replacement. Cost to us would be $,6,000 (labor and 1/2 of battery) and the car isn't worth that much. Manufacturer wouldn't stand by its car."

CAROLE G., CA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"We bought the car used with 17,000 miles for only $9,000. We feel it was well worth the money."

ELLEN G., CA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"The Leaf is total and utter piece of crap, that Nissan refuses to support or improve. Run away from this vehicle at any price."

SIVA A., CA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"We purchased when it was the "new" car and expense. Even with generous incentives, it was priced high in comparison to say the Honda Fit which is a good gas car comparison. Plus, we had to spend money to prepare the charging station at our home which added to the cost."

SUSAN V., CA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"The online purchase option offered for early buyers combined with federal and state tax credits made the car a tremendous value. The almost complete lack of maintenance costs is another major factor in lower cost of ownership compared with any internal combustion vehicle."

STEVEN W., OR (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"The Leaf gets incredible fuel mileage. We pay only 6.8 cents per kwh so electricity is cheap to begin with. This car is FAR more fuel efficient than even our 52 MPG Prius. The battery was replaced under warranty and the new (better chemistry) battery is maintaining full capacity (unlike the old one)."

MIKE L., TX (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"It does what it should, may bee too many feathers, it is like a big e-toy, less gadgets might make it less price"

KEITH M., CA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"As my range decreased below 50 miles, I had to stop using the climate system. I have since purchased a new battery ($6500) and I can get to/from work on a single charge while using the climate system. I'm hoping to get another 5 years."

Anonymous, CA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"It cost a lot up front, because we were early buyers. But we saved almost $10,000 with state and federal tax rebates. We also got a free charger because we signed up for a research program. Still, it was quite a bit more than a similarly equipped economy car of the same form factor. However, it costs less than a third in electricity of what it would cost to operate the gas economy car it replaced, and never needs oil changes. In the six years we've owned it, ignoring tires, we've spent in the ne..."

Elizabeth G., OR (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"Given the cheap cost of electricity, it was definitely a cheap commuter vehicle. The range is annoying but usable since I can charge at work."

Anonymous, CA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

Styling

How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"There's a major blind spot at the corner of the front windshield where the support is (I forget what it's called). I also wish it were slightly smaller."

LESLIE H., CA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"I was not particularly happy with the interior quality. I do not like the cloth material used for the seats. It is hard to clean. I would have preferred a vynle material, easy to wipe and dry. I replaced the floor mats because they wearing out on the driver side and attracted dirt rather than dispel it. Everything sticks to the material. I also did not like the color choices. I wanted a GREEN Leaf. I thought Nissan missed an opportunity to choose colors that were actual leaf colors."

SUSAN V., CA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"The LEAF is an excellent car for local driving. The battery range, however, has never been as robust as Nissan has claimed."

STEPHEN T., TX (2011 Nissan Leaf)

"It looks ugly. Subjective, I know but it does."

Anonymous, CA (2011 Nissan Leaf)

Would you buy this car again?

2011 vehicles
Ford Fiesta
Ford Focus
Honda Civic
Hyundai Elantra
Kia Soul
Mazda 3
Mini Cooper
Nissan Leaf
Nissan Sentra
Subaru Impreza
Toyota Corolla
Toyota Prius
Volkswagen Golf
Volkswagen Jetta
Percentage of owners who would definitely purchase that same vehicle again. Owner-satisfaction Ratings are determined by the percentage of those who answered "definitely yes" to the question asked by the Consumer Reports Annual Auto Survey "Considering all factors (price, performance, reliability, comfort, enjoyment, etc.), would you get this car if you had to do it all over again?". If we don’t have sufficient data, a similar model might be used to form the owner-satisfaction score.
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