Product Reviews

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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.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
Research Years *Redesign year
Worse Better
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Overall Reliability Verdict
Potential Trouble Spots
Engine Major
Engine Minor
Engine Cooling
Transmission Major
Transmission Minor
Drive System
Fuel System
Electric System
Climate System
Suspension
Brakes
Exhaust
Paint/Trim
Body Integrity
Body Hardware
Power Equipment
In-car Electronics
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 500,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2018 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2011 Nissan Leaf owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Hybrid/electric battery replacement

“The battery lost 4 of its 12 charging bars, so Nissan is replacing the battery with a new one”

Peter R., CA (2011 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)
Hybrid/electric system and battery (excluding replacement)

“My battery has degraded more than I expected, thus reducing my driving range. I was able to drive 80 - 90 miles, but in less than 3 1/2 years I can only drive the car 40 miles. Unfortunately, my situation is not unique and it appears to be a defect”

Raul R., CA (2011 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)

“Range is unacceptably low and haven't been able to get Nissan to replace batteries”

William K., CA (2011 Nissan Leaf Unsure Electric)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Driveshaft or axle

“front axel makes a "thunk" or "click" noise when starting/stopping. dealer is incompetent and could not/would not fix the problem, even though this is a known problem with nissan leaf/versa”

Anonymous, CA (2011 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)
Electrical failure

“Battery capacity drop not prorated”

Anonymous, HI (2011 Nissan Leaf SV Electric)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Heater system

“Sometimes the heater doesn't heat”

Karl B., OR (2011 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)

“For a $7000 car, a $4000 heater repair seems over the top. The 2011 and 2012 Leaf use a small "PTC" water heater, with a history of failure. A private party and dealer each spent hours trying to figure out if my core was even getting electricity. The car needs substantial disassembly to fix the heater, thought it's a known failure point”

Anonymous, CA (2011 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Gauges

“Speedometer stopped working”

Timothy Y., OR (2011 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

“We noticed the third brake light was not lighting up. The dealer estimated ~$400 to fix it. I investigated and found that the wiring wasn't hooked up because a wire was not pulled through correctly. Easy fix but had to disassemble part of the rear ha”

Harry H., CA (2011 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Bushings

“sway bar bushings bad”

Anonymous, OR (2011 Nissan Leaf SV Electric)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

“Paint fading & chipping due to salt air - we live close to the ocean”

Anonymous, CA (2011 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Display screen goes blank

“The 12volt battery died, immobilizing the car without warning. No displays came on and car would not start”

Anonymous, HI (2011 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Master cylinder

“Brake warning indicator light came on during 3rd year battery check. Brakes still mechanically worked, drove to dealer for repairs. Electric car master cylinders have lots of electronics due to regeneration. $1800 part, replaced under warranty”

John M., WA (2011 Nissan Leaf SV Electric)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Squeaks or rattles

“same problem - thunk noise coming from axle”

Anonymous, CA (2011 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Compare 2011 Models

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This score shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year, calculated from the total number of problems reported by subscribers in all 17 trouble spots.
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